Indie Publisher Whitethorn Games Shares CEO Salary And More

Cozy indie publisher Whitethorn, whose name you might know from games like Apico and Lake, has shared a transparency document revealing its CEO's salary, average staff salary, and more.

Published: October 10, 2022 10:44 AM /


The player looking at their bee inventory in Whitethorn Games' Apico

Indie publisher Whitethorn Games has published a transparency document detailing various operational statistics including its CEO's salary, its average employee salary, and more. Whitethorn says this move is intended to inform potential partners and employees of "exactly what's going on behind now-wide-open doors".

Gaming CEO salaries, particularly with reference to bigger companies like Activision Blizzard, are a hot-button issue right now. Whitethorn says it's "had enough" of the mindset that sees employee salaries, game budgets, profits, and executive salaries kept under wraps, and so it's making a move to blow the doors wide open on the industry.

You can check out the document right here. In it, Whitethorn details its CEO's salary, which currently stands at around $75,000 per year. The average Whitethorn employee salary stands at $51,000, which means there's not much difference between the CEO and "regular" employees.

A cozy cafe scene from Calico, a game published by Whitethorn Games
Whitethorn Games is responsible for cozy titles like Calico.

According to Whitethorn's transparency document, it spends around $232,100 funding its games on average, with an average marketing spend of $56,000 per game. Of course, these numbers might look small compared to massive AAA publishers, but Whitethorn's transparency here should be commended.

What it takes for Whitethorn to publish your game

As well as transparency regarding its employees and CEO, Whitethorn also revealed the criteria it looks to when publishing an indie game. If you're a developer wanting to pitch Whitethorn, it helps to have a demo, as well as comprehensive gameplay footage and screenshots. 

It's also useful to have a budget in mind, as well as a rough development timeline for when you expect the project to be finished. A game overview and technical info for the title are also essential. If you want to see all of Whitethorn's criteria for publishing indie titles, you can check out the full publishing document here

It remains to be seen whether other developers and publishers will follow Whitethorn's example and declare CEO and employee salaries. Transparency is an important thing in the gaming industry; it allows employees to hold companies to account and shows just how big the gulf between CEOs and their employees can be (although not in this case, happily). We'll bring you more on Whitethorn and transparency in the gaming industry as soon as we get it.

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Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph