So many aspects of online games, and video games in general, can become iconic in the public’s consciousness, be it a character like Super Mario, a turn of phrase like “Finish Him!” from Mortal Combat, or a story line such as the ones that unfold in Zelda or Final Fantasy.
However, there is another key element to any game which often goes overlooked, being so perfectly integrated into the game’s workings that it is taken for granted.
That key element is, of course, music. Without it our games would be boring and lifeless, and yet almost nothing is known about the people who create it. Here are just some of the composers who sets the ears of gamers tingling on a daily basis.
Japan Is the Home of Video Game Composers
The Swiss make cheese and watches, the French cultivate wine and crusty bread, the Italians have pizza and pasta, and the Japanese have sushi and video game composers.
So many of the classic video game riffs that have been created, ever since pixels were a thing, have come from Japan.
Of course, this has everything to do with the country being steeped in both classical music traditions, as well as founding some of the planet’s most successful gaming companies.
Perhaps the greatest Japanese composer of them all is Nobuo Uematsu, who has penned the score for every Final Fantasy game, all the way up to the recent FFVII remake. His peers would perhaps dispute us bestowing this title on him, with Yuzo Koshiro creating the epic Streets of Rage soundtrack and Koji Kondo doing the same for Zelda and Super Mario.
Another thing that sets video game composers apart is that far from being male dominated, there are an array of female composers plying their trade at the highest levels. Two of these are Michiru Yamane, who worked on Castlevania, and Manami Matsumae, who was the mastermind behind Mega Man’s accompanying music.
Music and Sounds That Keep the World Spinning Round
When most people ponder online games, their tendency is to think only of online video games, such as the ones already referenced in this article.
However, it is well worth pointing out that there are a multitude of other varieties of games which, without soundtracks, sound effects or music, would be bland and entirely unappealing.
This is particularly the case as online businesses race to benefit from gamification as part of their marketing strategies, to engage fans or customers in ways they had never thought possible before.
One industry where gamification has always been the name of the game is the online casino sector.
While classic games such as blackjack and roulette tend to be played in silence, so the dealer or croupier can be heard clearly, the same is not true of online slots, which combine catchy music and sound effects to thrill players, whether they are gaming on their desktop or mobile device.
One of the best in the business of creating slots soundtracks is Daniel Lee, who prioritizes entertaining players in as shorter time as possible, due to many slots aficionados only being willing to stick with a game and its accompanying ditty for a matter of minutes or seconds.
Bring in the Rock and Roll Big Guns
Sometimes, games developers are so convinced that they have created a smash hit game that they feel uncomfortable settling for anything less than rock and roll royalty.
That was what happened when the makers of Quake brought the Nine Inch Nails onboard to write the heavy metal score for their game, the very same band who destroyed their equipment at Lollapalooza all those years ago. Needless to say, the results were incredible, with many of the band’s fans buying the game out of nothing more than a blind sense of loyalty to their guitar wielding heroes.
Other famous recording artists who have taken artistic control of video game scores include 50 Cent and Jack Black.