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Games Are the Next MTV? 51

Gamespot has up an article looking at the possibility, suggested by composer Marc Canham, that videogames may be 'the next MTV'. That is to say, with the popularity of modern videogames bands may be able to make or break their careers based on their contribution to a gaming title. From the article: "The industry needs to be more adventurous when it makes up soundtracks for its games, Canham believes, attesting that this is something he personally tries hard to do. He said: 'Games are quite guilty of placing obvious choices in their licensing. It's such a shame you don't seem to have the support to make brave decisions. Game producers seem to think a game doesn't have a soundtrack unless they have bands like The Killers in it... Or, bizarrely, Limp Bizkit.'"
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Games Are the Next MTV?

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  • Does this mean that in a few years we will have to switch to Games 2, and then Games 3 to actually hear music? But won't that be a stop-gap measure because it won't take long after that for them to stop playing "real" music anyway.
  • I've often wondered, never heard any logical explanation why there isn't more "exposure" for bands and music with attribution on many levels. It makes sense music exposed anywhere serves to enhance the bands' chance of reaching wider audiences and collaterally ratcheting up their fame and fortune a notch.

    But, why video games? I guess, why not? I don't play video games, so I'd never be exposed to that music. I know many who also don't play video games... they won't be reached either.

    The video gamers de

    • All of the music they use on My Name Is Earl is or was popular music, hand-picked by Jason Lee. I was surprised when I was reading the AVClub article with him, and they mentioned Dillinger Escape Plan. Then again, I haven't payed attention to them since Dmitri left the band, so they may have hit it big by now.
    • I've heard TV shows eschew genuine cuts of real music as in popular mainstream songs from popular bands (hey, gotta start somewhere) because they have to pay royalties and such and they don't want to do that. I think that's wrong...

      This may be a little off topic, but I just wanted to chime in and say that if any TV producers want to see how a show soundtrack should be done, they should look to Freaks and Geeks.

      With F&G, the creators picked the songs perfectly... they fit the mood and added to the stor

      • I agree if it's done well. "Freaks and Geeks" did it very well. I liked the episode where the kid has this huge drum kit and he's playing along with "The spirit of radio", and for that moment, in his mind, he IS Neil Peart. Great way to set the mindset of the character.

        The best background music is when you hear it, but you don't really notice it. The music fits the mood of the show so seamlessly.

        Some shows, particularly Bruckheimer produced shows, really over do it. They use music to get you into feeling
    • by radish ( 98371 )
      The various CSI shows also have a reputation for excellent music selection. Again, however, there's little or no credit given and so tracking down the song played during DNA sequencing scene #2554 can be virtually impossible.
  • by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @11:22AM (#16657991) Journal
    Games becoming like MTV? So that would mean:

    Increasingly, less of a game (MTV) involves your input (music) and instead has little parts where you watch some cheesy cinema (sitcom).

    Then, those movies (sitcoms) take up more and more of the game (MTV), to the point where it no longer has much of a game (music videos) left.

    Then those videos (sitcoms) become increasingly sex- and celebrity-oriented.

    Yep, sounds about right.
    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Then they'll launch a new platform (channel) that actually has games (music videos) and the cycle will repeat again.

  • I can only name ONE (western) game that is noted for who did the music, and that is Quake. Are there others? Am I missing something? I have never actualy seen an OST for a western game for that matter.

    Yes, who did the music in Japanese games is sometimes a selling point for the game, and you can buy the soundtracks for them. But in a western game? (what is generaly refered to as the "game industry" by use americans after all)
    • by Thansal ( 999464 )
      ok, I admitedly just remembered GTA, however I don't count GTA as you are listening to a radio in game, not a soundtrack.
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        I'm not a music person, so I don't really follow music stuff.

        But there are MANY games that produce a soundtrack at the same time as the game now. Phantasy Star Universe came with a soundtrack as pre-order from EB. Peter Gabriel has been featured on a few games recently. And I'm sure there are other US-based artists in that position. There are even games (Guitar Hero, DDR) that the entire point of the game is the music.

        And as for GTA... Music is game music if it's in the game. Just because it's not use
    • by thebdj ( 768618 )
      Every Tony Hawk video game made to date has had a soundtrack, and some very good ones in my opinion. Also, Crazy Taxi had a very cool soundtrack. While both are primarily noted for their gameplay, I would imagine a few people were probably exposed to music in those games they otherwise hadn't or wouldn't have heard. Music is becoming much more prevalent. EA has added tracks to all their sports titles. Guitar Hero, which basically relies on music comes to mind as well.
    • by stevey ( 64018 )

      I remember loving the music collection included with the various Wipeout games [] , people like Prodigy and FSOL.

      Even now I think of those first when it comes to soundtrack albums for games - I know I bought a couple of albums, second-hand.

    • Jeremy Soule has been noted as a composer for many of the games he has worked on:

      Jeremy Soule []

      Bethesda in particular promoted his soundtrack for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

      • Soule has also done the music for Guild Wars, which I thoroughly enjoy. You can only get the soundtrack with the collector's edition though... On a side note, I don't know what's up with "real band" music in video games. I rather enjoy the opposite: bands that play in the style of games. That's why I like c64 stuff [] and think that PPOT [] is awesome. (They play music on game controllers []?!)
    • by RingDev ( 879105 )
      I've always found the Need For Speed series to have a great selection of hard driving music. Not composed tunes, but real studio band recordings.

