8 Amazing video game composers that show the best gaming has to offer

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Austin Wintory

Journey

Years from now, we will be talking about those who helped bring video games to the forefront of discussions concerning the great artistic achievements of our time. After working with Thatgamecompany on their first game, flOw, Wintory became one such pioneer with Journey. In 2012, the game’s original soundtrack became the first video game to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. The music of Journey features a number of solo instruments, with the cello acting as first soloist. The score’s ambient Arabian style mostly keeps a reserved tempo with grandiose orchestrations, but becomes excited and animated during the game’s more active segments.

All of this orbits around one central musical idea, or leitmotif, which is stated at the game’s start, then is restated, reinterpreted, and reiterated on with varying compositional techniques throughout the entire piece. Wintory’s use of orchestration, leitmotifs, and gameplay-informed inspiration makes this work one of the greatest seen in video game history. Following this critical acclaim, Wintory has since worked on games like Horn, Counter Strike: GO, The Order: 1886, and Assassins’ Creed: Syndicate.

Published Nov. 28th 2015
  • Fuzunga
    Just so you know, Gusty Garden from Super Mario Galaxy was composed by Mahito Yokota. Koji Kondo only composed four songs for that game. He doesn't do a whole lot of composition any more.
  • Joe DeClara
    Featured Contributor
    Hi there! Any chance I could get a source on that? I've done research, and have only turned up the two collaborating, nothing on either specifically being accredited with writing Gusty Gardens (I don't have a hard copy of the OST myself). Definitely don't want such misinformation in my work.

    Thanks for pointing it out!
  • !Xabbu
    Great list.

    And since you included Beethoven, I'll feel free to mention Joe Hisaishi, who did the wonderful soundtrack for Ni No Kuni (couldn't be a Studio Ghibli production without him!).
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    I love Jeremy Soule!
  • GameSkinny Staff
    Contributor
    I'mma let you finish, but Transistor is the greatest soundtrack of all time. OF ALL TIME.

    Ok, not really, but it's damn amazing and worth a mention whenever Darren Korb pops up. Bastion was phenomenal and Korb somehow managed to top it, in a different genre, with Transistor. Feast your ears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zA1jRmAYfU (And major props to Supergiant for making it so easily accessible on YouTube.)
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Yes, Transistor is fantastic.

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