[Sister site Gamasutra polled approximately 1,000 developers at the end of 2012 on their quality-of-life. While the site normally performs a yearly Salary Survey every April to check the pulse of developers’ financial health, it thought to supplement that with a quality-of-life survey to see how you’re doing in ways not measured by dollars and cents.]
With so many experienced developers deciding to start their own studios after one too many layoff cycles, we thought we’d ask: How are the indies doing?
Indie devs have half the market success rate of other devs. 34% of indies (both individual developers and small independent studios) have successful projects, compared to 70% for publisher-owned studios and 65% for first-party studios.
Indies are far more likely to work less than full-time. 28% of small indies work less than 40 hours per week, compared to 6% of first-party devs, 10% for publisher-owned devs, and 15% for established indies.
Small indies are having the best of times and the worst of times. On one hand, small indie developers are far more likely to be able to work from home (81%, followed by 56% from first-party devs), they’re the most confident in their current project’s quality (36% of “very confident” responses were from small indies, followed by 30% from first-party devs), and they report that their job has the least negative impact and greatest positive impacts on their family and social life than any other dev studio type.
On the other hand, they’re more likely to regularly work weekends or holidays (36% of devs who regularly work weekends/holidays are small indies, followed by first-party devs at 19%), and they report the highest rate of dissatisfaction with benefits and compensation. Also, small indies have the lowest reported rate of shipping on time (39%); publisher-owned studios ship on time 59%, and both first-party studios and established indies ship on time 49% of the time.
[This is the indie slice of a full feature written by Patrick Miller and Brad Bulkley on sister site Gamasutra.]