Artists, take note: music in video games has come a long way since the original 8 bit sound effects and looping tracks of fairly simple composition. Steve Schnur, Music Chief at EA, has played a major role in the advancement of video game soundtracks since he started the music division at EA, becoming the first video game company to have its own music division. Originally, video game music was produced in-house, but today's game franchises search for undiscovered artists, not only allowing companies like EA to control their costs but also creating new avenues for artists to gain recognition.
In a recent interview that Paula Parisi held with Mr. Schnur, they discussed the current practices and decisions that occur in the process of putting music in video games, and the resulting powerhouse opportunities that open for emerging artists and composers; EA's recent expansion to Nashville; and the differences between hiring composers and generating work-for-hire deals.
Video game players may not take notice, but music permeates a large portion of the time they spent playing video games. Mr. Schnur states that over 41% of total time spent playing a game is on the front-end, where music primarily placed. EA reports that upwards of 54 million players interacted with EA Sports games last year alone, resulting in a huge listener base.
To read more about Schnur's view of music in video games, check out Parisi's Billboard article, “Where Music and Video Games Meet: EA Music Chief on Pairing Country with 'Madden' and Radiohead with 'Fifa'.”