Game music now officially recognized by the Grammys

Videogames are getting some overdue love from the Grammys this year. The Record Academy has announced that it has retooled its submission categories to give games equal billing alongside film and television in awards for Best Music for Visual Media, Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, and Best Song Written for Visual Media.

“Games today are a huge part of the entertainment industry and the music scores being created for them are very unique sounding in many cases compared to film,” said Inon Zur, a videogame composer whose resume includes work on Fallout: New Vegas and Crysis, adding, “I believe that music for games has to take its own place from other genres to gain respect by the mainstream audience and the Grammy category will help achieve this.”

Above: Christopher Tin accepted gaming’s first Grammy in February

Prior to the change, videogames were relegated to the catch-all ‘other visual media’ category, thereby discouraging developers from submitting their work. Now having elevated the status of games, the academy hopes studios will be motivated to ramp up their participation in the Grammys – perhaps one day creating the demand for an entirely separate award altogether.

“I think this could be viewed as a first step in the direction of videogames getting their own [award] category,” said The Recording Academy’s VP of Awards, Bill Freimuth, adding, “Many people from the game community have been asking us to create a special category for games over the years, but the main reason we haven’t is because we have received very few entries from game publishers.”

Predicting a strong reaction from game companies, Steve Schnur, EA’s Worldwide Executive for Music and Music Marketing, added, “This acknowledges that film, TV and games can stand side by side and be independently recognized. Hopefully, this will create an even playing field when people vote next year. I expect there to be a tidal wave of submissions from the game industry.”

Earlier this year, Civilization IV composer Christopher Tin received gaming’s first Grammy award for Best Instrumental Arrangement with Vocalist(s). With the academy’s changes already in place, here’s hoping he is but the first of many within the gaming biz to receive their long-awaited gold-plated gramophones.

[Source: Industry Gamers (opens in new tab)]

April 12, 2011

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