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Survey: Women Making Inroads Into Game Audio Industry

Women have made significant inroads into Game Audio, according to the new 2021 edition of GameSoundCon’s annual industry survey.

Game Audio Industry SurveySeattle, WA (October 19, 2021)—Game Audio has typically been—and remains—a male-dominated industry, but women have made significant inroads over the last five years, according to the 2021 edition of GameSoundCon’s annual Game Audio Industry Survey. Questioning more than 600 industry respondents, the new study offers hard stats on job-related trends, rates, contract terms, compensation and other industry statistics.

According to the survey, the industry’s gender gap in pay, which GameSoundCon last examined in detail in 2016, has closed up, with female game sound pros now making as much as their male counterparts with similar experience. Previously, the survey found in 2016 that women’s pay was typically in line with that of male counterparts with two years less industry experience. Additionally, the 2021 survey found that the percentage of women and non-binary game audio professionals was the highest since the survey began, reaching 15%.

In other pressing concerns, GameSoundCon asked if composers had ever received Performing Rights Royalties in 2020 from any game they had ever scored; only 16% said “Yes.” Additionally, per-minute music rates have been stagnant, with $1k/minute being the most popular rate, though at the high end, rates have gotten higher.

The 2021 report covers both freelance and salaried game music composers and sound designers and gives details about compensation; salaried employees, freelancers and contract terms; gender and geographic region breakdowns; work and environment notes; freelance/employee status; job roles/responsibilities; audio middleware; education level/degree type; compensation; and entry level income/education.

In related news, GameSoundCon will be held virtually this year on November 8 – 10, exploring the cutting edge of game music, sound, dialogue, and more for both beginners and seasoned pros.