Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick’s salary has been in the news several times in the past year. And while he certainly earns significantly more than most, a new report shows he’s in good company with other gaming CEOs raking in tens of millions of dollars a year.
Games One has compiled a breakdown of video game rewards in the year 2020 based on company data, including salary, bonuses, stocks and other monetary benefits. The report reveals that Bobby Kotick was actually not the highest-earning CEO of 2020 — that award goes to Robert Antokol, CEO of Israel-based Playtika, which makes free mobile games. In 2020, Antokol made $372 million in total compensation, while Kotick brought in $154.6 million.
While they were by far the biggest earners, other gaming CEOs made piles of money in the same way that year. EA CEO Andrew Wilson received $34.7 million in 2020, while Zynga’s Frank Gibeau made $32 million. Take-Two (which just announced its intention to acquire Zynga) saw its CEO Strauss Zelnick bring in $18 million.
Other notable names on the list include then-GameStop CEO George Sherman’s $7.6 million, Roblox CEO David Baszucki who earns $6.8 million, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda who receives $4.2 million, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa who will receive $2.8 million, and Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot will receive just under one million.
In total, the 42 gaming CEOs earned $842 million in 2020. Specifically, these are only CEOs for publicly traded companies who are required by law to disclose CEO compensation. Private companies, like Valve or Epic, don’t disclose these numbers, so there are probably some equally well-paid CEOs missing from this list.
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By comparison, a handful of companies disclosed their median workers’ compensation. Activision had the largest discrepancy between CEO and employee pay, reporting a median employee pay of $99,100 — basically one dollar for every $1,560 Kotick earns. GameStop was the second largest discrepancy, reporting a low, low median employee pay of $11,033, or one dollar for every $650 Sherman earned in 2020.
Gaming CEO pay has come under scrutiny in recent years. Kotick’s salary, in particular, was cut earlier last year after repeated criticism, though he still earns $875,000 in salary alone before bonuses and other stock benefits. EA similarly cut CEO Andrew Wilson’s pay last year.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
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