Here's another rant of mine concerning something that recently got me very angry. I had another blog post dealing with gamers who don't want to look at the future and continue to look at the past regarding how the music industry evolves, and yell about dlc, graphics, being an asshole to game developers and more. Seems that some people in the music industry love to spread vitriol as well, so here's "musicgate" for yoiu.
We've certainly got our scandals throughout the year gamergate and bendgate come to mind for example. But I'd like to add musicgate to that list. Now I have to preface this with info which is needed for you to understand what the following "rant" is all about. It's all about Red Thread games, who are a startup developer being manned by a few industry designers previously working on funcom games and a former UK gamestudio. Under Funcom they produced 2 magnificent games in the longest journey saga and because Funcom didn't want to publish a much desired third sequel, the writer and former staff members formed this new independent studio to make the game. RTG then obtained the rights from Funcom to make this game (because Funcom are nice guys). And so we're about to get submerged again in the rich emotional and magical worlds of arcadia and stark this fall.
I must ALSO say that they have one of the composers on board from the last Dreamfall game (made during the Funcome time). Simon Poole is doing a completely unique soundrack for the new game. All this development was partially funded from Kickstarter, the norweigian film institute and recently Sony came on board aswell.
So what happened?
Debut september 2014, Red Thread Games announced a contest in wich community members and fans of the TLJ saga could participate in making some soundbeds, pieces of music, or something in between to help enrich their city soundscapes for both Stark and Arcadia, worlds in wich their next game Dreamfall Chapters also take place.
Immediately after this announcement was made, a few "indusrty insiders" started to express negative oppinions on this initiative and personally threatened RTG in emails, on kickstarter and on twitter. In the views of the haters, the contest was morally wrong because it asked people to do game music "for free". RTG was to be ashamed of even holding such a contest. One internets for them, because the day after: RTG canceled the contest. I'm NOT angry with them, because they have to do what they have to do to survive this. Being a small company they can't cause
But in this blog and as a fan of the saga who was now denied an opportunity to contribute music of mine for a game that I love, like I did for several other games, I can speak for myself and I call malicious intent on the haters/complainers. I can't even begin to express how wrong and full of bullshit these people are!
Whats the effing problem ?
They create this moral problem for the wrong reasons and god knows what underlying motive, the only thing I know it's a hyperbole thing to do and really disloyal to new aspiring musicians if the "pro" are going to try to uplold their bastion of old facioned ideology like that. Create music/ get paid in cach is all good , but you first have to get there, and it's a business model which is not in danger at all.
So they sell this "concern" that a small company is doing a contest for fans to make some small tidbits of music as filler for the game as if it's the end of paid music as we know it!. They sell their complaints as if it's for the protection of the integrity of musicians' jobs. They make it seem like they are in the interest of musicians but to me they are envious and don't tolerate new blood to enter the scene. but they are spreading hyperbole and exaggerating the situation. They just blow this out of proportion and wy?
They make it seem like there's a significant threat that in the future, as if all game or movie related companies are suddenly going to make this switch and ask every musician to perform for free. They act as if every publisher will hold contests to find the right poor soul to make the entire soundtrack.
NO, NO, tripple NO. These kind of contests will not harm professional musicians in any way. I wished that RTG didn't fall for this blackmailing of a few who purpously have their mind set in the past to boycot new ways of interacting with the community,
I would like to say that these musicians that complained have very black and white views. Those hate mobs negate the fact that opportunity for new blood could be a currency inintself, so that they can naturally flow into the professional world where they'll be asked for an entire project. It's ridiculous to believe that all of a sudden, serious publishers are going to change their mind and never ask professional composers again to make an entire score for their new project's soundtrack.
This is beside the question because what RTG did, was to ask users to experiment with world sounds and maybe some were going to be used, there were no real objectives or requirements in terms of produced track amounts to be finiished. It was all very experimental. And fans were happy to provide this.
What I find especially immoral of these so called pro's is that their so called "worry for the professional industry" hate campaign was very very disloyal to new aspiring musicians like myself. We would love an opportunity like this. I can guarantee you that the haters (complainers) are the FIRST ones who would yell that they will never do something for free, and that they will need hard cash if they would as much as having to slide a fader on their mixing console. This is what infuriates me the most, so they start their armchair motivations and doing kneejerk threat campaigns to a small company that intended well, with the result that they would never try something like that again.
The Joke's on us: musicians
Contests of all sort are being run all across the internet, from fan fiction to drawings, from 3d graphic fan art to illustrations and concepts that fans just LOVE to post on deviant art, and are excited to share this with companies and hope that they might get featured in the game they love. But no... because it's MUSIC, it's not allowed. Some musicians think that music is the holy grail of arrt and that we're serious and that there can never be any thought of music being made for free.
The media also didn't do a good job in perfectly illustrating it. If they talk about "RTG wanted fans to make music for them", it's a very very un nuanced thing to say. On top of that, professionals who should know better meddle and downgrade the effort the company wanted to do just for the sake of the community. The haters intentionally and purpously mix 2 different purposes in order to badmouth and blackmail a small developer like RTG.
If you'd follow their line of thinking, all the music contests, fund raisers, music battles, rap battles, karaoke's, festivals would undermine their chance to earn $10.000 per produced minute of music right? No, that's just rediculous.
They should have not meddled with this obviously leasurely attempt for a small developer who wanted to involve the community into participating in a fun creative contest. The complainers just add to the trope of musicians being lazy and not willing to get off their lazy butts.
So I feel a bit ashamed to be a musician rightnow, that's why I say the joke's on US. We're better than that and would have loved to participoate. I guess the hate mobs have a hard time with freesound.org as well right ?