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GameSoundCon Game Audio Industry Survey 2015

The Results are in..


(Click here to take the 2016 survey)


Our 21-question survey ran from July 23 to August 13, 2015 and was promoted heavily via social media and other game or music industry web sites.  We received 632 responses, 591 of which contained usable data.


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:


  • Freelancers account for half of game music composing and sound design jobs

  • Average Salary (employee): $80,564, up almost $10,000 from 2014

  • Average "AAA" per project fee: $73,493

  • Average "professionally developed casual game project fee: $18,177

  • Average Indy per project fee: $8,399

  • The Game Audio industry is overwhelmingly male (93%)

  • Most game composers also deliver SFX

  • "per unit" royalties virtually non-existent (<4%)

  • Game Music is overwhelmingly "Work for Hire (95%)

  • Game Soundtrack clauses are rare

  • Even in "large budget games," 46% of music is 'mostly virtual' 

  • > 70% of game audio professionals a bachelors or higher


You can download the complete report here


About the Game Audio Industry Survey


The game development web site, Gamasutra, recently published the results of their annual game developer salary survey. This 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


We  promoted the survey via social and other game and music industry web sites and received 518 responses.

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