EA Signs Licensing Deal for Original Game Music

EA Signs Licensing Deal for Original Game Music

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Electronic Arts has signed a licensing deal for its library of original music that means you could soon be hearing familiar videogame tunes in movies, television shows, commercials and more.

Videogame music - not the kind in Guitar Hero or Rock Band but original, "real" game music - just doesn't get much respect. It's been an integral part of the overall game experience for years, from the opening beats of E1M1 to the closing genius of Portal, yet in the eyes (and ears) of most people, gamers included, it's often overlooked as a sort of invisible background effect, like lettering in a comic book.

The new five-year deal between EA and Extreme Music may not change that perception, but it will at least get some of that music out to a wider audience. EA's library of more than 2000 "music cues" from various games will now be represented by Extreme Music and will be available for placement in feature films, television shows and more. "We felt that Extreme is a way to create an extremely aggressive campaign to relicense these songs because we feel these are very reusable in the world," said Steve Schnur, EA's worldwide executive for music and music marketing.

Much of the music probably won't be instantly recognizable outside its natural environment, even to die-hard gamers; "I Left My Heart in Med Lab 3" playing in the background of Ghost Whisperer, for instance, isn't the sort of thing most people are going to pick up on right away. Some songs, however, like Lisa Miskovsky's rendition of "Still Alive" for Mirror's Edge, are far more distinct as stand-alone tracks and more likely to stand out on their own merits.

Licensing deals aren't exactly hot news but it is nice to see game music getting a little love, even if it's only as another revenue channel for EA. And as more and more companies focus on the possibilities of game music as a distinct (and money-making) aspect of the entertainment experience, I expect we'll see the number of licensing deals like this increase dramatically. Hey, if Bob Seger can sell Chevy trucks, why not Ari Pulkkinen?

Source: Variety

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Great.
I really like that kind of music.
In fact, I put both "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" (Fallout 3), "Still Alive" (Mirror's Edge, as stated above) and "Still Alive" (Portal, also stated above).
To get some more great music would be awesome

Rob Hubbard should have had his own record deal decades ago.

TheNamlessGuy:
Great.
I really like that kind of music.
In fact, I put both "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" (Fallout 3), "Still Alive" (Mirror's Edge, as stated above) and "Still Alive" (Portal, also stated above).
To get some more great music would be awesome

well, "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" isn't really game music, it was made by the ink spot years before fallout (and probably even before the first nuke).

OT: beside portals "still alive" there isn't any other game music i would ever listen to outside the game, this is the same problem i feel movies have, if they make a piece of music specifically to one scene the music will almost never be able to stand on its own.

Actually a couple weeks ago, I heard the main theme from Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour playing during a college football highlight reel on ESPN! Made me laugh and I wondered how they managed to get their hands on the tune with EA's permission.

Personally I'm pretty psyched by this. I've long been ridiculed by my brother because I happen to love the music from the Final Fantasy series. Now, I know that isn't EA, but even so, EA doing this licensing deal is a step towards other companies, such as Square, perhaps, following suit. And another thing is that I love the song Still Alive from Mirror's Edge much more than I do the one from Portal, even though the Portal song is still brilliant. So hearing that in an advert, on the radio, in a store when out shopping, would be pretty awesome :)

I still think that attempting to cash in on Portal's popularity by stealing their song name for their utterly generic pop credits theme was lame.

Its nice to see two great art forms blend together nicely.

Asehujiko:
I still think that attempting to cash in on Portal's popularity by stealing their song name for their utterly generic pop credits theme was lame.

agreed.

OT this is pretty awesome news

The_root_of_all_evil:
Rob Hubbard should have had his own record deal decades ago.

does his kernkraft appearance count? well, not so much an appearance as it is a ripoff

Really?
Just now?
After the PLAY! Symphony's been going for years now?

Wow, I'm surprised they haven't cashed in on this sooner.

My hope is that this deal with EA will make game developers understand that their music is important, which will make me feel happier if I keep hearing incredible music, and will make me feel awesome if some composers I love start to get more money by their music being licensed for movies and such...

Who knows - it could lead to real radio stations playing music composed for video games. There could be new cover bands that are expected to play original game music. Stairway to Heaven might be an anthem of last generation, but the Zelda theme might be it for years to come... I just feel that just because the music was composed for a game shouldn't make it unappreciated, and that's basically what usually happens. Hopefully that's changing and people will realize the value and awesomeness of VG music, and by "people" I mean "non-gamers," the masses, etc, etc.

