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EA and Sony's Video Game/Music Convergence 33

WebGangsta writes "Yahoo! News is reporting that Electronic Arts and Sony are collaborating on cross-promoting music and videogames. The just released EA title NFL Street 'will feature an original score from Sony artists X-ecutioners and tracks from Sony musicians including Korn, Fuel, Killer Mike and Three 6 Mafia. Two songs from the soundtrack will be turned into music videos featuring gameplay footage and will be released as singles for radio. To promote the game, EA said certain Sony Music releases would come with a bonus disc featuring a demo of NFL Street, and the production of the game and involvement of Sony artists will be featured in an MTV special.' This is just the beginning and an ideal way for Sony to cross-promote their artists with gamers (Amplitude, SSX3, DDR, etc)."
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EA and Sony's Video Game/Music Convergence

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  • Crap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by illuminatedwax ( 537131 ) <`ude.ogacihcu.inmula' `ta' `egnardts'> on Friday January 16, 2004 @12:20PM (#7998585) Journal
    I'm sorry, CowboyNeal, but adding Korn to NFL Street is not "making it funky." It's "making it shitty." Now I have to deal with 5-string bass garbage if I ever want to play NFL Street. Hey, how about we add some Linkin Park to NBA Street? Or I know, how about we put "Sk8er Boi" on the Tony Hawk 5 soundtrack? These songs, besides being the bottom of the pop music barrel, don't even fit in these games.

    • Re:Crap (Score:2, Informative)

      "Now I have to deal with 5-string bass garbage if I ever want to play NFL Street."

      By "deal", you mean turning the music off, right? In fact, you may want to note that in EA's most recent sports game, there's control settings that allow you to turn off individual songs so you never hear them. Obviously this doesn't help if you dislike every single song and every single band on the game's soundtrack but, in that case, just turn the music off.

      I don't think this story was meant to highlight a great addition t

    • Now I have to deal with 5-string bass garbage if I ever want to play NFL Street.

      Or you could always go to the playlist editor that's become so popular in these games which allow you to select which songs should be played... I mean, I can't say whether or not this game will have it, but damned near every other game out there does these days. Guess they're not forcing you to deal with anything huh?

      Personally I dig the XBox games which allow you to play your own music off of the HDD.


  • by 2Flower ( 216318 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @12:29PM (#7998711) Homepage
    The problem with this announcement is that it's basically nothing new, nothing interesting, nothing that hasn't been done before. Any schmuck can take a handful of premade music tracks across a bunch of marketable genres and shoehorn them into a game. Tony Hawk's been doing it for years; when THPS3 hit, it stopped being about 'skate culture music' and started being a commercial.

    If they really want to integrate and crosspromote effectively, then they have to do one of two things...

    1. Actually pick a genre or artist that makes sense for the game and be consistent about it! DDR works great because it uses dance music for a dancing game -- go figure. Same goes with the Wipeout series, which presented a techno style from the soundtrack right on down to the visuals. Wipeout wouldn't have been as good if you got Fluke and the Chemical Brothers next to Sum 41, Linkin Park, Snoop Dogg and Enya...

    2. Create NEW MUSIC just for the game, specifically for the game. Sign an artist and have them work the soundtrack for you. NIN's collaboration with id for Quake produced an amazing ambient score -- more projects like that, where the music is completely tied into the concept, would sell both the game AND a soundtrack full of this never-before-sold material. This doesn't just mean get them to record any old original song, it has to integrate perfectly into the game to justify the process.

    Of course, the easiest and cheapest solution is to just use the game as a dumping ground for bands the label wants to promote. And the end result is a completely forgettable, bloated, schizophrenic game soundtrack -- which looks groovy on the back of the box and sells the thing, which is all that matters. And hey, if they just care about making money (which is reasonable & proper in a capitalistic society), that's fine... but it's empty, too. Very empty.
    • by ziggles ( 246540 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @01:17PM (#7999382) Homepage
      They did create new music.

      "will feature an original score from Sony artists X-ecutioners"

      I've never heard of them, but it is an original score. The music changes depending on what's happening in the game. And I think the rap/hip-hop sound fits with football. I'm not sure how the regular songs fit in with the score though.

      In extreme sports games (like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater), I think a soundtrack that's just singles from bands is the best idea. You can play those games forever, you're going to get sick of a soundtrack that all has the same musical theme more quickly than you will a list of 30 or so individual songs by individual bands. And unlike most other genres, you're never going to associate certain music with certain times you played the game. It's all pretty similar, it'll just blur together in your head.

      But for most other genres I definitely agree an original score is always a better idea (if it's done right).
      • The X-Ecutioners [x-ecutioners.net] (formerly known as the X-Men) are a world-famous group of NYC DJs. They remix tracks as well as creating original works, so I'm guessing that the Korn, et al. tracks on NFL Street will be remixes, along with whatever original tracks the X-Ecutioners come up with.

