Electropop is playing an increasing role in video games, helping to bring atmosphere and emotion to complex game plots. Video game soundtracks have undergone a huge transformation since the days of basic sounds and music of old, as games feature the types of storylines you would experience in movies and TV shows.
Chvrches, the Scottish electropop band comprising Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty, are leading the way with their song Death Stranding. The tune, which was written specifically for the game of the same name developed by Kojima Productions, provides an emotional farewell at the end of the game.
The emotional appeal of electropop
Cook, who plays synthesizer, guitar, and bass in the band and provides vocals, revealed that the Japanese video game designer Hideo Kojima was so moved by the song that he was reduced to tears. Doherty also explained that the band was given full creative license by Kojima: “He wanted us to go and write a song in our style, something that’s a quintessential Chvrches song. Lauren worked on the theme lyrically, I think expertly, because it stands alone as a Chvrches record – but it is also deeply connected to the game.” Kojima has revealed that future games developed by Kojima Productions will be even more cinematic and soundtracks will play an important role in this concept.
Electro music is an important part of gaming and it is also used to create an atmosphere in another area of the entertainment industry. The iGaming sector uses music to create themes in slot games. This can range from recreating the iconic retro sounds from the 1970s video game in the Space Invaders slot to the funfair music in games such as the fluffy favourites slot. As is the case for video games, these electro slot game soundtracks add an extra element to the experience of players and complement the graphics of each game.
The influence of 80s electro music
Retro electropop sounds are also popular in video games with the music composer and sound designer Salvinsky producing an original game soundtrack for the action-adventure game Narita Boy, which is heavily influenced by 1980s electro music. Salvinsky describes his music as synthwave, which he explains is a modern form of electronic music that is made with sounds containing a 1980s signature.
The Danish composer Jesper Kyd has produced soundtracks for video games such as the Assassin’s Creed and Hitman franchises. Kyd produces orchestral/electronic hybrid music, best illustrated by his Hitman: Contracts Medley track. He was honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for his Hitman: Contracts soundtrack. Video game soundtracks are now on a par with original movie soundtracks as demonstrated by the release of a limited edition picture disc LP, which features a selection of Kyd’s tracks from various video game series.
Electropop plays an increasingly important role in video games as the soundtracks add atmosphere and mood to the often serious themes of modern video games. As video games often resemble movies and TV shows, the requirement for accompanying soundtracks will see further innovations in this field in the coming years and electropop will certainly play a role in the creation of future video game soundtracks.
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