Studio Motion Twin, who made the game Dead Cells, has revealed that they pay everyone in the company the same wage.
I found this to be rather remarkable because in the video game industry exploitation of the workers is the norm. A few AAA studios have done and continue to do the practice of pushing a team to the brink to make ship dates and then cutting the team into pieces when the game launches. I worked in the industry for a few years, and this type of treatment for employees is standard. This exploitation also extends to how employees are paid, which is usually lower than other industries who have similar positions because the mindset of video games says, "Hey, this is a cool place you get to work at, so let's be cool with being around this coolness and not talk about wages."
Frankly, I find what Motion Twin is doing to be a breath of fresh air because paying everyone the same, with bonuses awarded to everyone when a game does well, can unit a team and remove any financial resentiment that can build up during the long hours of crunch. I hope more studios follow this mindset because there are very few places in the video game industry that pay their employees well enough to afford a life since many give their employees 'free stuff' in exchange for money.
And I hope the higher-ups in video games can understand that employees cannot pay for rent or a mortgage with merch, swag, and limited edition statues. Pay your people what they need to live off of, let them buy their game gear, nerd art or maybe open a Roth IRA, and everyone will be happy. You can still gift them awesome stuff, just don't let it be a replacement for a better paycheck.
FYI, I am not an economist or a financial person. I do not hate the video game industry, I love it, but I love it enough to at least say when something is wrong. What employees receive in pay and how they are treated needs to change or else studios will find the younger talent is going to go to other places and eventually the industry will fade away into only pachinko games.
A hellish landscape if there ever was one.