Game Music, Miscellaneous

Community Question: What Artists have You discovered through games?

October 14, 2017 | | 4 Comments Share thison Facebook Community Question: What Artists have You discovered through games?on Twitter

Community Question: What Artists have You discovered through games?

In a recent press release announcing that composer Tobias Gustavsson had joined Paradox Interactive as Head of Music, Chief Product Officer Johan Sjöberg put into words something I’ve been thinking about for years.

“Music becomes iconic when it appears in the right game, whether it’s an original composition for that game or not. How many of us remember ‘Superman’ or ‘All I Want’ as ‘The songs from Tony Hawk and Crazy Taxi?’”

I still prefer original music in my games but in some contexts a licensed song can make the perfect fit. Over the years they’ve also been my lens to the world of popular (and not-so-popular) music. So, putting aside our proclivities for original compositions I’d like to ask the community:

What are some songs, artists, or bands
discovered because of video games?

Naturally, dance and rhythm games are packed with licensed music and I’ve discovered so many artists and bands from the likes of Dance Dance Revolution, Pump it Up, Eye Toy: Groove, Rock Band and Dance Central. But for my example I’ll skip those and dig back a little farther for just one story.

The year was 1994 and the magazine was probably EGM, they always had the most ads. Among them was a full-page spread with a giant logo for X-KALIBER 2097. “Whatever, it’s another Super NES game I won’t be able to play,” I probably thought to myself, I was a Sega kid with very few Nintendo friends. But down in the corner of that ad was what looked like a CD album cover. Sure enough, the text underneath proclaimed “hot techno soundtrack by Psykosonik”.

I still have never played the game — and have since discovered that the original soundtrack was replaced by Psykosonik’s in the U.S. and Europe — but I did go out and hunt down the band in my local music stores. The passion for Psykosonik didn’t last long but I remember being excited about the idea of a “real band” being in a video game. It seemed more involved than simply having a music video on a game disc. Shortly after that Aerosmith’s Revolution X launched in arcades marking a real banner year for the bands-and-games crossover.

What about you? Share your bands, songs, and stories with us in the comments below.

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