In this short article I’ll give you some typical prices (including my own) so you will have a better idea.
***Pricing information on this page has now changed – see below***
I will start by saying that although price is very important, don’t base your decision just on this.
Bear in mind the quality of the job and the (hopefully) long term relationship you will build with your composer. Both these things are vital to your game’s success and your future.
If you’ve read my article on what factors contribute to the cost of a game music composer, you’ll know that there are many aspects that play a part in determining cost. Also, there are several different ways a composer deal might be structured which will affect the cost.
But for the purposes of the following example, I’ll assume you are paying a set price to a composer.
Is There A Typical Price For A Game Composer?
Indie composers can charge anything from free (if they need the experience or love your game) to several hundred dollars an hour for those at the top (man hours that is, not hours of music!).
The larger the project, the more likely you are to end up with an overall project price and the harder it will be to determine the individual cost per hour. A huge Indie RPG or an AAA game would work on this basis most likely.
What Are My Rates For Indie Game Music?
My minimum* hourly rate is $40 (£25) per man hour spent creating the music. So a typical small game might look like this:
1 x 2 min main theme (4.5 hours @ $40) = $180
5 x unique short loops (less than 30 seconds each) – (7.5 hours @ $40) = $300
TOTAL: $480 (£296)
Please note: The above was my minimum rate at the time of writing and was shown as an example only. Prices are now worked out on a per project basis not a fixed price per track. So depending on the project the price will vary. Many times I will charge a much higher price than the one quoted here. If you are at all interested in working with me, my current price examples can always be found in my free Getting Started Guide which can be downloaded on this page. Thanks, Chris. (11th December 2014.)
For that you will be getting an exclusive soundtrack, tailored specifically to your game. This includes all tweaks and amendments which will be discussed by us both – so you will have a real hand in how the music ends up sounding.
In my opinion, this exclusive approach will bring the most out of your game, engage your players and create the best experience possible. No one else will have this music… no one!
Sales pitch over, if that sounds like far too much money and doesn’t appeal at all, I suspect hiring a composer isn’t the right choice for you and I wouldn’t recommend you explore this route. It isn’t right for everyone, or every game. There are plenty of other sources out there for cheap music.
At the end of the day, there’s very often not a set answer to the cost question. Almost all composers will want to quote based on the individual project. See the articles linked to at the start of this post for more info.
As for me, if I love your game, you appreciate my time and expertise, I’m sure we can structure a deal to suit us both.
I hope this has at least helped a bit. Please leave a comment on your experience of game composer prices and do get in touch If you are interested in finding out more about working with me.
N.B. It’s worth pointing out that the five unique loops mentioned above will cost more than just one piece of the same length. This is because each loop needs its own palette of sounds and needs to be written from scratch – this is what take the majority of the time.
*‘Minimum’ as specified above is worked out on just the man hours spent to write the basic track. Depending on the music in question, the complexity of the music (eg separate audio stems being required for dynamic music) and the project requirements in general, the rate will change.