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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

Updated 7 mins ago - Science

NTSB probes deadly Alabama crash as storm lashes Southeast and Midwest

Flash-flooding in Bloomington, Indiana, on Saturday. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Sunday that it's sent a team to Alabama to help investigate a fiery multi-vehicle weekend crash that killed 10 people, including nine children.

The big picture: Saturday's crash, south of Montgomery, occurred amid a tropical depression that left 13 people dead in Alabama as it triggered flash floods and spawned tornadoes that razed "dozens of homes" in the Southeast over the weekend, per AP. Parts of the Midwest, including Indiana and Chicago, where a tornado struck late Sunday.

Laurel Hubbard to become 1st openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to represent NZ. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that Laurel Hubbard has been selected for the women's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games — making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event.

The big picture: Hubbard, 43, is part of a five-member Kiwi weightlifting team and will compete in the women's super heavyweight category. Meanwhile, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will become the first openly trans athlete to travel to the Olympics with Team USA, when she arrives in Tokyo as a reserve rider.

American Airlines cuts hundreds of flights amid demand surge

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

American Airlines announced Sunday that it's cutting some 950 flights from its schedule, including 296 this weekend, to reduce potential pressure on its operations, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Driving the news: The U.S. vaccine rollout has led to a massive increase in travel bookings. The airline noted in an emailed statement that it's facing an "incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand."

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