Music scores integral to the videogame experience, says Sony exec

Composers are integral to the success of videogames and need to be involved in development as early as possible, a Sony exec has said.

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 16 Sep 2015
  • min read
Composers are integral to the success of videogames and need to be involved in their development as early as possible, a director of music for Sony Computer Entertainment America has said.

Speaking at the Game Music Connect conference, Chuck Doud, made the comments during his opening keynote, stating that the ‘marriage’ between music and the developers is where the ‘rubber hits the road’.

At Sony, he stated that the secret to their success is how music makers are included from early on in the game making process. In his speech, Chuck urged videogame developers to do more to involve composers during these initial stages.

‘If we do not pay enough attention to this, then we lose a big opportunity,’ he explained. ‘It’s not enough to hire a composer to write a score, get the whole thing recorded at Abbey Road Studios, mixed, then you drop the music in towards the end of the development cycle.’

Chuck continued: ‘You have this awesome music which sounds great on its own, it gets integrated into the game but falls flat as it’s not matching what’s going on. This means it will fade into the background or even worse pull the player out of the experience.’

As technology continues to improve, composers need to be more involved in the dialogue and understand all the ‘moving parts’ which need to fall into place for a successful experience, he added.

Chuck used examples of Sony blockbuster games Journey, The Last of Us and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture during this talk.

According to the director, the developers of The Last of Us liked a particular theme so much that the storyline was altered to mirror the music.

Read our interview with Game Music Connect founders John Broomhall and James Hannigan