The juxtaposition of three game industry giants. Who pays better – Riot, Blizzard or Bungie?

The earnings of Riot’s employees compared to those working at Blizzard and Bungie.

The video game industry is huge and there are many companies in it whose value can knock you off your feet. So it’s no secret that working in it is really profitable, although it’s not without its drawbacks. Working on computer games often involves crunch, in the past, you could often find out about unequal treatment inside companies, and the rates are often unfair to other employees.

To remedy at least one of the aforementioned problems, a law has emerged in the United States that says job postings must have clearly defined wage rates. How much exactly do employees of three popular companies that make computer games earn?

How much does Riot pay?

A former Riot employee who worked on Valorant decided to take a look at the salaries revealed by some of the biggest companies. As QA manager at Theorycraft Games – a fresh independent game development studio – he compared the rates for QA at the three companies mentioned.

Taking “Test Lead” as an example since all 3 are up (QA Eng II is Riot’s “test lead” equivalent, from the experience requirements and my own recollection).

Riot – $98,009 hourly (so there’s also OT)

Bungie – $86,000 salary

Blizz – $49,600 salary…

It does explain why we got so many great QA folks during my time at Riot that hopped over from Blizzard to Riot though.

I hope that these rates being public will force Blizzard to catch up with the industry. Curious how it is for other disciplines.

The author of the entries, Kevin O’Brien, also hopes that making earnings publicly available will force Blizzard to adequately compensate its employees.

I don’t envy the critically underpaid Blizzard QA managers who are going to have to try to keep their teams from leaving for other jobs while also being underpaid relative to their peers at other major gaming studios.

Ah, forgot to mention – I just took the bottom of the band for each. In fairness to Blizzard, the highest possible pay for a test lead at blizzard was $91,760, just ~$7k under Riot’s lowest possible pay for the same job with less experience required.

The disclosure of the rates will certainly reflect positively on the employees of major companies, which pay them less than the competition. It is good to know that Riot, compared to other companies, treats its employees at a relatively high level and many other employers should take an example from the creators of League of Legends.