The Grammy Awards adds a dedicated videogame category

Grammy Award trophy
(Image credit: The Recording Acamedy)

The Grammy Awards, presented by the Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry, has added a new category for its 2023 event dedicated solely to videogames.

The Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media, as it's formally known, will recognize "excellence in score soundtrack albums comprised predominately of original scores and created specifically for, or as a companion to, a current videogame or other interactive media released within the qualification period." It's one of five new categories added for the 2023 Grammy Awards, which also includes Songwriter of the Year (Non-Classical), Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Americana Performance, and Best Spoken Word Poetry Album.

"We're so excited to honor these diverse communities of music creators through the newly established awards and amendments, and to continue cultivating an environment that inspires change, progress and collaboration," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "The Academy's top priority is to effectively represent the music people that we serve, and each year, that entails listening to our members and ensuring our rules and guidelines reflect our ever-evolving industry."

Videogame music has been a niche fandom for years—my own interest began in 1995 with Mechwarrior 2. (The soundtrack, which is excellent, was stored on the game CD as standard audio tracks, so it could be played in a regular CD player.) Valve took a big step toward making music collecting a mainstream interest in 2020 when it added a new soundtrack category to Steam and began selling soundtracks as standalone software rather than DLC, a big boon for folks who like the music but don't necessarily want to spring for a full game to get it.

Don't forget, videogame music already has its first Grammy award. That honor went to Baba Yetu more than a decade ago: It won Christopher Tin the award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists in 2011, but was originally composed as the theme song for Civilization 4 in 2005. Composer Austin Wintory was also nominated for a Grammy for the Journey soundtrack in 2013.

The 2023 Grammy Awards are scheduled to take place on January 31, 2023.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.