Poll Question 333 – How often do you buy game soundtracks?

24th December 2015

I was recently looking at a Steam page for a game, can’t remember which,sorry, and I noticed that the soundtrack was available.

In general, I love soundtracks, both from movies and games.

The problem is that they can be expensive, at least when I used to buy them (no, that doesn’t mean I download them now, it means I don’t listen to music much any more).

This game was around 10 Euros and the sound track was 5 Euros.

To me, that’s quite expensive – 50% the cost of the game. I’m pretty sure people would buy more if they were cheaper, although that argument is used for almost everything.

So I began to wonder how many of you actually buy the soundtracks from games.

Which reminds, some mods have even released soundtracks and if I am not mistaken, some have even sold them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this whole issue.

Time to Vote


  1. well i got the hl2 soundtrack automatically and i also received the mirrors edge soundtrack with the retail game
    however i wouldnt go out my way to buy a game soundtrack unless it was amazing … and theres not many that would be that good that it would buy it ( rather spend money of the game )

  2. Zekiran

    There have been a few that I did – both Borderlands 1 and 2 (presequel was crap), the added available cleaned-up version of Deus Ex Human Revolution.

    That said, I *will* rip tunes from sound folders in games when they’re good, and put them into play in my music directory. The City of Heroes music, Portal(s), Half Life(s), assorted mods, Saints Row 3/4, FEAR, the games I like playing, I often care enough about the game BECAUSE of the music, and thus it becomes part of why I love going in and playing some more. If a game has good music, compellingly adding to the overall experience and not just slapped in there for effect, I’ll port the tunes over and listen to them frequently.

  3. The last soundtrack I ever bought was paid for out of my pocket money, it was on good old fashioned vinyl and I was 12 yrs old. It was from a show I saw in the West End (The Shaftesbury Theatre), My parents took (allowed) me to see it. Since then I have never bought a soundtrack from any show/film/game.
    When I watch or play, the soundtrack is part of the experience and rarely can be enjoyed after the event in a stand alone context. I don’t buy soundtracks as they are for whatever format a cash-in to support making money.
    For those (the slightest bit interested)
    The year was 1970
    The Show was HAIR

  4. I have quite a few game soundtracks. I’ve always found game music appealing, even going back to the NES and that warbly Commodore 64 SID chip stuff. During the late 90s, with the rise of CD-ROMs, game music started to lose its identity as it was supplanted by licensed and generic “movie soundtrack” music we still have today. Today, only indies and a few big companies – notably Nintendo – continue the distinct “game music” tradition of infectious tunes that are designed to loop and won’t be confined to the background. The technology affords them more panache, but the sensibilities are the same. 🙂

    While they can be expensive to buy individually, you can often come across deals. Humble Bundles will typically include the game soundtrack with purchase and there’s a recurring “Indie Game Music Bundle” that gets you a couple dozen albums for $10 or so. Half the time, I know nothing about the game, but if the music is good, I’ll be encouraged to look into it.

    Indies are ahead of the big companies on this, taking advantage of things like Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Unfortunately, on the off chance that a big company releases a soundtrack, they’ll often pare it down to only a few tracks (i.e. a CD’s worth of music) instead of offering the whole thing. And good luck finding anything from more than a few years ago through official channels.

    1. Zekiran

      ^^ That last part is why I went looking for (and found) other … means… to get the rest of the Deus Ex soundtrack. It only has what, 13 or 14 of the 26 found on another version, but that *pales* in comparison to how much music is actually IN the game. (… 260+ tracks but many of those include fx…)

      I picked up the Quake original game on disk – for the music because it’s Trent Reznor’s work.

      1. Yeah, when I got Quake about a year back, I got a CD copy at Goodwill just so I could have the soundtrack. It’s a great piece of work that complements the game perfectly.

        And Deus Ex was exactly the game I was thinking of when I said that. There’s no reason why people buying the soundtrack shouldn’t have the whole soundtrack. It’s 2015. Restricting the amount of music to CD’s worth makes absolutely no sense.

        Honestly, if I had my way, companies would give away the soundtracks with the games. I don’t see any reason why fans should be made to jump through hoops and deal with incomplete work when they are going out of their way to pay for it. As others have said – it’s all on YouTube anyway. Which means the fans who buy your soundtracks are doing it because they want to support you, the developer. So don’t screw them.

        1. Zekiran

          lol I bought Quake when it was NEW. >_> I’ve still never actually played it. Heck I might… actually have the DATA on that disk copied along with the music.

  5. Heinz

    Most of the OST’s I am interested in, are available on Youtube, so I don’t buy them.
    Just listen to them, not ripping…
    For example Deus Ex or HL².

    Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all of you (especially to Phil, I hope you are well)

  6. marnamai

    never, I just lookup OST on youtube

    1. Are there lots of game soundtracks on YouTube?

  7. I never buy them. I will often download OSTs, but that’s only because the soundtracks I love are from PSOne or Megadrive games. You can’t buy those. 😛

    1. Zekiran

      I’ll actually *purchase* them when I believe that the people making them deserve that much more recognition and cash for their effort.

      I’ll seek out downloadable rips or take the music directly out of my files when I own the game, because frankly: I already own the game, have paid for it, and should be able to experience the individual pieces of it as I see fit. Sometimes I don’t have the game on my drive any more, because DOS game lol, but still I paid for it already so I don’t feel too compelled to be guilty over ripping it.

  8. Senator33

    Being at least partway into the music business (am a member of a symphony orchestra board of directors and a cellist for that and several other groups), maybe I can add something here.

    We often deal with rental and public domain sheet music. Most often, rental is all you can do for performance of music composed since 1928. The rentals are extremely expensive, as are movie/orchestral collaborations (think of a live symphony playing in coordination with a Bugs Bunny cartoon).

    In spite of the hardship imposed on smaller music organizations, the copyrights are perfectly understandable – and enforced by ASCAP and BMI.

    With one orchestra, we played music from PacMan and Mario Brothers. Had to raise ticket prices to afford it!

    Someday would love to play the Call of Duty music. Awesome for the strings!

  9. Mega Sean 45

    For those people that said “never”, they admitted to pirating. XD

    1. Zekiran

      When you already own the game, the game includes the music. I voted “Sometimes” because I do personally spend that money on the best ones. But saying never doesn’t equate to pirating, and I would be pretty sure that anyone who WANTS to find the rip of a game soundtrack *also already owns* the game.

      If more companies would make their soundtracks available, with the full score rather than just ‘inspired by’ or ‘half a dozen from each release’ as they have been (witness DXHR and Borderlands above) we’d be much more likely to buy them.

  10. Bolec

    I buy it as DLCs or download if they come bundled on HumbleBundle.
    I treat them like music CD – no reason not to buy.
    I love music. (especially masterful OST by Michael McCann for Deus Ex Human Revolution)

  11. With the latest steam winter sales .. how about asking what games people bought … i purchased just cause 2 in the morning for £9-99 and then that night it went on sale for just £2-50 …. not happy
    another game i bought was”hard reset ” which is a epic fps ….. and a game called “intergallatic bubbles” cost me just 19p but its one of those addictive puzzle games which both me and my wife love !
    happy xmas phillip !

  12. Hm in a lifetime I bought soundtracks only twice..

    One for the television series Andromeda Ascendant which had some neat tracks in it.

    And the 2nd was the Audio CD for Atlantis – The lost tales pc which had wonderful music in it. Usually if I like some game music very much I simply decompile it and copy it out onto my desktop. And if that’s not possible due to an unknown file format or missing modding tools I simply record it straight out the game for my personal usage at home.

  13. Because I’m from the older 8-bit generation I routinely muted game music whenever I could. I didn’t realise HL2 had music in it until I started to notice some mods had some good original music in them!
    I had the Nightmare House 2 soundtrack that was a free download and some others, but a ‘ransom-ware’ virus attack left me with all my data effectively kidnapped! Wiping the PC and installing new Windows 7 meant loosing those un-backed-up soundtracks!
    I have bought anime CD’s but no games so far. I often listen on Youtube or some gaming/anime music sites to revive old gaming memories.
    As for film soundtracks, lots. I even have a “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” LP album in stereo!

  14. I don’t.
    Also, all my Valve game soundtracks came free with the games. 😀

  15. I want to say never, but I think I bought Gunpoint with the soundtrack (and then proceeded to never listen to said soundtrack).

    Generally if I like a game’s music, I’m just gonna be the weird scumbag who listens to it on YouTube instead of buying OR downloading it illegally, which is generally the accepted dichotomy. I think the blasphemous exception was when, a long time ago, I downloaded the entirety of Half-Life 2’s soundtrack… which has since become free, so I guess it’s okay?

    I would’ve made an exception and bought Portal 2’s if it hadn’t been released for free either.

  16. Sooo… I actually bought an OST after Christmas. Rocket League on Steam is my new gaming addiction. It is sooo good and the soundtrack is awesome if your into Electro / Drum n Bass. Bought it so I could have it in the car. 😛

    1. Cool. Don’t you find you drive different depending on the music playing? I have had to stop listening to AC/DC in the car and switch to classical.

  17. Usually people upload it to youtube and make playlists of it, so I like to listen to it there.

  18. Never. I can get it by going through the game’s files, having the soundtrack just means I can play it through Steam.

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