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GameSoundCon Game Audio Industry Survey 2023

Our survey ran from May 15 to August 15, 2023 and was promoted heavily via social media and other game or music industry web sites.  We received 645 usable responses from all around the world, 7% over the 2021 response rate. Monetary values have been converted to USD.

New in 2023:

  • More detail between North America and "Rest of World" salaries

  • Education: Game Audio Major/Minor

  • Game Audio Tools/Engine usage and combinations

You can view the complete report here

Among the findings:


  • Average North America Salary (employee): $128,511

    • Up from $115,088 in 2021

  • Average Income (freelancer):$80,788

    • Up from $56,201 in 2021

  • Women & non-binary/other game composers and sound designers represent 15% of the industry

    • Unchanged from 2021

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

  • One in 5 employees at game companies compose music, most of whom also perform other duties

  • More than 90% of recent hires in game audio have a Bachelors or Masters Degree; one in four new hires have a major or minor in Game Audio


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, in 2014 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 aggressively promoted to increase 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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