EA rents game tunes to media


Electronic Arts is mounting a new drive to integrate video games music into the mainstream culture.

The company is making music available for use in television, films and other media from many of its best-selling selling video game franchises, including "The Sims," "Medal of Honor" and "Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf"

EA has signed a deal with APM Music, a major provider of music for use in film, television, radio and new-media productions, to bring game music to Hollywood. The first 10 CDs produced through the agreement span musical genres.

"Medal of Honor: Redemption" provides powerful orchestral cues; "The Sims: Jazz Lounge" lays out groovy retro tracks and sweet bossa novas; and "EA Sports Rock" offers gritty rock, driving beats and hard-core electronica.

APM Music president Adam Taylor said that some of the most innovative music being produced today is being employed in video games. The music scores from the selected titles were edited by APM Music into tracks suited for licensing into television, film, commercial and new media productions. Ten such CDs are planned for release each year.

The collection includes music from top composers in the field, including Michael Giacchino, who scored numerous video games as well as movies including "The Incredibles" and the theme for television's "Lost" series; Paul Linford, who helped fuel "Need for Speed: Most Wanted"; Academy Award-winning electronica composer Brian Transeau; and Grammy winner Christopher Lennertz.

"With the industry selling over $10 billion in games a year and leading titles moving more than a million units each, the public has built up a familiarity with this form of entertainment and the music that accompanies it," said Steve Schnur, EA's worldwide executive of music and marketing. "Video game music strives to evoke emotions and enhance the visual experience across a wide range of situations and moods, ideal for use in television, film, commercial and new-media productions."

The number of U.S. households with a video game console has risen more than 18% since 2004, reaching 45.7 million, according to a study released in March by Nielsen Media Research.

This is the latest endeavor in the music space for EA, which introduced EA Trax six years ago to begin luring new bands and exclusive tracks from established bands over to its games. EA games have helped launch the careers of such artists as Good Charlotte, Jet, Franz Ferdinand, Scissor Sisters, Arctic Monkeys and Fabolous.

More recently, EA has opened up its music library for purchase online for ringtones, MP3 and iTunes. In addition, a huge catalog of licensed music is available on iTunes.com.

EA recently ended its joint venture with publishing firm Cherry Lane, Next Level Music, which originally was formed to get EA music into TV, film and advertising spots.