I think Deiussum was on the right track… but here’s some additional rambling to consider:
There’s strong competition in this field, and in the game programming field in particular. Lets face it: this stuff is so much fun that just about ANY programmer would love to make it his profession. The result is that the BEST programmers in the world often tend to do exactly this as a hobby, hoping to join a game programming team some day.
There are more than enough game programmers; those who make it are usually incredibly good programmers who could easily get many times bigger salaries as normal enterprise programmers, but are willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for a chance to do what they love. Those who don’t make it are still quite good, and they’re doing anything they can to find any other work to do with their beloved graphics library.
Sure, there’s the top group which gets huge salaries; but that group just isn’t very big.
[This message has been edited by jade6 (edited 02-21-2001).]