What would Red Dead Redemption 2 be without its soulful outlaw rhythms and evocative original score? Or the NBA 2K, Madden, and FIFA franchises without the adrenaline-pumping hip-hop beats? Ask any avid gamer and they’ll tell you: Music sets the tone for gameplay. It has the power to hype you up for a battle, suck you into a plot, and drive you to victory. Matching music to a video game isn’t an afterthought; it’s a complex creative endeavor worthy of celebration. That’s why we are teaming up with The Game Awards to launch “Score Points,” a new podcast dedicated to the growing art.
Launching today—prior to The Game Awards, which will stream live at 8:30 p.m. ET—the six-episode podcast series reveals the untold musical stories behind the five nominees for Best Score/Music Award, presented by Spotify. The games nominated for the award are: Celeste, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Octopath Traveler, and Red Dead Redemption 2.
The new podcast, hosted by veteran video games journalist and The Game Awards producer Geoff Keighley, will take gaming fans inside the creative process of writing an interactive musical score. He’ll also explore the ways game soundtracks cleverly mirror players’ choices—and keep the momentum going through every plot twist and level.
In creating the iconic Nordic soundscape of God of War, Emmy-winning composer-musician Bear McCreary enlisted the talents of Faroese singer-songwriter Eivør Pálsdóttir, a 50-string orchestra, and two large choirs.
“I had to find ways of giving the audience what they want emotionally,” McCreary shared during a “Score Points” podcast episode. “In many cases, that’s a climax or a closure or a resolution. In the epilogue of the game, it might have been my favorite key to write because I was like, ‘Wait, you cut to black!’ It’s the biggest smash-cut ever in the music. When it cuts to black, I found when I played the game, that moment is super satisfying.”
Grab your gaming headset, crank up the volume, and check out our new Score Points podcast. As they say in PUBG (PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS), “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” It’s game on.