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These video games have won Grammys for their soundtracks

Although not as popular as Taylor Swift winning a Grammy for her album ‘Midnights,’ these video games have also made history at the Grammys

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A decorative Grammy at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards.

A decorative Grammy at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards.

Chris Pizzello, Associated Press

Getting nominated for a Grammy is a big deal for musicians, composers and others in the music industry.

In 2023, the Recording Academy added a new category: best score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media — 10 years after the first video game soundtrack won a Grammy.

When was the first time video game music won a Grammy?

According to NBC, “Civilization IV” won a Grammy for its music at the 2011 Grammy Awards ceremony, specifically the song “Baba Yetu” by Christopher Tin.

Tin said that he hoped the Grammy award would bring awareness to the great music video games have, per NBC.

And the Grammys seem to have taken notice. Recognizing the impact video game music brings to people, the Grammys created a new category in 2023 to recognize them.

According to an interview with the Grammy Awards, Steve Schnur, worldwide executive at Electronic Arts, shared, “Today, video games have become culture. And their principal cultural driver will always be music.”

Why is music so impactful?

The Recording Academy says that music is an important factor when experiencing video games. The academy interviewed Tayler Backman, a sound designer and composer, who shared, “Whenever I hear a theme from ‘Super Mario 64,’ I’m immediately brought back to my childhood and some of my favorite memories playing the game with friends.” 

Research has shown that music can help us in our emotional well-being with a positive impact, per the American Psychiatric Association. And notable musicians have shared their journeys with mental health, including Adele, Billie Eilish and Kendrick Lamar, according to the APA.

The latest video game music winners

More musicians and composers whose works appear in video games are getting rewarded.

In 2021, the piece “Meta Knight’s Revenge” won a Grammy in the category best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella, from the video game “Kirby Superstar,” per the Grammy Awards.

In 2023, Stephanie Economou won the Grammy for best score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media, per the Grammys. Her music score was in the video game “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök.”

In an interview with the Recording Acedemy, Economou shared her hope that this new Grammy award will help the video game community get the esteem boost it deserves.

2024 saw its second winner in the video game category, composers Stephen Barton and Gordy Haab, for their soundtrack in “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor,” per Grammy Awards.

Other nominations for best score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media

Here are other video games that were also nominated for a 2024 Grammy:

  • “Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II.”

  • “God Of War Ragnarök.”

  • “Hogwarts Legacy.”

  • “Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical.”