What Musicians Need to Know Before Working With Gaming Companies

What Musicians Need to Know Before Working with Gaming Companies

an editorial by Faye Collins

If you thought that gaming developers prefer to only work with the biggest names in music, you couldn’t be more wrong. Tunes from Pitbull might have given Bally Technologies a popularity boost as they released his very own slot title but for musicians like Beck who have three songs (“Touch the People,” “Cities,” and “Spiral Staircaseā€) featured on the PlayStation game Sound Shapes, games are a new platform for music discovery. It’s because of indie artists’ eagerness for exposure that have these developers chasing after lesser known talents, and partnerships like these provide amazing benefits for both the musician and the video game developer.

Music has undisputedly played a vital role in video game creation, and has been the key for gaming companies to maintain their position in a very lucrative market. An example of one gaming corporation is Betfair Group Plc., a company that has developed products with distinctive themes that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of music. Their titles, such as Pyramid of Ramesses and Cat Queen, thrive on the atmosphere created by the background music, as studies reveal that it triggers arousal on game accomplishments according to the Daily Mail and also alleviates the burden from losses. Right now, companies are searching for independent composers to enhance the overall gaming experience by writing the scores for their games. This presents a great opportunity to publicize the works of budding musicians.

Thinking about composing for a video game? Here are a couple things you’ll need to understand before making any commitments.

Work-for-Hire Agreements

Something to keep in mind that not every independent artist will favor is that ownership of the music will be retained by the gaming company. Most of the time, developers will sign musicians up on a work-for-hire agreement, something that’s also common in the film industry, meaning anything that you produce will belong to the creative agency and that you won’t receive a percentage on sales. Producer of Halo 4’s soundtrack Neil Davidge explains that your songs can be reproduced on your album for royalties, but your pay will have no connection with the success of the game you wrote the soundtrack for, so don’t expect to get published.

Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive Contracts

There are a lot of varying opinions when figuring out what kind of contract is best for an indie musician. One advantage that a non-exclusive contract is the artist’s ability to pursue deals with multiple companies, unlike in an exclusive contract where you’re committed to pitching your material to one firm. Non-exclusive contracts allow you to explore different routes and new opportunities to get your music out there. But contributor of Music Licensing 101 Aaron Davison says, “There are no one size fits all answers to this issue,” and musicians should focus more on building relationships with the right people, and from there you’ll figure out which kind of contract you’re more suited for.

It’s crucial that you do as much research as you can prior to any contract signing, and remember that the ideal music licensing projects will vary from artist to artist. Once you’ve outlined your goals, you’ll know what to look for in a deal.

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Touring The East Coast w/Ceschi, Miranda


Mega Ran, Ceschi and Mr. Miranda will be embarking on a 4 city tour this December in what should be a diverse and dope hip hop tour.

Since being named a “Rapper who will be big” by LA Weekly, Mega Ran has seen his stock rise, dropping a billboard-charting album, two European tours and a year of positive accolades.

Ceschi’s new album “Broken Bone Ballads” is an honest look at the rapper/folk singer/one man band since his prison sentence, and the critically acclaimed project has taken him across the globe.

Rounding out the trio is Mr. Miranda, a Phoenix AZ native who’s smooth vocals and soulful beats can change the mood of any room. Miranda’s new album “Soul In Da Booth” is out now.


12/8 Boston @ The Middle East Upstairs
12/10 Brooklyn NY @ Shea Stadium
12/11 New Brunswick NJ @ Basement of Modern Art
12/12 Philadelphia PA @ Eris Temple Arts

tickets and VIP packages at megaran.com/shows

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#1 On CMJ’s Hip Hop Chart!


Well this quite significant! 4 weeks after its release, my new album ?#?RNDM? is standing at #1 on the college radio hip hop charts! Wow. So when people tell you that today’s music fan has a short attention span, and won’t listen after a month, show them this. It’s extremely rare in this climate that a record can maintain popularity for any sustained amount of time, particularly an indie release that isn’t shoved down your throat 10x a day, which makes me so proud of what we’ve accomplished. To see ?#?RandomBeats?, a company I started when I made beats on a Playstation, on a chart next to heavy hitters, this almost makes me want to cry. You guys man. Much love to every fan, every radio DJ, every station and every backer!
Haven’t heard it yet? See what the fuss is about.

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WOW. What a first week!

IHM_BB_HeatseekerMtn_MegaRan_100315 (1)

So the first week’s tally for RNDM is as follows:
#2 on Billboard’s Heatseeker Mountain Chart
#26 on Nielsen/Soundscan’s New Artist Chart
#40 on Nielsen/Soundscan’s Hip Hop Chart

THANK YOU SO MUCH! We made music in the basement, now we’re right next to some of my musical heroes…All because of you guys and your support.

Let’s celebrate!

If you haven’t gotten it yet, there’s still time:

Google Play


#RNDM for life!

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Emerald Knights: The ALBUM!



The Story:

During 2015’s “Emerald Knights Tour,” Mega Ran and Felix, The Bag of Tricks Cat ventured from Phoenix, AZ to the UK to perform for crowds in London, Birmingham, and even Dublin.

In downtime, between rocking stages and devouring English Breakfasts, the Cat and the Teacher/Rapper/Hero managed to record an 8-Track EP, dubbed “Emerald Knights: The Album.”

Largely produced by Toronto phenom Fresh Kils, the EP explores personal growth, facing fears, and of course, the Beatles.

The free EP serves a perfect appetizer for Mega Ran’s full-length album “RNDM,” which releases one month later. Features include RandomBeats artist SkyBlew who appears on the 8-Bit jam “Dragon Spirit,” and UK Chap-Hop legend Professor Elemental, who delivers a verse and holds down hosting duties on the album.

“Emerald Knights: The Album” releases in August and will be a free download at megaran.com and bagoftrickscat.com.

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Fall Tour Season Approaches..

RNDM Tour poster_Blank

Tour Time, once again!

August 7 @ DEF CON, Las Vegas, NV
August 9 @ Orlando Nerd Fest, Orlando, FL
August 15 @ Smithsonian Art Museum, Washington, DC
August 25 @ Glow Nightclub, Bellingham WA
August 26 @ TBA, Vancouver BC
August 27 @ Ground Kontrol, Portland OR
August 28 @ Blue Moon Tavern, Seattle WA
August 29 @ Nectar Lounge, Seattle WA
Sept 5 @ Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ
Sept 9 @ Cafe Kawaii, Paris FR
Sept 10 @ Surya, London UK
Sept 11-12 @ SuperByte Festival, Manchester, UK
Sept 15 @ The Rainbow Birmingham, UK
Sept 16 @The Deaf Institute, Manchester, UK
Sept 17 @ The Ferret, Preston, UK
Sept 19 @ The Hive, Houston, TX

RNDM drops 9.15.

Preorder Now.

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TeacherRapperHero. Uncool before it was cool.