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Game Developer Job Outlook and Growth in the US for 2024

by Snehal Naik
Game Developer Job Outlook and Growth in the US for 2024
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Introduction

The video gaming industry, which saw a surge in player engagement during the COVID-19 global pandemic, continues to thrive even today. Technological advancements, industry expansion, and growing consumer demand drive the demand for game developers around the world. Many analytics experts, including Statista, have reported that the United States is the country with the most game developers at present. Statista’s global game developers survey found that almost 40% of its respondents work in the United States. In this blog, we will look at the game developer job outlook and growth in the US for 2024.

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US Video Game Industry from 2017 to 2024

Although Asia Pacific is the largest regional market in sales and number of gamers, the United States is also an important player within the global video games industry. Here are a few highlights from a Statista report: 

  • The total U.S. video game sales crossed $7.91 billion dollars in December 2023.  
  • November and December are the important months as games are a popular Christmas gift. 
  • The U.S. video game industry revenue from Jan 2017 to Jan 2024 shows the total video game sales of $5.07 billion dollars in Jan 2024.  
  • The January sales depict a 15% year-over-year increase in the revenue. 
Total and segment

Source: Statista 

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US Video Gaming Market Analysis

The United States Gaming Market is approximately worth $ 57.91 billion in 2024. Here are a few highlights about the US Gaming industry. 

  • Between 2024-2029, it is expected to reach $ 90.79 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 9.41%. 
  • The increased demand for games is due to the rise in video streaming apps on mobile devices and televisions. 
  • 57% of the players play on smartphones, 46% on consoles, and 42% on personal computers. 
  • The increase in demand for games that can be played without a new PC or a console has led to a rise in the development of newer game formats. 
  • Microsoft reported a 130% increase in multiplayer engagement across March and April. 
  • Foreign gaming giants like Tencent Holdings are expanding in the US to leverage the growth in the gaming market.  
     
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Best-Selling Video Games in the US for January 2024

The main driver of video game revenue in the United States is the sales of digital video games. The Games segment projects a growth of 47.8 % between 2024 and 2029, which means that the games segment alone could reach the revenue of $54.2 billion in the given period. 

Best-selling video games in the United States in Jan 2024, by dollar sales
1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
2 Tekken 8
3 Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
4 Persona 3 Reload
5 Madden NFL 24
6 Hogwarts Legacy
7 Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
8 EA Sports FC 24
9 The Last of Us: Part 2
10 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Source: Statista 

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Game Developer Job Outlook and Growth in the US

The Game Development industry has professionals with different specializations and skillsets. A typical game development team has: 

  • Game Designers who oversee the foundation and execution of the game mechanics 
  • Game Programmers who develop gaming software 
  • Game Developers who design, create, and program video games 
  • Character Artists who transform illustrations and concept art into 3D models 
  • Testers who monitor the game and fix bugs and issues 
  • Quality Analysts who review existing code and recommend improvements 
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Game Developer Jobs in the US from 2012-2021

A report by Zippia shows that there was a decrease in game developer jobs in 2021 compared to the figures in 2020. However, it also claimed that demand for game developers is expected to grow 21% from 2018 to 2028. 

Game Developer Jobs Over Time

Source: Zippia 

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Game Developer Job Growth Over Time

Year Number of Jobs
2012 2,606
2013 2,676
2014 2,693
2015 2,726
2016 2,706
2017 2,706
2018 2,671
2019 1,383
2020 1,431
2021 700
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Game Developer Salary Projected Growth by 2024

The average salary of game developers in the US increased from $88,010 in 2023 to $91,009 in 2024. The approximate hourly rate for a game developer is $43.75. 

Source: Zippia 

The average salary that a game developer can earn in California is $113, 668. Recruiter reports that currently there are 5,160 job openings for game developers in California alone. Here is a summary of game developer salary in the US from 2019-2024. 

YearAverage SalaryHourly Rate% Change
2019$81,568$39.22–1.8%
2020$83,079$39.94–1.7%
2021$84,498$40.62–1.8%
2022$86,018$41.35–2.3%
2023$88,010$42.31–3.3%
2024$91,009$43.75

If we look at the figures for game designers for comparison, California again wins. Just like game development, the game designer industry is also concentrated in California.  

