EDI, crunch & more – The IGDA takes the pulse of games devs

New research from the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has revealed the attitudes and concerns of game development professionals on a range of topics via its latest Developer Satisfaction Survey.

Some 777 individuals took part in the survey, and respondents expressed discontent in areas such as EDI efforts, employment, crunch, and proper crediting.

Key findings include:

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • 85% felt that diversity in the workplace was important (87% in 2021)
  • 85% felt that diversity in game content was important (89% in 2021)
  • 87% felt that diversity in the game industry was important (90% in 2021)
  • More than half of the respondents (58%) felt the game industry had become more diverse over the past two years. This is more in line with the Developer Satisfaction Survey 2019 data (57%), after a low of 49% in 2021

Anti-Discrimination Policies in the Workplace

  • 28% respondents reported that their workplace had no EDI programs
    • Only 38% of workplaces had a formal complaint procedure for EDI issues, with 28% including a formal disciplinary process
    • Many said that their company had policies on general non-discrimination (72%), equal opportunity hiring (61%) or sexual harassment (62%). [69% report a ‘general nondiscrimination policy,’ and 60% report a ‘sexual harassment policy’ in 2021]
  • 43% of respondents felt that the above policies were adequately enforced, up from 41% in 2021
  • Close to three quarters (67%) stated there was not equal treatment and opportunity in the industry (74% in 2021)

Employment and Crunch

  • In 2023, 10,500 game makers lost their jobs through lay-offs
  • 4.8% of respondents indicated that they were currently unemployed
  • A majority of respondents reported relations between employees/contractors and management at their place of work were good (40%) or excellent (27%), as opposed to fair (23%) or poor (10%)
    • Employee respondents rated relations with management the most poorly with 35% selecting fair or poor, and 15% of freelancers selected poor relations
  • While most felt that their company was at least somewhat effective at resolving individual (57%) and group (49%) problems, one-quarter in each case felt their company was not effective at either
  • 28% said their job involved crunch time (33% in 2021)
  • 25% worked long or extended hours not classified as crunch, up from 22% in 2021
  • Of those who experienced crunch, 63% of employees, 64% of freelancers, and 75% of the self-employed, had crunched more than twice in the past two years (58% of employees, 64% of freelancers, and 63% in 2021)
    • Many respondents, particularly freelancers, felt that crunch or long hours was expected as a normal part of their job


  • Less than half of the respondents (48%) said that their studio/company had a game credits policy
  • 71% were very confident that their name would appear in the credits for the title on which they were working
    • When respondents were asked to consider what would happen if they left the studio or their contract ended before the game shipped, this percentage dropped to 41%


  • 38% of respondents fall between the ages of 28-37, slightly older from 2021
  • 80% had attained a degree or diploma from a college, vocational school, or university
  • Respondents identifying as women: 31%, up from 30% in 2021
    • 8% of respondents identified as gender non-binary, gender fluid, genderqueer, or two-spirited
  • 63% of respondents are married or partnered, and 27% of respondents reported having children
  • 79% of respondents identify as White/Caucasian or European (up from 75% in 2021)
  • 58% of respondents work in the United States or Canada (NA)
  • 44% of respondents identified as as having one or more disabilities, up from 31% in 2021 

To download the full report, click here.

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