Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, is the premier annual trade fair for the video game industry, used by video game publishers and developers to reveal and advertise their upcoming games through gameplay demos, promotional commercials, and on-site activations.
Numerous industry pundits have reviewed these premieres, but few have explored how music is leveraged by publishers and developers to engage with fans during each game’s big reveal. So, we took a look and determined the Top Five Most Musically Engaging Games of E3. Game on.
Adr1ft | 505 Games
Set in the dark, silent void of space, Adr1ft by 505 Games used music in a way few astral media have done before. According to an IGN interview with the developers, the game was inspired in part by the music of Pink Floyd and the rock band Weezer reportedly contributed to the soundtrack, too. Additionally, the trailer for the game features Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” though listeners will most likely recognize the tune as the iconic melody to Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” The haunting song is what makes this space-based ad especially stellar.
Guitar Hero Live | Activision
The general gameplay behind Guitar Hero Live will be familiar to most gamers – controlling a plastic guitar to match visual cues on the screen. However, there have been numerous updates to the franchise since the last Guitar Hero to evolve the music game into an even greater rock band experience. Synced to an interactive, full-motion video, gameplay simulates a real-world concert setting from the first-person perspective of the guitarist. The game’s soundtrack will include songs by The Black Keys, Ed Sheeran, Of Mice and Men, and more, as well as tons of downloadable content to keep gamers’ setlists rockin’.
Battleborn | 2K Games
Developed by the same creators of popular game Borderlands, Battleborn is a first-person shooter with a large focus on its online multiplayer arena elements. To advertise this feature, its E3 2015 trailer, “Battleborn: For Every Kind of Badass” portrays the 25 different characters available for gameplay.
The ad opens with the popular dub-pop song, “Fitzpleasure” by English indie rockers alt-J. Formed in 2008, the band has experienced recent worldwide acclaim and appeared at Chicago’s 2015 Lollapalooza festival at the end of July, only weeks after 2K Games premiered “Battleborn: For Every Kind of Badass.” The ad currently has been viewed 4.8 million times since its June 4 release.
EA Sports 16 Lineup | EA Games
As the music team at EA Games continues to demonstrate, music plays a big role in its sports titles; the premieres of FIFA 16, Madden NFL 16, NBA Live 16, and NHL 16 proved that is still the case.
EA revealed that EA Trax, the title of the in-game soundtracks on their video games, would be re-integrated into Madden NFL 16 and that the publisher will also partner with Spotify to bring back the most popular songs from previous titles in the Madden franchise. Additionally, NBA Live 16’s “Official E3 First Look Trailer” features “Out the Trunk Out the Trunk” from hip hop artist Fashawn’s second studio album, The Ecology, which was released in February 2015.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate | Ubisoft
The newest addition to the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed franchise, Syndicate is set in London amid the Industrial Revolution as players navigate the city’s corridors of organized crime during the Victorian era.
To maximize the effect of its highly anticipated trailer, Ubisoft synced “In The Heat of the Moment” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, the solo moniker of former Oasis lead guitarist Noel Gallagher. The band promoted the sync on its site and the YouTube video has been viewed 5.9 million times since its June 15 release.
By: Zach Miller, Music Dealers