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Ubisoft and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Draw Fire for Game Music Solicitation

Ubisoft announces another partnership with HITRECORD for game music, soliciting musical submissions from the community for WATCH DOGS: Legions. As explained in this video (NSFW), this is similar to the content they sought last year for Beyond Good and Evil 2. They are offering compensation for music that's used in the upcoming action game, but this is not without some controversy. Although HITRECORD founder Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a union member, GamesIndustry.biz notes a "multitude" of composers and developers are urging players not to take part in what they call "exploitative" and "underpaid" spec work. Gordon-Levitt disputed this complaint last time around in an essay on Medium, but this has not stopped a chapter of the Game Workers Union and other professionals from raising objections. Word is:

Detractors include prominent indie Mike Bithell, Cadence of Hyrule composer Danny Baranowski, Reigns: Game of Thrones composer Ryan Ike, Neo Cab narrative designer Bruno Dias, former RuneScape developer James Sweatman and Game Workers Unite's Los Angeles chapter.

Several also observed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt himself is a union member and does not work for free, and yet is enabling a billion-dollar games publishing to get its fans to do just that (if creators' contributions are not used in the final game, they are not paid for their time).

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