AOL Video Games Scores station interview

AOL Video Games Scores station interview

Written by Charles Husemann on 6/10/2005 for

Music in video games has come a long way since the industry was born. We’ve gone from simple, monotone scores to full on surround sound orchestral scores. The purpose of music in games has also changed from basic background music to actually creating an emotional response to enhance the actions of the gamer. It’s hard to forget the fast paced techno music when you find your first Skaarj in Unreal to the signature chorus from the Halo series.

The only problem with in-game music is that for the most part, the only time you get to listen to the music is when you are playing the game. Sure a few companies have released game soundtracks for their games but they are few and far between. To help solve that problem, America On Line has added a Video Game Scores station to their AOL Online radio network. We got a chance to talk to Pete Schiecke, the AOL Radio Programming Manager about how the network got started and where they are going to take it.

GamingNexus: Why did you decide to bring the radio program back?
Pete Schiecke: Since Final Fantasy Radio went away (it ceased with the end of a deal), many AOL Radio listeners were emailing us and asking to bring the station back. I decided to go one step beyond Final Fantasy radio and create a channel dedicated to all of the great video game music out there.


GamingNexus: Is the station only available to AOL subscribers or is it open to the general public?
Pete Schiecke: Starting later this month, a free version of AOL Radio will be available through AOL.com. With the launch of our web version, everyone will be able to enjoy the Video Game Scores channel.


GamingNexus: Is this something that will be broadcasted 24 hrs a day or only during select portions of the day? Approximately how many hours of game music content will be broadcasted each day?
Pete Schiecke: The channel plays videogame soundtrack music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


GamingNexus: How many songs do you have in the rotation now?
Pete Schiecke: There are roughly 400 tracks in rotation at any given time. I’m constantly rotating songs in and out of the playlist to keep the channel fresh.


GamingNexus: Where you able to get everything you asked for or were some developers resistant to having their music broadcast?
Pete Schiecke: I’ve seen no resistance so far. Everyone I’ve talked with has been incredibly excited and supportive.

GamingNexus: Is this an on-going station or are you only going to run it for a limited time?
Pete Schiecke: The channel is on-going.GamingNexus: With the advent of gaming concerts (such as the Final Fantasy:More Friends concert) have you considered airing these type of events?
Pete Schiecke: While we don’t currently have any plans to speak of, it would certainly be something we would consider doing. It’s exciting that more of these gaming concerts are happening in the United States.

GamingNexus: Do you think you'll ever have the situation where the music will debut on your radio station before the game is launched? (similar to how movie soundtracks work)
Pete Schiecke: Absolutely. While I can’t talk about specifics right now, we do have plans to premiere video game music.


GamingNexus: Since this launch of the station have you had developers come to you with their music?
Pete Schiecke: While everyone we’ve worked with has been great, Tommy Tallarico, one of the most well known game composers in the United States, lent me his soundtrack collection to help us out. He’s very supportive of the channel.


GamingNexus: Do you classify most of the music you’ve picked as one genre (rock, orchestral) or do you have a wide variety of music.
Pete Schiecke: I’ve picked a very large variety of music. The great thing about AOL Radio is that the listeners can rate each song they hear, so I get instant feedback. If the feedback on a particular song is bad, I’ll stop playing the song. On the other hand, if the feedback is extremely positive, I’ll play the song more often. In the end, it’s the AOL Radio listeners that decide what gets played, not me.

We’d like to thank Pete for taking the time to talk to us about the Video Game Scores network and to Deana for helping to set up the interview. You can check out AOL Radio network by clicking here

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

Hi, my name is Charles Husemann and I've been gaming for longer than I care to admit. For me it's always been about competing and a burning off stress. It started off simply enough with Choplifter and Lode Runner on the Apple //e, then it was the curse of Tank and Yars Revenge on the 2600. The addiction subsided somewhat until I went to college where dramatic decreases in my GPA could be traced to the release of X:Com and Doom.   I have been a Microsoft Xbox MVP since 2009.
  View Profile

comments powered by Disqus