The Grammy Awards made history on Sunday with the introduction of a new category for video game music, acknowledging the significant impact the genre has had on pop culture. The first-ever award for video game music was awarded to Stephanie Economou, the composer behind "Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok."
A Triumph for the Industry
In her acceptance speech, Economou praised those who have been advocating for the creation of this category and expressed her gratitude for the recognition.
Backstage, she expressed her disbelief at winning, given her relative newcomer status in the video game music space and the presence of veterans in the field. "I did not have high hopes for this category because... I am generally very green in the video game music space and up against such giants and veterans," she said.
The other nominees in the category were composers behind “Aliens: Fireteam Elite,” “Call Of Duty: Vanguard,” “Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and “Old World”. Economou also pointed out that she was the only woman nominated in the category and expressed her hope that this will set a precedent for more female representation in future years.
Video games were previously included in the music for visual media category, which also encompassed music for film and television. A recent Deloitte survey conducted in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, and Japan found that video games are the main source of entertainment for Generation Z, with many young gamers citing music as an integral part of their gaming experience.
A New Frontier for Composers
Economou, based in Los Angeles, stated that the strong connection between gamers and video game music presents a thrilling opportunity for composers. She stated, "A lot of [gamers] cannot separate the music from a game, and that's a really exciting opportunity for any composer coming in." The recognition of video game music by the Grammy Awards opens up a new frontier for composers and musicians to showcase their work and gain wider recognition.
The new category "is an important step for people to recognize that video games have been in the zeitgeist for so long now."