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A format war is a competition between similar but mutually incompatible technical standards that compete for the same market, such as for data storage devices and recording formats for electronic media. It is often characterized by political and financial influence on content publishers by the developers of the technologies.

Developing companies may be characterized as engaging in a format war if they actively oppose or avoid interoperable open-industry technical standards in favor of their own. A format war emergence can be explained because each vendor is trying to exploit cross-side network effects in a two-sided market. There is also a social force to stop a format war: when one of them wins as de facto standard, it solves a coordination problem[1] for the format users.

The Gauge War in Britain pitted the Great Western Railway, which used broad gauge, against other rail companies, which used what would come to be known as standard gauge.

Ultimately standard gauge prevailed. Likewise, in the United States, Russian gauge vs. standard gauge. During the initial period of railroad building, standard gauge was adopted in most of the northeastern United States, while the wider gauge, later called "Russian", was preferred in most of the southern states.



In 1886, the southern railroads agreed to coordinate changing gauge on all their tracks. By June 1886, all major railroads in North America were using approximately the same gauge. Direct current vs. alternating current: The 1880s saw the spread of electric lighting with large utilities and manufacturing companies supplying it. The systems initially ran on direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) with low voltage DC used for interior lighting and high voltage DC and AC running very bright exterior arc lighting.[2] With the invention of the AC transformer in the mid 1880s, alternating current could be stepped up in voltage for long range transmission and stepped down again for domestic use, making it a much more efficient transmission standard now directly competing with DC for the indoor lighting market.

Thomas Edison's Edison Electric Light Company tried to protect its patent controlled DC market by playing on the public's fears of the dangers of high voltage AC, portraying their main AC competitor, George Westinghouse's Westinghouse Electric Company, as purveyors of an unsafe system, a back and forth financial and propaganda competition that came to be known as the war of the currents.[3] AC, with its more economic transmission would prevail, supplanting DC.
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Musical boxes: Several manufacturers introduced musical boxes that utilised interchangeable steel disks that carried the tune. The principal players were Polyphon, Symphonion (in Europe) and Regina (in the United States). Each manufacturer used its own unique set of disc sizes (which varied depending on the exact model purchased). This assured that once the purchaser had bought a music box, they had to buy the music discs from the same manufacturer. Player pianos: In stark contrast to almost every other entertainment medium of the 20th century and beyond, a looming format war involving paper roll music for player pianos was averted when industry leaders agreed upon a common format at the Buffalo Convention held in Buffalo, New York in 1908. The agreed-upon format was a roll 11.25 inches (286 mm) wide. This allowed any roll of music to be played in any player piano, regardless of who manufactured it. As the music played, the paper winds onto the lower roll from the upper roll, which means any text or song lyrics printed on the rolls is read from the bottom to the top.

Early recording media formats: cylinder records versus disc records. In 1877 Thomas Edison invented sound recording and reproduction using tinfoil wrapped around a pre-grooved cylinder, and in 1888 he introduced the wax "Edison cylinder" as the standard record format. In the 1890s Emile Berliner began marketing disc records and players. By the late 1890s cylinders and discs were in competition. Cylinders were more expensive to manufacture and the wax was fragile, but most cylinder players could make recordings.

Discs saved space and were cheaper and sturdier, but due to the constant angular velocity (CAV) of their rotation, the sound quality varied noticeably from the groove near the outer edge to the inner portion nearest the center; and disc record players could not make recordings. Gramophone record formats: lateral versus vertical "hill-and-dale" groove cutting. When Edison introduced his "Diamond Disc" (played with a diamond stylus instead of a steel needle) record in 1912, it was cut "hill-and-dale", meaning that the groove was modulated along its vertical axis, as it had been on all cylinders—unlike other manufacturers' discs, which were cut laterally, meaning that their grooves were of constant depth and modulated along the horizontal axis.

Machines designed to play lateral-cut discs could not play vertical-cut ones and vice versa. Pathé Records also adopted the hill-and-dale format for their discs, first issued in 1906, but they used a very wide, shallow groove, played with a small sapphire ball, which was incompatible with Edison products. In 1929 Thomas Edison quit the record industry, ceasing all production of both discs and cylinders. Pathé had been making a transition to the lateral format during the 1920s and in 1932 decisively abandoned the vertical format. There was no standard speed for all disc records until 78 rpm was settled on during the latter half of the 1920s, although because most turntables could be adjusted to run at a fairly wide range of speeds that did not really constitute a format war.

Some Berliner Gramophone discs played at about 60 rpm. Some of Pathé's largest discs, which were 50 cm (nearly 20 inches) in diameter, played at 120 rpm. Diamond Discs were 80 rpm. Those makers aside, speeds in the mid-70s were more usual. 240-line versus 405-linetelevision broadcasts. In 1936, the BBC Television Service commenced television broadcasting from Alexandra Palace in North London. They began by using two different television standards broadcasting in alternate weeks. The 240-line Baird sequential system was broadcast using a mechanical scanning apparatus.

In the intervening weeks, EMI-Marconi broadcast in 405-line interlaced using fully electronic cameras. Early sets had to support both systems, adding to their complexity. It was the BBC's intention to run the two systems side by side for a six-month trial to determine which would be finally adopted. The BBC quickly discovered that the fully electronic EMI system had a superior picture quality and less flicker, and the camera equipment was much more mobile and transportable (Baird's intermediate-film cameras had to be bolted to the studio floor as they required a water supply and drainage). The trial concluded after only three months after Baird's studios had lost most of their equipment in a fire. Vinyl records: Columbia Records' Long Play (LP) 33⅓ rpm microgroove record (introduced in 1948) versus RCA Victor's 7-inch (18 cm) 45 rpm record, from 1949 (the introduction of the latter) into c. The battle ended because each format found a separate marketing niche (LP for classical music recordings, 45 for the pop "singles" market) and most new record players were capable of playing both types.

The National Television System Committee NTSC was formed to settle the existing format incompatibility between the original 441 scan line RCA system and systems designed by the DuMont Television Network and Philco.


In March 1941 the committee issued its plan for what is now known as NTSC, which has been the standard for television signals in the United States and most countries influenced by the U.S. until the adoption of digital and HD television formats with the official adoption of ATSC on June 12, 2009. The National Television System Committee NTSC was reconvened in January 1950 to decide the revision to their original format to allow for color broadcasting. There were competitive format options offered by the Columbia Broadcasting System that were not downwardly compatible with the existing NTSC format. In the early 1950s, 12 volt electric systems were introduced to automobiles in an effort to provide more starting power for big engines which were getting popular at the time; while reducing the current.

