View Full Version : Should more games have licensed music?

17th June 2015, 01:27 PM
It has become more common for game companies to use licensed music in their games. Particularly from popular artists and within various genres. Anything from EDM, hip-hop, R&B, metal and pop music has found it's way into our favorite games. The GTA series gets it right, with a great selection of artists and songs that suit the mood of the series.

What is your opinion about this matter? Do you prefer licensed music or should game companies just focus on making their own in-game music?

18th June 2015, 12:26 AM
In the past few years, I've noticed a lot of developers using licensed music in games for humour purposes. Bulletstorm had Disco Inferno, Lollipop Chainsaw had Spin Me Right Round, etc. The actual humour might not be funny, but... it's still kinda entertaining; the songs are so well recognised that it's pretty fun to hear them pop out of the blue, and it's a lot more impacting than if they tried to convey the same joke using part of their original score.

When it's used seriously, I don't really care for licensed music as much. Red Dead Redemption had a licensed song that played when you unlocked the second half of the map. It was supposed to be cathartic and mark a milestone in the game's story, but the effect was just kinda lost on me. Obviously, games like GTA couldn't support themselves without licensed music, even though some of the games' OSTs are incredibly well done. GTAV apparently has around 20 hours of original score, but chances are you'll never even hear half of it. It's a shame, really.

18th June 2015, 03:44 AM
For open world games like GTA and Saints Row, I love listening to the radio and hearing licensed music, but motor most other games, I'd rather have original music I can hear for the first few times, and learn to love/hate it.

19th June 2015, 01:44 PM
@Skatetro Got to agree with you about Lollipop Chainsaw, great selection of tracks that seem to fit quite well in most areas of the game. Funnily enough, a lot of people are turned off by Lollipop Chainsaw because it's so overtly sexualised and the humor is most definitely not for everyone. Personally, I loved it and enjoyed it almost as much as Shadows of the Damned, Suda 51 was on a roll during the 7th generation.

Licensed music seems to be a good fit for open world games, and in some cases racing games. Of course there's also music-rhythm games but those don't enjoy much popularity in western markets these days.