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GameSoundCon Game Audio Industry Survey 2019

The Results are in..


Our survey ran from May 30 to July 30, 2019 and was promoted heavily via social media and other game or music industry web sites.  We received 391 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

Salaried Employees

Salary by Geographic Region

Income by Gender

Freelance Income

Contract Terms

2/ Work and Environment

Employment/Freelance Status



3/ Education

Degrees/Education Level


Entry Level Income/Degrees


Among the findings:


  • Average Salary (employee): $80.837

  • Averate Income (freelancer): $63,548

  • Significant differences between "AAA" and professionally produced, non-indie games ("mid-core") salaries

  • Women & non-binary/other game composers and sound designers represent 13.6% of the industry

    • Gender discrepancy is greater in US than in UK & Europe

  • Women, on average earn 92% what men earn 

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

  • One in 3 audio employees at game companies compose music, most of whom also perform other duties

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

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

    • $300/minute

    • $1,000/minute 

  • Four in  five game audio professionals have a bachelors degree or higher

  • Median game audio early-career salary: $42.500


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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