Live Score Berlin
Live Score Berlin is a pioneering initiative for greater collaboration between the local gaming and music industries. Nine studios, including seven from Germany, participated in the first Live Score Berlin and collaborated with the renowned Babelsberg Film Orchestra. This initiative focused on working with indie and medium-sized studios to provide developers, players, and supporters with the opportunity to experience their soundtrack live with an orchestra.
Just as in recent years, the gaming industry plays a significant role in various industries, as Toa Dunn, Head of Riot Games Music, pointed out: "More young people listen to orchestral music through their game consoles today than have ever listened to orchestral music in the history of music. Live orchestral performances of video game music include GameOn, Game Concerts, Distant Worlds, and Video Games Live. Many large video game franchises invest in the craft of music for their IP. While at Riot, we had a high preference (when budgets permitted) to use live musicians for our recordings."
Even the smallest live elements greatly enhance the quality of music in games, making closer collaboration at the local level a natural choice. The goal of Live Score Berlin is to reduce the apprehension of local music facilities, recording studios, and live musicians and make the auditory and emotional moments of a game more accessible. Participating studios had the opportunity to attend a recording session in the film studios, where they could explain the influences of the game and pass them on to the musicians, allowing them to immerse themselves in the world of the game universe. Each of the studios could take home photos, impressions, and, of course, the live-performed music. This music will then be encountered by their players in the game, further captivating them.
This collaboration opened up opportunities for different communities, joint marketing strategies, and various distribution channels (e.g., music releases), which are crucial for game developers to remain internationally competitive.
Participating studios included: Bitfall Studios (Toplitz Games), Appeal Studios (NACON), Twin Drums, Elysium Game Studios, ByteRockers’ Games, BAD Spiele Studio, Vision Keeper Studios, Grownarts, and Unnamable Arts.
The project was initiated and led by Markus Zierhofer, a game composer from Berlin, who was able to implement the concept with the support of his Game Audio company, AudioCreatures GmbH. Due to the consistently positive feedback, efforts are now underway to further develop it for next year, expanding the offering with the support of local associations and backers, making live recordings more accessible to the gaming market. Live Score Berlin represents a significant step toward a more harmonious connection between the gaming and music worlds.