New contract drawn up to lift block on US musicians working in games

New contract drawn up to lift block on US musicians working in games
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

June 11th 2014 at 10:26AM

AFM creates template for future deals

The American Federation of Musicians has drawn up a new contract with Microsoft in an effort to lift an effective two-year block on its 90,000 members composing music for games.

The Banner Saga and Journey composer Austin Wintory recently claimed the current contract, created by the AFM’s board without consultation from members, had been “universally rejected” by all developers and publishers.

He said he faced a potential $50,000 fine for going against the Union and scoring Stoic’s The Banner Saga.

The AFM's president Ray Hair has now responded to the matter to Variety, and said after extensive negotiations with Microsoft it has now created a template for future deals with game publishers.

The new contract, effectively immediately until October 2016, asks for basic wages of $300 per musician for a three-hour session. The recording can then be used in that game and subsequent sequels on all platforms.

It is hoped the new deal will allow US musicians to begin working with the game industry again.

In response to the update, Wintory tweeted: “Note that this still does not solve the problem of a threat and intimidation-based culture within the union.

“There are DEFINITE problems with this contract but if even ONE session emerges from it's a substantial step up from the last 2 years.”

Image credit: Lonecello