In Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs: Legion, the community has the chance to have its music featured in the game. The community collaboration will see 10 original songs added to the game that are created by talented artists and make it through the selection process that’s being overseen by Ubisoft and HitRecord. Those who have their songs selected to be a part of the final product will be paid for their efforts, though how much each contributor will actually end up with depends on how many people are involved with each project since there’s been a set payment of $2,000 per song.
Ubisoft announced this collaboration in a post on the Watch Dogs site that explained why the community sourcing strategy is being used for this game. Clint Hocking, the creative director for Watch Dogs: Legion, echoed these statements in the video above by saying Ubisoft has wanted to involve the community in the creation of the game since the beginning.
“From the very beginning, we have always wanted to include our fans and the community in the making of our game," Ubisoft said. "Thanks to our partnership with HitRecord, our talented Watch Dogs fans and the HitRecord community have the opportunity to participate together in the creation of the musical landscape for our open world version of London.”
A Watch Dogs: Legion production set up on the HitRecord site is where you’ll get started if you plan on contributing music, but Ubisoft’s FAQ has more details first on how this works. Artists who have their songs selected among the final 10 tracks will be credited in the game and will also receive payments that are expected to start going out in January 2020. These 10 songs will be finalized in the fall, and they’ll be worked on from July until then through a series of different projects that call for specific types of music. “Dark Electronic Heist Song” and “Anti-Establishment Uptempo Hip Hop Song” are two projects listed, for example.
This isn’t the first time that Ubisoft has teamed up with the community to create music, and just as it did with Beyond Good and Evil 2, this collaboration has attracted some criticism. Some have spoken out against the prospect of paying people unknown amounts of money since there’s no telling at first how many people will be splitting the $2,000 payout, and those who work to have their music made might not even be paid anything if they aren’t selected.
I am still not a fan of what read as "spec work under a proprietary open non-exclusive license" model, & prefer the "pay someone to browse SoundCloud to find cool music for which you then talk to the creator & pay them too". https://t.co/kMY3OEqtpV— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) July 13, 2019
This sucks. Pay people for their labour. Stop exploiting fans and hobbyists, while devaluing the work of those with the gall to actually expect consistent payment for work done. Do better Ubi, we're counting on you. #nospechttps://t.co/4GZ1tiII0O— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) July 13, 2019
Watch Dogs: Legion releases for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on March 3, 2020.