It’s no secret that video games are big business, but is the wealth evenly distributed, say, to the musical composers?

Video game musical scores are an integral component to any game and ultimately decide longevity and attachment to a title.‚  Who could forget the “Snow Level” theme in Super Mario 64, or “Hyrule Field” from the Legend of Zelda, I know I can’t.

Just how much do these composers receive for their work?

According to Variety, between $1000-$2500 per minute of music featured in the game.‚  Granted, these figures were assembled via data from 4 of the top video game composers in the biz, but are amazing nonetheless considering the 80-100 minute mark many games demand.

What games garner that kind of money? It was Garry Schyman who created the 1950’s sci-fi style tunes in Destroy All Humans and most notably made use of a large string section and LA Philharmonic concertmaster Martin Chalifour as violin soloist in the epic BioShock title.

Watoru Hokoyama made use of 104 orchestra musicians on a $200,000 budget for the PlayStation 3 exclusive “Afrika” in 2007.‚  His hard work paid off when he earned the Music of the Year Award for Afrika at GDC 2009.

Jason Graves, the man behind the eerie Dead Space soundtrack recently won a BAFTA award for his efforts and had this to say about the video game music scene:

“The creative freedom is above and beyond anything that I was able to do in film.”

Inon Zur, arguably the most productive and busy composer has worked on over 60 video games since he began work in the industry in 1996 and is most noted for his work in the “Prince of Persia” and “Crysis” series’.‚  Comparing TV and movies to video games Zur said:

“In games, you get to decide what you want the player to feel. It’s all about emotions.”

If you’ve got the gift of music you may want to consider the alluring video game industry, who knows, you may create a tune gamers will be singing forever!

Head on over to Variety for the full read.

About The Author

Eddie Makuch is a Blast staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch.

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