2023 Game Audio Industry Survey Results

GameSoundAudio chart2023

GameSoundCon, a professional conference for video game music and sound design (Oct 17 and 18!), has just released the results of their new survey about employment, salaries, royalties, education, as well as gender and diversity in the video game sound industry. The survey is an important tool for all professionals and aspiring professionals to make career choices and advance their skills. Composers, sound designers, middleware, game engine and audio programmers, as well as people working in audio quality assurance and audio testing will find valuable information to help make informed career decisions.

This year’s top-line takeaways even surprised Brian Schmidt, GameSoundCon Founder and Executive Director, who’s been conducting this annual survey since 2014:

  • In 2023, 25% of all recent hires in game audio have either a college major or a minor in game audio which is a significant increase from prior years. This might indicate that employers are starting to expect their new hires to have the kinds of training that a major or minor in game audio provides.
  • US game audio salaries are significantly higher than the rest of the world. This development is in line with the differences in tech (non game industry) salaries overall between the US and most other countries.
  • Average Salaries are up 12% over the 2021 survey, to $128,000 yearly salary in North America, $71,000 in the rest of the world - higher than the overall wage index increase in the US ( which was around 8% for the same 2021-2023 period).
  • Even though forays have been made, the gender makeup and ethnicity are largely unchanged from 2021. 85% of the industry is firmly in male hands.

Another important finding the 2023 survey provides is the most common Audio Engine/ Game Engine combination. This can help sound designers and composers decide where to put their time when it comes to learning new tools.