        Though I've heavily disliked the rock/rap collaborations the X-Ecutioners have been doing these past few years ('specially the Linkin Park one-- ugh!), I'd love to hear what they did for NFL Street.

    • by August_zero ( 654282 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @01:41PM (#7999657)
      You have some good ideas here, and i more or less agree with you on all your points.

      However, I really don't see the "original music" thing happeneing all that much. Instead I think we are headed for a similar situation to that of the cinema. Yes, some bands will attach a unique/new piece of music to an upcoming game but for the most part I think that the soundtrack practice is going to stay focused as a "product placement" type approach.

      You hear Korn playing on Street, and maybe some people go "wow Korn is pretty cool I should buy/ download their album" Korn in essence becomes like "Doritos" or "mountain dew" only louder, and with fewer artifical perservatives.

      Enya doing a game soundtrack? How about Halo 2?
  • Just wait until congress realizes that rap music and video games are teaming up! Considering the only rap they've ever heard probably mentioned killing a cop and the only video game they've ever heard of is Vice City. It's really just a matter of time before their knees start jerking towards some moronic legislation that'll never pass.
    • Just wait until congress realizes that rap music and video games are teaming up!

      You haven't played True Crime:Streets of LA yet then...

      The soundtrack [xboxhardcore.com] features a number of licensed songs from various artists, and a number of original songs from artists such as:
      Snoop Dogg
      Warren G.
      Westside Connection (Ice Cube, Mack 10 & WC)
      RBX and Mr. Tan
      South Central Cartel

      In fact, there's a hidden 'Snoop Dogg' mission, which is unlocked if you pick up 100 dog bones scattered thro
  • I am sorry but you rip on KoRn but not Fuel? Whats up with that. KoRn is a rock band that has some heavy exciting music that has a good place in games such as NFL street. I for one am glad that someone I have at least heard of is on the soundtrack...Madden 2004s soundtack was horrible i mean, a bunch of crappy garage band garbage and some no name rappers, come on giime a breack
  • While this has been going on for a while (game companies striking deals with record labels for music - i.e. Tony Hawk, BMX XXX, etc), this does mark the first time I've seen it as an exclusive deal.

    I see the Propaghanda Machine hard at work.

    And in the end I think it will only help EA, not Sony. Someone buying a CD might actually play the demo and decide to buy the game later. What I can not realistically see is someone buying a game, hearing a song in the game then going out to buy the CD of that artist.
    • "What I can not realistically see is someone buying a game, hearing a song in the game then going out to buy the CD of that artist."

      I'm not so sure that is the case. I've played a lot of NHL 2003 and I have heard some songs that I hadn't heard anywhere else that are pretty good. It's piqued my interest in some of the artists and though I haven't bought a CD from any of these artists I can't say I won't do so in the future. I also have SSX 3 and found there are some pretty good tunes in there as well.

  • by Torgo's Pizza ( 547926 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @12:56PM (#7999090) Homepage Journal
    Looks like the mainstream press finally got a ticket for the clue train. Music and games have been pals for quite a while. Sure at first it was novelty songs like Pac-Man fever, but it slowly escalated. Musicians have been contributing to soundtracks for PC games for over twenty years without being noticed.

    The Playstation was the first console to really take advantage of the CD medium and use it for energizing music tracks. The ball really got rolling with the Playstation release of Wipeout XL. Sony also released a soundtrack CD that featured Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Oribital and several other groups. From there it's just expanded slowly into other games.

    EA Big has been using the soundtrack concept for several years to it's advantage. SSX Tricky really stands out in my mind. In fact, EA Big increased their budget for the soundtrack licensing for SSX 3 at the expense of the voice acting budget! (Dang, and I liked having Billy Zane as the voice of Psymon.)

    Well, mainstream press. I for one, welcome you to the present day. I trust you'll find our new soundtrack overlords accomodating.

  • by JavaLord ( 680960 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @01:30PM (#7999536) Journal
    Maybe the music belongs in NFL Street, but I'd much rather have traditional game music (ie an original soundtrack, with just music, no singing/rapping). I like rap music and I thought Madden 2004 was just obnoxious when I first played it. I don't want to here Bon Jovi's "it's my life" either. Rap/Rock music isn't what should be in a football game, themes like the NFL on FOX, ESPN NFL prime time etc make me think football.

    • I agree. The recent sports games that I have played have had too much vocal in the songs. Normally I just turn the music and commentary off after a few games and turn my stereo on if I absolutely feel like I need to have music.

