There’s a whole genre of music that has grown inside the world of gaming. Many now-famous bands got their mainstream breakthrough thanks to this process. So if you have a band, you need to read this.

By Nicole Buckler

The symbiotic relationship between music and video games is now so established that a games studio called Bugbear Entertainment is searching for bands to submit music to them. The winning tunes will be played inside their latest racing game: Wreckfest.

Bugbear Entertainment specialises in action driving. They have been making car games for sixteen years, starting with Rally Trophy. They are best known for the critically acclaimed demolition racing series FlatOut (2004-2007, PC, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360) and street racing title Ridge Racer Unbounded (2013, PC, PS3, Xbox 360).

As of yesterday, Bugbear are calling for bands everywhere to send in their tunes to accompany gamers while they race and smash the crap out of each other in their latest game. The winning prize is $3,500 and there are nine runner-up prizes of $1,000 per track. But it is not the money that’s the real prize: it is exposure to their gamers that is the real coup. There are hundreds and thousands of them.

The winning music will be featured on games released on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. Bands featured in previous Bugbear releases have included upcoming indie bands and household names like Megadeth, Rob Zombie, Fall Out Boy, Audioslave and Skrillex.

So if you have a band, get on it. You can apply here.

Want to check out the competition? You can listen to the other entries here.

This innovative approach to sourcing music is evidence of a growing realisation amongst game designers, that there are thousands of unheard of bands out there. According to Bugbear, “They just need the right chance to have their music heard internationally, and by the right demographic to get to that critical mass of fans to push them to the next level of popularity.”

For more established bands like Megadeth, putting their music inside high-selling video games offers a symbiotic relationship. Gaming studios can promote Megadeth music to their gamers, and Megadeth’s fans might be more open to buying games that have their favourite tunes in it. It’s a match made in cross-promotion heaven.

Bugbear is very interested in getting the sound right for their games, which is why they are letting their gamers cast their votes on the tracks they want to hear while playing the game. Happy customers, more sales. Well, in theory, anyway.

Music has always been a vital part of the gaming experience. The aim of Wreckfest is to create an immersive experience for the player, one where the in-game radio feeds the road rage in all of us. While you can blast your tunes out on your REAL car radio, you can’t smash the crap out of other drivers while doing so. But, in Wreckfest, you can. What’s not to like? Smashing other people up and decent tunes? It’s win-win.

The Wreckfest title will be published soon by THQ Nordic. While it is not yet for sale, you can have a little preview play of it here.

Drivers…start your engines.