Journey composer facing $50,000 fine from Musicians Union

Austin Wintory is facing legal action after composing the score to The Banner Saga



4:00 PM on 06.09.2014

If you've played the likes of Journey, Monaco, or The Banner Saga, then you'll have heard the wonderful music composed by Austin Wintory. Unfortunately, the Grammy-nominated composer is under fire from his union, the American Federation of Musicians, and is facing a possible $50,000 fine after working on the The Banner Saga's score.

At the end of 2012, the AFM put together a new contract specifically for musicians and composers wanting to provide music for games. However, this was seemingly done without any feedback or consultation with any of the 90,000 union members and as such, the agreement was dismissed by game publishers and developers. After recording the score for The Banner Saga, Austin Wintory has now been threatened with a large fine and possible legal action.

This seems like an absurd situation; musicians and composers are forced to work outside their own union just so they can make the soundtrack to a videogame. It sounds counter-productive to say the least and Austin has recorded the video above as a way of publicizing the problem. If you read Dale North's interview with him from earlier this year, you can tell Austin is really passionate about composing music for games and it'd be a real shame if one of the industry's best were unfairly targeted due to unreasonable legislation. 


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Alasdair Duncan

Contributor