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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fair Treatment of Game Music

As games develop recognizable, even popular theme music (think Halo for example), there is no reason that music can't be edited or repurposed into linear tracks and offered for download on iTunes, Napster, or any of the other pay-to-download services that are making strong headway as music's new electronic storefront. Square Enix has already pursued this opportunity, announcing in May 2005 that it would offer up to 16 tracks from Final Fantasy I through XI, Music from Dear Friends, and two Black Mages albums on a dedicated Final Fantasy iTunes page.

At 99 cents per download, and these selections not generally available on commercially distributed audio cd's, game music downloads could prove to be low risk strong earners for game publishers.
-- Fair Treatment of Music and Composers in the Games Industry - A Personal Perspective

Jim Charne is a game industry lawyer and former producer for Activision. He outlines how game music can be properly packaged, re-packaged and resold, as evident by the quote above. Following behind the PEER news (a group advocating fair work guidelines for programmers), it seems like this is the year that the game industry starts to evolve a little bit down the business lines.

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Tony said...

I would love to throw some Metroid Prime or Halo tracks on the iPod to listen to while I'm working. The Metroid music in particular is exceptionally good.

At $0.99 a track, I'd be good to go.

Josh said...

Jet Grind Radio and Deus Ex 2 are on my list for two games which got me to actually hunt down the soundtrack by any means necessary.

Brinstar said...

For certain games, I loved the music so much that I imported the soundtracks (such as Metal Gear Solid, Metroid Prime, Castlevania SOTN). At about ~$35 a piece for a legitimate Japanese CD, it really hurts. Being a long-time importer of Japanese anime CDs, I understand that the Japanese pay a lot more for their CDs than we do. If they published more game soundtracks in the US, I would so buy them.

Sorta related: Nintendo released the Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem soundtrack as a subscription bonus for Nintendo Power, but I didn't know about it till later. :-( I have the mp3s, but legit would be nicer.

Thomas said...

Personally, I'd like to see the bonus songs from Guitar hero collected in one package.