Questions about how to handle payment for games music.

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by KIAS, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. KIAS

    KIAS New Member

    Sep 11, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Hey, there! I hope I am right here? :)

    So i am in the beginning of developing my own game, a classical retro RPG, and im now in talk with a musician to compose music for my game. He said im the first one who actually commissions music for a commercial game and so he himself wasnt sure how to handle the payment. Then he came up with a Price. He said he would like to have 50€ (about 60$) per minute of a finished song without exclusive rights which means that anyone else can get a licence for the songs that were composed for my game much much cheaper than me (he sells such licences on his website for about 2€). On top of that he would like to have 20% games revenue per 100 sales... to me that doesnt sound fair.. or am I wrong? Does anyone has experience in how to handle it right? It doesnt make sense to me that I pay lets say 150€ per song and on top of that pay him 20% per 100 sales for a lifetime o_O or am i getting something wrong here? I hope you guys can help me. As you might already guess I am a total beginner on this whole indie game developement thing ;)

    Greetings from Germany,

  2. Danresn

    Danresn New Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    There's nothing inherently unreasonable or unusual about the structure of that deal, however I agree the actual percentage does seem a little high but the per minute rate is fairly low assuming they are of a reasonable quality.

    You should be mindful that when you are paying for music from a composer it isn't just the actual end product. As an example
    - The time spent to 'find the sound' of the project
    - Every revision (you are entitled to these and should be making suggestions)
    - Interactive music (Every project I've worked on has always had some element of interactivity - maybe not for yours but this does take special planning to work in)
    - Assurance (As much as you are paying for music that is good, you're also paying for an assurance that the music definitely won't be terrible. Examples of the composer's past work prove their ability)
    - The end product

    Learning how to ask for music and quote on projects is difficult and I struggle with it on every new project as well. Just remember the revenue sharing is extremely risky for a composer, most games are finished and even less are successful. It can be really frustrating to work on a project for rev-share only to have that project fail a couple months down the line, so there is a substatial element of risk to a composer if they choose to work rev-share that should be compensated by a larger cut.

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