Six volt systems were still popular since they were commonplace prior to the decade. However, 12 volt systems became the de facto standard. Portable audio formats: 8-track and four-track cartridges vs. Compact Cassette, vs the lesser known DC-International tape cassette (introduced by Grundig). While rather successful into the mid-to-late 1970s, the 8-track eventually lost out due to technical limitations, including variable audio quality and inability to be rewound. Similarly the smaller formats of microcassette, developed by Olympus, and minicassette, developed by Sony, were manufactured for applications requiring lower audio fidelity such as dictation and telephone answering machines.

FM radio stereo broadcast formats: The Crosby system and the GE/Zenith system. The Crosby system was technically superior, especially in transmitting clear stereo signals, due to its use of an FM subcarrier for stereo sound rather than the AM subcarrier employed by GE/Zenith. Many radios built in this period allowed the user to select Crosby or GE/Zenith listening modes. However the Crosby system was incompatible with the more lucrative SCA services such as in-store broadcasting and background music. FM station owners successfully lobbied the FCC to adopt the GE/Zenith system in 1961, which was SCA-compatible.

VHS and Betamax tapes. Various Quadraphonic encoding methods: CD-4, SQ, QS-Matrix, and others. The expense (and speaker placement troubles) of quadraphonic, coupled with the competing formats requiring various demodulators and decoders, led to an early demise of quadraphonic, though 8-track tape experienced a temporary boost from the introduction of the Q8 form of 8-track cartridge. Quadraphonic sound returned in the 1990s substantially updated as surround sound, but incompatible with old hardware. Sony Betamax vs. Philips Video 2000, the analog videovideotape format war. The competition started in 1976 and by 1980, VHS controlled 70% of the North American market.

VHS's main advantage was its longer recording time. From the consumer perspective, VHS blank media held more hours and therefore was less expensive. Betamax still found a niche in commercial video production. The first small format video recording devices were open reel-to-reel 1/2" "portable" EIAJ-1 recorders, most of which came with television tuners to record TV broadcasts. These never caught on in the consumer market but did find their way into educational television and were the mainstays of early public-access television stations.

The uniformity of the EIAJ-1 format was the result of a developmental format war between Sony and Panasonic, each of whom were aiming at this market. The existence of the Electronic Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ) was the Japanese electronics industry's answer to some potential format wars.

Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) vs. LaserDisc (LD) vs. VHD (Video High-Density), non-recordable video disc formats. All of these ultimately failed to achieve widespread acceptance, although LD found a considerable videophile niche market that appreciated its high quality image, chapter select and widescreen presentation. The Laser Disc remained available until the arrival of the DVD. Mainstream consumers preferred the recordable videotape for capturing broadcast television and making home movies, and made VHS the de facto standard video format for almost 20 years (circa 1982 to 2002). Home computers often had incompatible peripherals such as joysticks, printers, or data recording (tape or disk). For example, if a Commodore 64 user wanted a printer, they would need to buy a Commodore-compatible unit, or else risk not being able to plug the printer into their computer. Similarly, disk formats were not interchangeable without third party software since each manufacturer (Atari, IBM, Apple, et al.) used their own proprietary format. Gradually computer and game systems standardized on the Atari joystick port for joysticks and mice (during the 1980s), parallel port for printers (mid-1980s), the MS-DOS-derived FAT12 format for floppy disks (mid-1990s), and so on. AM stereo was capable of fidelity equivalent to FM but was doomed in the United States by competing formats during the 1980s with Motorola's C-QUAM competing vigorously with three other incompatible formats including those by Magnavox, Kahn/Hazeltine, and Harris.

It is still widely used in Japan, and sees sporadic use by broadcast stations in the United States despite the lack of consumer equipment to support it. VHS-C and later Hi8 vs. S-VHS-C tape formats (see camcorder). This is an extension of the VHS vs. Betamax format war, but here neither format "won" widespread acceptance. Video8 had the advantage in terms of recording time (4 hours versus 2 hours maximum), but consumers also liked VHS-C since it could easily play in their home VCRs, thus the two formats essentially split the camcorder market in half.

Both formats were superseded by digital systems by 2011. Several different versions of the Quarter Inch Cartridge used for data backup. Composite video and RF (channel 3/channel 4) F-connectors were two ways of connecting entertainment devices to television sets. This was not so much of a format as the RF option was an adaptation necessary for plugging in such devices on television sets that did not come equipped with a composite video input. RF was a noticeably inferior substitute. The competition between options mainly manifested itself as competition between television set manufacturers and their individual models that offered composite video. Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) vs. Extended Industry Standard Architecture (EISA).

Up to the introduction of MCA, personal computers had relied on a 16 bit expansion system which was later christened 'Industry Standard Architecture' (ISA). IBM introduced a new range of personal computers featuring a new 32 bit expansion system which they called MCA. It was at this point that the rest of the personal computer industry named the existing expansion system as ISA.

IBM wanted substantial royalties from any manufacturer wishing to adopt the MCA system (largely in an attempt to recover lost royalties that they believed that they were owed due to the wholesale cloning of their original 'PC', a task that was greatly simplified by the 'off the shelf' nature of the design).

IBM's competitors jointly responded by introducing the EISA expansion system which, unlike MCA, was fully compatible with the existing ISA cards. Eventually, neither MCA nor EISA really caught on, and the PCI standard was adopted instead. Home computer sound cards: Ad Lib vs. Roland MT-32 vs. Philips' Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) vs. Sony's MiniDisc (MD): both introduced in 1992. Since affordable CD-R was not available until about 1996, DCC and MD were an attempt to bring CD-quality recording to the home consumer. Restrictions by record companies fearful of perfect digital copies had limited an earlier digital system (DAT) to professional use. In response, Sony introduced the MiniDisc format which provided a copy control system that seemed to allay record companies' fears. Philips introduced their DCC system around the same time using the same copy control system. Philips' DCC was discontinued in 1996 but MD successfully captured the Asia Pacific market (e.g. Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.) and initially did well in parts of Europe. The consumers in other parts of the world chose neither format, preferring to stick with analog Compact Cassettes for home audio recording, and eventually upgrading to now affordable CD recordable discs and lossy-compressed MP3 formats.

