In wrestling, we’ve grown used to intro themes for the major stars which stick around for many years, or even their entire careers. The association becomes a part of their persona, and while their themes might change for narrative reasons, rarely is a change in the mainstream scene because of an issue of rights. This is a much more complicated system than we might think, however, especially in the realm of digital media.
Rarely is this issue as pronounced as it is with the various types of gaming. From traditional video games to online casino games, we want to explore the best examples of a musical and gameplay relationship, and the challenges that are faced in this arena.
Download Undertaker Theme Song
Online Casino Games
Perhaps the most similar to how wrestling performs in terms of direct and ongoing association is the relationship between online casino games and bands or songs. Slot games are the best examples here, with titles like Gun N’ Roses, Megadeth, and Jimi Hendrix being particularly popular.
In digital entertainment, games like these are interesting because of how closely they associate with the rights of a given artist or set of tracks. When these slots are developed, they are essentially given near-full leave to use the themes as the designers wish, as long as the games perform fairly. Since these games seldom require changes, this means slots like the above examples can happily exist for extremely long periods, similar to how wrestling operates.
These games also serve an important purpose as one of the many methods used in drawing in new players. Running alongside offers such as deposit matches and free spins, the wide appeal and instant visibility of these musical based slots serves to instantly gain favor. If the slots prove well-designed, all the better for it.
The world of video games finds itself in a very different position and one which can change enormously over the years. Sometimes issues regarding rights can require a reshuffling of included properties, other times they can render a game effectively abandoned to the annals of time.
An illustration of the latter could be found in Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child. A first-person shooter for the PC and long-dead Dreamcast, this game was moderately well-received before shipping stopped around the year 2000.
On the other hand, we have games like the Grand Theft Auto and Tony Hawk series. Both of these are immensely popular, and both have suffered musical rights-related problems. In GTA 5 Online, which has existed since 2013, entire radio stations have had to be modified over the game’s lifespan. This is because the property is constantly updated, meaning rights constantly need to be refreshed. The Tony Hawks 1&2 Remaster has a similar dilemma, where some of the famed music has to be cut for rights-related reasons.
Overall, we’re given the impression that leaning games on music can be a balancing act. Go too far one way and nobody will want to touch it down the line. On the other side, taking another approach can cost a fortune in relicensing, where missing tracks can reshape the original vision of a game. Only if properly leveraged with a long-term plan can the best results be accomplished. Given how rare and complex this has proven to be, we’ll count ourselves lucky wrestling is rarely inflicted with such difficulties.
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