Throughout the rise of the entertainment industry, music has been at the heart of many forward-thinking productions. From films to television shows and video games, sound effects and musical themes have become integral to the very nature of contemporary visual developments. So, just how important is music to the modern-day gaming sector?
The Foundations for a Wide Array of Different Titles
Following the rise of digitalization, increasing numbers of video game developers have sought to refine their approaches regarding integrating music into their respective titles. However, while melodic sounds are typically used as a catalyst for manipulating in-game emotion, which we’ll come onto later, the music genre itself has enjoyed undeniable success on various platforms over the last few decades.
While the genre has flourished as a result of popular titles being developed for more contemporary consoles, such as the PlayStation 3, for example, music-centered video games rose to prominence in the 1980s. In 1987, Otocky was released for the Family Computer disk system, while Dance Aerobics was also published by Bandai and Nintendo in the same year. Although titles such as Otocky incorporated gentle, playful music composition mechanics, the genre reached new, unprecedented heights following the releases of both the Guitar Hero franchise and Rock Band titles.
Fundamentally, both developments alter the pre-existing outlook of the music genre within the gaming industry. Before their release, the sector was principally dominated by titles that were centered around either dancing or singing. Crucially, Guitar Hero and Rock Band have provided the genre with much-needed diversity and expansion in the form of revolutionizing traditional gaming controllers, in addition to ensuring a more life-like on-stage experience.
As a result of their successes, music-based titles remain a popular genre outside of mainstream consoles. On mobiles, releases like Groove Coaster 2, Lanota, and Piano Tiles 2, have seen rhythm-orientated games attract new audiences because of their accessible and convenient nature. Moreover, the genre is also becoming increasingly popular within the iGaming industry. For example, you can check out Jammin Jars at LeoVegas, an eight-reel slot that is set against the backdrop of a dance floor, which also offers multiplier and free-spin bonuses.
Vital to In-Game Immersion
While there are many different reasons as to why music is used within modern-day productions in the global gaming industry, it’s commonly used as a method of controlling emotion and establishing a desired tone. Importantly, this is one of the central reasons why sound has become so integral to a whole host of genres.
Regardless of the genre in question, whether it’s a music-centered game or a horror title, sound is, albeit subtly, regularly utilized to affect a player’s subconscious. Crucially, music is now a very compelling tool within modern-day game development. This is because it has become a focal point, ahead of a game’s respective aesthetics, in aiding with storytelling, especially in titles where there is very little speech.
However, the immersion-enhancing tool is also capable of influencing emotion in instances where developers decide against its integration. This is most apparent within Red Barrels’ 2013 release, Outlast. During regular gameplay, the first-person survival horror game opts against being dominated by tone-setting backing effects, and, as a result, is widely considered as one of the gaming industry’s scariest games ever.
Ultimately, there can be no doubt that music is at the heart of a thriving gaming sector.