Is really the audio sector in such an ill state??

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  • #1685

    Hello everyone

    I wanted to open this thread since i recently read a post in the ”Game Audio” group on Facebook and i really could not believe to my ears. Maybe the more experienced in here can shed some light on me.
    A fellow professional sound designer who holds a great experience in AAA titles has posted on FB a post letting people know that he is available to work from 2014. Now, a whole conversation started and a few other sound designers (as well with experience in AAA titles), all together were discussing how bad our job is at the moment, gigs dont exist anymore and that the budget is really small.

    Now, in around 35 comments, what i received as a student and future sound pro was that things are really tough and there are no jobs not even for the Pros. I dont want to sound harsh but when i see such posts by audio veterans on FB i am not sure wether it is really a true or …maybe not..I even read another colleague’s post that he is thinking of getting a ”real job”. A real job? I thought that being a sound designer – audio engineer is a real job by it’s self, so real that is equally necessary (as the image) for the release/broadcast of a medium.

    What is your opinion? Why does a sound guy who have worked with AAA titles, that has connections..why can’t he find his next job? Whenever i google i find many inhouse jobs in our sector. Who is taking those jobs? I suppose that marriage is playing a key role here where you are actually limiting your exposure and your choices after you get married and have kids.

    To be honest that post really confused my theory about things. What does all that mean for the new generations of sound guys?


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  • #1689
    Jesse Harlin

    The industry is changing. That’s for sure. AAA studios have been closing left, right, and center and the rise of the indies has meant that small teams with little to no experience can be extremely successful. I think some countries have been hit harder than others. Lots of Canadian studios seem to be shuttered lately. And I’ve heard that the UK has been rough, too, though I don’t know much for sure.

    Part of the problem might also be due to the cyclical nature of console cycles. At the start of a new console cycle, companies take more risks on new IP. At the end of a console cycle, they hunker down and churn out sequels to games they know will sell well. That’s the conventional wisdom. Yes, there are obiously exceptions to all of that.

    But you take the fact that we’re at the end of the longest console cycle in recent gaming history, add to it the changing nature of gaming due to smartphones and tablets, and then throw in some wildcards like the Great Recession, the slow recovery, and who knows what else? There are tons of reasons why the game industry is a little weird right now. Then add on top of that the fact that there are more and more schools these days churning out each year freshly minted game audio professionals for a shrinking job pool and you have some picture of the landscape we’re looking at.


    Hello Jesse

    Thanks for the reply. Now, with the release of PS4 and XBOX one, i suppose we are starting a new console cycle. Aren’t the companies supposed to take more risk especially now that those consoles are new?

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