    • Quake II. To this day, the best (rock) soundtrack i've listened in a game.
    • by radish ( 98371 )
      Most EA games have extensive soundtracks of popular (and not so popular) artists. For example the Burnout games (lots of indie rock), SSX (lots of BT), Need for Speed, etc.
    • I'm not sure, but I liked the Hitman: Blood Money soundtrack. There are also a few others. Quake, QII, QIII.
    • Nomad Soul - had a David Bowie soundtrack (The "Hours" cd, well before that CD came out)
  • The best game music I can think of was included in games like Doom2 (e.g., the midi score to "Barrels of Fun") or the intro blast from Duke Nukem 3D. When I get a game nowadays with some crap band blaring, I go straight into the options and shut it off.

    No, games are not the next MTV.

  • Quite simply, no.

    We all like music, we all like bands, but unfortunately for bands who may be interested in making a name for themselves through video games they might as well buy lottery tickets.

    Games like Tony Hawk feature many different bands and great talent. I've beaten a good number of games with music straight from bands. Do I have any more idea about these bands when I started? No. In my mind, the music is now associated with the game, not the band even if their name and label are displayed.

  • Yeah, I'm betting that Beethoven fellow is hoping Civ 4 will make his career...
  • I'm a HUGE music game fan. I've even picked up a band or two that I listen to because of exposure through games (like Freezepop). The problem as I see it though is the soundtracks. You want a soundtrack for that music game? Good luck, many of the best don't have them (like ANYTHING by Harmonix). Other games may have soundtracks, but they are pathetic (SSX 3 had great music, but the "soundtrack" was just a handful of tracks). The same thing happened in both Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future.

    GTA has don

    • Actually I think there were multiple sound tracks for Jet Set Radio Future, if you got them both then you got all songs from JSRF. Though, I may have just downloaded all the songs separately.
  • Because "I want my WoW!" doesnt really have the same ring to it...
  • No. Death first.
  • ..and I enjoyed both the Homeworld these music and the music in Total Annihilation, but most of the time I end up turning the music off. If I'm listening for game events, I don't need the distraction...
  • There are certain games band music is appropriate for, but for many games, you need to design the music around the gameplay.

    Lastly I fear a lot of great music composers would loose out to big money and trashy bands, I'd hate to have never been able to experience the music of Nubuo Uematsu of Final fantasy or Yamitsu Mitsuda of Chrono Trigger, Xeno gears, FF Tactics, etc.

    I'd also hate to hear typical band stuff in a game like Freespace 2 for instance. Need for speed undeground or racing I can understand bec

  • Or should that be Questions are the new statements?
  • I remember a few games during the 3DO systems lifespan that helped increase the popularity of those two bands. White Zombie did just about every song off their Highway 666 album on the soundtrack of the fighting game "Way of the Warrior" which was a Mortal Kombat clone. I purchased the CD after playing that game constantly with a friend. The tracks were addictive and set the tone of the gameplay. Soundgarden did a track or two and a video on EA's "Road Rash" title on 3DO. I remember seeing the video (I thi
  • ... does that mean in a few years that games won't have any Game in them?
  • All I ever see when I flip past MTV is guys making out with each other.
  • Um, I couldn't name a single band in a any game. I like the FF music, but couldn't tell you who did the music. If a band is wanting to increase exposure through video games, they need to hit the gamers over the head a bit more.
  • I myself am an independent composer/musician, and occasionally do soundtrack work for game mods (plus a brief stint on a commercial game doomed from the start). That alone has been enough to really boost the popularity of my music - My TES IV: Industrial Oblivion soundtrack project has really pushed the bandwidth of my hosting plan for my music sites (link withheld for bandwidth reasons :P). I have also received requests to go play live more often now that I started producing it - and heck, the music isn'

  • Given the sales of some games of late, they're the perfect platform for aspiring talent to get heard. For the game companies, it's an inexhaustible source of free or cheap soundtracks. Why pay blood money to the RIAA to license songs when the stuff you can get free or cheap is just as good if not better? Gamers, in turn, get to hear new music, which is quite difficult in this age of ClearChannel and MTV playlist payola. It just makes sense for all parties.

    The only party left out in the cold is the RIAA,
  • In the PC EA sports titles (Madden, NHL) for the past few years they pop up a small windows in the lower left with the band and song name when you're in the menus and the music changes. They have a few good popular songs every year and I actually went out and bought a CD to get a song I heard first in Madded '06. The only thing that sucks is that window frequently pops over the top of a "back" or "done" button so you have to guess where it is.
  • I'll admit I didn't RTFA, but I don't see how games are the next MTV.

    With a music video, the video portion exists for the purpose of enhancing the music. If you take away the music, the video portion alone is pretty much useless. Furthermore, because the musical artist [usually] has creative control over the music video, the content of the video is usually related to the content of the music. For example, a song about war will probably have war imagery in the video, and a song about getting laid will probab

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