Software Games Survey | Video Game Compensation Survey | Croner

Software Games Survey

Compensation and Benefits

The Croner Software Games Survey – North America is the benchmark compensation and benefits survey of the entertainment software industry, for software gaming jobs in North America. This leading-edge report provides compensation data for jobs in all gaming platform types – including mobile, social, console, PC, cloud, handheld, MMO, casino and virtual reality games.

For 30 years, the Survey has provided market data for compensation and benefits offered at companies that publish and/or develop software for entertainment in North America. Its scope and content have evolved each year to reflect current conditions within the industry, including the addition of the International Survey for companies based inside and outside the U.S.  Major industry players and emerging companies, rely upon the Survey results to make informed decisions about how to pay video gaming jobs – using salary differentials to benchmark compensation, establishing job architecture, setting rational pay levels and pay structures and making informed decisions about bonus plans, equity plans and benefits.

The 2020 Croner Software Games Survey – North America Results provides data for total rewards of 30,000 employees in 57 companies in the U.S. and Canada, for 522 positions.

View the Job Families and Positions covered in the Survey here:
2021 Croner Software Games Position Grids

See all compensation data elements reported for each position by viewing samples here:
Sample Position Information – Exec, IC, Sales

Click on the tabs below for more information.

 

Participant Companies
 

2020 Participant Companies:

United States
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.
ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America, Inc.
Bonfire Studios, Inc.
Bungie, Inc.
Capcom USA, Inc.
Certain Affinity, Inc.
Cloud Imperium Games, LLC
Crystal Dynamics
Electronic Arts Inc.
Epic Games, Inc.
Facebook, Inc.
Glu Mobile Inc.
Hasbro, Inc.
Hi-Rez Studios, Inc.
Iron Galaxy Studios, LLC
Jam City, Inc.
KingsIsle Entertainment Inc.
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
Madison Square Garden Company
Microsoft Corporation
MobilityWare, LLC
Mountaintop Studios, Inc.
NCSOFT
Nexon
Niantic, Inc.
Nintendo of America Inc.
Perfect World Entertainment, Inc.
Phoenix Labs
Pipeworks Studios
Pocket Gems, Inc.
Polyarc, Inc.
Proletariat, Inc.
Retro Studios, Inc.
Riot Games, Inc.
Schell Games
Scopely, Inc.
SEGA of America, Inc.
Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC
Sony Music Entertainment
Square Enix, Inc.
Storm8, Inc.
Striking Distance Studios, Inc.
Supercell Oy
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
Tencent America LLC
Ubisoft, Inc.
Wargaming.net
WarnerMedia, LLC
ZeniMax Media Inc.
Zynga Inc.

Canada
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
Blackbird Interactive Inc.
Certain Affinity, Inc.
Eidos Montreal (a Square Enix Company)
Electronic Arts Inc.
FUEL, EA Sports NHL / UFC, Motive Montreal, Motive Vancouver
Epic Games, Inc.
Facebook, Inc.
Glu Mobile Inc.
Jam City, Inc.
Ludia Inc.
Microsoft Corporation
Nintendo of America Inc.
Phoenix Labs
Relic Entertainment Inc.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
Voodoo
WarnerMedia, LLC
ZeniMax Media Inc.
Zynga Inc.

Position Grids & Job Families Reported
 

To view a PDF of the complete list of positions reported by family and by level, please click here:
2021 Croner Software Games Position Grids

List of Job Families:

