Ubisoft's upcoming shooter Watch Dogs: Legion packs quite a few novelties compared to its predecessors but the latest one we've heard about is actually about music, as the dev announced they'll be crowdsourcing 10 songs via HitRecord.
HitRecord is a collaborative online media platform owned by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom you may know as Tommy Solomon from Third Rock From the Sun, or Inception if you're fond of more recent blockbusters.
Anyway, Ubisoft are looking to buy 10 songs, each of which will earn its creator, or creators since HitRecord is a collaborative platform, $2,000. Well, if they happen to make the final cut, that is.
Ubisoft's goal with Watch Dogs: Legends is to capture the feel of London and the songs will be featured on the in-game radio stations, much like with GTA, the absolute king of in-game radio soundtracks.
It won't be all punk either, even though punk and industrial make the most sense given Watch Dogs: Legends' setting, and Ubisoft said they're looking for rock, hip hop, electronica, pop, metal and punk.
What's pretty great about the deal is that HitRecord is a collaborative platform, so you don't need to be an expert or even a musician to contribute a melody, lick, lyrics or something else, and you'll be paid accordingly.
That said, many prominent musicians with a proven track record in the games industry have openly spoken up against the deal, and the list includes the likes of Cadence of Hyrule's composer Danny Baranowski, Reigns: Game of Thrones composer Ryan Ike and many others.
In fact, Game Workers Unite's Los Angeles chapter tweeted, "Disgusting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a union contract yet he's peddling spec work for a billion dollar company. The game industry exploits our passion to pay unlivable wages, this is the next logical step. Soliciting unpaid labor for a product that will make millions."
Of course, many fans don't really care, and quite rightfully so since their goal is just to be in the game.
If you're a musician, however, it's well worth noting that you won't be collaborating with Ubisoft, but with other people, so even if you make the final cut, you're unlikely to be any closer to getting a foot in the games industry audio work than when you started.