Union blasted for game score contract by Austin Wintory

Grammy nominee Austin Wintory (The Banner Saga, Journey) has gone public over an ongoing dispute with the American Federation of Musicians union. In the video below, he reveals that he has been threatened with a 50,000 USD fine for recording the soundtrack to the Kickstarter-funded The Banner Saga in a non-union work. Wintory explains that this is a consequence of the union putting him in an untenable position and may have been persecuted for speaking out against their contracts on Twitter.

Wintory was put in this position because the AFM put together an unreasonable new video game recording contract in 2012 that was not voted-on by musicians and was universally rejected by game companies. Since then, he says, “no union member has been allowed to work on a new video game soundtrack as a result”. As a result, he composed and recorded the soundtrack in Texas with the Dallas Wind Symphony, which is a right-to-work state where union members cannot be restricted from working on non-union activities.

Posted on June 10, 2014 by Chris Greening. Last modified on June 10, 2014.

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About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

One Response to Union blasted for game score contract by Austin Wintory

  1. Oliver Jia says:

    Does the AFM have something against video game music specifically or is this to do with another matter entirely? Either way, it’s a horrible shame that this had to happen, especially to such a talented composer as Mr. Wintory. Unions shouldn’t have to restrict artists from projects. I hope that he is doing well given the difficult and complicated circumstances.

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