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> One side has no leverage

This seems perverse. Game development seems to require a high amount of skill and creativity in terms of design, art and development. But whenever I read articles or hear talks about the business of things it seems like there is a huge disconnect between requirements and the compensation. And not only that but the economical impact of games is rather large. It seems like big publishers are doing very well.

Another (very general) field where this is the case is STEM research. Even though I would guess that you generally earn more and have more financial security, the discrepancy between skill, impact and compensation is even larger. I know it is an extreme example but it showcases a complex problem and other fields can partially relate.

Examples like these at least seem to falsify the notion that the market rewards skill and impact in general. It specifically rewards market and business skills. We as craftsmen often laugh at stuff like the Dilbert comics but there is a truth behind it: The ones that have the most actual leverage, skilled workers and problem solvers, seem to be controlled by people who focus on negotiation and even bullying.

Should the lesson here be that everyone needs to be a negotiator? Should we teach/learn this in school? Are we playing the game of capitalism wrong or is it actually rigged? I honestly don't know, but I personally feel that it all looks imbalanced and even phony.




The lesson is that there's no guaranteed ROI for either games development or pure STEM research, so people are justifiably stingy with money and play hardball with contracts.

If you don't believe me, the Kickstarter craze a few years ago exposed all of this to the consumer. Many games were hyped well and got huge funding but were released to mediocre-to-bad reviews and much backer regret, to say nothing of the ones which fell apart completely during development and were never successfully released.


> Game development seems to require a high amount of skill and creativity in terms of design, art and development. But whenever I read articles or hear talks about the business of things it seems like there is a huge disconnect between requirements and the compensation. And not only that but the economical impact of games is rather large. It seems like big publishers are doing very well.

Sadly, it boils down to oversupply and people putting up with it due to passion. "Too many" people want to work in (non-mobile) video games, people fight over vacancy, and publishers can keep the pay low and employees overworked as their passion fuels them. Then burnout happens, some leave, and the cycle continues. I don't have a proper source so take this with a grain of salt, but I heard it pays more to work in IT than in game development, in the same region. (Same experience level)




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