InnoGames reveals staff salaries: So how do your compensations compare?

Equal Pay Day is taking place on March 6 in Germany - a day when brave, pro-active companies reveal the pay grades of their staff

InnoGames reveals staff salaries: So how do your compensations compare?

March 6 marks Equal Pay Day in Germany, and German games developer and Forge of Empires creator InnoGames has updated its published salary bands in solidarity with the day's aims of reflecting the current earnings landscape and acting as a leveller for consistently appropriate pay in Germany’s games industry.

The company underwent a similar display of transparency in 2022.

Once again, the bands revealed cover approximately 80% of its workforce in a range of roles and experience levels, from developer to analyst, junior to head, all in the interests of ensuring fairness as job seekers enter new employment.

Into the earnings

For example, the company's reveal shows that a junior QA engineer at InnoGames can expect to earn €38,000 to €50,000 while a junior developer can expect €48,000 to €58,000. At the highest level, QA engineering experts earn upwards of €85,000 where head developers make €115,000 annually.

Artist salaries start at €34,000 at the lowest junior position and exceed €80,000 at the senior team lead level, overall these numbers are similar to community managers, who earn €34,000 at the least and over €85,000 in a senior team lead role.

"Regular" employees - above juniors but below seniors - earn up to €65,000 in QA engineer roles, €72,000 in analyst roles and €75,000 in developer roles.

The best-paid jobs at InnoGames are currently head developer and product manager head, both paying out salaries upwards of €115,000.

Empowering employees

By publishing its salary brackets, InnoGames has created something of an unofficial reference point for Germany’s games industry and appropriate levels of pay, tackling pay discrepancies beyond a male and female divide by making information easily accessible.

Of course, pay will inevitably vary depending on the company, but InnoGames has been encouraged by the positive feedback around its transparency acting as a reference point.

"Our salary bands have become an unofficial salary survey of the German games industry. We could hardly have wished for better. Even now, more than a year and a half after the first publication, we are still receiving unsolicited positive feedback, which almost always focuses on fair pay regardless of gender or negotiating skills," said InnoGames co-founder and COO Michael Zillmer.

"Salary bands also ensure fairness in times of crisis because they guarantee that new employees earn just as much as the current workforce."

InnoGames director of people and culture Christiane Gäb added: "We put our salaries to the test at least once a year. Using externally acquired data, we check whether they still correspond to our positioning in the top third of the German labour market. If not, we raise them. If so, they remain unchanged. The last adjustment was made at the beginning of 2023, when there were increases of up to 37% within traditionally lower-paid career models such as game designer, artist, community manager and QA engineer."

This year's Equal Pay Day campaign in Germany is focusing around the connection between time and money, and how free men and women are in how they spend their time. The day lands on whichever date women "catch up" with men’s earnings from the year prior, and therefore varies significantly by country. Germany’s Equal Pay Day has gradually moved forward and stabilised on March 7 in recent years, though has only moved forward a day this year because of the extra work day in February.

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