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

    • $1,250/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 2013, 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 were unaccounted for in the Gamautra survey. Gamasutra also commented on the “smaller pool of respondents,” (Only 33 audio professionals completed the survey) causing the results to have limited reliability.

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


Our goals were to have a survey that: 


• Was designed specifically for the game audio community 

Reflected the freelancer segment of our industry

• Had a much higher response than the gamasutra study

• Covered important business and production issues unique to game music and sound


The result was the GameSoundCon Game Audio Industry Survey which has become the leading survey in the industry since launching in 2014.

Copyright 2018 SoundCon, LLC


info [at]

This site uses Google Analytics in order to measure traffic patterns and browser market share, so that we can ensure our website is designed to accommodate the most popular browsers.
By clicking 'join' you agree to receive emails from SoundCon, LLC

Join our mailing list