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Game Developer Research Reports

Newest Report

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its eighteenth report, the 'Game Developer Salary Report 2005-2010', a 110-page study collecting full salary, benefits, and bonuses comparisons for American, Canadian, and European game industry salaries in 2009.

Game Developer Salary Report 2005-1010

“Developer Histories and Outlooks” (pg. 67) is a cross-section of what today’s developers think about the industry they power, where it’s been, and where it’s going. “The Indie Report” (pg. 98) is a snapshot of the indies and contractors who comprise a growing segment of the community. Finally, “Developer Comments” (pg. 104) is a roundup of notable observations made by respondents this year—long and short, good and bad.

The Game Developer Salary Survey was conducted in February 2010 for the calendar year January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, with the assistance of Audience Insights. Email invitations were sent to Game Developer subscribers, Game Developer Conference attendees, and Gamasutra.com members asking them to participate in the annual survey.


Other Reports (back to top)

2009/2010 State of Game Development Survey

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its seventeenth report, the '2009/2010 State of Game Development Survey', a comprehensive research study focused primarily on product and service purchase intentions and related game development practices.

The results of the comprehensive 55 question survey help to illustrate which platforms Western game creators develop for, which market sectors they work in, which tools they use and how much they spend on these tools, and sheds light on which factors determine the target platforms for game development.

The full '2009-2010 State of Game Development Survey' includes dozens more data points about the preferred software, hardware, and tools of game developers across game engines, AI tools, production machines and beyond -- as well as game genre and sector statistics, geographical breakdowns, budgetary information for the past year, and upcoming product purchase intent.

Game Developer Census 2009

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its sixteenth report, the 'Game Developer Census 2009'. The in-depth 248-page report aims to create an accurate list of each significant developer and publisher within the video game industry in the United States and Canada, as well as an accurate list of staff averages for each company.

The Census report lists more than 700 companies alphabetically by U.S. state and Canadian province, along with general contact addresses, website information, estimates of employee numbers and details on their market specialties (from casual gaming, online gaming, mobile gaming and serious gaming to PC, handheld or console gaming).

Not included in the Game Developer Industry Census estimates are game tools company, game contracting/services company, PR, marketing, and external business service, or game distribution and retail professionals. The report is intended to be a valuable tool for game industry trendwatchers, contractors, service companies, and other entities wanting to acquire accurate information to reach out to the North American game market as a whole.

Game Developer Top 20 Publishers Report 2009

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its fifteenth report, the 'Game Developer Top 20 Publishers Report 2009', a 160+ page video game publisher ranking that includes a wide-ranging reputation survey distributed to industry professionals, alongside revenue data, release counts, average review scores, and anonymous feedback from development partners.

This year’s ranking was calculated by considering the number of worldwide releases, average review scores, and revenue for the period reaching from August 2008 until July 2009. We’ve also factored in the results of a Gamasutra.com survey we conducted which gathered opinions on 30 major publishers, with a spot to write in others.

Nearly 900 industry professionals, a dramatic increase in sample size over the previous year, were asked to first give their opinions on the reputations of each publisher in the survey, or any we had missed. They were also asked for any specific comments they might have on each of the publishers.

Game Developer 2009 Government Game Incentive Report

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its fourteenth report, the 'Game Developer 2009 Government Game Incentive Report', an in-depth listing of dozens of government-funded state, provincial, and federal programs targeted at assisting game developers small and large.

Inside the extensive 150-page-plus report is included detailed information on the tax credits, rebates, grants, and other financial options offered by governmental organizations from all over the world.

The 'Game Developer 2009 Government Game Incentive Report' is an invaluable aid to any company seeking to learn and compare the benefits of setting up a studio in different states, provinces, or countries. Agencies researching current models of game developer incentives to build their own programs will also find the report a peerless resource.

Top 50 Developers 2009

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its thirteenth report, 'Top 50 Developers 2009', an exhaustive survey of the game industry's major developers worldwide. This is a detailed supplement to this month's Top 50 Developers countdown in Game Developer magazine, which saw over 600 industry professionals from Game Developer magazine and Gamasutra.com surveyed regarding their opinions on more than 150 developers, as well as allowing them to rate any relevant experiences with working with the companies in question. This data was used along with sales chart data for the calendar year 2008, number of SKUs from January through December 2008, and average review scores from Metacritic (with the exception of those titles not covered by Metacritic), to determine company rankings.

This expanded report features an in-depth analysis of the developers in question. As well as providing specifics regarding the peer response sections (the “Reputational Survey” and the“Detailed Survey”), company sales chart performance and details regarding developer releases and average review scores according to Metacritic, it also offers detailed comparisons between the top 50 developers in many of the detailed sub-categories.

