Video game composer Austin Wintory has been threatened with expulsion from the American Federation of Musicians due to his failure to pay a$2,500 fine.
Wintory recorded the score for The Banner Saga in Texas, a “right to work” state, meaning even union musicians can’t be stopped from working under non-union auspices. However, the American Federation of Musicians seem to have other ideas and his actions have resulted in the $2,500 fine which must be paid by 19th January or he will be expelled.
Austin is refusing to pay the fine on principle, “Doing so would be to agree that their failed policies, selective tactics and threats work,” he said. Instead, he has pledged to donate $2,500 to Education Through Music, a Los Angeles charity “where the money can be used toward building on dreams instead of destroying them.”
Wintory has been critical of the American Federation of Musicians, saying the union’s rules contain clauses that many video game publishers refuse to accept and that AFM needs to review it’s codes and practices. He also says his lawyers are “dealing with the realities of the board’s ability to expel me.”
Apart from The Banner Saga, Wintory also composed the haunting music for PlayStation 3 game Journey and became the first ever composer to be nominated for a Grammy for a video game soundtrack.