Video game soundtrack composers will have something to look forward to coming in 2023, with the announcement of Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media by the prestigious award-giving body for music, The Recording Academy.
The official Grammy Awards website announced the new category in the first week of June. Along with four other types, the American Learned Academy’s expansion drive focused on recognizing other communities of music creators.
The new category will recognize the excellence in scoring soundtrack albums comprised of original scores explicitly created for a current video game or other interactive media released within the qualification period.
This means that the games that launch from October 1 to September 30, 2023, will be eligible for nomination. Some of the most popular video games are backed by a brilliant composers.
He could find the perfect arrangement of sounds that enthralls the audience while enshrouding them with the various emotions the game wants to project. In line with the recent announcement, let us take a quick overview of the genius behind the soundtrack of some of the most iconic titles in the video game industry.
Japanese Koji Kondo is the musical genius behind Nintendo’s biggest titles. Born in Nagoya, Japan, on August 13, 1961, Koji’s love for arcade video games led him to work for Nintendo in 1984.
His first composition is for the 8-bit boxing game Punch-Out. He created using the limited resources available to him during that time. Some games that feature Koji’s composition include the Super Mario Bros. trilogy, The Legend of Zelda, and Super Mario World.
Nobuo Uematsu is the genius behind the soundtrack of the Final Fantasy series from Square Enix. So if you are an RPG fan who flooded your living room with tears or excitement during the most intense moments, then Nobuo Uematsu’s music played a considerable role.
Unlike Koji Kondo, who studied music, Nobuo Uematsu did not. Nevertheless, the lack of musical education did not stop this Elton John fan from pursuing his love for the craft. Nobuo’s music came out in multiple concerts. One of which is Dear Friends – Music from Final Fantasy.
This worked at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Born Robert Caskin Prince III, Bobby Prince is the brain behind the soundtrack of Doom 1993. His music comes from heavy metal bands. Bobby’s music enhanced the entire Doom experience and boosted its brutality.
Bobby’s music is popular from fans across the globe with cover versions. For the most part, Bobby’s music laid the foundation of heavy-metal video game soundtracks.
Martin O’Donnell is the genius behind the music of the Halo series. O’Donnel’s Gregorian chant/classical hybrid is so popular, with Halo 2’s soundtrack becoming the US’s best-selling video game soundtrack. O’Donnell’s final piece before signing off from the industry is the OST of the VR game Golem.
Video game soundtracks are like jelly to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it’s not necessary, but the sandwich tastes good with it. Video games are still playable without soundtracks. For example, mobile games can survive even without a decent BGM to set the mood.
This is because mobile games, incredibly casual, are designed to be portable, which is focused more on gameplay rather than being immersive. PC and console games, on the other hand, are designed to be immersive, and one of the elements that can make that happen is the soundtrack.
The Grammy’s decision to include video game composers in their event will encourage more composers to join the industry. This, in turn, will make quality soundtracks more common and will eventually pave the way for innovations.
Like Nobuo Uematsu, you do not need a music degree to create breathtaking music. All you need is the passion for pursuing your goal, the perseverance to withstand the trials, the wits to learn the craft, and the humility to learn from your mistakes. Like playing Dark Souls, success and mastery are often achieved after hundreds of retries.