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A truly great game soundtrack enhances the video game experience in a unique way. Now is the time for game development companies to consider music creators as an integral part of the game development process.
The following comes from Tipalti, a DMN partner in the global arena of automating royalties, payouts and commission payments.
The gaming industry is growing; According to PwC, gaming revenue is projected to grow from $227 billion in 2023 to $312 billion in 2027, a far cry from the previous “toy industry” nickname.
Modern versions of classic games like Super Mario now have brands that go far beyond the gaming experience – films, restaurants and merchandise all contribute significantly to the profit of a game series. For example, the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us depicts a future where games are the backbone for the best that TV and film has to offer. Under these circumstances, artists, musicians and composers have an opportunity to generate additional revenue through the expansion of game franchises; EA Sports relies on Tipalti to manage the growing list of influencers that generate revenue from these franchises.
New Challenges: Composing for Gaming
Some game soundtracks have become anthems, linger in our minds and are forever associated with gaming memories. This is the ultimate goal for music composers in gaming: to help create entire universes and enhance experiences through sound and music. To ensure this experience resonates, EA Games has set high standards for its gaming soundtracks.
When Final Fantasy was first released in 1987, it was one of the first games where the experience was as important as the graphics and storyline. The game was ahead of its time and created a fully immersive experience – much like the Metaverse is doing for games today. Sports games like FIFA or Madden have been at the forefront when it comes to music in gaming for years, and their track listings also feature popular chart-topping hits; Today we are beginning to attract renowned composers such as Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino and Kris Bowers to create original music for video games.
Music revenue streams for games are growing exponentially. Dragon Age, for example, has over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, which means music creators or composers for EA Games can expect ongoing royalties from streaming platforms.
To manage the flows and splits of royalty payments, EA Games relies on the partnership with Tipalti to ensure all payment processes are simple and seamless – both for the company internally and for the developers associated with it. EA knows they have the right partner to help them grow their music revenue, from payee onboarding to tax compliance, wire transfers and everything in between.
Designing new ways for gamers to compose
Historically, EA is known for creating some of the best scores in the music industry. In today’s gaming economy, it’s becoming increasingly important that music fits seamlessly into the overall gaming experience: “I believe EA’s scores are absolutely on the same creative level as Hollywood blockbusters, plus some of our best original compositions.” Time for every medium,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive, President of EA Music Group. “And you’ll find that many of these scores have become as culturally significant to global gamers as our Madden or FIFA soundtracks. We have set the industry standard and we raise the bar with every score we create.”
Music composition evolves; Games today are rarely built in a linear format with a real beginning, middle, and end – a player’s actions drive the experience, including the soundtrack. The freedom of composition opens up a new world for music creation in gaming, which means more flexibility for both the gaming and music industries. EA Games can count on Tipalti’s support to manage the workflow from onboarding to managing contracts and invoices to paying music composers so they can focus on creating.
EA Games Responsibility to Music Composers
As cloud and online gaming becomes “the norm”, gaming experiences are no longer limited to what you can do on your device at home. When games are released today, they are designed to offer endless opportunities for growth, not just limited to new soundtracks, but also to include additional content such as new levels, stories, characters/skins and much more.
With nearly endless possibilities, the opportunity for new experiences adds years to the life of games. EA has taken the opportunity to selectively improve its collaboration with composers, helping to keep games relevant to mainstream gamers longer than ever.
According to Steve Schnur, “When you ‘cast’ the best composer, all the pieces fall into place.” The composer is always given detailed character and scenario descriptions, and these descriptions are ongoing. There are several ongoing conversations as characters, locations, and scenarios evolve. This is when creative directors, composers and music producers collectively are at their most creative.”
Additionally, EA Games is pushing the boundaries of diversity in the industry and making a strong commitment to attracting more female composers to their game music. According to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, only 1.7% of film score composers are women. The gender ratio between male and female composers is more than 18:1. To counteract this bias, EA Games participated in a scholarship program at Berklee College of Music to encourage female composers, using its in-house music team as mentors.
EA Games is fully investing in the education of a new generation of music composers. By partnering with a solution like Tipalti, EA can be confident that the entire payments lifecycle is properly managed to ensure accurate and timely payments to composers, thereby directly supporting the industry’s creative movement. Tipalti frees gaming companies like EA Games, Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, Super League Gaming and many more to focus on their creative endeavors by merging the end-to-end payment lifecycle with integrated best-in-class solutions handles compliance and security.
Tipalti helps solve time-consuming challenges related to contractor work. Whether your game requires composers, developers or other creative partners, Tipalti enables game companies to focus on their mission of creating the best possible gaming experiences imaginable.