The full Top 50 Developers report includes over 180 pages and over 28,000 words of data, statistics, charts, comments, and summaries, and should be of eminent interest to game developers, game publishers, game investors, and other business-people inside and outside the game industry.

Salary Report 2004-2008

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its eleventh report, the 'The Game Developer Salary Report: 2004-2009'. This in-depth 105-page report supplements the 2008 Salary Survey included in the April 2009 issue of Game Developer magazine and includes a full salary, benefits, and bonuses comparison for American, Canadian, and European game industry salaries over that time period.

The 'The Game Developer Salary Report: 2004-2009' was conducted in February 2009 for the fiscal year January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008, with the assistance of Audience Insights. Email invitations were sent to Game Developer subscribers, Game Developer Conference attendees, and Gamasutra.com members asking them to participate in the annual survey.

We gathered 3,880 responses from developers worldwide but not all who participated in the survey provided enough compensation information to be included in the final report. We also excluded salaries less than $10,000 and the salaries of students and educators. The small number of reported salaries greater than $202,500 were excluded to prevent their high numbers from unnaturally skewing the averages. We also excluded records that were missing key demographic and classification numbers.

The survey primarily includes U.S. compensation but consolidated figures from Canada and Europe were included. The total sample reflected in the data presented for the U.S. is 1,879, for Canada 372, and for Europe 473.

The sample represented in our salary survey can be projected to the U.S. game developer community with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.24% at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error for Canada is plus or minus 5.2%, and is 4.8% for Europe.


2009 Outsourcing

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its eleventh report, the 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report'. This 129-page report seeks to provide insight on the current state of outsourcing video game development around the world, as well as analysis of trends observed for outsourcing budgets, regional perceptions, and more.

Data in the 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report' was primarily gathered from two sources: A 45-question Outsourcing Research survey conducted in 2007 and aimed at game developers whose studios conduct outsourcing or are considering it, and a similar survey also targeting the same audience but conducted in 2008.

Our surveys were distributed through our network of game industry-oriented websites, including Gamasutra and its sister sites. This resulted in sample sizes of 166 for the 2007 survey and of 195 for the 2008 survey.

Both surveys were used extensively throughout this report. The surveys addressed questions regarding participants’ current and future plans for outsourcing, budgets, platforms, employee/developer requirements for picking out studios, and more.

The surveys also gathered data for seven specific regions -- China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, North America, and Latin America – to find out budget/workload break-ups, respondents’ reasons for picking firms in that particular area, and more.

All raw survey data used to create the report’s graphs has been included in an appendix at the end of this report.

Also included in the 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report' are detailed profiles and specific feedback for over a dozen popular outsourcing firms from all around the world, followed by a listing of more than 60 operations that surveyed developers cited they’d worked with or considered working with.

Selected highlights from the report are available as part of a Gamasutra news story.

 

State of iPhone 2009


Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its tenth report, the 'State of iPhone Game Development 2009'. This report, which should be extremely useful for businesses and individuals considering pricing and genre possibilities in the packed iPhone and iPod Touch market, provides multiple important surveyed metrics into this burgeoning area.

The full 39-page report uses iPhone App Store data and an anonymous survey of almost 150 current iPhone and iPod Touch developers to outline a number of important data points. These include purchase prices for iPhone and iPod Touch games, the effects of and reason for post-launch price adjustments on games, download number ranges, game porting trends, and many other vital stats. Selected highlights from the report are available as part of a Gamasutra news story.

Data was primarily gathered from two sources: a 32-question survey answered by members of the iPhone and iPod Touch development community—ranging from individual developers to large, multiplatform studios—and application data drawn from Apple’s official App Store in mid-December 2008. Survey data was used extensively throughout the report, while App Store data was primarily used in the Pricing section.

Our survey was distributed through our network of game industry-oriented websites, including Gamasutra, GameCareerGuide, and GameSetWatch, as well as our iPhone-specific website FingerGaming. This resulted in a sample size of 133 developers. The survey addressed questions regarding team size, budget, pricing, game features, studio characteristics, company proficiencies, and much more.

Purchase of the full 'State of iPhone Game Development 2009' report confers access to a in-depth document including analysis, charts, and the full, question by question results of our iPhone and iPod Touch developer survey completed by 133 iPhone and iPod Touch game developers.

 

Census 2008

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its ninth report, the 'Game Developer Census 2008'. The in-depth 171-page report provides a detailed list of every significant video game developer and publisher currently working in the game business in the United States and Canada.