Production of MiniDisc systems finally ceased in 2013, however Sony continues to produce blank discs in Japan to this day. Rockwell X2 vs K56flex – In the race to achieve faster telephone line modem speeds from the then-standard 9.6 kbit/s, many companies developed proprietary formats such as V.32 Turbo (19.2 kbit/s) or TurboPEP (23.0 kbit/s) or V.FAST (28.8 kbit/s), hoping to gain an edge on the competition. The X2 and K56flex formats were a continuation of that ongoing battle for market dominance until the V.90 standard was developed in 1999.

For some time, online providers needed to maintain two modem banks to provide dial-up access for both technologies. (See "modem" for a complete history.). Medium-capacity removable magnetic media drives, with several incompatible formats—a small market of write-once optical drives (requiring the use of a protective, plastic jacket) and several more successful but also incompatible magnetic read-write cassette drives. The IomegaZip format ultimately prevailed, with capacities of 100 and 250 megabytes, plus the rather less popular 750 MB system; but these media and their drives were quickly supplanted by the much slower but far cheaper recordable compact disc CD-R (early models use a caddy to ensure proper alignment and help protect the disc). The CD-R has the advantage of existing wide industry standards support (the Red BookCD-DA standard for audio discs and the Yellow BookCD-ROM standard for data read-only CD), with the low-level recording format based upon the popular and low-cost read-only compact disc used for audio and data.

Sony tried to establish "MD Data" Discs as an alternative, based on their MiniDisc R&D, with two computer peripherals: MDH-10 and MDM-111.

See also[edit]

External bus transfer protocols: IEEE 1394 (FireWire) vs. The proliferation of both standards has led to the inclusion of redundant hardware adapters in many computers, unnecessary versioning of external hardware, etc.

FireWire has been marginalized to high-throughput media devices (such as high-definition videocamera equipment) and legacy hardware. 3D graphics APIs: DirectX vs. In the latter half of the 1990s, as 3D graphics became more common and popular, several video formats were promoted by different vendors. The proliferation of standards (each having many versions with frequent and significant changes) led to great complexity, redundancy, and frustrating hardware and software compatibility issues.

3D graphics applications (such as games) attempted to support a variety of APIs with varying results, or simply supported only a single API. Moreover, the complexity of the emerging graphics pipeline (display adapter -> display adapter driver -> 3D graphics API -> application) led to a great number of incompatibilities, leading to unstable, underperforming, or simply inoperative software. Glide eventually dropped out of the war due to the only manufacturer supporting it — that is, 3dfx — ceasing production of their video cards.

Video disc formats: MMCD versus SD. In the early 1990s two high-density optical storage standards were being developed: one was the MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD), backed by Philips and Sony, and the other was the Super Density disc (SD), supported by Toshiba, Matsushita and many others. MMCD was optionally double-layer while SD was optionally double-sided. Movie studio support was split. This format war was settled before either went to market, by unifying the two formats. Following pressure by IBM, Philips and Sony abandoned their MMCD format and agreed upon the SD format with one modification based on MMCD technology, viz.

The unified disc format, which included both dual-layer and double-sided options, was called DVD and was introduced in Japan in 1996 and in the rest of the world in 1997. More video disc formats: Video CD versus the DVD. While the MMCD and SD war was going on, Philips developed their own video format called the Video CD. While the format quickly flopped in the U.S., in Europe and Japan the battle waged on fiercely, as the VideoCD's lower production cost (and thus sales price) versus the DVD's superior audiovisual quality and multimedia experience resulted in a split market audience, with one end wanting cheap media without minding the lower quality and multimedia richness, while the other willing to pay a premium for the better experience DVD offered.

The battle was settled by the movie industry who rapidly refused to issue any more VCD discs once CD recorders became available. Unlike DVD, the VCD format had no copy protection mechanism whatsoever. Digital video formats: DVD versus DIVX (not to be confused with DivX). DIVX was a rental scheme where the end consumer would purchase a $2–3 disc similar to DVD but could only view the disc for 48 hours after the first use. Each subsequent view would require a phoneline connection to purchase another $2–3 rental period. Several Hollywood studios (Disney, 20th Century-Fox, and Paramount Pictures) initially released their movies exclusively in the DIVX format.[5] However, video rental services found the multi-use DVD more attractive, and videophiles who collected films rejected the idea of a pay-per-view disc.

Adapter for SD to CF(I). Memory cards, with several implementations: CompactFlash vs. Memory Stick vs. MultiMediaCard (MMC) vs.


Secure Digital card (SD) vs. Miniature Card.[6] The format war became even more confusing with introduction of xD-Picture Card, XQD card and CFast in the next decade. This ongoing contest is complicated by the existence of multiple variants of the various formats. Some of these, such as miniSD / microSD, are compatible with their parent formats, while later Memory Sticks break compatibility with the original format. After SD was introduced in 1999, it eventually won the war in the early 2000s[7] decade when companies that had exclusively supported other formats in the past, such as Fujifilm, Olympus and Sony, began to use SD card in their products.

The CF slots continued to be favoured for high-end cameras, but there are adapters for SD cards to be used in them. Hi-fi digital audio discs: DVD-Audio versus SACD. These discs offered all the advantages of a CD but with higher audio quality. The players and discs were reverse compatible (the new Hi-fi players could play most 12 cm optical disc formats) but listening to the newer formats require a hardware upgrade. SACD was acclaimed by Sony marketeers as offering slightly better technical quality through its new PDM "bitstream" system and a greater number of SACD titles available.

However, the two formats continue to coexist due to "hybrid" players that play both formats with equal ease. Neither DVD-Audio nor SACD won a significant percentage of the recorded audio market. A significant reason was the customer preference for easy-to-transport lossy compressed formats such as MP3 and AAC. In 2013, music companies led by Universal Music Group have launched Blu-ray Discs with high-resolution PCM audio, branded as High Fidelity Pure Audio, as an alternative format with the same objectives.

Television auxiliary video inputs: Composite video vs. Composite video inputs had more widespread support since they used the ubiquitous RCA connector previously used only with audio devices, but S-video used a 4-pin DIN connector exclusively for the video bus. Wireless communication standards: Through the late 1990s, proponents of Bluetooth (such as Sony-Ericsson) and WiFi competed to gain support for positioning one of these standards as the de facto computer-to-computer wireless communication protocol. This competition ended around 2000 with WiFi the undisputed winner (largely due to a very slow rollout of Bluetooth networking products).

