Game soundtracks are a meaningful part of the music-synchronisation pie, but what happens when games start sourcing their music through alternative sources to its rightsholders? The sequel to well-known musical shooter Beat Hazard certainly poses some questions on that score. Beat Hazard 2 has been released in ‘early access’ on PC games-downloads store Steam – meaning it’s still in development, but its creators want to get some feedback from players at this stage to influence the final, commercial version.
Like its predecessor, Beat Hazard 2 is an arcade-shooter where each level is driven by a music track, now including “procedurally generated boss ships” where “each track will create a unique archenemy ship for you to vanquish”. Which is nice. But the feature we’re interested in is called Open Mic. “Premium music streaming services will be supported via an ‘Open Mic’ system that can listen in to any music source,” explains the Steam listing. “Now the music world is your oyster, play to Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, or any other provider.”
It’s not the first time a game has tapped a music-streaming library: 2016 iOS game Riff Racer, generated its racing tracks from Apple Music playlists.