Recently, the annual salaries of South Korean game developers have increased. Not only major game companies, but also small and medium-sized game companies raised their developers' salaries in Q1 2021. Nexon, Netmarble, Smilegate, and Pearl Abyss increased their developers’ salary by 8 million KRW, while NCSOFT raised 10 million KRW. Krafton, which is about to be listed, has raised its developers’ annual salary of 20 million won. GAMEVIL, Com2uS, Vespa, Webzen also have raised their developers’s salary.
Why did game companies suddenly raise their developers' salaries? Many say, "This is because the demand for non-face-to-face services has increased due to COVID-19" In fact, after COVID-19, the share of online services in daily life has increased tremendously.
There are people who are indispensable to converting certain services online. It is a “developer” who builds, maintains, and repairs an online service system. So there has been a growing demand for developers in almost every industry. And game is one of the industries that are at the ‘front line’ of online services. If you are a developer with various experiences in the game industry, you can be sufficiently competitive in other industries.
On the other hand, game companies are in a situation where they have to prevent developers from moving to other companies. The most effective solution to this situation is to raise the salaries of all developers.
All of this is good news for developers. Once the salary has increased, the affection for the company naturally increases as well. Their Self-esteem would increase, if they feel that 'this society needs developers' or 'It's a world where developers are favored'. In the first quarter of this year, I think many developers have become happy.
I hope this change will bring about a virtual cycle in the South Korean game industry. As the developer's salary has increased, I hope that more quality games and updates will come out. Of course, it is difficult to change the quality of games(and updates) in a short period of time. However, it would be possible in the long run.
This is a slightly different story, but many South Korean gamers are angry because of the loot box issues. In the process of solving this atmosphere, the efforts of the developers are very important. It's because they know best how to release angry users and specific ways to regain trust. Of course, this is also possible only when the company's board makes a right decision.
The bottom line is that, as the developers’ salary has increased, I hoped that the quality of the games will also improve May the increased developers’ salary bring a virtuous cycle.
김창훈 기자 firstname.lastname@example.org
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