However, in the early 2000s, Bluetooth was repurposed as a device-to-computer wireless communication standard, and has succeeded well in this regard. Today's computers often feature separate equipment for both types of wireless communication. Disk image formats for capturing digital versions of removable computer media (particularly CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs): ISO vs. Although the details of capturing images are complex (e.g., the oddities of various copy protection technologies applied to removable media), image formats have proliferated beyond reason - mainly because producers of image-creating software often like to create a new format with touted properties in order to bolster market share. Streaming media formats: AVI, QuickTime (MOV), Windows Media (WMV), RealMedia (RA), Liquid Audio, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and a large host of other streaming media formats cropped up, particularly during the internet boom of the late 1990s.

The wildly large number of formats is very redundant and leads to a large number of software and hardware incompatibilities (e.g., a large number of competing rendering pipelines are typically implemented in web browsers and portable video players.).

Single-serve coffee containers: Major players include Nestlé’s Nespresso which started in 1976, but became popular in the late 1990s and was later joined by Senseo, Caffitaly, Keurig and Tassimo. These systems were created to give out a single serving of fresh ground coffee through a capsule. By the end of the 2010s, as the patents on the original systems expired, allowing rival companies to make cheaper capsules, Nespresso came out on top in most of the world, but Keurig dominated the North American market.

HD DVD and Blu-ray cases. Recordable DVD formats: DVD+R versus DVD-R and DVD-RAM. DVD-RAM has largely relegated to a niche market, but both of the other recordable DVD formats remain available. Since practically all PC based DVD drives and most new DVD recorders support both formats (designated as DVD±R recorders), the 'war' is effectively moot.

Digital audio data compression formats: MP3 versus Ogg Vorbis versus MPEG4 Advanced Audio Coding versus HE-AAC/AACplus versus Windows Media Audiocodecs versus Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC). Each format has found its own niche — MPEG1 audio layer 3, abbreviated MP3, was developed for audio encoding of the DVD and has remained a de facto standard for audio encoding. A technically better compression technique, MPEG4 (more commonly known as AAC) was subsequently developed and found favor with most commercial music distributors.

The addition of Spectral Band Replication (AACplus or HE-AAC) allows the format to recreate high-frequency components/harmonics missing from other compressed music. Vorbis is most commonly used by game developers who have need for a high-quality audio, do not want to pay the licensing fees attached to other codecs, and did not need existing compatibility and name-recognition of MP3. Flac, a lossless format, emerged later and has become accepted by audiophiles. Consumer outcry against software incompatibility has prompted portable music player manufacturers such as Apple and Creative to support multiple formats. High-definitionoptical disc formats: Blu-ray Disc versus HD DVD.

Several disc formats that were intended to improve on the performance of the DVD were developed, including Sony's Blu-ray and Toshiba's HD DVD, as well as HVD, FVD and VMD. The first HD-DVD player was released in March 2006, followed quickly by a Blu-ray player in June 2006. In addition to the home video standalone players for each format, Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console offers a Blu-ray Disc player and its games use that format as well.[8] The format war went largely in Blu-ray's favor after the largest movie studio supporting HD DVD, Warner Bros., decided to abandon releasing films on HD-DVD in January 2008.[9] Shortly thereafter, several major North American rental services and retailers such as Netflix, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.


and disc manufacturers such as CMC Magnetics, Ritek, Anwell, and others, announced the exclusive support for Blu-ray products, ending the format war. Ultra-wideband networking technology — in early 2006, an IEEE standards working group disbanded because two factions could not agree on a single standard for a successor to Wi-Fi. (WiMedia Alliance, IEEE 802.15, WirelessHD). Automotive interfaces for charging mobile devices: cigar lighter receptacles delivered 12 volts DC and USB 5 volts. The 5-volt system derived from PC data buses, while the 12 volt system derived from the automobile's electrical system. The popularity of cigar-lighter-to-USB adapters for charging cell phones is what led to this movement, and later automobiles were equipped with both (sometimes with USB on the car radio faceplate).

Digital video: H.264 and H.265 (patentedstandards that require royalty payments) versus royalty-free alternatives like VP8, VP9, and Theora that attempt to avoid patent infringement. 4G wireless broadband WiMAX versus LTE Advanced. Power-line communication as an alternative to Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet for broadband home networking (LAN) purposes: IEEE 1901, branded as HomePlug AV/AV2 and commercially marketed by networking hardware brands such as Devolo, D-Link, TP-Link and Zyxel, vs.

the more recent, but similar ITU standard promoted by some major ISPs and hardware manufacturers part of the HomeGrid Forum trade association. Premium Large Format (PLF) cinema: IMAX versus Dolby Cinema versus Barco Escape versus China Film Giant Screen versus RPX versus Extra Experience versus UltraAVX. Virtual reality headsets: Oculus Rift using Oculus' OVR API vs. HTC Vive's SteamVR. Wireless charging standard: Qi from Wireless Power Consortium versus WiPower from The Alliance for Wireless Power.

Web browser plugin API: NPAPI versus PPAPI, championed by Google, which announced it was dropping NPAPI support from Chrome on September 1, 2015. Combined Charging System versus CHAdeMO quick charging methods for battery electric vehicles.[10]. The ITU-R Recommendation BT.2020 had defined 10 bit for each color channel for the future 8KUHDTV in 2012. Dolby developed an extension for Dolby Cinema in 2014 where the new Dolby Vision format has a 12 bit color depth per channel.

Dolby Vision is not royalty free so that Samsung developed an alternative HDR10+ format for HDR video in 2017. Its rival LG does support Dolby Vision. With widespread availability of HDR television during 2018 it can be seen that products supporting Dolby Vision do also allow HDR10+ as input.

Modern Immersive Audio standards (formats with object tracks): Dolby Atmos vs DTS:X vs MPEG-H 3D Audio vs Auro-3D vs Sony 360 Reality Audio[11]. ^Edna Ullmann-Margalit: The Emergence of Norms, Oxford Un. (or Clarendon Press 1978). Skrabec, The 100 Most Significant Events in American Business: An Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO - 2012, page 86. ^AC Power History: ^Guide to playing 78s.

