How To (Actually) Get Your Music Into Video Games

How To (Actually) Get Your Music Into Video Games

Written by Jaron Lewis

Of all the markets which make use of music to supplement their product, the one that is growing quickest is the video game industry.  

If you are a composer and want to get involved in this field then you will need to know how to licence your music and how to find video game developers looking for original compositions.  Finally, a good understanding of how to submit music to the video game companies and designers is a must.

Don’t expect an easy route with immediate returns.  You will need to have a thick skin and be prepared to cope with rejection.  Politeness and professionalism are all.

Licensing Songs For Video Games

This is the process by which you give permission for a company or developer to use your product.  It is a good point to start, once composition is complete, because it gives you an idea of what you want to achieve.  Your expectations might have to be flexible however.

You can license work yourself, or make use of a third party to do it on your behalf.  If you are working alone, then do take good advice.  After all, if a video game explodes in popularity, and you have given the right to use your music for peanuts, you will regret it.  Equally, you will need to be realistic in the early stages of your career.  A quick surf online will give you an idea of the sorts of things you will need to consider, such as term limits, credits and whether you receive royalties or a one off payment for your piece.  

The advantage of a third party is that they will look after the legal side on your behalf, and could well get your music to a wider audience.  But you will pay (sometimes an upfront charge, more often a percentage of your fee) for the service.

How To Find Video Game Developers

There are many developers out there, and plenty of composers.  The challenge is, like finding a date, to discover that spark.  You can help the process by thinking about the kind of game your music will work for and targeting companies that produce this genre of video.

That involves lots of research.  Contact the company or developer directly, by name, and say exactly how your music will enhance products they create.  Keep communication short, and if you send a sample, make sure that it will download really quickly and easily.  

A second option is, as suggested above, to licence your product through a third party supplier, for example a website such as indiegamemusic.com – there are a number of choices.  That way, the developer might find you. Upwork is another site that links freelance composers with the clients they seek.

Another route, particularly when you are starting out, or if your motivation is just to get your music out there, is to submit to a library.  It will probably mean giving up control of your composition however.

Submitting Your Music

If you are already using a third party link, such as Tunecore, then once the contract is agreed, they will help the process.   

Where you have found the client yourself, and have agreed terms, communicate, communicate and then communicate some more on the technical side.  Professionals are very busy, and they would prefer to spend time making sure that your composition gets to them accurately, than have to wait for you as you keep getting it wrong.

Have fun composing!

SHARING IS SEXY!

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