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GameSoundCon Game Audio Industry Survey 2017

The Results are in..


Our survey ran from June 15 to July 30, 2017 and was promoted heavily via social media and other game or music industry web sites.  We received 464 usable responses from all around the world. Monetery values have been converted to USD.


Thank you to the Game Audio Network Guild for their assistance with the GameSoundCon Game Audio Industry Survey


The report focuses on:

1/ Compensation

2/ Work and Environment/Getting Gigs

3/ Additional Compensation (Bonuses/Royalties)

4/ Use of Live Musicians & Middleware

5/ Contract Terms & PROs

6/ Education


Among the findings:


  • Women game composers and sound designers are up to 12.7% of the industry

    • Up from 10.4% in 2016 and 7% in 2015

  • Average Salary (employee): $69,848

  • Women, on average earn 83% what men earn 

  • 1 in 6 salaried employees also earn freelance income on the side

    • Average 'side' income: $15,604​

  • 72% of game composers also deliver SFX

  • Freelancers have lower average incomes, but also have the highest incomes

  • The most common "per minute" rates for composition:

    • $100/minute

    • $1,000/minute 

  • 74% of game audio professionals have a Bachelor's degree or higher

  • Median game audio first-year salary: $33,276


You can view the complete report here


About the Game Audio Industry Survey


In 2012, The game development web site, Gamasutra, published the results of their annual game developer salary survey. That year, the results were somewhat puzzling, with “audio” salaries coming in higher than every other discipline except “business and management.”


Part of the reason for this unexpected result is that audio, more than most other game disciplines, has a very high percentage of non-salaried freelancers, which are unaccounted for in the Gamautra survey. Gamasutra also commented on the “smaller pool of respondents,” (33 audio professionals completed the survey) causing the results to be more easily skewed.


With that in mind, we created a survey that attempted to more accurately capture the issues of contracts, terms and compensation in game audio.


Our goals were to have a survey that: 


• Reflected the freelancer segment of our industry

• We agressively promoted to increse response rate

• Covered some business issues unique to game music and sound


Since then, the GameSoundCon Industry Survey has become the leading resource on business and productions aspects of working in game music and sound design.

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