^"Paramount jumps on DVD wagon; Fox, DreamWorks still out". Archived from the original on 2007-10-07.


^Bob Johnson (January 19, 2014). "The Ongoing Memory Card Battle".
^Shankland (November 27, 2013). "SD Card: Too bad this format won the flash-card wars".
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^"E-commerce and Video Distribution:DVD and Blu-ray". ^"Warner backs Sony Blu-ray format". Retrieved 2010-05-02. ^"Plug wars: The battle for electric car supremacy". 24 January 2018. ^"An Introduction to Immersive Audio". Sound On Sound. Retrieved from "". I am an I know good sounding speakers.To get this kind of sound for only paying $65 is simply amazing!!!!!!!!!First, let me get this outta the way...there is NO DEEP SUBWOOFER SOUNDING BASS!

NONE WHAT SO EVER!....You simply cannot reproduce that kind of sound with these tiny woofers /'s simply not possibleBUT!!!!! Power- Hi-Density Power Connectors (24 pin and 8 pin)Memory- 15μ Gold Contact in DIMM SlotsVGA Card- 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE2)Internet- Intel® LANCooling- XXL Aluminum Alloy HeatsinkAudio- Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3.

ASRock USB 3.1 Gen2- ASRock USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s)- ASRock USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s)ASRock Super Alloy- XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink- Premium 45A Power Choke- Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors)- I/O Armor- Matte Black PCB- High Density Glass Fabric PCB- 2oz Copper PCBASRock Steel SlotsASRock Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)ASRock Full Spike Protection (for all USB, Audio, LAN Ports)ASRock Live Update & APP Shop.

- Supports AMD Socket AM4 A-Series APUs (Bristol Ridge) and Ryzen Series CPUs (Matisse, Picasso, Summit Ridge, Raven Ridge and Pinnacle Ridge)- IR Digital PWM- 12 Power Phase design. - AMD Promontory X370. capacity of system memory: 64GB**. - 128Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support- Supports "Plug and Play"- ACPI 5.1 compliance wake up events- Supports jumperfree- SMBIOS 2.3 support- CPU, VCORE_NB, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.05V, +1.8V, VDDP, PROM 2.5V, Voltage Multi-adjustment. - Shared memory default 2GB. Max Shared memory supports up to 16GB.**. - Supports HDMI with max. resolution up to 4K x 2K (4096x2160) @ 24Hz / (3840x2160) @ 30Hz. - Supports Auto Lip Sync, Deep Color (12bpc), xvYCC and HBR (High Bit Rate Audio) with HDMI Port (Compliant HDMI monitor is required). - Supports HDCP 1.4 with HDMI Port.


- Supports Full HD 1080p Blu-ray (BD) playback with HDMI Port. - 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)- Premium Blu-ray Audio support- Supports Surge Protection- Nichicon Fine Gold Series Audio Caps- 120dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier- TI® NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier for Front Panel Audio Connector (Supports up to 600 Ohm headsets)- Pure Power-In- Direct Drive Technology- PCB Isolate Shielding- Impedance Sensing on Rear Out port- Individual PCB Layers for R/L Audio Channel- Gold Audio Jacks- Supports Creative Sound Blaster™ Cinema 3.

- Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s- GigaLAN Intel® I211AT- Supports Wake-On-LAN- Supports Lightning/ESD Protection- Supports Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az- Supports PXE. - 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (single at x16 (PCIE2); dual at x8 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4))*. - 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slot (single at x8 (PCIE2))*. AMD Ryzen series CPUs (Picasso, Raven Ridge). - 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slot (single at x8 (PCIE2))*. AMD Athlon series CPUs. - 1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slot (single at x4 (PCIE2))*.

- 4 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 Slots. - Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™**. - Supports NVIDIA. Quad SLI™ and SLI™**. - 1 x M.2 Socket (Key E), supports type 2230 WiFi/BT PCIe WiFi module. - 15μ Gold Contact in VGA PCIe Slot (PCIE2). - 1 x TPM Header. - 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header.


- 2 x RGB LED Headers*. - 1 x CPU Fan Connector (4-pin)**. - 1 x CPU Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)***. - 2 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)****. - 1 x Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fan Connector (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)****. - 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector. - 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (Supports ESD Protection). - 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Headers (Support 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports) (Supports ESD Protection).

- 6 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Ports (Supports ESD Protection)*. - HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone (Gold Audio Jacks). - Drivers, Utilities, AntiVirus Software (Trial Version), Google Chrome Browser and Toolbar. - Quick Installation Guide, Support CD, I/O Shield- 4 x SATA Data Cables- 1 x ASRock SLI_HB_Bridge_2S Card- 3 x Screws for M.2 Sockets.

- Temperature Sensing: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans- Fan Tachometer: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans- Quiet Fan (Auto adjust chassis fan speed by CPU temperature): CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans- Fan Multi-Speed Control: CPU, CPU Optional/Water Pump, Chassis, Chassis Optional/Water Pump Fans- Voltage monitoring: +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, VCORE_NB, DRAM, PCH 1.05V, +1.8V, VDDP. - ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm.


- FCC, CE- ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required).

Features of the video game music genre include:

  • Pieces designed to repeat indefinitely, rather than having an arranged ending or fading out (they however create an atmosphere, especially in important scenes of the game. They introduce a philosophical dimension in the game, as they may introduce questioning in the mind of players, in relationship with their next action).
  • Pieces lacking lyrics and playing over gameplay sounds.
  • Limited polyphony. Only three notes can be played simultaneously on the Nintendo Entertainment System. A great deal of effort was put into composition to create the illusion of more notes playing at once.

Although the tones featured in NES music can be thought of as emulating a traditional four-piece rock band (triangle wave used as a bass, two pulse waves analogous to two guitars, and a white noise channel used for drums), composers would often go out of their way to compose complex and rapid sequences of notes, in part due to the restrictions mentioned above. This is similar to music composition during the Baroque period, when composers, particularly when creating solo pieces, focused on musical embellishments to compensate for instruments such as the harpsichord that do not allow for expressive dynamics. For the same reason, many early compositions also feature a distinct jazz influence. These would overlap with later influences from heavy metal and J-pop music, resulting in an equally distinct compositional style in the 16-bit era.

