There's already a ton of critical praise for Journey, the soothing — almost meditative — PSN adventure title. But the latest kudo carries a bit more weight.
Austin Wintory has been nominated for a Grammy for his work on the game's soundtrack. This marks the first time a video game has been nominated for a Grammy.
The game is nominated in the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media category — and it will face off against the soundtracks for The Adventures of Tintin, The Artist, The Dark Knight Rises, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Hugo. That puts Wintory up against masters like John Williams and Hans Zimmer. Tough competition.
Journey may be the first game to be nominated, but it's not the first video game song to get a Grammy nod. That honor goes to Christopher Tin's "Baba Yetu," which was the theme song for Civilization IV.
The song, which actually won its category in 2011, wasn't nominated as part of the game, though. Instead, it won six years after its release when Tin included it in his album Calling All Dawns.
After its release this year, Journey quickly became the fastest-selling title in the history of the PlayStation Network and PlayStation Store. And those sales figures are likely one of the chief reasons the soundtrack received the Grammy nod.
To mark the March achievement, Journey developer "thatgamecompany" announced plans to release a soundtrack to the game — including a "limited" release on CD.
That CD made the music eligible for the Grammy — and the rest was history.
Game music, when done right, can be both moving and haunting. Jason Bergman, who led public relations on Civilization IV, once called Baba Yetu "the soundtrack of my dreams."
And Journey, which has no real dialogue, is especially dependent on the music. Audiences quickly fell in love with the score.
"After we released Flower in 2009, players sent hundreds of emails about their experience with the game," wrote thatgamecompany creative director Jenova Chen when it set the PSN record. "The reaction to Journey has been even more overwhelming. We have received more letters from fans in the two weeks since Journey's launch than we did for Flower over the past three years!"