Senior Management
Studio Management
Line of Business Management
Production Management
Product Development - Creative
Producing
Live Ops Producing
Monetization
Product Management
Technical Product Management
Game Directing
Systems Design
Game Design
Combat Design
Content Design
Mission / Quest Design
Technical Game Design
Economy Game Design
Level Layout Design
Incentive Game Design
Content Design
Combat Design
Mission / Quest Design
Mathematics
Writing / Story
Narrative Design
Dialogue
Sound / Audio
Technical Sound / Audio Design
Composing
Software Engineering
Art
Technical Art
Concept Art
Effects Art
Lighting
User Experience Design
User Interface / User Experience Art
User Interface Engineering
Animation
Technical Animation
Art Outsourcing Management
Artist Management
Video Editing
Localization
Trust and Safety
Technology and Infrastructure
Trust and Saftey
Server Engineering
Platform Engineering
Database Engineering
DevOps Engineering
Engine Software Engineering
Tools Software Engineering
Audio Engineering
Graphics / Rendering Engineering
Security Engineering
Release Engineering
Release Management
Technical Writing
Digital Assets Management
Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance Engineering
Quality Assurance Analysis
Quality Assurance Testing
Mastering Lab
Customer Support
In-Game Support
Operations
Operations Generalist
Marketing
Brand Marketing
Product Marketing
Digital Marketing
Customer Relations Marketing
Community
Community Architecture
User Acquisition
Channel Marketing
Influencer Marketing
Creative Services
Creative Services - Graphics / Marketing Multimedia
Creative Services - Writing
Creative Services - Project Management
Public Relations
Trade Show / Events
Esports
Esports League Operations
Esports Player Relations
Esports Shoutcasting
Esports Events / Productions
Data and Analytics
Market Research
User Experience / Usability Research
Business Competitive Research
Gameplay Analytics
Data Science
Data Analytics
Business Intelligence Engineering
Website
Website Development
Distribution and Partnerships
Business Development
Licensing
Distribution and Partnerships
Sales and Marketing Management
Sales Management
Field Sales - Regional
Field Sales - National
Advertising Sales
Programmatic Sales
Sales Analysis
Sales Administration
Account Management
Sales Marketing
Advertising Operations
Legal Services
Information Technology
Finance
Financial Planning and Analysis
Accounting
Finance - Royalty Accounting
Human Resources
Recruiting
Technical Recruiting
Recruitment Sourcing
Internal Communications
Social Responsibility (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)
Learning and Development
Outsourcing Administration
Administration

Position Data Collected and Reported
 

To view sample position data, please click here:
Sample Position Information - Exec, IC, Sales

The Compensation Data Report covers the following compensation elements for each position:

  • Number of Incumbents Reported
  • Number of Companies with Match
  • Geographic Composition
  • FLSA Status
  • Total Average Supervised
  • Incentive Plan Eligibility
  • Incentive Plan Type
  • LTI Eligibility
  • LTI Awards Received
  • Base Salary
  • Target Total Cash Compensation
  • Actual Total Cash Compensation
  • Actual Cash Awards as Percentage of Base Salary
  • Annualized NPV of LTI Awards
  • Total Direct Compensation
  • Paired Comparison Position Match Analysis for Base Salary, Actual Total Cash Compensation and Total Direct Compensation
  • Differentials of average pay between organization levels by job family category


Survey Differentials / Data Cuts Reported Where Relevant:

Platform
Console / PC
Mobile
Cloud Gaming
MMOG
Social Networks
Handheld Devices
Casino Games
Virtual Reality

Business Model
Publisher with Studios
Publisher / Developer
Studio

U.S. Region Differentials reports for all positions excluding executives and Canada, compensation information for each of six defined U.S. regions.

U.S. Selected Sub Region Differentials reports for all positions excluding executives, sales and Canada, compensation information for selected sub regions.

U.S. Metropolitan Differentials reports for all positions excluding executives and Canada, compensation information for selected U.S. metropolitan areas.

Canada Province Differentials reports, for all positions in Canada excluding executives, compensation information for Canada provinces.

Canada Metropolitan Differentials reports, for all positions excluding executives, compensation results for selected metropolitan areas.

Revenue Differentials reports, for Chief Executive Officer, compensation results by revenue category to assist participants in determining scope-related compensation.

Headcount Differentials reports, for Chief Executive Officer, compensation results by revenue category to assist participants in determining scope-related compensation.

Tenure Differentials reports compensation results for incumbents who have been with the company for sufficient time to earn a full year of incentive awards.


Tools for Analysis (provided in separate tabs in Compensation Data Results Excel workbook):

  • Methodology and Terminology
  • U.S. Chief Executive Officer Revenue Regression
  • Paired Comparison: Position Match Analysis
  • Titles Matched


Custom Cut of Data:
For an additional fee of $550, the participant company may select a subset of companies from the full participant list for a custom cut of data. A minimum of ten companies is required.

