Game Concept Art and Soundtracks, Why Not?


I was watching the latest 1up show (ep. 22) where Jane Pinckard is interviewing Jon Gibson about the exhibit "1 am 8bit" and they start talking about all the amazing concept art that is made for games but that no one outside the team or company ever gets to see.

In Japan, some of this stuff actually makes it out. For example books on Onimusha. An even better example is game music soundtracks. In Japan it seems like nearly every game has its soundtrack released on CD. You can walk into the big Tsutaya store in Shibuya and there's a wall with probably 2000 CDs of game music.

What is it about Japan's market that they find it okay to do this but not in the American market? Jane asks what have they got to lose. It's not like they have do a lot of work, all the music and art is already done, just put it out. Jon suggests it's because America is so big that it's prohibitively expensive to distrubute a CD or book that's only going to sell 500 to 3000 copies since they have to be flown to CD and book stores all over the country. While that used to be true, it's definately not true anymore.

Put the music on iTMS or cafepress. It takes no time, it would please the fans, it would help promote the game and it costs almost no money to do.

Same with books. Have an artist put together a book of pre−production art etc, write it to a PDF and put it on print−on−demand sight like Lulu or something. Come on Sony! I want a book on Shadow of the Colossus. I'm sure many people would like books on Katamari Damacy or Pyschonauts or Rez or many other fan loved games. You listening Namco? You listening Double Fine?

Talk to Taschen. They clearly have no problem publishing at least a few books that they don't expect to sell a lot of. They've got limited edition books, books that are 3feet by 2feet big. All kinds of low numbers stuff. I'm sure they'd be interested in some of the more artistic titles.

GET ON IT GAME COMPANIES! You got nothing to lose! Lots of fans to please and since when is free PR and exposre a bad thing?

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