The findings from the 2015 Game Audio Industry Survey have been revealed, showing a significant shift in the industry climate over the past year.
The survey, conducted by the organisers of GameSoundCon, collected data from over 600 respondents and found that there has been an increase in stability among professionals working in game audio.
According to the survey, 46% of audio professionals are working as salaried employees of a company, versus 37% last year. Furthermore, 46% are currently working on a freelance or contract basis, against the 60% found in last year’s survey.
"The interesting question there is whether that's indicative of a change in the nature of the industry where more companies are biting the bullet, feeling more confident, or have enough work to hire people on as full time staff," noted GameSoundCon executive director Brian Schmidt. "Because the trend had been for quite a while that game composers and sound designers were a very freelance-based industry. Whether that's growing departments within larger companies, or it means the smaller companies are starting to hire people on, either way it's nice for composers looking for that kind of steady job."
Of those contracted professionals, it was found that the average salary in the industry has reached $80,564, an increase of nearly $10,000 from last year.
The survey also found that while the number of women in game audio is still ‘woefully low’, the quantity of male respondents was down from 96% to 93%, representing a move in the right direction towards a more diversified landscape in the industry.
Of the findings, Schmidt commented: "One thing this hits home on is that for the most part, game audio professionals are asked to perform both composition and sound design and very often some technical implementation work beyond those, too, Or more precisely, if you do music, you likely also do sound design. That's very reflective of the nature of smaller games, where 'one person does all the audio' is predominant. From a practical perspective, if all you do is music, you are limiting the amount of potential jobs you may be eligible for in games."
The GameSoundCon music and sound design conference will take place on 3-4 November at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.