The highest salaries for video game characters

Video game characters may be the pinnacle of escapism, but most of them still have jobs in their own world. Which are the most paid? The Solitaired online gaming site has done some calculations to see who is the biggest earner in the gaming sphere.

Their choice for the highest income was Borderlands villainous Handsome Jack, the CEO of Hyperion. While it’s impossible to guess what the futuristic economy would actually look like in terms of gross dollars, your average CEO of Jack’s stature earns around $432,524. Of course, most CEOs also have big bonuses on top of their actual pay as well as stock options, and with Jack known far and wide for his ruthless hacking of anything not nailed down, he is likely to bring much more than that.

Although not mentioned in the Solitaired data, it is likely that President Shinra of Final Fantasy VII would overtake Jack. The largest electric company in the United States is Duke Energy Corp., and their CEO, Lynn Good, has a compensation of 14 million dollars. Considering Shinra controls electricity for most of an entire planet, that number is likely a lowball.

Soldiers are also doing quite well by the Solitaire tally. Solid snake of Solid metal gear was number two on the list with his Special Forces salary of $139,632. Right behind him is Alex Mason of Call of Duty, who earns $106,905 as a US intelligence analyst in the armed forces. master chef (Halo) and Doomguy (Loss), rank closer to the middle with earnings around $70,000. On the other hand, rank and file soldiers often fare quite poorly. Cloud Strife’s Final Fantasy VII earns only $25,000 as a private first class, and as a deserter, he probably receives no pension or benefits.

Some characters are to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, Link to The Legend of Zelda ranks quite low when you extrapolate a knight’s salary in the Middle Ages (about two shillings a day) to modern times. However, knights were also typically landowners who derived most of their money from the feudal system. Unfortunately, Link is rarely featured as having income-generated holdings, so the hero of time probably has to make do with what he can get out of the pot.

Many of the most dashing and impressive characters don’t earn much. Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII earns less than $40,000 as a security guard, Booker DeWitt of Bioshock Infinite earns about $5,000 more as a private detective, and Ryu from street fighter has to make ends meet with $28,000 as a martial arts instructor. Since many of his street fighter the endings show that Ryu doesn’t even stick around for tournament award ceremonies, his earnings probably aren’t supplemented by scholarships. On the other hand, it’s not like he has to buy shoes, so he saves money there.

Of course, salary isn’t everything. tomb Raider Lara Croft earns $54,690 working as a British archaeologist, but she consistently ranks among the richest fictional characters of all time thanks to her family’s ancestral wealth. Super Mario would make $41,000 as an Italian plumber, but seems to do much better as an official agent for the Mushroom Kingdom royal family. Besides, he’s a doctor next door, unless it’s actually his father.


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