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5th July 2010

The Art of Salary Negotiation in the Gaming Industry

To negotiate a salary is a critical aspect of any worker’s life. Throughout many discussions with people for the gaming industry, in Canada and also internationally, I noticed that most people, whether it is for a new job or an existing job, have a really hard time talking about this almost taboo subject with their present of future employers. I decided to give you my opinion about the subject, and also maybe give you a few pointers at what you should consider when it comes to negotiating your salary. The fact that you want to buy a new car, a new house, or whatever it is you want to get, does not consist in a valid argument to negotiate your salary. Your personal life should never be considered when you try to prove your value within a company. There are many things to consider, and I will go through the most important of them, in the gaming industry.

1- The nature of your job

A huge portion of your salary is based on the nature of your tasks themselves and the impact that they have on the company’s results. The number of people supervised, the amount of responsibilities and their impact on the project are to be considered when you want to put a number on your worth. For example, a team leader position on a small project has less responsibilities than someone who has to manage a huge team on a big deployment project. The more challenge, responsibilities, amount of things to do will justify a salary raise.

2- Internal equity

The internal equity consists in having the an equivalent salary for equivalent amount of responsibilities for all the employees within a company. Most companies have salary scales based on multiple factors, and the insure a conformity and to make sure everybody is satisfied with their condition. When en employer is making an offer to a candidate, he usually has to stay within certain boundaries to make sure he does not disrespect the equity, which could cause quite a storm within a team. That is why it is important for you to have reasonable expectations.

3- The rarity of your specialization

It is a fact, the more the technology advances, the more specialities there are. Employers seek very specialized talent, that sometimes require an infinite list of pre requisites, and the people who have these capacities are very limited. Yes, the fact that a candidate is managing a team has an impact on the salary. However, the fact that a candidate is a technical reference within a team also has its worth. Whatever your specialization is, employers are doing their best to find these rare talents, and offering very competitive salaries is a way to attract these candidates.

4- Education and experience

The industry is growing, and today, many specialized schools are out there, offering great trainings for future employees in the industry. The past experience, which sometimes is not directly related to the work itself can be used as a value. My advice would be to prepare before asking a certain salary, study the job description, and try to highlight the parts that could match the requirements in your resume. You might not have the direct requirement, but your past experience could impact on your value.

5- The location

The people in the gaming industry are particularly mobile, and I am not talking about consoles here! They travel from country to country, and work on many projects around the world. When you apply for a job in another country, try to find out about the cost of living, and the norms over there. You might be surprised that you might be offered a huge salary in another country, but the cost of living, political situation and public taxes will make it so that you have no more money in your pocket in the end. Sometimes, you will notice that salaries are lower in Canada, but the cost of living also is. For example, the money it takes to pay a rent in L.A. is totally different from Montreal. You might have an offer that looks amazingly high or lower than expected, but take in consideration how much it actually costs to live there.

6- Global salary

A salary is money, of course, but it also includes all the other benefits that an employer can give you, including bonuses, social benefits, retirement planning, etc. These aspects are not to neglect when you are looking at a salary offer. Many little things like parking, health services, gym memberships, are to be considered as pure cash in your pocket!

It can look complex to take in consideration all these factors, but this reflexion is very useful when it comes to salary negotiation. Keep in mind and equity is at the base of every salary negotiation, whether it is for an internal or external negotiation. Evaluate, think, compare, and never forget to evaluate your own position and not the one you would like to have. It will be a lot less stressful to approach the subject if you are well prepared! Good luck!


Pierre-Luc Labbee, recruiter at 3pod

Do not hesitate to get in touch with me on :

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/3podjobs

Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/pllabbee3pod

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5th July 2010

Entrepreneurship Partnerships and Scholarships

wavefrontWaveFrontAC would like to know if you are interested in turning your innovative wireless idea into a start-up company? Entrepreneurship@Wavefront is a new program being undertaken in partnership with BCIC to support and nurture 8 early-stage B.C. wireless companies. Program participants will receive one-year access to office space in Wavefront’sBCIC collaborative wireless incubation centre and $10k credit toward Wavefront’s advisory and testing services. Exemplary go-to-market services wireless companies would leverage are Wavefront’s handset library, usability services, refinement of business development strategies and industry connections. Participants can also leverage BCIC’s network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts for additional mentorship and guidance.

