Moderator: Josh Kessler – Director of Business Development, DMS.FM
Panelists: Alex Hackford – Director of A&R, Playstation
Ryan Barkan – Executive Creative Director, Advertising And Video Games, Primary Wave Music
Sean Murray – Owner, Sean Murray Music, LLC.
Tom Salta – President, Persist Music
The Big Question: This panel looked at the various facets, including business and composition, of the video game music industry, asking what happens behind the scenes when music is placed into a video game?
The Big Answer(s): “Composers have to make sure stuff is cutting edge, not recycled from 10 years ago. You need to know trends, pop music, new technology.” – Tom Salta
“As a composer, you’re there to cater to [the company’s] needs.” – Josh Kessler
“There’s no moving target in film, the material for the music is stagnant. For video games, it’s a constant moving target, always changing throughout the process of a project.” – Sean Murray
The Bottom Line: The video game music industry is a complex business and difficult to get into, and seems to be a stark contrast to the TV and Film music industry. Composers need to be extremely proactive in getting their material out to the video game music industry heads in order to thrive in this type of business.
Best One-Liner: “We got Beck to work with us for the game Soundspaces. Beck hadn’t played a game since 2600 Atari.” – Alex Hackford
Best Piece Of Advice: “The way to succeed in the video game music industry is to get feedback, put yourself out there.” – Alex Hackford
Most Cynical Remark: [Referring to receiving music royalties] “Or you can paint houses and pretty much it’s the same thing.” –Tom Salta
# Of Panelists Who Looked Like They Had a 2600 Atari: 3
# Of Panelists Wearing Some Form of Video Game Accesories: 0
# Of Times “8-Bit” was mentioned: 1