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MMOWTF: What’s the Score? Music in MMO

Posted Sep 28, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMOWTF: What’s the Score? Music in MMO's own Dan Fortier uses his weekly column to discuss music in MMORPGs.

There are elements of a game that are rarely given notice in the feature list and overlooked by players engrossed in the obvious content of most MMOs. One of these unappreciated elements is the game’s musical score. It works behind the scenes to immerse or annoy us, depending on its quality. When used properly and aesthetically it can turn a well designed game into a masterpiece and can inversely mar an otherwise enjoyable product. This week I’m going to go a little soft as I explain some of the reasons why music is underrated and not given the attention it deserves especially in the MMO genre. Get a healthy supply of Compazine so we can get this little one man opera started!

When compared to the fantastic soundtracks of single player games such as The Elder Scrolls and Homeworld, most of the music presented in the modern MMO pales in comparison. Why is quality so much lower for games that players spend more time in than any other? While that cheery symphony in Freeport might sound great the first two hundred hours you spend there, it likely to be less pleasing the next thousand times you hear it. It seems unless a game is being produced by one of the MMO dynasties, the musical score and sound effects are added almost as an afterthought, just to know when you hit a monster or zoned to a new location.

Read it all here.