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Member for

20 years 8 months

Hi all. Got an email today to contribute our music (a few 20-30sec clips) to two new video games (sports games). I want to give them instrumentals from our songs that we're going to put on our album. The songs would be right up their alley. The only extra work would be to put the songs through a reverb so they sound like they're playing in a stadium/arena.

How much do people charge for things like this??? If we use our songs (already mixed/mastered...which the mastering we're paying for) then there isn't much extra work. BUT they are appearing in a nationally distributed game for a prominent company so we should get something besides the exposure right? It would be nice if we could make enough to pay for an HD upgrade!!! But that might be too it?

Please help

Member for

20 years 8 months

Hardnox Wed, 05/15/2002 - 18:05

Very flattering Littledog. Thanks...I'm red in the face. fo' life baby!!! I ain't gonna sell out, but we ain't there yet. We're still scrubs and taking pride in it. I kind of like being teh guy who ain't even worth a soundcheck, only to get on the stage and steel the show from "Mr. Big Stuff." It's fun...the challenge.

We gotta keep bustin our asses just like all you guys. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis said in an article that you shouldn't have the attitude of "if" or "hope" you should have a "when" attitude. Be constantly preparing for the next opportunity.

Thanks again. Anybody want to throw numbers around on my question, or at least senarios and price-ranges. What about royalties on the game?

There intention was for us to produce 20-30 sec tracks specifically for the game, but we want to give them instrumental stems off our album. How much would one get if we just made them original tracks for the game?

knightfly Wed, 05/15/2002 - 22:58

Danny, I'm not positive about this, but it seems to me this could be HUGE. I would recommend, since you're in the bay area, that you find a REAL entertainment lawyer and pay for some serious advice. As many people as play games, if this one takes off it could make a platinum album look like laundry change. Break a leg, but do it under contract... Steve

Member for

20 years 8 months

Hardnox Thu, 05/16/2002 - 08:02

HUGE???...even if all we're doing is contributing a few 20-30 sec pices of our music made so they sound like they're in a stadium?!! These will be 2 games that will come out for Sega (Dreamcast I think, or whatever their flagship game console will be next year) titles NFL2k3 and NBA2k3. Thanks for all the help people!

anonymous Thu, 05/16/2002 - 12:20

In all seriousness, you should be establishing an ongoing relationship with an entertainment lawyer. Even if this particular project does not pan out into big bucks, a good lawyer will know at least what is reasonable to ask for. The big issue will be royalties - if the game is a million seller you could stand to get a huge payday - but you need someone on your side to wade through the fine print. (Remember, even 5ยข per unit sold x 1 million = $50,000. I think that should cover your HD upgrade!) Definitely do not make a move without legal advice, or you may regret it forever.

Member for

20 years 8 months

Hardnox Thu, 05/16/2002 - 12:36

I was talking to a friend today who has done game work and he said...thi sbeing our 1st time to not ask for royalties and get a good flat rate. What do you think? Remember, we do not want to give up ownership of our music.

Member for

20 years 8 months

stedel Thu, 05/16/2002 - 12:53

A good flat rate is great...for the Company, who will figure this with their own profit/loss write off - which is obviously going to be to their advantage and within their own "damage control" margins.
The Royalty approach is riskier..but as some have said could be worth more money to you, particularly if the game is succesful - however it does introduce randomness, like how often, how much etc.

Ah business...figure out your own financial needs,
see how much their flat rate offer is, if you can live with this...but "Nationally distributed by a prominent company"? Either way it sounds as though you'll get your HD upgrade..maybe even get a removable HD bay as well!..course using the company's preferred system is good PR for any other work they may throw your way..sweet dilemma there.. :cool:

Member for

20 years 8 months

Hardnox Thu, 05/16/2002 - 14:47

Stedel, my friend said the same thing. It seems you suggest asking the company for a quote on what they "would like" to pay before I give a quote. Is this what you're saying? Thanks everyone!

Jim Chapdelaine Sat, 05/18/2002 - 11:23

Hi Dan,
I do lots of work in the commercial arena (it is an arena) and there are several ways to structure stuff like this. If you're looking for a long term relationship, you tell them that you'll work within their budget. If the budget is too small, you tell them to draw a triangle. At each point of the triangle a word is written. The words are - price, time, quality. The client gets to choose any 2.
If they need it right away and they want the best - they have to pay. If they don't care when they get it, you take your time and get to it when you can. If they need it right away and still have a small budget - they get what you give them case closed.
The other way to price stuff takes larger balls but sometimes works - you ask for the largest amount of money that you can say and still keep a straight face. Good luck.

Member for

20 years 8 months

Astroboy Tue, 05/28/2002 - 06:30

I don't think too many bands, other than super-groups are getting anything for having their music in video games.

I know that all of the bands that got their music in Gran Turismo 3 got nothing. Exposure only.
(which shouldn't be taken lightly, that could be BIG for you guys)

Just make sure, if you ARE in fact getting the shaft on payment for any royalty, that you get a really good listing in the video's packaging as well as within the game itself.

And, as mentioned above,
Get a good entertainment lawyer.
If you're going places, they'll be glad to give you advice right now in the interest of getting some $$ from you when you start playing arenas.

Hope this helps,


RecorderMan Tue, 05/28/2002 - 09:19

Originally posted by Henchman:
I don't know any musicians who are getting residuals for any in-game music. So don't count on any royalties from game sales. I think it's wrong, and goes against all copyright rules. But for some reason they get away with it. Usually it's a complete upfront buyout.

It's a work for hire andf completely in line with the current copyright law.

paulears Tue, 04/06/2021 - 10:03

It's your work, so you can do whatever you like with it - give it away, ask for points or take a fee. Your choice - all totally legal and it's up to you to agree to the terms. You will kick yourself, no matter which you pick. It's a gamble. I've done all of these. Remember that it's usually a one-shot thing, so not taking anything for your first one assumes there will be a second but there is no guarantee of that. In fact, the fact you got picked at all suggests they actually want somebody nobody has heard of, so see what they offer. You could be surprised out shocked - if you have the guts and can talk them into a bit more, do it. If you though five hundred and they offer five grand, then I'd take it. Asking for 6 could make you sound greedy. Take the five grand but remember to check if you are allowed to make this public as in "featured in grand theft auto 2024". They might say no promotion or linking. If they offer points (percentages per sale) then ask them what this is likely to equate to as a rough minimum, and get it in writing, or in an email, just in case. Find out if it also means assigning copyright - perhaps the words "in any medium in any territory, in perpetuity" is common - as anywhere, anyhow, forever!