Video game companies aren’t too keen on revealing specific salaries.
Last year, it was decided that a new California law would require video game publishers to post salaries in their job postings to increase transparency in the job market. This law is now in effect, though several publishers and developers seem to be trying to find loopholes by posting huge salary ranges for specific roles, likely in an effort to keep specific salaries vague.
First shared by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, one such company boasting wide salary ranges is Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard, much to the surprise of almost no one. Schreier shares two job postings, each for a very specific role, both listed with salaries between $134,000 and $247,900 and $80,800 and $149,400 respectively.
It’s not just Activision Blizzard, as several other California-based companies are doing their best to make sure the salaries they’re now forced to list are as obscure as possible. For example, even though Schreier says the studio is known for paying its employees quite generously, Los Angeles-based Riot Games has also listed similarly large salary ranges for certain roles.
It’s a similar story for Redwood City-based Electronic Arts, which posted salary ranges between $129,050 and $204,600 and $157,450 and $245,500 for two executive positions. That would be pretty normal if you factored in experience, but Schreier also notes that these pay scales are specifically posted for multi-level positions, which means there probably shouldn’t be any difference in pay close of $100,000 between two senior developers.
One of the most baffling examples in this entire thread comes courtesy of Netflix. Although not strictly a game developer, the company is looking for a game director and has posted a job offer with a salary range of $150,000 to $500,000. Again, experience will play a key role in how much a potential game director could earn, but that range doesn’t really help anyone trying to figure out how much game directors typically get paid.
That’s about the point when studios post huge salary brackets. Obfuscating how much money a role should typically make someone gives a developer or publisher a lot more control over how they pay their employees. This gives them the edge in salary negotiations if an employee is unsure of the typical salary, which is probably why the law to make things more transparent was introduced in the first place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have done much good.
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