It could be a foray into a whole new audience, is all I'm saying...I think this could be a good thing, hopefully it will not just be EA, or else I'll rage at them making money off this sort of thing.

I assume Microsoft has already done this because ive heard Halo music in films and even in top gear.

I wonder if the idea came from the Halo music at the Olympics.

SUPER COOL DISCO!

that's pretty neat, i'm sure they'll stick it in rather odd places i'm sure, tho it could be placed in some rather funny ones too

Stubee:
I assume Microsoft has already done this because ive heard Halo music in films and even in top gear.

I saw that episode actually. I was like "Holy shit! halo music in top gear?"

too bad they used one of the less grandiose pieces...

Thats really cool. I really liked the music from Mirror's Edge. :]

Since Medal of Honor:Allied Assault had all its music and sounds in mp3 format, I was able to compose a CD with a nice track mix. The music in that had a lot of John Williams flavor, not surprising with Steven Spielberg supporting that game. Listened to that CD many a time while traveling. I can see this being a cool thing, if handled properly. At least EA isn't going to Sony to publish the music. Though good odds Square will. So Final Fantasy music lovers, don't get your hopes up too high.

Ohhh fun. Go EA, reclaim your respect at the front desk.

This is pretty cool. Black had a great soundtrack, would love to hear the pieces from it more often.

Jeez, it's like EA is getting soft and Infinity Ward stole the #1 Douchebag title of gaming companies from it. Way to go EA!

Can't wait to hear that sweet Battlefield Theme in a WWII themed show!

I'm honestly surprised this idea hasn't cropped up earlier. I've been listening to game music from all manner of consoles and handhelds on my PC for years now. Some of which I've even put onto CD's and listened to on the go in the car. I know I'm not alone. Hell, look at the popular Overclocked Remix website, or games like Myst which had spectacular soundtracks beyond the scope of the game. Jack Wall who did Myst 3's soundtrack is not a game-exclusive composuer either. Let's not forget Nobuo Uematsu, or Koji Kondo. Neither of which are known for much besides their game music, but that music has also lasted us years after we've stopped (or haven't stopped) playing the games they came from.

Populus89:
Jeez, it's like EA is getting soft and Infinity Ward stole the #1 Douchebag title of gaming companies from it. Way to go EA!

Don't forget the massive douche that is Bobby Kotick of Activision.

After both hearing the theme from Mirror's Edge (Still Alive) and seeing the video for the game and the Miskovsky video I actually went out and got her album. The game still resonates with me so much thanks to the musical track and I still play the game for that free flowing feeling I get from running through it.

It's these kind of high profile musicians that need to be attracted to game creation. EA's new project will hopefully become a huge step towards it. If music creators see that game music can lead to tour promos, residual income and cross promotion, I can see them being a lot more interested in connecting to the game industry. This is great for everyone and should have been done ages ago. Can't wait.

PS: I also want to give a shout out to Video Games Live (http://www.videogameslive.com) for being another great stepping stone towards making game music accessible. This is an experience any gamer should take part in, if only to realize how much of an resonance gaming music really has on your memories and feelings towards games. Kudos Mr. Tallarico and Mr. Wall.

Populus89:
Jeez, it's like EA is getting soft and Infinity Ward stole the #1 Douchebag title of gaming companies from it. Way to go EA!

Can't wait to hear that sweet Battlefield Theme in a WWII themed show!

to that, sir, i say: HELL YEAH

Well, this is fairly standard in terms of "decisions made to make money", but is unusually beneficial to people who like videogame music. As it is, there's a huge untapped market of ambient music designed for games, and EA just realized they were sitting on a gold mine. If selling a track to run in a car commercial, or something falling under a 'related music' search on iTunes brings more people into videogames, so much the better. This also highlights the issue that game composers don't have much name recognition or creative control as it is, whether intended or not, they'll get more out of this than they've had.

I've heard several game soundtracks used in Top Gear before, especially Splinter Cell's, so this isn't that big of a deal.

Makes sense though. I've always thought making good background music was an artform and even though most of the attention is focused on movies/TV, videogames have had nailed down for decades. Nothing else really comes close.

The Still Alive from Mirrors Edge is the only Still Alive.

I reckon it would be awesome to hear Final Fantasy 10's soundtrack while I'm out and about.

 

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