How Much Do Video Game Composers Make?

Game developers always seek to find the best possible music for their video games.

The music pay rate they decide to settle for will generally depend on factors like the experience of the composer, the quality, complexity and nature of the work.

Music compositions and sound account for an integral part of video games, on average Video game music composers can earn around $1000 to $10,000 per minute of their work.

It also needs to be pointed out that the more experienced the composer, the better the negotiating power they wield and this is what developers will take into consideration when agreeing on the per minute rate.

Negotiating a good rate

What needs to be understood is that game developers look for music that can blend well with their video games.

Therefore you as the composer have to know that they’ll be pay well for high quality work.

Which means you should offer a reasonable but not too cheap rate because they’ll perceive your low pricing as indication of low quality music.

Fear of losing the client will lead many to negotiate a low price which is very typical for newbie composers,

but you need not be afraid to utter a price for the work you put in, quoting rookie numbers greatly undermines the quality of your work.

The developers will also take into account the complexity and the nature of the work when determining how reasonable your price point is.

The common composer rate

The industry rate for video game compositions ranges between 10% to 15% of the total budget of the project.

This percentage range has to be split between all composers.

This can give you a good indication and basis for negotiating.

You can also reach out to other video game composers and understand their thought process behind their own negotiations.

The Client

The client to which you wish to license your compositions is also very cardinal in determining the price to quote.

A big client like sony will obviously have a huge budget for their video game and they’ll be looking for top notch high quality music.

Sony is a large company that spends millions of dollars on making great video games therefore you need to give them a price can reflect your professionalism and how much you think your work is actually worth.

This situation will be a lot different for independent video game creators that simply do not have the capacity to expend millions into their video game.

The Nature of the work

You should always set your price by how long it takes you to create the music.

Cinematic and orchestral compositions are some of the most involving

projects to create and they will take you more time, therefore the price for

these types of compositions should be higher.

Simple electronic music like remixes can easily take you less time therefore

should be priced adequately lower than the complex compositions.

Rate sheet

A professional way of going about your negotiations is developing a standard rate sheet for your music.

This will give the video game producer options of the work they can afford to pay for without going over budget.

Bundling

Video games need a lot of audio production work to make them a complete playable games.

You can use this as upselling technique by offering them your other audio production skills like sound design, dialogue recording etc..

This can give an advantageous edge and can definitely earn you more money.

Conclusion

Video game developers pay per minute for musical compositions for their games.

The rate they offer per minute is between $1000 and $10000.

You as the composer have the power to negotiate depending on the nature of the work you intend to license.

Composers also have to understand that in video music,

performing rights royalties are not significant but they can benefit from the sale of the soundtrack with their writers royalties.

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