How video game music got to the Grammys

STORY: For the first time in Grammys history, music from video games will be its own category.

This is one of the nominees.

It’s the soundtrack from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla - Dawn of Ragnorok.

Stephanie Economu is the composer behind it.

"I think we all know how big that impact is but having the recognition of like an institution like the Grammys or other big things like that just show validation, that what we're doing is important, that it's reaching wide audiences and that we have a big part in affecting and shaping the musical landscape of, you know, our societies."

But why has it taken so long for video game music to get recognition - and why are they getting it now?

Technically, video game soundtracks have been eligible for a Grammy since 1999.

They could get one as a "Best Score Soundtrack for Film Television and Other Media" category - but composers say being tossed under "other media" put the genre in an overlooked, miscellaneous category.

Only one score has been nominated before - and it was the "Baba Yetu" theme for "Civilization IV".

Christopher Tin is the composer behind that. He's been nominated for another Grammy this year - for the music in "Old World".

"We still have a little ways to go. Especially as more and more classical organizations are starting to discover there's a rabid fan base for a lot of game music and truly, video games is one of the last areas where big, lush orchestral scores are being written these days."

The boost in recognition for these soundtracks might just be a reflection of the overall growth of the global games market.

In 2022 it generated total revenues of over $184 billion, and analysts say it's expected to reach $211 billion by 2025.

The industry also flourished during the pandemic, when people turned to digital entertainment during lockdowns.

"It's just amazing that someone as big as the Grammys have actually taken note and thought, you know, we really need to support this industry."

Richard Jacques has also been nominated for his score in "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy".

"Especially as the quality is so good right now, I think people used to maybe look down on it 20 years ago wondering what we do in games and of course, not everyone's a video gamer themselves but a lot of people love the music even if they don't play the game and so I think as an industry, we've shown that there's great artistry and there's fantastic music being composed for video games."

Game music is also breaking ground through technological innovation.

They're being experienced through immersive video game concerts, augmented or virtual reality and even eye-tracking technology.

ECONOMU: "In the last decade, games have become incredible and have immersed so deeply so many audiences, and been a really interesting narrative form of storytelling, where people can live in these stories and these characters for a long time and so the impact is really really great. So it's only natural that now we're seeing these video games adapted into TV and films and things like that. It has this really big ripple effect into all these other forms of media."