In an unrelated but parallel course in the European and North American developer scene, similar limitations were driving the musical style of home computer games. Module file format music, particularly MOD, used similar techniques but was more heavily influenced by the electronic music scene as it developed, and resulted in another very distinct subgenre. Demos and the developing demoscene played a big part in the early years, and still influence video game music today.

As technological limitations gradually lifted, composers were given more freedom and, with the advent of CD-ROM, pre-recorded soundtracks came to dominate, resulting in a noticeable shift in composition and voicing style.[45] Popular early CD-ROM titles were released with high-resolution graphics and recorded music. Since the audio was not reliant on a sound-card's synthesis, CD-ROM technology ensured that composers and sound designers could know what audio would sound like on most consumer configurations and could also record sound effects, live instruments, vocals, and in-game dialogue.[46]

As the divisions between movies and video games has blurred, so have divisions between film scores and video game scores. Adventure and fantasy movies have similar needs to adventure and fantasy games, i.e. fanfare, traveling, hero's theme and so on. Some composers have written scores in both genres. One noted example is U.S. composer Michael Giacchino who composed the soundtrack for the game Medal of Honor and later composed for the television series Lost and wrote scores for movies such as The Incredibles (2004) and Star Trek (2009).


Appreciation for video game music is strong among fans and composers, particularly for music from the third and fourth generations of home video game consoles, and sometimes newer generations. This appreciation has been shown outside the context of a video game, in the form of CDs, sheet music, public performances, art installations, and popular music.


Selling video game soundtracks separately as CDs has become increasingly popular in the industry.[5] Interpretive albums, remixes, and live performance albums were also common variations to original soundtracks (OSTs).[47]

Koichi Sugiyama was an early figure in this practice, and following the release of the first Dragon Quest game in 1986, a live performance CD of his compositions was released and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (then later by other groups including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and NHK Symphony).

By 1987, Sega were selling 50,000 to 100,000 game soundtrack CDs annually.[48] Yuzo Koshiro, another early figure, released a live performance of the Actraiser soundtrack. Both Koshiro's and fellow Falcom composer Mieko Ishikawa's contributions to Ys music would have such long-lasting impact that there were more albums released of Ys music than of almost all other game-type music.

Like anime soundtracks, these soundtracks and even sheet music books were usually marketed exclusively in Japan. Therefore, interested non-Japanese gamers had to import the soundtracks and/or sheet music books through on or offline firms specifically dedicated to video game soundtrack imports. This has been somewhat less of an issue more recently as domestic publishers of anime and video games have been producing western equivalent versions of the OSTs for sale in UK and US, though these are often for more popular titles. Video game music companies like Materia Collective have pursued and produced published book editions of video game music.

The sale of video game soundtracks has created a growing symbiotic relationship between the music industry and the games industry.[5] Commonly, games are being used to promote and sell licensed music, rather than just original score, and recording artists are being used to market and sell games.[5] Music marketing agency Electric Artists conducted a study that revealed a number of interesting statistics surrounding ‘‘hard-core gamers’’ and their music habits: 40% of hard-core gamers bought the CD after hearing a song they liked in a video game, 73% of gamers said soundtracks within games help sell more CDs, and 40% of respondents said a game introduced them to a new band or song, then 27% of them went out and bought what they heard.[5] Some game soundtracks have become so popular they have reached platinum status, such as NBA Live 2003.[5]


Many original composers have publicly exhibited their music through symphonic concert performances. Once again, Koichi Sugiyama was the first to execute this practice in 1987 with his "Family Classic Concert" and has continued these concert performances almost annually. In 1991, he also formed a series called Orchestral Game Music Concerts, notable for featuring other talented game composers such as Yoko Kanno (Nobunaga's Ambition, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Uncharted Waters), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Keiichi Suzuki (Mother/Earthbound), and Kentaro Haneda (Wizardry).[49]

Following suit, compositions by Nobuo Uematsu on Final Fantasy IV were arranged into Final Fantasy IV: Celtic Moon, a live performance by string musicians with strong Celtic influence recorded in Ireland. The Love Theme from the same game has been used as an instructional piece of music in Japanese schools.[50]

With the success of Square's 1990s games Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII by Nobuo Uematsu, and Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and Chrono Cross by Yasunori Mitsuda, public performance began to gain international popularity. On August 20, 2003, music written for video games such as Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda was performed for the first time outside Japan, by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in a Symphonic Game Music Concert in Leipzig, Germany at the Gewandhaus concert hall.[47] This event was held as the official opening ceremony of Europe's biggest trading fair for video games, the GC Games Convention and repeated in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.[47]

On November 17, 2003, Square Enix launched the Final Fantasy Radio on America Online. The radio station has initially featured complete tracks from Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XI: Rise of Zilart and samplings from Final Fantasy VII through Final Fantasy X.[47]

The first officially sanctioned Final Fantasy concert in the United States was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, on May 10, 2004.[51] All seats at the concert were sold out in a single day. "Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy" followed and was performed at various cities across the United States. Nobuo Uematsu has also performed a variety of Final Fantasy compositions live with his rock band, The Black Mages.[52]

On July 6, 2005, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra also held a Video Games Live concert at the Hollywood Bowl, an event founded by video game music composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall.[47] This concert featured a variety of video game music, ranging from Pong to Halo 2. It also incorporated real-time video feeds that were in sync with the music, as well as laser and light special effects. Media outside the video game industry, such as NPR and The New York Times, have covered their subsequent world tours.[53][54]

On August 20, 2006, the Malmö Symphonic Orchestra with host Orvar Säfström performed the outdoor game music concert Joystick in Malmö, Sweden before an audience of 17,000, holding the current record of attendance for a game music concert.[55] Säfström has since continued to produce game music concerts around Europe under the names Joystick and Score.[56]

From April 20–27, 2007, Eminence Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra dedicated to video game and anime music, performed the first part of their annual tour, the "A Night in Fantasia" concert series in Australia. Whilst Eminence had performed video game music as part of their concerts since their inception, the 2007 concert marked the first time ever that the entire setlist was pieces from video games. Up to seven of the world's most famous game composers were also in attendance as special guests. Music performed included Red Alert 3 Theme: Soviet March by James Hannigan and Shadow of the Colossus by Kow Otani.