      One enjoyable way to play that I have found is using ESPN NBA Basketball, turn off all sound except for the game action itself. Then it's all shoes squeaking, rims rattling, and the occassional ref's whistle. It's much more peaceful a game to play without the commentary noting every m

      • One enjoyable way to play that I have found is using ESPN NBA Basketball, turn off all sound except for the game action itself.

        I actually do the same thing with Unreal Tournament, even though I love the music for that game, I find it easier to hear what is going on around me with the music off which is a nice advantage to have in multiplayer. :)
    • this is just another reason why I like my xbox so much. most games let you turn off their music, and listen to the music off the harddrive.

      nothing quite like playing Grand Theft Auto to the musical stylings of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

      granted, not all games do, but it makes playable some of games that have annoying music. and it makes decent games much more fun.

      feature == more games i have fun with == good feature.

      oh, and if you haven't seen the previews: Rock/Rap is certainly thematically in line w
  • I'd hate to see this in games where the music is the main feature (DDR, Amplitude, etc.). In DDR, 99% of the music they pick is actually really well suited for it. Thankfully not that much licensed American music has made it in.
    Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Amplitude. I was pretty disappointed by the licensed crap that made it in compared to Frequency. Songs by bands like Slipknot, Blink 182, Pink, Papa Roach, and others make the Amplitude songlist really weak.
    Maybe they'll take a hint w
  • hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by h0mer ( 181006 ) on Friday January 16, 2004 @02:13PM (#8000038)
    Everyone seems to be against having singles show up in games, the main reason being the music is no good. I've got news for you: NFL Street/Madden/SSX/etc. are "mainstream" games. That means a lot of casual gamers will play these games and casual gamers are more likely to dig the music. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. It's better than generic menu music, and if it bothers you so much then turn it off.

    EA has done a decent job so far of using licensed music in a good way. The in-game music for NFL/NBA Street goes along with the gameplay quite well. If you don't like hip-hop/turntablism then it's not going to be appealing.

    Microsoft has done the best job of using licensed music so far in Project Gotham Racing 2. You race through multiple cities all over the world, and the radio stations are real stations in those cities with the real DJs. I was impressed that WPGC 95.5 in Washington DC even had a couple go-go (club/party reggae-ish music that's huge in DC) tracks in its playlist. Plus the actual music was decent and turned me on to some new bands.

    Would I have been happy if Viewtiful Joe had music from a bunch of nu-metal bands? Hell no! But if sports/racing/dance games want to use licensed music, it's a whole lot better than some generic techno the sound guy threw together.

    (That statement excludes Daytona USA... DAY-TON-AHHHHHH! Let's go away!)
  • I'm going to sound like a rabid fanboy here, so apologies all around. I'm not, but I think that in this case Microsoft's approach is far more - dare I say - altruistic? Perhaps I'm saying this because I've already bought three albums based on the music I heard in Project Gotham Racing 1 & 2. I would've bought more if I didn't already own them (...Trail of the Dead, for example). I think that at least in terms of enjoying the game, I like having this vast library of songs that, in PGR's case, are org
    • "And, if that doesn't suit you, you can use your own music with custom soundtracks. How can you beat that?"

      First off, you're right. This is a very nice feature. The PS2 doesn't come standard with a hard drive so this isn't really an option on a console other than the Xbox.

      "EA's mainstream approach is generic and faceless; MS's indie approach is far preferable on every single side of the equation, be it consumer, publisher, or artist."

      Now, I don't listen to much mainstream radio and tend to mainly just l

      • This is an interesting theory but ultimately I think that you're wrong.

        You made some fantastic points, and you're probably right. In my indie idealistic enthusiasm, allow me to a counter point though. I hope I didn't sound like I was going as far to suggest that the consumer was somehow being "screwed," and I am most likely downplaying the fact that mainstream implies that a significant number of people like, say, Korn in NFL Street. Your formula is well thought out, you know, at least as far as mus
    • P.O.D.'s latest album came with a one-song version of Amplitude for the PS2.
    • There are several GTA cds that feature music from the games.
    • Lots of other games (SSX Tricky, Shox to name a couple of the top of my head) already tell you what song you're listening to. And some are even integral to the game like Frequency or Amplitude.
  • Several people have mentioned the fact that on the X-Box you can turn the music off. This kills part of the media that is the game though, in all genres. Nothing beats a game with a kick ass soundtrack of music you never heard before but definatly belongs in a game. Take for example, Final Fantasy 7, Unreal Tournament, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, etc etc.

    Sure, I'm pointing to some old, and non-sports games...But look back on super techmo bowl, Joe Montana's football, etc. The sad theme music that
  • EA is gobbeling up all the competition, arent they the ones that closed westwood studios, and also bought maxis?

    I hate EA.

    Kris Holland [mailto]

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.