Award-winning composer Richard Jacques has lamented the continued support by developers and hardware manufacturers to offer an option to switch off the music in computer games.
Speaking at the Ear Candy discussion panel at the Barbican Art Gallery last night alongside Wing Commander and Theme Park composer James Hannigan, Jacques - famous for his scores in Headhunter and 007: Blood Stone - explained the why such an option exists in the first place, but now sees it as a creative hindrance.
"The historical answer [to including an option to turn off music] is that it was a technical requirement back in the early days, where people were testing software and had to turn it off to listen to sound effects," Jacques explained, before turning attention to the Xbox 360's Custom Soundtrack feature.
"I don't know what Microsoft's... I'd like to know what their real reason is to still have that option, to remove the disc from the console and put in any music [the player] wants. I can understand it for some games, like racing games - the soundtrack is essentially a jukebox.
"But actually removing an integral part of the game experience and having that replaced with something completely inappropriate for the story and environment... you know, a film director would have a heart attack if viewers were removing the score he worked so closely with the composer on. I think it's absolutely ridiculous, personally."
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