EA GamesSkate 3 will be dishing up a virtual Hawaiian skateboarding vacation tomorrow with the release of Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream, an enormous skater’s paradise designed by the skating legend himself. Inspired by the tropical paradise of Hawaii, this all new Skate 3 downloadable content comes loaded with everything from original street terrain to flowing skate parks and of course Danny’s signature Mega-madness. Danny Way’s Hawaiian Dream content pack will be available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for 560 MS points or $6.99. The DLC will also include new challenges, Leliana's Songcreate-a-skater gear, an all-new Danny Way playable character, and new achievements and trophies.

While skate fans are busy in Hawaii, I’ll be on a mission with Dragon Age’s Leliana as Bioware adds a new chapter to the Dragon Age: Origins saga. Leliana’s Song will allow gamers to play as the roguish bard in a tale that can lead only to treachery – and the reasons which led Leliana to The Chantry. For 560 MS Points ($6.99 PSN), play through Leliana’s Song to earn a new reward that can be transferred over to your original Dragon Age: Orgins and Awakening campaigns. So now you know what I’ll be doing tomorrow after work.

The Banff CentreNew media makers interested in developing a creative project or reflective essay related to this year’s theme are encouraged to apply to the Interactive Screen Scholarship Intensive, which takes place at The Banff Centre this August 14 to 20th. Participants will benefit from valuable mentorship across a broad range of new media interests. Applications for projects in all stages of development, from early concepts through to fully developed prototypes, are welcome.

Scholarships are available for up to ten Canadian and international applicants and include focused mentorship and public presentation opportunities, a travel stipend of up to $550, and full financial
support for program tuition, meals, and shared accommodations on The Banff Centre campus. Please visit the Scholarship Information Page to apply.

Local (Vancouver) indie game designer Alex Vostrov (Rocket Bear Games) has officially announced his new game. According to his site, the new game will be called Infested Planet, and is “an innovative real time strategy game where you face a humongous horde of mutating aliens with just 5 marines” will hit the gamer waves in the Fall of 2010.

TreehouseCorus Entertainment and Treehouse are pleased to announce the world premiere of the first ever Dr. Seuss inspired animated series, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on Saturday, August 7 at 5:30 p.m. ET starring Martin Short as the voice of the Cat.

Produced by Portfolio Entertainment Inc. and Collingwood O’Hare Productions, in association with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Random House Children’s Entertainment, Treehouse and PBS Kids in the U.S., The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! is based on Random House’s bestselling beginner book collection, The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library.The Cat In The Hat

“We are thrilled to introduce the first ever animated series based on the whimsical adventures of Dr. Seuss, starring Canadian comedian Martin Short,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Programming and Production, Corus Kids. “A delightfully entertaining show that opens young minds to science and nature discoveries, this series is sure to appeal to preschoolers’ curiosity for exploration and the world around them.”

With Cat as their guide, best friends Sally and Nick are transported to all corners of the globe, making natural science discoveries of all kinds. Along for the ride are Cat’s two energetic helpers, the mop-headed zany duo: Thing One and Thing Two. Booting around in Cat’s one-of-a-kind custom vehicle, the Thinga-ma-jigger, the group can travel to the bottom of the sea, shrink down to the size of a bee to discover how honey is made or find out why owls sleep during the day.

In the first episode, Show Me the Honey, Sally and Nick have run out of honey. Luckily, the Cat knows just where to get more. They visit Queen Priscilla Buzzoo who invites the gang to join her in the bee dance to learn how honey is made.

Beginning on August 7, back-to-back 30-minute episodes of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! will air Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. throughout the month of August. Beginning on Tuesday, September 7, viewers can catch this series in its regular time-slots Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. as well as Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Beginning on August 23, viewers can visit Treehousetv.com to catch clips of the show, access 30 different colouring pages as well as six online games.

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