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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Entry Level Producers Underpaid ?

David Edery over at MIT has spotted perhaps the most important reason games are underperformig:

"I’ve been chatting with a few undergraduate MIT students who already have full-time offers from video game companies. 

Students who applied for engineering jobs seem to be getting offers in the 70s — in some cases, the high 70s. The same students got offers approximately 10K higher from companies in other industries; i.e. Oracle, Microsoft, etc. So the gap between game company offers and non-game company offers appears to be narrowing for engineers. 

On the other hand, students who applied for production jobs seem to be getting offers in the 30s. Are talented entry-level producers really worth only half the equivalent engineer? Even when they have the same academic training? 

I think this exposes one of the industry’s most fundamental flaws. Producers are expected to keep game development on schedule and under budget. They are expected to act as the bridge between the various development groups, the mouthpiece to the outside world, and the interface to marketing and sales. They facilitate (and in many cases participate in) the creative design process. In other words, producers are the oil that keeps the machine running smoothly — indeed, keeps it running period. If entry-level salaries are any indication of how much (or how little) the industry values its producers, it’s no wonder so many games run over schedule and over budget!

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