The success of a booming video game industry, expected to generate $137.9bn in revenue this year, is music to the ears for bands, musicians, record labels and composers
“Video games have not only helped the music industry survive, but thrive on entirely new levels,” Steve Schnur tells me. As the worldwide executive and president of music at game publisher EA, his team – many of whom have been professional musicians and singer/songwriters – work with some of the biggest music acts in the world, licensing music for video game series like Fifa, Madden NFL, Need for Speed and NHL.
Since the 90s, when licensed music became prevalent in games, series such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Grand Theft Auto and Wipeout have become just as well-known for their soundtracks as they are for their gameplay. For millions of people, video games have been a way to discover new favourite bands or dive into other musical genres. And because people discover this music while playing a game they love, they develop a strong emotional attachment to it.