So, How Much Do Video Game Composers Make?

Illustration for article titled So, How Much Do Video Game Composers Make?

Video game soundtracks can often be the most iconic element of a game. Take Halo, for example. Or Zelda. So it begs the question: how much do game composers get paid?


Variety sat down with four of the "top names in the brave new world of game scores", and found that the composers are paid between $1000-$2500 per minute of music featured in the game. And that there are games that may need up to 80-100 minutes of music.

Beats pushing paper for a living.

The four composers the Hollywood rag spoke with were BioShock maestro Garry Schyman, Afrika composer Wataru Hokoyama, Jason Graves (Dead Space) and the prolific Inon Zur, who has worked on everything from Company of Heroes to Prince of Persia to Fallout 3.

It's a good read for music lovers, though it's also a shame they stuck with a Los Angeles theme, and didn't quiz some of the bigger guns like Koji Kondo or...Richard Jacques. I like to think Kondo is paid in hugs.

Video Games: The top music talents [Variety]


Smug Anime Face

Variety didn't profile the more famous composers! In the style of AngryVideoGameNerd I must say: ASS!

Where's the Tommys, the Nobuos, the Kondos and MOST ESPECIALLY:

Kirby composer Jun Ishikawa and Touhou composer ZUN?

Never heard of ZUN? He's hands down one of the best game composers, right along with all the others we consider great, perhaps even BETTER. Here's the kicker now...not only do his songs inspire a shit load of remixes(with lyrics- a music group called Iosys is famous just for doing this; see Marisa Stole The Precious Thing) on youtube... he makes the Touhou games(programming, art assets, killer character design, sounds) along with the music - all by himself.

Now all of you go to and learn - find out WHY THE FUCK has nobody brought this series to America (besides the fact he's a total indie).