Game journalists are overworked, and underpaid a new study finds

Nearly 80% of journalists say they receive up to 10 pitches a day

Game journalists are overworked, and underpaid a new study finds

Over 70% of game journalists will receive up to 10 game pitches every day, a new survey has found. 

The survey also found that journalists will review for multiple platforms, and that the PC is the overwhelmingly most reviewed for platform, with 80% of respondents saying that they write reviews for PC games. 3461269ac3000dd56911adc6afa0f04dfccbef19.png

Consoles came in second place, with the PS4 proving more popular than the XBox One, and the Switch coming in fourth place. Reviewers will also review mobile games, with slightly more respondents favouring Android over iOS.

The survey, Overworked, underpaid and passionate: a survey of Games Journalists was conducted by Big Games Machine, and asked over 200 journalists a series of questions about their profession and aims to educate developers and PRs on what it’s like to review games for a living. Responses were received from games journalists in Europe and the US, including from sites such as Game Informer, Eurogamer, IGN, VG247 and Engadget. 

The survey also found that a game was more likely to be reviewed if the game was relevant to the publication’s audience. The second most important factor in a game reviewed is the inclusion of a game code or build in the pitch. Surprisingly, the least important factor was whether or not the app or game was based on a known brand or licensed IP. 

The biggest turnoff for a game journalist is receiving for a game that looks poor, or is for a platform they don’t cover. Other factors that will reduce the chances of a game being reviewed include the game not being relevant for the publication’s audience, or if the pitch is badly written. 


“We created this survey because so many of the smaller developers we speak to don’t really think about how journalists work and what gets a game into the press. With so much pressure on PRs and journalists to get games covered, you don’t often hear from the journalists themselves. So we wanted to use their opinions to help developers and publishers pitch their games more effectively, and to see games journalism from a different point of view,” said James Kaye, co-founder of Big Games Machine.

‘Overworked, underpaid and passionate: a survey of games journalists’ is free to download from the Big Games Machine site

Header image: Jo Christian Oterhals


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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