NCSoft is the latest gaming company to boost salaries

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NCSoft is the latest gaming company to boost salaries

NCSoft's headquarters building in Pangyo, Gyeonggi. [NCSOFT]

NCSoft's headquarters building in Pangyo, Gyeonggi. [NCSOFT]

 
NCSoft has joined the pay raise trend at Korean game companies, increasing the pay of developers by at least 13 million won ($11,470).  
 
The game maker is offering raises of 13 million won for existing developers, and 10 million won for workers who are not developers. Employees who contributed a lot to the company will be given an additional raise.  
 
Young developers joining the company this year will start their careers at an annual wage of 55 million won, while non-developers will start at 47 million won.  
 
But the new employees can receive more than that depending on their abilities, according to the company.  
 
That's relatively high wage for young people who just got their jobs. A study from Ministry of Employment and Labor said an average college graduate that started working last year earned about 33.5 million won.  
 
The game company also strengthened its incentive system.  
 
Employees at NCSoft are to receive incentives in March, and the amount will be set differently by individual and based on their performances.  
 
On top of that, NCSoft employees will be given an additional 8 million won of incentive as a CEO special bonus this year, celebrating the company’s record-high earnings in 2020.  
 
NCSoft posted 586.6 billion won in net profit in 2020, up 63 percent compared to the previous year. And its annual revenue exceeded 2 trillion won for the first time last year, hitting 2.42 trillion won.  
 
The 8 million won will be given to employees at all levels, including regular workers, contract workers and even interns.  
 
"To secure best talent and improve the [company's] global competitiveness, NCSoft will offer the highest level of compensation in Korea's IT industry," the company said in Thursday's report.  
 
NCSoft’s announcement comes a month after Nexon and Netmarble revealed their plans for pay increases.
 
On Feb. 1, Nexon announced that it will offer a pay raise of 8 million won for all workers at the company. That brings the annual wage increase rate for Nexon staff to an average 13 percent on year, double the increase rate for 2020.  
 
The annual wage of young developers joining the company straight out of college will start at 50 million won, which is nearly a 20-percent increase from last year.  
 
About nine days later, Netmarble said it will offer a pay rise of 8 million won for all workers and a starting salary for new developers of 50 million won. The changed conditions were same as at Nexon.  
 
Late last month, Krafton CEO Kim Chang-han announced that the company will raise the pay for developers by 20 million won. Starting salary for young developers there is at 60 million won.  
 
The biggest reason why game companies are offering pay raises is because they are struggling from a shortage of developers.  
 
According to Software Policy & Research Institute, some 47.9 percent of domestic software companies said a “shortage of qualified talent” is the biggest difficulty in the industry.  
 
There are only some 136,000 developers in Korea, according to Ministry of Science and ICT.  
 
Smaller-sized game companies also raised pay. On Feb. 26, Joycity said it will offer a pay raise of 10 million for all employees. About a week later, Vespa and Smilegate also announced that they will offer a pay raise of 12 million won and 8 million won, respectively, to all employees.  
 
BY CHEA SARAH   [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
 
 

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