Game Designers Concentration in the US

Source: Career Explorer 

Here are the top 5 states with the most employed video game designers in the US.  

States No. of Game Designers
California 47,930
Texas 19,640
District of Columbia 17,020
Georgia 16,580
Illinois 16,050

Source: Career Explorer 

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Leading US Gaming Market Leaders

Quite a few major companies in the US have been successful in becoming strong market players through strategies like new product launches, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, expansions, and joint ventures. The top players in the US Gaming Industry currently are: 

  1. Activision Blizzard, Inc. 
  2. Electronic Arts Inc.  
  3. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.  
  4. Zynga Inc. 
  5. Microsoft Corporation 
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Top Companies Hiring for Game Developer Jobs

As a game developer, it is important that you for jobs in the right places. Jobs in the game development industry are posted on many platforms like Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Olibr. Most of these platforms include updated information on the salaries and jobs in demand around the world. Here are the top companies currently looking for Game Developers. 

Microsoft

The global tech giant has 60 locations worldwide and is headquartered in Redmond, United States. Here are the five US game developer jobs posted by Microsoft in March 2024. 

Jobs Estimated Salary
Senior Product Designer $1L – $2L
Lead Game Systems Designer $1L – $2L
Senior Software Engineer, Minecraft $1L – $2L
Cloud Network Engineer II – CTJ – Poly $94K – $2L
Senior Software Engineer $1L – $2L

SAIC

The tech company has around 24, 000 employees and has its main office in Reston, United States and 48 locations globally. Here are the top five US game developer jobs posted by SAIC in March 2024.  

Jobs Estimated Salary
UX/UI Web Designer $78K – $1L
Lead Full Stack Developer $1L – $2L
Full Stack Java Developer $80K – $1L
Communications Analyst Sr $70K – $96K
Software Tester $77K – $1L

Roblox

It is an online game platform and game creation system developed by Roblox Corporation that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. The top game developer jobs posted on its website are: 

Jobs Annual Salary Range
Senior Data Center Operations Engineer $135,620—$166,130 USD
Computational Geometry Software Engineer $189,110—$233,840 USD
Sr. Director Product, Creator Studio $422,210—$498,680 USD
Principal Product Designer, ROS $245,790—$292,740 USD
Senior Data Scientist – Economy $295,490—$359,170 USD

Electronic Arts

It is a leading company in digital active entertainment with 40 locations worldwide. Here are the top 5 US game developer jobs posted by Electronic Arts.

Jobs Estimated Salary
Game Designer II – Live Service Features Designer $49K – $79K
UX Designer – skate (Hybrid/Remote) $89K – $1L
Senior Software Engineer – Systems $2L
Gameplay Software Engineer – American Football $1L – $2L
Game Modes Software Engineer $1L – $2L

Ubisoft

Ubisoft Entertainment SA is a French video game publisher headquartered in Montreuil, France. It has development studios across the world. Here are the top five US game developer jobs to check out at Ubisoft.

Jobs Estimated Salary
Senior Game and Server Programmer – Blue Mammoth Games $52K – $97K
Senior Game Client Programmer $65K – $1L
Gameplay Security Engineer – XDefiant $1L – $2L
Senior UI Technical Artist $1L – $2L
Senior UX Designer $1L

Source: Glassdoor 

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The Future of Game Development in the US

The Game Industry will witness a blend of creative and technical enhancements in the coming years. Advancements in AI and ML, Data Science, IoT technology, hyper-casual gaming, and cross-platform game ventures are set to boost the revenues and the job market in the US Games segment. As a game developer, you must engage in continuous knowledge upgrades and most importantly, look in the right places for Game Developer jobs. You can begin by signing up with Olibr to explore the developer community and more. 

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sign up with us now and start applying for the best opportunities!

FAQs

The United States presently has the greatest number of employed game developers. So, yes, Game Development is a good career in the USA at present.

The future of the gaming industry is full of emerging gaming trends such as cloud gaming, cross-platform games, hyper-casual gaming, and fitness gaming.  

It is possible to work as a remote employee for a US-based game development company. However, game developers might have to work from the office in the initial years before they get a remote role as experienced developers.

A game developer can earn an average salary of $97,235 per year in the United States. 

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