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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry.

The big picture: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises.

  • In 2020, Blizzard employees shared their salaries anonymously via a spreadsheet to compare compensation.
  • The pay gap between people at the top, and workers on the ground is measurable in hundreds of thousands of dollars — even when those CEOs take pay cuts.

What they're saying:

"I started getting paid fairly once I started asking questions. I only started asking questions once I better understood what I was worth. Understanding what your worth can be a difficult question, but this helps."
A lead designer on "Hearthstone" working for Blizzard Entertainment
"Every single person who plays games should take a good look at #GameDevPaidMe and get a sense for what the people who make your art actually make."
A lead designer at Blackbird Interactive
"Don't wait for your employer to give you the raise you deserve, be open to talking to other companies even if you feel you are at a 'great' spot."
A senior game designer at Reflector Entertainment

Developers don't have many tools in their box to affect change, but unionization efforts are on the rise.

  • Grassroots organization Game Workers Unite is working to help developers unionize; one of the group’s main organizers helped stage a walkout at Riot in 2019.
  • One of the largest U.S. unions, CWA, launched a campaign in 2020 to help unionize workers in the video game industry.
  • Paradox Interactive's Swedish employees signed a collective bargaining agreement in 2020.

The bottom line: Pay standards fluctuate wildly depending on factors like location, studio size, and employee bonuses.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Aug 31, 2021 - Technology

Apple's crumbling wall of silence

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Long-quiet Apple employees are beginning to speak their minds. In recent weeks they've talked publicly about experiences with harassment and discrimination, concerns about business decisions, and objections to policies that some feel open their personal lives to corporate scrutiny.

Why it matters: Employee activism has been on the rise across Silicon Valley, but until recently, Apple workers have largely avoided public criticism of their employer.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

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