Video Games: A New Avenue for Indie Musicians


Music plays a huge part in video games. Without music that can help players feel what they’re supposed to feel in certain cut scenes, video games would’ve never enjoyed the success that they have. This is true for games on all platforms.


Imagine a game without heart-pumping music in a scene where the main character is faced with an end of level boss. Visualize modern slot machines, which carry with them action-packed themes from the Daredevil or Iron Man game, without celebratory music whenever a player hits the jackpot. Imagine a horror game that does not provoke fear through music. It’d be kind of dull, wouldn’t it? Without music, video games would be like silent movies, which are actually just moving pictures that leave a lot to be desired.

But thanks to technology, producing games for music is easier. All developers have to do is download a program that they can use to start recording music.

This is where indie musicians come in. A quick glance at the Android Play Store or Apple’s iTunes and one can see the myriad of indie game developers who are aspiring to make a name for themselves. Today, not only big names in the gaming industry, such as Capcom or Konami, are actively creating games. There are a lot of startups that can’t afford to pay for expensive recordings for their games they’re developing, so they are partnering up with indie musicians who are also hoping to fill their portfolio with valuable credits.

The great thing about working with fledgling game developers is that indie musicians don’t have to sign exclusivity contracts. When a musician is exclusive to a gaming company, he or she loses the opportunity to work with other firms that may have better offers.

“I believe the norm for TV shows etc. is to license the composition and usually under exclusive terms so the song can’t be used in other places for a certain period,” said Rob Sienkiewicz, developer of the Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe game, who doesn’t believe in exclusive licensing. “We weren’t really interested in that kind of deal, our main concern was that people give us permission and that they declare that they own the song.”

With this setup, it is perhaps best for indie musicians to try out working with promising gaming developers. Video games have a huge market, which means there is a lot of opportunity in the field for indie musicians to make a name for themselves on a new and exciting new gaming titles.

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