Video Game Music: A Killer Opportunity For Hollywood Composers

Illustration for article titled Video Game Music: A Killer Opportunity For Hollywood Composers

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Video games are the new best way to make a living composing music.


It's not just indie developers and composers who are figuring this out—Hollywood has gotten in on the action as well. A new article at the L.A. Times goes in-depth with some of the top-tier hollywood composers who have started making music for games.


The article gives a good cross section of the film composers who have been getting more and more into video games: Ramin Djawadi, who in addition to composing the music for the upcoming Medal of Honor game composed the theme to Game of Thrones (!!). Then there's Daniel Licht, who makes the wonderful music for Showtime's Dexter and is also responsible for Dishonored (seems like a good fit, there.) And of course, it wouldn't be an article about Hollywood composers making game music without mentions of Modern Warfare 2 composer Hans Zimmer and Metal Gear mainstay Harry Gregson-Williams.

Last but not least comes a mention for Pixar's go-to-guy Michael Giacchino. Giacchino had a reverse trajectory from the other composers in the list—he may be so hot right now, but he got his start as an under-the-radar video game composer until J.J. Abrams brought him on board.

It's an interesting article and another look at something that's becoming increasingly clear: If you want to make money composing music, get into games. That said, I think that while the Hollywood model for music composition may work for the majority of big-budget games (and therefore make it easy for Hollywood composers to start writing video game music), there's also a new school of composers that are taking a new approach. That new style is perhaps more interesting, and certainly more directly connected to the DNA of video games. I'll have more on that next week.

For composers, video games are the surreal land of opportunity [L.A. Times]

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I was thinking about Daniel Licht and how his name was popping up on game scores now (Silent Hill/Dishonored) and was wondering if these composers are jumping into games solely for the money or if they are finding it a new experience that they enjoy.

I know the Journey composer Austin Wintory has been pretty open with the gaming community about how much he enjoyed composing for the game and reading the player's opinion of the score.