Since 2010, video games-themed "pops" concerts have become a major proportion of the revenue in many United States concert halls, as traditional classical music performances decline in popularity.[57]

On March 16, 2012 the Smithsonian American Art Museum's "The Art of Video Games" exhibit opened featuring a chipmusic soundtrack at the entrance by artists 8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer.[58] 8 Bit Weapon also created a track called "The art of Video Games Anthem" for the exhibit as well.[59]

External links[edit]

In the popular music industry, video game music and sounds have appeared in songs by various popular artists.[60] Arcade game sounds had a particularly strong influence on the hip hop,[61]pop music (particularly synthpop)[62] and electro music[63] genres during the golden age of arcade video games in the early 1980s. Arcade game sounds had an influence on synthpop pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra,[64] who sampled Space Invaders sounds in their influential 1978 debut album, particularly the hit song "Computer Game".[44] In turn, the band would have a major influence on much of the video game music produced during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras.[43]

Other pop songs based on Space Invaders soon followed, including "Disco Space Invaders" (1979) by Funny Stuff,[65] "Space Invaders" (1980) by Playback,[66] and the hit songs "Space Invader" (1980) by The Pretenders[65] and "Space Invaders" (1980) by Uncle Vic.[67]Buckner & Garcia produced a successful album dedicated to video game music in 1982, Pac-Man Fever.[68] Former YMO member Haruomi Hosono also released a 1984 album produced entirely from Namco arcade game samples entitled Video Game Music, an early example of a chiptune record[69] and the first video game music album.[70]Warp's record "Testone" (1990) by Sweet Exorcist sampled video game sounds from YMO's "Computer Game" and defined Sheffield's bleep techno scene in the early 1990s.[71]

More recently, "video game beats" have appeared in popular songs such as Kesha's "Tik Tok",[60] the best-selling single of 2010,[72] as well as "U Should Know Better" by Robyn featuring Snoop Dogg,[60] and "Hellbound" by Eminem. The influence of video game music can also be seen in contemporary electronica music by artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Kieran Hebden.[64]Grime music in particular samples sawtooth wave sounds from video games which were popular in East London.[73] English power metal band DragonForce is also known for their "retro video game influenced" sound.


Video game music has become part of the curriculum at the degree, undergraduate, and graduate levels in many traditional colleges and universities.[74] According to the Entertainment Software Association, there are over 400 schools offering courses and degrees in video game design in the United States, many of which include sound and music design.[75]Berklee College of Music, Yale University, New York University, and the New England Conservatory have all introduced game music into their music programs. These programs offer immersive education in music composition, orchestration, editing and production.[76] Other post-secondary schools have more games-focused programs, such as DigiPen Institute of Technology, Columbia College Chicago, and Academy of Art University,[77] who all offer programs in Music and Sound Design.[78] These programs include courses in sound effect creation, interactive sound design, and scripting music.[79]

Similar programs have gained popularity in Europe. The Utrecht School of the Arts (Faculty of Art, Media and Technology) has offered a Game Sound and Music Design program since 2003. The University of Hertfordshire has a program in Music Composition and Technology for Film and Games, Leeds Beckett University offers Sound and Music for Interactive Games, and dBs Music Bristol teaches Sound for Games and Apps.[80][81][82]

More informal institutions, like the training seminars at GameSoundCon also feature classes in how to compose video game music.[83]

Extracurricular organizations devoted to the performance of video game music have also been implemented in tandem with these new curriculum programs. The Gamer Symphony Orchestra at the University of Maryland performs self-arranged video game music and the Video Game Orchestra is a semiprofessional outgrowth of students from the Berklee College of Music and other Boston-area schools.[84]

According to the National Association for Music Education, video game music is now being taught at elementary and secondary school levels to aid in the understanding of music composition.[85] Students at Magruder High School in Montgomery County, Maryland have even started a student-run gamer orchestra, and many high school bands perform game music.[84]


Academic research on video game music began in the late 1990s,[86] and developed through the mid 2000s. Early research on the topic often involved historical studies of game music, or comparative studies of video game music and film music (see, for instance, Zach Whalen's article "Play Along – An Approach to Videogame Music" which includes both).[87] The study of video game music is also known by some as "ludomusicology" — a portmanteau of "ludology" (the study of games and gameplay) and "musicology" (the study and analysis of music) — a term coined independently by Guillaume Laroche and Roger Moseley.[88][89]

A prominent figure in early video game music and audio research is Karen Collins, who is associate professor at the University of Waterloo and Canada Research Chair in Interactive Audio at the University of Waterloo Games Institute. Her monograph Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design (MIT Press 2008)[90] is considered a seminal work in the field, and was influential in the subsequent development of video game music studies.[citation needed]

The Ludomusicology Research Group is an inter-university research organisation focusing on the study of music in games, music games and music in video game culture, composed of four researchers: Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Melanie Fritsch, and Mark Sweeney.[91] Together they organise an annual international conference held in the UK or Europe (at the time of writing, the most recent was the Ludo2017 conference held at Bath Spa University).[92] The group was founded by Kamp, Summers and Sweeney in August 2011, who have also edited a collection of essays based around the study of game sound entitled Ludomusicology: Approaches to Video Game Music, published in July 2016.[93][94] They also edited a double special issue of The Soundtrack[95] and initiated a new book series for the Study in Game Sound and Music[96] in 2017. In September 2016, Tim Summers' book 'Understanding Video Game Music' was published by Cambridge University Press.[97][98]Fritsch officially joined the group in 2016. She had edited the 2nd issue of the online journal ACT – Zeitschrift für Musik und Performance,[99] published in July 2011, which included ludomusicological contributions written by Tim Summers, Steven B. Reale and Jason Brame. She had been a regular at the conferences since 2012 and published several book chapters on the topic. Whereas Kamp, Summers and Sweeney have a background in musicology, Fritsch's background is in performance studies.[citation needed]

The North American Conference on Video Game Music (NACVGM) is an international conference on video game music held annually in North America since 2014.[100] It is organised by Neil Lerner, Steven Beverburg Reale and William Gibbons.[101]

In late 2016 the Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games (SSSMG) was launched by the Ludomusicology Research Group in conjunction with the organisers of the North American Conference on Video Game Music and the Audio Mostly conference.[101] The SSSMG has the aim of bringing together both practitioners and researchers from across the globe in order to develop the field's understanding of sound and video game music and audio. Its focus is the use of its website as a "hub" for communication and resource centralisation, including a video game music research bibliography (a project initially begun by the Ludomusicology Research Group).[102]

The Ludomusicology Society of Australia was launched by Barnabas Smith in April 2017, during the Ludo2017 conference in Bath, UK; it aims to "offer a centralised and local professional body nurturing game music studies for academics, people in industry and game music fans alike in the Australasian region."[103]


Creating and producing video game music requires strong teams and coordination among the different divisions of game development.[1] As the market has expanded, so have the types of jobs in game music. The process often starts with the game designer, who will have a specific musical theme or genre in mind for the game.[1] Their options include contracting original composers or licensing existing music, both of which require other music experts.

