For as expansive and diverse as Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto games have been, it's easy to forget that almost nothing in them is licensed. In Grand Theft Auto IV, it was Pisswasser, not Budweiser, that inundated billboards and radio commercials with advertisements, and Coquettes, not Corvettes, that blazed by police and pedestrians on the streets of Liberty City.
One trademark of our material society that tends to be a little harder to fake, however, is music. The Grand Theft Auto series pioneered the ability for gamers to pour over a wide collection of licensed tunes via in-car radio stations, and Grand Theft Auto V plans to be no different.
Where games like GTA IV featured well known songs from artists like Queen, Bob Marley, and Kanye West, its 200+ track catalog almost certainly connected gamers to music they had yet to discover. This is exactly where labels like EMI Music Publishing see an opportunity for the upcoming GTA V.
Here's what they had to say about the game in a recent interview with Music Week:
“Over the years, the Grand theft Auto series has provided EMI Music Publishing with a unique opportunity to get sync placements for some hidden gems in our catalogue that otherwise may not have landed in the world of video games. We look forward to working with Rockstar Games on future versions of this fantastic series and to continuing to deliver value to our songwriters in this regard.”
Indeed, games like Grand Theft Auto V are unique in that they actively seek lesser known "diamonds in the rough" to fill out their massive soundtracks. It's a stark contrast to many titles that either compose their own musical scores or choose selectively among a handful of tracks that fit their desired theme.
While "Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake" by The Small Faces from the Grand Theft Auto V trailer is the only song currently confirmed for the upcoming installment, the comments from EMI signify that Rockstar is stocking up on oodles of ear candy once again. Perhaps GTA V can even notch a Grammy nomination or two.
Ranters, are there any songs you think deserve to be featured in Grand Theft Auto V? Do you still end up listening to your own soundtracks after a while anyway?
Grand Theft Auto V is scheduled to release at an unannounced date in 2012 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
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