Alex Staff Agency

The main results and highlights of the year in the gaming industry

Research: IT and HR analytics

The gaming industry has developed more rapidly and intensely than ever in the last couple of years. Let's take a look at how the game development industry has transformed in the context of salaries, technology trends, and requirements for developers.

Gaming industry on the rise

Sony has been the revenue leader for several years now ($25 billion in 2020), as well as the best developer and publisher for consoles. This technological giant has participated in the creation of many famous projects. Today everyone knows about God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn, which brought in almost $1 billion in their first year of sales.

Microsoft is a major representative from the PC industry ($10.26 billion for 2020). The product Forza Horizon 5 was one of the hits of 2021.

In the mobile sector, Supercell (a subsidiary of Tencent Games) has a strong position. Its revenue in 2020 was $1.48 billion, with the legendary Clash of Clans being the most profitable game.

All in all, the game industry in 2020 generated $159 billion, in 2021 - $175.8 billion. In 2022, that number will reach over $190 billion. That's a lot of money. But have they affected the pay of those behind game development?

Developer salaries at GameDev

The growth of companies' profits over the last year has had a positive effect on the income of specialists in GameDev. According to the Big Salary Survey, median values in Europe went from $2600 to $2754, and in Russia from $1240 to $1400. That said, salaries can vary widely. For example, in the United States in Seattle or Silicon Valley, they are prohibitively high. For example, a developer here will earn $9,300, while the national average for the same specialist will earn almost $2,000 less.

If we take specific European countries, the situation with salaries in 2021 looks like this:

  • Germany — €3150
  • Denmark — €4650
  • Finland — €4210

Based on the continuous growth over the past few years, this trend will continue in 2022.
"We work with different game studios all the time. In the last year and a half, salaries in the gaming sector have increased by about 1.5 times, in some companies even by 2 times. This is a global trend. If at the beginning of 2021 we were looking for a Unity Developer in Cyprus with 3-4 years experience for 2200-2500 euros, today the salary low threshold is 3000 euros per month. Especially high salaries are waiting for developers of new generation games using DeFi technology. Our client was ready to pay up to 7000 euros to Senior-level candidates in November."

Account Manager
Alex Staff Agency
Anastasia Briukhovetskaia

Technology news in the gaming industry

The rise of the video game market in a financial context is only part of the changes taking place. Technology is also actively developing. Here are some of them:

The dominance of mobile platforms

Mobile games have been a major breakthrough. Already in 2020 they accounted for 46% of the total revenue (consoles – 31%, PC - 23%). In 2022 the growth to 49% is predicted, but the ratio for other platforms will either remain the same or decrease.

Cloud services

The new concept of GaaS is gaining momentum. The first such platform, which allows you not to download and install games, appeared in 2009 – OnLive. But then it was not possible to use the technology on a mass scale, because for its successful work without delay requires fast Internet. But now the new generation 5G network is already being actively implemented. By 2024, it will be available to 40% of the world's population. Therefore, specialists who know how to develop and maintain such GaaS platforms will be in demand.


Whereas "browser games" used to be associated only with low quality, today such online entertainment is perceived very differently. The new HTML5 technology has no problem delivering crisp visuals and more complex mechanics, allowing games to get closer to competitors in the AAA segment.

The big players feel the potential of this niche. For example, Canadian digital media company Enthusiast Gaming bought online gaming portal Addicting Games for $35 million. This deal confirms the demand for such content as well as those who produce it.


The founder of indie studio Ninja Pig Studios, Jordan Schutz, predicts a rapid jump in the popularity of VR/AR platforms over the next 5-10 years. In 2021, this niche earned $30.7 billion, and by 2024 will cross the threshold of $300 billion. So it is worth paying attention to this area.

Metaverse NFT

The NFT market is growing rapidly. According to data from DappRadar, from June to August 2021, the trading volume grew to 10.67 billion. This is an increase of 704% compared to the previous quarter.

Experts attribute this growth to the penetration of non-interchangeable tokens in the in-game item environment. In the third quarter alone, such sales rose to $2.3 billion. You can learn more about the technology in our article.

Required skills for GameDev developers

Hard Skills

The core of any specialist in any field is technical knowledge. The following skillset will be invariably relevant for the next few years:

1.Programming languages and frameworks

Experienced developers know several programming languages at once and use them for different projects. For example, large AAA projects for PC and consoles are created in C++, Assembler, C# and Java, mobile games for iOS and Android – in Swift, Kotlin and Java, and browser games - in JavaScript and PHP.

Of course, you can't make a great game with just a bare language. But it is possible to create a universal tool that will reduce the time needed to develop any project. This is what engines are for.

2.Game engines

It is important to understand the work principles and be able to apply the tools of the top game engines:

Unity (С#)

This engine has become popular because of its simple interface and adaptability to platforms. It also has a low cost. You don't need to pay to create a project, and a pro license is required only if you have income from the game from $100.000 per month. About 70% of the top mobile games are made on Unity.

Unreal Engine (C++)

This engine is used to create AAA-projects because of the powerful graphical capabilities. You can make a quality picture with it, while the performance of the build is as efficient as possible.

CryEngine (C++)

The engine also aims for first-class graphics with a high level of detail and is used for PC and console games.However, the tool is difficult to learn. It is usually taken for large projects with a large team.

3.2D и 3D моделирование

Common programs include Autodesk 3ds Max, Blender, ZBrush. An understanding of the laws of physics, geometry and mathematics is also important for creating graphics.

Hard Skills
Technical knowledge is great, but you can't go far without communication skills, because a big project can only be implemented with teamwork. Our practice shows that recently there has been an increased demand for specialists who quickly integrate into a new team, think positively and do not disrupt the already established atmosphere in the team.

English language skills

Let's be honest, you are unlikely to be taken on foreign projects without the knowledge of English. So it's worth upgrading to a minimum B2 base and mastering the technical vocabulary.

High-profile 2021 releases

Inscryption (card game, horror)

The trailer is available here

IGN - 9/10
PC GAMER (US) - 69/100
It won Best Indie Game and Best Sim Game/Strategy at The Game Awards 2021.

Far Cry 6 (shooter)

The trailer is available here

IGN - 8/10
PC GAMER (US) - 74/100
The best-selling game in the U.S. for October 2021.

Forza Horizon 5 (racing simulator)

The trailer is available here

IGN - 10/10
PC GAMER (US) - 90/100
It won Best Sound Design, Best Sports/Racing Game, and Accessibility Innovation at The Game Awards 2021.

Failure of the Year: Biomutant (RPG action)

The trailer is available here

IGN - 6/10
PC GAMER (US) - 60/100
The game was purchased more than a million times in the first four months. Nevertheless, its creators could not avoid a wave of criticism for the pointless plot, bad dialogues and many flaws.

Gaming industry 2022: more perspectives

According to the results of 2021, gamedev will have just as many positive changes in the next year. So if you're passionate about it, keep it up. Develop yourself, don't be afraid to change jobs, and strive to find a place that will unlock your full potential. You can start with the openings on our website.