The Census report lists more than 650 companies alphabetically by U.S. state and Canadian province, along with generalize contact addresses, website information, estimates of employee numbers and details on their market specialties (from casual gaming, online gaming, mobile gaming and serious gaming to PC, handheld or console gaming). The report is intended to be a valuable tool for game industry trendwatchers, contractors, service companies, and other entities wanting to acquire accurate information to reach out to the North American game market as a whole.

Not included in the current Census estimate are game tools companies, game contracting/services companies, external PR, marketing, legal, and other business services, and liaison or licensing divisions at larger media companies. Game Developer Research putatively puts this figure at around 18,000 across North America.

The 'Game Developer Census 2008' digital download is comprised of the following elements: The .DOC version of the report, which summarizes the contacts in easily readable form and provides totals for game developers per state and Canadian province, and the .XLS Excel spreadsheet version of the report, which allows the individual fields to be sorted, exported and used however the purchaser sees fit.

 

Top 20 Publishers 2008

 

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its eighth report, the 'Game Developer Top 20 Publishers 2008 Survey'. This detailed supplement to the sixth Top 20 Publishers countdown, which appears in basic form in the October 2008 issue of Game Developer magazine, reveals the numerical reputation scores, written comments, and anonymous partner feedback for the major game publishers in this year's countdown, alongside game release and average review score specifics by platform.

The 2008 rankings were calculated by considering number of releases by SKU, average review scores, and estimated publisher revenue from August 2007 to July 2008. It also included the results of a survey conducted to gather opinions on the major video game software publishers.

More than 300 industry professionals from all parts of the game production process were asked to give their opinions – including comments – on the reputations of each publisher in the survey. In addition, scores and commentary were gathered from respondents who had direct experience with the publishers in the recent past, either as workers or partners, including milestone, marketing and pay feedback.

The full version of 'Top 20 Publishers' report spans more than 100 pages and almost 27,000 words, including many exclusive and detailed graphs, and should be of eminent interest to game publishers, game investors, and other businesspeople inside and outside the game industry.


2008 State of Game

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its seventh report, the '2008 State Of Game Development Survey.' The in-depth 180-page report was compiled by surveying almost 2,000 video game professionals from North America and beyond who read Gamasutra.com or subscribe to Game Developer magazine.

It includes answers to over 55 questions about the platforms Western game creators develop for, the market sectors they are working in, the tools they use, and the amount of money they spend on them. Some of the highlights of the report which Game Developer Research is revealing to the public at this time include the following:

- Overall, 70% of those replying are making games on the PC or Mac, with 43% creating for console and 28% for web platforms - with just 16% making games for handheld platforms such as the DS or PSP.

- Of the surveyed console developers, which represent a notable cross-section of the entire industry, 73% are creating games for Xbox 360, 58% (including some of the same respondents) for the PlayStation 3, and 42% for the Wii - with 15% still creating games for the PlayStation 2. This implies that the greatest amount of Western console developers by sheer numbers are creating games for Microsoft's console - but due to team size differences, this doesn't necessarily imply that more games will appear on the Xbox 360 than other consoles.

- Again, of the largely North American and European developers surveyed, Nintendo DS had the largest amount of creators by numbers, with 75% of those handheld developers surveyed making games for it - and with 45% making games for the PSP.

Another particularly interesting result that discussing trends in programming language. Of those responding, 76% are currently using C++ to make games, with 31% using C#, and 19% using Java/J2ME in their programming efforts. In addition, 9% of those replying still use assembly language in some way.

The remainder of the survey offers a wealth of extra data into the purchasing habits and development choices of the game development industry, with market share information in areas as diverse as AI tools, game engines, 3D art software, compilers, books, motion capture suites, and computer hardware - covering every submarket of purchases made by game makers. This will be of interest to technology companies in the game development space, as well as those looking to enter the market or to survey general game industry trends.

Salary 2004-2008

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its sixth report, the 'Game Developer Salary Report: 2004-2008.' The in-depth 71-page report supplements the 2007 Salary Survey included in the April 2008 issue of Game Developer magazine and includes a full salary, benefits, and bonuses comparison for American, Canadian, and European game industry salaries over that time period.


The 'Game Developer Salary Report: 2004-2008' was conducted February-March 2008 with the assistance of research firm Audience Insights. More than 4,860 responses were gathered from participants in total. The survey excluded salaries under $10,000 as well as salary figures from students and educators. The small number of reported salaries over $202,500 was excluded to prevent their high numbers from unnaturally skewing the average. The sample represented in the salary survey can be projected to the overall game developer community with a margin of error for the U.S. statistics of plus or minus 1.7% at a 95% confidence level.

These trends include detailed data for year-over-year results from 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, leading to prediction possibilities over all disciplines, including programming, art, audio, production, Q/A, business, and beyond. This makes it an essential purchase for HR professionals, business owners, investors and government entities wanting to know how game salaries are changing over time.

