“Honouring Excellence in Music Writing” – That’s the tagline for The Ivors and until now, excellence in video game music has been left out of the prestigious award ceremony which aims to “celebrate and encourage excellence in British music writing”. But video games have now been embraced with a ‘Best Video Game Score’ category being added to the bill.
The ceremony, which will now feature six categories, only recognises work that has had a British or Irish composing contribution of at least a third. The director of BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) – Mark Fishlock – said that The Ivors endeavour to keep up with the “ever-changing world” of composing.
‘The video games market has matured beyond recognition and big budget orchestral scores are regularly being commissioned.’
Video Game soundtracks have already been incorporated into the BAFTA video game awards with Dead Space beating the likes of LBP and Fable II to the win at last year’s ceremony.
With elaborate and dramatic scores featuring in games such as Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, God of War and Halo (to name but a few), it’s great to see them becoming more widely recognised; even more so when it’s honouring the best that this country has to offer. It’s even harder to score for games when you consider the action is controlled by the player rather than the set pace of a film. If you advance through the game at your leisure the soundtrack has to be ready and waiting for your next move. This is an aspect that Mark Fishlock and The Ivors recognise:
‘Writing music for games also requires a number of specialist skills compared with conventional film scoring, such as non-linear and multi-layered composition.’
With Hollywood composers such as Hans Zimmer and Michael Giacchino having game scores on their CVs, with music performed by world-renowned orchestras, it’s apparent that video games and their soundtracks are being treated with more respect than ever.