New Age Music and Gaming



Did you know that New Age music artists have made music for a-list games series such as Halo, World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto and Civilization? The artists we are talking about have been very successful, and are minor celebrities in the world of gaming.

The primary goal for music in computer and console games is to create atmosphere. New Age music is also all about atmosphere, so “our” artists should have no problems making high quality game soundtracks. My impression though is that too few artists are aware of the possibilities here – and never even submit music samples to game companies.

Money, money, money!
While the New Age music business amounts to about 200 million $ a year, the gaming industry is a 70 billion $ business and still growing. Music for games can be a very lucrative and uncomplicated side career. In gaming the artists usually gets paid per game, so the artist gets a big check immediately – not as royalties over many years. For struggling artists that can serve as an inspiration.

What is game music? That is a hard question, since game music is as varied as other kind of music. Two things are certain though; for the first game musicians on systems such as Atari and Commodore, the music of Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream and the popularity of New Age music at the mid 80s time, was an inspiration.

The New Age music artists with recent success in gaming are:

  • David Arkenstone – World of Warcraft, Starlight Inception
  • Tangerine Dream – Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Jillian Aversa – Halo, God of War, Civilization

Since we are talking about big productions here, each artist have contributed to the soundtrack – not made it in its entirety. For instance, here is Tangerine Dream’s GTA V music – which you hear the first time you fly a plane:

The most famous of the above music contributions is David Arkenstone’s World of Warcraft soundtrack. His music can heard throughout the game’s expansion pack – and established him as a top composer for game music.

Jillian Aversa at Video Games Live – World of Warcraft “Invincible”:

The above mentioned artists show that game music and New Age music have a lot in common. It is important that New Age music artists don’t forget that this enormous market that is compatible with the both sound and atmosphere of “our” genre.