Is Game Audio really “50% of the Experience?”

  • June 10, 2015
  • By Dale.Crowley

At Somatone we love any discussions of game audio and/or sound production, because generally they aren’t talked about enough. So when we saw Jaime Cross’s article about game audio we were pretty excited.

We don’t disagree with Jaime in his premise. Claiming that game audio is 50% of the development process would be a stretch, but we soundly (see what we did there) believe that audio is 50% of the experience for consumers.  For those of us lucky enough to hear the world around us, every aspect of the game is enhanced by audio.

If you took audio out of most games today, you would lose a huge facet of the gaming experience. Much of what we love about gaming involves the addictive nature, the immersive experience and, based on your more nuanced preferences, the ability to solve puzzles, wander through expansive environments, or experience a new perspective in a unique plot line.

Importance of Game Audio, Bierzerkers

These aspects are all highlighted with audio. You are guided by sound cues and clues. You feel more involved in your environments by hearing the wind through the trees, more connected to characters through their distinctive voices, and might even find yourself humming theme songs throughout the day.

So going back to this line: “Game Audio is 50% of the experience,” we would like to make a slight edit on this very broad statement, and say, rather, that game audio is 50% of the consumer experience in appreciating a game as a whole. (And audio, for us, includes music, voice-overs, sound effects, and everything in between.)

At Somatone we contribute to the artistry and work that developers put into their games. The sound designs we create are vital in creating a memorable gaming experience for customers.

Jaime ended the article by saying that game creation is about “human interactions within the team and the ability to share ideas and knowledge that anyone can understand.” We believe that music is a universal language, and that hearing a game while playing it makes the entire experience more understandable. This makes it 50% of the communication in a game with consumers, and we stand by that concept. So mostly, we are in agreement about the importance of audio. But more importantly we must highlight the fact that the “50%” number is a figurative one, for us. Not to be taken too literally, but to be taken seriously.