There is also further segmenting of the data to show average salaries for select Canadian provinces and European countries, as well as many other newly exposed details, thanks to the in-depth surveying of Game Developer/Gamasutra readers and GDC attendees, with over 4,860 responses for this year.

2008 Gov Game Incentive

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its fourth report, 'The Game Developer 2008 Government Game Incentive Report', a comprehensive listing of over forty government-funded, local programs targeted at assisting game developers, small and large. Inside this extensive 180-page-plus report, you'll find detailed information on the tax credits, grants, and other financial options offered by organizations from all over the world.

'The Game Developer 2008 Government Game Incentive Report'
is an invaluable aid to any company seeking to learn and compare the benefits of setting up a studio in different states or countries. Agencies researching in-place models of game developer incentives to build their own programs will also find the report a peerless resource.

Each entry contains a company description and contact information for the offering institution, a brief of developers and related deals in the area, our summary of the available program(s), and a detailed description of the local incentive(s) as offered by the institution. Links are provided with every excerpt to provide you quick and easy access to the source.

You can now read more information on the specific information available in the report and purchase the 'Game Developer's 2008 Government Game Incentive Report'.


2007 Top 20 Publishers

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its third report, the 'Game Developer Top 20 Publishers 2007 Survey'. This detailed supplement to the fifth Top 20 Publishers countdown, which appears in the October 2007 issue of Game Developer magazine, reveals the numerical reputation scores, written comments, and anonymous partner feedback for the major game publishers in this year's countdown, alongside game release and average review score specifics by platform.

For the first time ever, Game Developer Research is making available the data set using to calculate the countdown, including a reputational survey using 300 industry professionals from all parts of the game production process. They were asked to rate numerically – including comments - the reputations of each publisher in the survey.

In addition, scores and commentary was gathered from respondents who had direct experience with these game publishers in the recent past, either as workers or partners - including milestone, marketing and pay feedback. This information is twinned with complete publisher release lists and average review scores from August 2006 to July 2007 to present an unprecedented level of data into how major game companies are currently faring.

You can now read more information on the specific information available in the survey, including sample data, and purchase the 'Game Developer Top 20 Publishers 2007 Survey'.


2007 Census

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its second report, 'The Game Developer Census 2007', which has created an accurate and detailed list of every significant developer and publisher currently working in the game business in the United States and Canada.

The result, which will be invaluable for contractors, service companies, educational institutions and other entities wanting to reach out to the North American game market as a whole, includes almost 600 firms listed, and includes both a 150-page in-depth report by state, and a separate Excel document with the full data set.

Every firm surveyed is listed with full postal address, website URL, phone number/email contact when publicly available, size of firm, and the type of development or publishing it focuses on—casual gaming, online gaming, mobile gaming, serious gaming, PC, handheld or console gaming, as well as example titles that the company has produced.

The 'Game Developer Census 2007' can be ordered digitally, and comprises the following elements: The .DOC version of the report, which summarizes the contacts in easily readable form and provides totals for game developers per state and Canadian province, and the .XLS Excel spreadsheet version of the report, which allows the individual fields to be sorted, exported and used however the purchaser sees fit.

You can now read more information on the specifics of the survey, and purchase the 'Game Developer Census 2007' .

 

Salary 2004-2007

The in-depth 'Game Developer Salary Report: 2004-2007' includes a full salary, benefits, and bonuses comparison for American, Canadian, and European game industry salaries over that time period. An overview of the basic findings is available in a Gamasutra.com news story

The 2006 survey was conducted through Audience Insights, and anonymously polled 5,600 readers of Game Developer magazine and Gamasutra.com and attendees of Game Developers Conference on their current salary information. The 2005 and 2004 surveys were conducted similarly, leading to almost 15,000 responses and unprecedented levels of detail.

These trends include three-year averages, leading to prediction possibilities over all disciplines, including programming, art, audio, production, Q/A, business, and beyond. This makes it an essential purchase for HR professionals, business owners, investors and government entities wanting to know how game salaries are changing over time.

You can now read more information on the specifics of the survey, and purchase the 'Game Developer Salary Report: 2004-2007' .

Partner Reports (back to top)


Niko Partners, a leading market research and consulting firm for China's video game industry, has announced results from its latest report focused on outsourced game development in China. The report is published in association with Game Developer Research, the research arm of the CMP Game Group, and can be ordered for $3,000 by contacting Niko Partners directly:

Partner Reports


More information about the report is available via this Gamasutra news story exploring its findings, which include detailed analysis of specific Chinese outsourcing studios and information on the extent and type of outsourcing currently being done by Western firms.

 

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