Game Sound Industry Survey Results

In the lead up to GameSoundCon in Los Angeles, November 3-4, executive director Brian Schmidt has revealed the results of the organization's annual survey on the state of the game audio industry.
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Seattle, WA (October 1, 2015)—In the lead up to GameSoundCon in Los Angeles, November 3-4, executive director Brian Schmidt has revealed the results of the organization's annual survey on the state of the game audio industry.

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The survey of more than 600 professional working in the industry provides an updated and realistic picture of the income possibilities and parameters for those looking for entry into this growing industry. GameSoundCon received 18 percent more responses than last year to questions related to compensation, work and environment, use of live musicians and middleware, and contract terms. New questions for 2015 cover information on how respondents got their current job; music budgets; education; and hourly music/sound design rates. "One surprise was the jump in the number of composers who do some scripting or similar technical work," says Schmidt.

The results of the GameSoundCon survey reveal important new shifts and trends in the game audio industry:
• While 60 percent of respondents last year were working as freelancers, 2015 respondents were equally split between salaried employees and freelancers
• On average, a salaried employee makes $80,546 in 2015, which is up from $70,532 that participants stated last year. However, compensation for freelancers under Work for Hire decreased by 18 percent in 2015 compared to the prior year.
• Compared with industries such as TV or Film, the number of composers who register their game music is very small: less than 40 percent overall and only one in five for small games. This reflects the game industry's struggles to understand how music publishing works.
• Most people got their job or project via networking or from someone they'd previously worked with; that number approaches 90 percent, which really emphasizes the value of networking events and conferences.

The complete report with details, graphs, and remarks on the statistical validity of the survey can be found a downloadable PDF. at the con's website.

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