During the arcade and early console era (1983 to the mid 1990s), most game music was composed by full-time employees of the particular game company producing the game. This was largely due to the very specialized nature of video game music, where each system had its own technology and tool sets. It was not uncommon for a game company like Capcom or Konami to have a room full of composers, each at their own workstation with headphones writing music.[104]

Once the CD-era hit and studio recorded music became more ubiquitous in games, it became increasingly common for game music to be composed by independent contractors, hired by the game developer on a per-project basis.[105][106] Most bigger budget games such as Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Ghost Recon, or Lost Planet hire composers in this fashion. Approximately 50% of game composers are freelance, the remaining being employees of a game company.[107] Original score and soundtrack may require the hiring of a Music Director, who will help create the game music as well as help book the resources needed for performing and recording the music.[1] Some music directors may work with a game's Sound Designer to create a dynamic score.[1] Notable exceptions include composer Koji Kondo, who remains an employee at Nintendo, and Martin O'Donnell, who worked at Bungie until early 2014.[108]

The growth of casual, mobile and social games has greatly increased opportunities for game music composers, with job growth in the US market increasing more than 150% over five years.[109] Independently developed games are a frequent place where beginning game composers gain experience composing for video games.[106] Game composers, particularly for smaller games, are likely to provide other services such as sound design (76% of game composers also do some sound design), integration (47% of game composers also integrate their music into audio middleware), or even computer coding or scripting (15%).[110]

With the rising use of licensed popular music in video games, job opportunities in game music have also come to include the role of a music supervisor. Music supervisors work on behalf of a game developer or game publisher to source pre-existing music from artists and music publishers. These supervisors can be hired on a per-project basis or can work in-house, like the Music Group for Electronic Arts (EA) that has a team of music supervisors.[111] A music supervisor is needed to not only help select music that will suit the game, but to also ensure the music is fully licensed in order to avoid lawsuits or conflicts.[1] Music supervisors may also help negotiate payment, which for artists and songwriters is often a one-time buy-out fee, because games do not generate music royalties when they are sold.[1] A growing trend is to contract artists to write original songs for games, to add to their value and exclusivity, and once again supervisors can be a part of that process.[5]



First yearName$$&Category
1983Golden Joystick AwardsGame Audio
1998D.I.C.E. AwardsOutstanding Original Music Composition
1999Independent Games FestivalExcellence in Audio
2000Game Developers Choice AwardsBest Audio
2003Game Audio Network Guild Awards[112]
2003Taipei Game Show Indie Game Awards[113]Best Audio
2004British Academy Games AwardsOriginal Music.[114]
2004International Mobile Gaming AwardsExcellence in Audio
2007International Film Music Critics Association AwardsBest Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media[115]
2011The New York Game Awards[116]Tin Pan Alley Award for Best Music in a Game[117]
2012Grammy Awards, Visual Media AwardsBest Music for Visual Media, Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, and Best Song Written for Visual Media.[118]
2014Hollywood Music In MediaOriginal Score, Song, and Song/Score for Mobile Video Game.[119]
2014The Game AwardsBest Score/Soundtrack.[120]
2014SXSW Gaming AwardsExcellence in Musical Score
2014ASCAP Screen Music AwardsVideo Game Score of the Year
2016Game Audio Awards[121]Best Game Music, Best Sound Design, and Firestarter Award.
2020The Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards[122]Outstanding Original Song for Visual Media, Outstanding Original Score for Interactive Media.


2003–2014Spike Video Game AwardsAwards for Best Soundtrack, Best Song in a Game, and Best Original Score
2004–2006MTV Video Music Award for Best Video Game Soundtrack
2006MTV Best Video Game Score
2010–2011Ivor Novello Awards for Best Original Video Game Score[123]


In 2011, video game music made its first appearance at the Grammy Awards when "Baba Yetu", a song from Civilization IV, won the 53rd annual music awards' Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, making it the first video game music to be nominated for (or to win) a Grammy. The song won for its placement on Christopher Tin’s album Calling All Dawns, but had been used in the game six years prior.[124]

Other video game awards include the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) award for Best Original Score for Interactive Media and's Inside Gaming Awards for Best Original Score and Best Sound Design.[citation needed]

In addition to recognizing the composers of original score, the Guild of Music Supervisors offer a GMS Award to the music supervisors that select and coordinate licensed music for video games.[125]

Fan culture[edit]

Video game fans have created their own fan sites "dedicated to the appreciation and promotion of video game music", including OverClocked ReMix and Rainwave.[126]

Fans also make their own song remixes and compilations, like insaneintherainmusic, and have built online remixing communities through the ease of internet distribution.[5]

There are over 50 podcasts dedicated to the topic of video game music. Most notable among these are the Super Marcato Bros., Rhythm and Pixels, and Game That Tune.[127]

Japanesedōjin music scene is notable for producing albums of arranged videogame music which derived from popular retro franchises such as Mega Man, Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy,[128] from dōjin games, such as Touhou Project, studio Key visual novels and When They Cry series, from popular franchises on Comiket, such as Type-Moon Fate series or Kantai Collection.[129] There have been over six thousand dōjin albums of Touhou Project music released.[130]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

  • VGMdb Video Game Music and Anime Soundtrack Database | VGMdb
  • Academic articles on video game sound and music
  • Early Video Game Soundtracks 2001 article on video game music, orig. published in In Magazine
  • High Score: The New Era of Video Game Music at Tracksounds
  • "The Evolution of Video Game Music", All Things Considered, April 12, 2008
  • List of games with non-original music at
  • Pretty Ugly Gamesound Study Website studying pretty and ugly game music and sound.
  • Resources for design of game sound and music.
  • Audio and Immersion PhD thesis about game audio and immersion.
  • Diggin' in the Carts: A Documentary Series About Japanese Video Game Music, Red Bull Music Academy.
  • Video game composer, Chris Shutt (Composer).
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