Being a musician today means you have the ability to tap into so many different potential ways to earn money, and video games have become one of the leading ways to get your foot in the door.
If you’ve ever thought about how you can get your music onto the soundtrack of a video game, you’re not alone - and we’re here to tell you how you can do it! If you haven’t considered the benefits of gaming for musicians, it’s a surprisingly huge industry with $80 billion in revenue for the year 2018 compared to just $40 billion for the movie industry. Even crazier, 15% of all YouTube content relates to video games. With game streaming and playing growing majorly, it’s time to think about how to get your foot in the door.
Know the Market
Are you a gamer yourself or are you barely familiar with a controller? It pays to know the industry, so if you play, it can definitely help you become more prepared and aware of what kind of music is common in the most popular games. If you’re not so familiar, try researching top games and their soundtracks, or check out some of the top game streaming sites like Twitch
Match your music and vibe to the kind of games you think it would work well in. If you want to try to land your music on a game like Grand Theft Auto, it’s a different feel from Super Mario. Still, with so many new gaming systems and platforms popping up, there’s bound to be a game out there for you - you just have to find it.
Once you find some games or game niches you like, study them. Figure out the kind of music they use, what’s the same about it and how it’s similar to what you make. Consider the style, genre, instruments, and more when brainstorming ideas.
Create a Specialization
You want your brand as an artist to stand out, and this goes for breaking into gaming as a musician, too. Build a specialization that will become your personal brand, allowing you to make a name for yourself and define this part of your career more clearly. Use what’s unique about you to help fans identify your music when they hear it in a game.
The industry is still pretty young, especially if you think about all the new technology in development right now that is transforming how we game. Networking is very valuable, and it can give you a direct connection to those with the power to place your music. Game conferences, gamer creators, gaming groups, or individual gamers are great places to start. In the US, E3 and PAX are popular conferences where you can connect.
Research the best gamers and their channels, and give them a follow. Reach out to them and offer ideas for collaborating or just to show support.
Many gamers end up creating their own games or gaming companies, so the more you’re connected, the better your chances are. Getting your music on a gaming channel can be just as good as a game itself, giving you tons of streams and the potential to be heard and picked up by gaming companies later on. Many game developers are actively looking for music for their games, so the more of them you reach out to, the more likely you’ll find a new partnership. Just keep your pitch brief, including a short bio, contact info, and samples of your work.
ALSO READ: How to Make an EPK That Will Get You Noticed
Don’t be discouraged if your first few connects don’t work out. Or the next few. Or the next! Getting your music into games is highly competitive, but the growing market is opening up tons of new opportunities for every artist, big or small. Don’t give up. Try touching base with people or companies you’ve reached out to in a respectful way, which can get you some useful feedback and show your interest.
Be Open to Change
Not sure any of your existing music is a perfect fit? Try composing some ideas that might work better. Also, be prepared to make some edits or potential other changes to your music if gaming houses ask, so be open to editing. If you develop a good relationship with a particular gaming developer, they may request custom work from you often.
Live Stream on Gaming Platforms
There are tons of gaming platforms out there that let artists stream content, not just gamers. Twitch is one of the fastest-growing gaming platforms where creators of all kinds can host content. Set up a live stream Q&A or do a live show to get the gaming community to take notice. Find out more about why you should be using Twitch here
There’s no one right path to getting your music featured in a video game. However, if you follow these steps and stay active in the gaming community, you’ll make great advances towards landing a great placement. Don’t sleep on this lucrative way to expand your music earning power!
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