Just a quick pointer to 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, Brian Schmidt et al created a survey that attempted to more accurately capture the issues of contracts, terms and compensation in game audio.
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
- FMOD takes up a 40% share of the casual and indie market while Wwise is used in almost 50% of the large-budget game productions (see below).