The video game industry continues to grow worldwide. In the specific case of Spain, every day there are more studios and their titles are triumphing all over the world. A good example of this is the success of games such as Blasphemous, Metroid Dread and GRIS, to name a few. However, working in the industry and making a living from it is not exactly easy.
The different roles involved in a development
The video game industry offers a wide range of jobs: artists, musicians, designers, programmers, administrators, marketing… each and every one of these roles are essential for a video game to become a reality. However, when it comes to salaries, differences abound depending on the degree of responsibility and specialization.
It is also important to consider experience levels. Generally, companies categorize them as junior, mid and senior. If you have just joined a video game company and have no previous experience, you will most likely join as a junior. The higher your level, the more money you will earn.
Different salaries in different countries
The difference in salaries between countries is a very important aspect when looking for a job in the sector. In this sense, it is very common to hear stories of people who have managed to earn more money than in Spain by moving abroad. However, it must be taken into account that the socioeconomic reality and the standard of living in each country are determining factors when it comes to establishing the average salary.
In the case of Spain, on the one hand we have medium and large companies well established in the world of video games. There, the salaries we find are in line with the current standard of living. However, we also have the other side of the coin: a multitude of small companies that pay well below the Spanish average.
Industry growth in Spain
The video game sector in Spain has experienced significant growth in recent years. According to the most recent data contained in the White Paper on Spanish Video Game Development 2021, in 2020 the sector directly employed 8,026 people, an increase of 9.6% over the previous year. In addition, 73% of these employees had permanent contracts, indicating significant job stability.
And in terms of turnover, things are going up and up. According to the latest figures, Spanish studios had a turnover of 1.105 billion euros in 2020, an increase of 20% over the previous year.
If this same growth rate is maintained, the industry is expected to reach a value of 2,300 million euros in 2024. Undoubtedly, these are very good figures that confirm the good moment the sector is going through.
Average salary according to your professional profile
When thinking about videogame developers, one of the first figures that comes to mind is the programmer. As cliché as it may sound, it is still one of the cornerstones of any decent video game. According to statistics gathered by Jobted, the average salary of a videogame programmer is €32,100 gross per year (or €1,740 net per month). In this case, senior programmers can easily reach almost €100,000 per year.
It is also one of the positions with the lowest parity: female programmers represent only 11%.
Now let’s look at other roles, such as interface designer (better known as UX/UI Designer). In this case, the average salary in Spain is €31,750 gross per year (or €1,720 net per month). The minimum salary for a designer can start at €23,610 gross per year, while the maximum can reach €56,940. Contrary to what happened with programmers, here women predominate more (61%) than men (39%).
What about 3D modelers? The artistic sector is usually one of the most punished in that sense. If we look at the data collected by Glassdoor, the average base salary of a 3D artist is around €25,065 per year. This will vary according to the degree of experience: in this case, the most responsible positions reach €38,400 per year.
Other professional profiles such as the animator or rigger also have very similar salaries, which vary between 13,000 and €38,000 per year. As you can see, these salaries are very much in line with the average life in Spain.