Background: I'm working at a small company (9 employees and 1 intern) as a game developer for almost 10 months and it is my first job. My first project is a mobile app, a pair programming project that took about 2 months which didn't made any money because the owner/manager decided to not add any paid ads. My 2nd project is a solo game project,It is a puzzle maze game consisting of 120 levels and the deadline is clearly rushed(2 months with me and one other artist) as they gave me 1 week to make a level editor which I managed to make by working 12 hours for the whole week and another 2 weeks creating all 120 levels, plus the artist does not have any previous experience in game art which also contributed into not making the deadline. It also didn't made money because again it has no paid ads and only rely on in-app purchases.

Now for the question: Can I ask for a raise even though the projects I've worked on didn't made any money when I feel that it is not my fault and I feel very underpaid? If yes, how should I approached them? My salary when I entered the company is 280$ per month, and is raised to 330$ after 6 months when I became a regular employee. The owner told me that the next evaluation is after 1 year from regularity so I will be asking for an early raise. Please note that I'm from a third world country.

Edit The company is making money from B2B projects and from what I researched I am 30% below market price in my country. The developer who is working on B2B projects asked and was given 50% raise.

  • 4 months worth of projects, what did you do for the other 6 months? – Kilisi Mar 29 '16 at 8:39

Try putting yourself in the manager's place. First, is there any money to give you? (Are there other projects that are making money?) How much is someone in your country typically making for the job that you are doing? Whether to give you a raise or not isn't so much a question of fairness as a question of business. If you aren't being paid fair market value for your services, and they don't want to lose you to someone who will, and they have the money to pay you more, then you have a good negotiating position. If you are, or they don't much care whether they lose you or not, or they don't have much money to go around, then you don't. Whether or not your projects made money isn't as big an issue. For every project that makes money, there are several that don't, typically.

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Asking for a raise and getting one depends on many factors, as BobRodes explains.

But your question focuses on asking a raise when projects didn't bring much profit to your company. For that the answer is quite simple: you are not responsible for the strategic decisions of your company. As an employee, you were given some projects, you achieved them. Whether the company made profit from it or not, is outside your responsabilities.

So you can ask for a raise, or maybe should not, but that has nothing to do with whether your projects brought profit. And this particular question isn't something we can answer on this site.

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When it was an intentional business decision to release your work without any direct monetization scheme, then there got to be some hidden business value in doing so. Otherwise they wouldn't have bothered to release it at all. Maybe they do it to advertise a brand, maybe they just want to grow now and monetize later when they got a userbase. But no matter what's the long-term strategy for your games, they obviously have value for the company. Otherwise they wouldn't have paid your for it and wouldn't have pressured you with a deadline.

So while your work might not directly generate any revenue, it very likely indirectly generates revenue or is going to generate direct or indirect revenue in the future. This can be used to justify your value to the company.

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