Ask Producer – Cost of Music in Games?


Just wondering if you had a rough idea of the costs of placing music into games? What sort of $/% on average does a games budget dedicate to music? I assume the costs vary depending on whether it is a commissioned work, a major label act or an independent act.

I asked this same question years back and I cannot remember what game company was it, but their response was “in terms of (development) budget, it’s 10%”.

Could be good rule of thumb.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I’m always up for doing music for games.

    I’d be willing to do interesting projects for free in order to update my portfolio so if anyone is interested you can sample some of my older (mod based) stuff at http://www.modarchive.com/artists/aymes

    contact me if you want to hear mp3 stuff.

  2. Two alternatives to hiring a game music composer, which some indies can’t afford to do, especially when they are first getting started:

    1. Friends. If you have a musically gifted friend, see if they are willing to help. They might just do it, in exchange for a minimal fee or just adding their name to your game credits (for their resume). This is what we did for our upcoming release, Dirk Dashing: Secret Agent – the music is top-notch professional, composed by a friend who majored in music composition in college. He donated his time in exchange for adding his name to the game credits, and he composed eight original tunes for the game.

    2. Royalty-free music. There are some great royalty-free music sites where you can pay a very reasonable fee for a piece of professionally composed music, and not have to pay royalties on it. We did this with our first two games, Fashion Cents and Word Play. Check out The Music Bakery at http://www.musicbakery.com and Opuzz at http://www.opuzz.com. We used music from both of these sites in the past, and they have a wide selection in a broad range of music styles.

Comments are closed.