The 2017 results of the annual GameSoundCon Audio Industry Survey are in. Just before GameSoundCon, the premier conference for video game composers and sound designers, opens its doors again in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on November 7 & 8, the industry survey provides interesting new findings about the income and educational levels of game audio pros.
The report covers both freelance and salaried game music composers and sound designers, and it answers questions like "How much can I make in Game Audio?", "Do I need a degree, and which one?", and more. Information about work and environment, how to find jobs, the use of live musicians & middleware, contract terms, and gender inequalities is also included. New questions for 2017 covered:
Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon, found the new information about the correlation between education and game audio employment especially interesting: "One of the questions we wanted to answer this year was whether a college degree, and a degree in music in particular, is helpful when trying to get a job in the game industry," he said.
For the third consecutive year, the report shows that women in game audio are on the rise. While their overall presence in the industry is still small, it is growing: 12.7% of those reporting are female (up from 10.4% in 2016, and 7% in 2015).
The complete report further shows detailed information about average salaries, per project and per minute fees, how many composers also do sound effects, integration and programming work, and how many game audio pros are currently working on a Virtual Reality title. The full report is available here.
GameSoundCon will be held on Nov 7 & 8 in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Industry heavyweights like Neal Acree (World of Warcraft, Overwatch, StarCraft, Diablo, TV shows Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, plus over 30 feature films), Paul Lipson (HALO Wars), Gordy Haab (Star Wars: Battlefront), and others will present cutting-edge sessions and tracks about music and sound for video games as well as professional development in game audio. Becky Allen, audio lead at PopCap/Electronic Arts, will give this year's keynote speech.
There is a dedicated Virtual Reality Track with notable speakers like Sally-Anne Kellaway, named by Variety one of the "10 virtual reality innovators to watch". Session topics range from "Creating Immersive Soundscapes with 3D Audio on Playstation 4", "Composing Interactive Music", to hands-on Wwise-session and professional advice, such as which pitfalls to avoid when pitching your demo reels, and more.
A quick look and listen to the new Studio Electronics collab