Policy Data Collected and Reported
 

The Full Report of Results covers Policies and Practices, including:

Participant Profile
Participants
Ownership and Business Model Overview
Types of Software
Platforms
Geographic Distribution
Work Force Sizes
Start of Fiscal Year
Last Fiscal Year Revenues
Turnover Rate

Short-Term Incentive Plans
Prevalence of Short-Term Incentive Plans
Changes to Short-Term Incentive Plans
Short-Term Incentive Plan Eligibility
Short-Term Incentive Plan Design Features

Product Development-Specific Incentive Plans
Prevalence of Product Development Incentive Plans
Changes to Product Development Incentive Plans
Product Development Incentive Plan Eligibility
Product Development Incentive Plan Design Features

Dealer / Distributor Sales Incentive Plans
Prevalence of Sales Plans
Changes to Sales Plans
Sales Plan Features
Cost of Dealer / Distributor Sales Compensation

Long-Term Incentive Plans
Ownership Categories for Long-Term Incentive Plan Analysis
Prevalence of Long-Term Incentive Plans
Changes to Long-Term Incentive Plans
Long-Term Incentive Plan Eligibility
Long-Term Incentive Plan Design Features
New Hire and Ongoing Grants
Stock Option Plan Vesting
Restricted Stock (Units) Plan Vesting
Long-Term Incentive Award Sizes - Publicly-traded Companies
LTI Award Sizes - Percent of Total Shares Outstanding Granted in Privately-held Company

Deferred Compensation and Selected Benefits
Deferred Compensation - Retirement Plans
401(k) Plan Characteristics
Employee Stock Purchase Plans
Time off
Insurance Programs
Other Selected Benefits

To view a sample plan design table, please click here:
Sample Plan Design Table

Survey Schedule
 

Survey Planning Meeting:
April 28, 2022

Questionnaire Distribution:
July

Data Effective Date:
July 1

Completion Deadline:
August 15

Full Report of Results Published:
Late November or Early December

Report of Results Webinar:
Mid December

Salary Budgets Survey Supplement:
August Questionnaire Distribution, Results Published in September

Participation Fees
 

The 2022 Participation Fee is $11,200.
The fee includes the 2021 Full Report along with the Interim Salary Budget Supplement.

Custom Cut of Data for Participants
For an additional fee, a participant company may select a subset of companies from the participant list for a custom cut of the data set. A minimum selection of ten companies is required.  A custom cut of the data set for "All Incumbents" is $750. A custom rerun of the data set including all data cuts is $1,500.

Purchase by a Non-participant of the Current Published Report
By signing a Participation Agreement for the 2022 Survey and paying a 50% non-refundable deposit toward the 2022 participation fee, a company may purchase the current published Survey data without having participated.  There are two purchase options:

Purchase Option #1:
The 2021 Full Report of Results for $20,400

  • The 2021 Full Report of Results is available for purchase for $20,400 plus a non-refundable 50% deposit of $5,600 towards the 2022 participation fee.
  • Total payment required to receive the 2021 Full Report of Results is $26,000. ($20,400 purchase price plus $5,600 deposit towards 2022 participation.)
  • In order to receive the 2022 Full Report of Results, your company's survey submission would be due in August 2022 along with the second half participation fee payment of $5,600 due in August 2022.

Purchase Option #2:
10 Positions selected from the 2021 Compensation Data Report for $5,100

Compensation data only, for up to ten positions, from the 2021 Full Report is $5,100, plus a non-refundable deposit of 50% towards the 2022 participation fee.

  • Total payment required is $10,700. ($5,100 purchase plus $5,600 deposit towards 2022 participation)
  • As a committed and signed Participant for 2022, your company's survey submission would be due in August 2022 along with the second half participation fee payment of $5,600 due in August 2022.  This will entitle your organization to receive the 2022 Full Report of Results.

Register to Participate
 

To register your company for participation in this Survey or to ask questions about participation, please email us at info@croner.com.

Confidentiality
 

The Croner Company conducts this Survey as an independent third party to ensure the confidentiality and consistency of the data provided. All data are held in strict confidence and are reported only in summary form. No attribution is made to any specific data from any participating companies. The Croner Company aggregates data using DOJ "Safe Harbor Guidelines" to ensure full regulatory compliance of the Survey report.

Survey reports are distributed only to participants, and all participants are required to sign an agreement that confirms they will abide by our confidentiality standards.