From the Super Mario Bros. theme tune to the God of War soundtrack, music and video games have long gone hand in hand. But it has only been in the last couple of decades that game soundtracks have become as recognised as the games themselves. With so many online video games being produced every year, the industry is expanding its opportunities for indie musicians to contribute. If you are looking to break into providing music for online video games, here is a helpful overview to help you get started.
Licensing and Publishing Your Compositions
Out of all the markets that purchase and use music to supplement a product, the fastest-growing one is the video game industry. If you are an independent composer and you want to become involved in the field, you need to know how to license your music and how to find game developers looking for original songs. Before you go down that route, though, you should get an excellent understanding of what types of compositions video game developers want.
There are several online sites, such as Tunecore, that license and publish music for video games and other media. You have to pay a fee to submit your work, and if your song is used, you receive a cut of the royalties. However, you do not necessarily require a third-party to license your music, as you can do that yourself, but you still need to find a company to publish your compositions. Going with third-parties is recommended, as they will look after all of the legal obligations for you and they can help to get your music in front of a wider audience.
You also have the option of approaching game developers in person, but it can be quite challenging to get your foot in the door. Also, do not overlook the developers of online casino games and slot games. With online casinos like Casumo continually adding games to their repertoire, there is always a need for composers to provide music. Begin by doing lots of research to find out what specific developers are looking for and which ones are open to unsolicited communications. You can then contact companies directly. Be professional and friendly to stand a better chance of succeeding.
The Rise of Indie Games
You may not be able to get your music featured on the latest FIFA game when you first begin pursuing video game music opportunities, but who is to say you could not accomplish that feat in years to come. First things first, though. If you are planning to approach game developers in person, it is a good idea to start with indie game developers. They may benefit just as much from your compositions as you will benefit from having your music included in their games. In recent years, indie video games have started to really take off. Some of the most notable indie games with fantastic soundtracks include Left on Read, Eliza, and Undertale.
Creating Your Own Video Games
This option is not for everyone, but seeing as it is easier than ever before to develop and publish online video games, you could consider creating your own game. That way, you can use your music throughout a game’s entirety, which is a fantastic marketing opportunity for your music and could lead to other opportunities. For example, the rock band Alt-J created their own game that was released shortly before their new album of 2017. It was a very simple game, but it was still a massive hit. Another example is the DJ and producer Kaytranada, who created his Flappy Bird game to promote his 2016 album 99.9%. Collaborate with an indie developer, and together you could showcase your games and music to a broad audience.