Game developer satisfaction survey shows work balance and discrimination are key concerns

May 2, 2024 by No Comments

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has released its annual video game developer satisfaction survey, and after a tumultuous 2023 for the industry, the results are sure to be interesting.

For the survey, 777 people were polled about their feelings on the industry. From inclusion to work environment to the relationship between developers and management, the results varied across the board, with some areas scoring worse than others.

“The Developer Satisfaction Survey is a meaningful tool to help games industry professionals identify which issues are most prevalent among their peers,” IGDA Executive Director Dr. Jacin Vela said in a release. “Recognizing the critical issues highlighted in this report is the first step to moving forward as an industry and as a community.”

In 2023, 10,500 people in the industry were laid off in some way, causing concern among many. 67% of respondents say that relations between employees and management are good or excellent. Only 10% said they were poor.

While relationships appear to be good, the work balance appears to be hit or miss. Although the crunch decreased by 5% from 2021 (28% in 2023 compared to 33% in 2021), the number of developers who said they generally worked “long or extended” hours increased from 22% in 2021 to 25% in 2023.

Avoidance of crunch and working hours, DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and anti-discrimination were top of mind for those who answered the survey. According to IGDA, 72% of developers say their company has a DEI program. However, only 38% of companies have formal grievance procedures.

Regarding general discrimination, 72% said their company had appropriate policies in place. That number dropped to 62% and 61%, respectively, due to sexual harassment and equal opportunity hiring practices.

For game credits, less than half of respondents (48%) said their studio had a game credits policy. However, more than 70% of people felt that the game they worked on would look better if they were in the studio when the game shipped. That number dropped to 41% when asked if they thought they would be credited if they were no longer with the company at the time of release.

If you’d like to read the full results of the Game Developer Satisfaction Survey, you can do so here Through the IGDA website.

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