Video games are, without a doubt, a valid art form. Nobody is claiming otherwise. That said, even the biggest video-game fan has to admit that being the background score to a first-person slaughter may not be the preferred medium for serious musicians. So, you can imagine why it might be a little bit awkward when a really good band like Animal Collective records a song specifically for a video game like Red Dead Redemption, and then RDR is all like, “Cool, guys, but, you know, we’re all good for music.”
According to Pitchfork, the experimental pop band from Baltimore recorded “Mountain Game” back in 2010 for Rockstar Games’ open world Western. Why it ultimately wasn’t used is unknown. Maybe a few too many beeps and boops for a game with so many horses? You be the judge.
It’s hard to say whether this is more or less demoralizing than Bruce Springsteen’s failed attempt to get a song into a movie about wizardry. Harry Potter is certainly a bigger target, with a much greater potential payoff. On the other hand, that feels like a dad being disinvited from his kid’s soccer game.