The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) today released the results of a new workplace study. It reveals trends and statistics like a rise in the percent of women in the industry, that the majority of developers make less than $50,000 a year, and that 39 percent of developers who left their jobs did so because they wanted a better quality of life.
The survey results arrive as the discussion surrounding women in the video game industry is heating up. At E3, Ubisoft found itself in hot water over its controversial decision to not include female playable protagonists for Assassin's Creed Unity's co-op mode. And just last week, EA Studios boss Patrick Soderlund said he thinks the reason why there are so few major games with female protagonists is because games are predominately made by men. As it turns out, he's right, according to the IGDA's study. It found that 76 percent of the workforce is male, compared to 22 percent female. That figure is on the rise, however, as women made up only 11.5 percent of the workforce in 2009, according to their previous study.
The study, called Developer Satisfaction Survey, also provides some insight into how developers feel about "crunch" periods. Crunch is the industry term for when a deadline is approaching and a development team works well beyond their normal hours to meet the goal. According to the study, only 24 percent feel crunch is even necessary during the game development process.
The IGDA's 2014 Developer Satisfaction Survey is described as the "evolution" of the group's previous Quality of Life and Diversity surveys. It was conducted with research partners M2 Research and the University of Western Ontario. More than 2,200 developers took part.
Below are some of the most notable takeaways, with relevant information in captions where available. The survey was conducted March 18-April 28 of this year, and responses came from developers across the globe.
IGDA executive director Kate Edwards said that the group plans to use these results to better understand its members' priorities and single out the most critical issues affecting their overall satisfaction with the industry. Armed with this data, the IGDA can--according to Edwards--prioritize its advocacy efforts and initiatives.
A summary report of this Developer Satisfaction Survey will be released in July, followed up by additional reports based on developer responses to topics like diversity, quality of life, and employment practices.