Using royalty-free music in your games

  • Hi!

    I wanted to know your opinion on using royalty-free music in games.

    Royalty-free means that you pay a one-time fee and then you can use the music file (in this case it's a music file) in your projects multiple times. But royalty-free is non-exclusive license which means other developers can buy the same track and use it in their projects. So, isn't a bad thing that the music from your games can be heard in a bunch of other projects out there? This question keeps bothering me...

  • If you want to make money from your game and you worked hard on it, my advice is to buy some tracks.

    And if you want to publish the game for free, then add any nice free music.

    This is my opinion.

  • What tracks do you advise to buy? My game is for selling, yes. And I don't have a problem about buying some royalty free music but my post is not about this. My post is about royalty free tracks which require spending money in order to have rights for using them. But again, other developers can do the same with those tracks and they also can have them in their own games. So I wanted to know how people even buy royalty free music when they know that others can buy it too for their own games? Hiring a composer for exclusive soundtracks requires a crazy amount of money and it's just not a way out for an indie developer.

  • You can buy music from fiverr for only 5$, and it's very good music.

    I bought my main menu music from there.

  • Could you send me a link to that person's page at Fiverr, please? A few months ago I tried to find a good composer there but every one of them asked for an extra hundred or half to make an exclusive track...

  • Also check this post,( very recommended ) :

  • Soundimage.org is not a bad site, but again, I need exclusive soundtracks that would be heard only in my games and nowhere else. The person you suggested asks a lot of extra money in order to make some seconds of exclusive soundtrack (from my description or example) and then a little more extra bucks to give me commercial rights to use it.

    See? That's the problem I'm talking about in this topic. Either it's a royalty free track that others can use in their projects (which is not good for your unique and serious projects) or it's hiring a composer that costs crazy amount of money, especially if you need more than one soundtrack.

    Anyway, thanks for trying to help!

  • I came across this guy on Fiverr too. At first I thought $15 wasn't much for a song. Until this topic I didn't notice the commercial release that's basically required if you ever want to earn from your game.

    Making the game itself is relatively easy and I'm quite good with graphics too, but getting original sounds and music is the hard part.

    What does royalty free music cost anyway per track? Does anyone recommend any sites I could take a look at?

  • Royalty free music is much cheaper than exclusive tracks.

    Check out Scirra's Store: https://www.scirra.com/store/royalty-free-music

    However, keep in mind that royalty free license means that the seller keeps the rights to sell same tracks to others. So if you don't want your game's music to be used in other people's projects (personally, I don't like it much), then royalty free soundtracks is not for you. On the other hand, hiring a composer for exclusive soundtracks will cost you a lot, especially if you need more than one track.

    You can search in Google something like, "royalty free soundtracks". But read carefully about the license agreement because some sellers require buying more expensive license once you have sold 10.000 copies of your game. Just avoid those sites...

    So, as you can see, that's the reason why I started this topic. I thought maybe someone would suggest something for indie developers who can't afford hiring expensive composers to get some exclusive tracks.

  • Thanks for that link. Didn't know about Scirra's store.

    Are you talking about AudioJungle, exceeding the 10.000 'copies'? As far as I could make out of their terms is that such applies to games that are being downloaded, like from Steam for example. I could be wrong though, gonna email them to be sure. AudioJungle sure has top notch work and the pricing is low compared to other (crappier) sites.

    In any case, breaking 10.000 plays/downloads of your game appears to be tough, judging from what people on the forum say, so if you do get it done could one consider a game to be succesful? If so, then paying an extra (double price) license isn't much I guess, considering your game plays will soar anyway. But that might be perhaps a bit too much on the optmistic side.

    I think we don't have much choice - I guess we just need to work hard on our games, and make sure their worth playing, hopefully covering audio costs. Honestly I don't think anything like $5 soundtracks exists that also have a full commercial license. Would you? Create one-time tracks for $5? Take into account that the maker put his life's hours in, maybe even bought special equipment, and share revenue with the channels that distribute their tracks. When you start to take that into account then some sites offer seriously good tracks at a bargain.

    Making games is basically a business model like any other. Maximize profit and minimize effort. Not saying we should make crappy games, but rather learn to work efficiently and earn enough to make profit so that audio won't be an obstacle anymore, since we can cover the costs with revenue.

    I'm thinking for my games, is to start simple, not try to get everything perfect where it's not possible. If you go to AudioJungle you can see how many times a track has been downloaded. Choose the one's with a lower price, that still have low downloads. What are the odds that if a track has been downloaded three times that it will be used in a game, and if so, a game similar to yours, plus, would that person even remember that soundtrack? Maybe he played that game a half a year ago never to remember it again. Heck, who says the track has even been put to use and wasn't an impulsive buy?

    • R
  • Games on Google Play are also downloadable, aren't they? And I do believe that it's possible to achieve 10.000 downloads if your game is really good. Personally, no matter what I do I try to do it as perfect as possible. When it comes to creating graphics for my game, I make details even where a player won't notice them easily. Also, I just can't draw a small piece of background and then copy/paste it a few times and let it repeat itself. I like everything original, unique, different from each other. So and the music in my games. I like it to match the mood of each level. I can't choose any soundtrack and then say, "Oh, this one sounds not bad and also it's cheap!". I always choose music that will match my game's mood. And often it means hiring a composer.

    But I think you're right when you say that players probably won't recognize a soundtrack if they heard it somewhere else before (this thought came to my mind a few times before). The only reason it can happen is if the track was heard in a popular game. But then again, developers of popular games usually hire a composer.

    So, I think the best solution for indie developers is to start with royalty free music and then, in case of success, use the money from game sells to hire a composer for the next big project.

  • As of now, Jam Lamb (stock music site) does not have those restrictions.

    There are a few nice pieces here:

  • Here is the link I believe https://jamlamb.com/. But these are bit much imo for what he is looking for. Majority is $15 and up.

    http://www.jewelbeat.com/ is 2.99 per track. They even have free ones where you of course have to credit them for usage. They have alternate version of tracks and let you get all of them for $4.99. Or entire album for $9.99.

    Their license is here http://www.jewelbeat.com/static/license.php

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  • lol u guys want exclusive muic for low price.. like u want to get much money from ur games and pay so few to the composer thats not fair at all... if u want something special then u should pay good and pay fair to what u need.. dont be greedy

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