Game composers unite for Japan

International video game composers team up for a new project to raise money for Japan earthquake relief fund--Akira Yamaoka, Woody Jackson, Bear McCreary, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Nobuo Uematsu sign on for new album scheduled for release in May.


In the three weeks since the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami brought Japan to its knees, game developers, publishers, journalists, and players from all around the world have all come together to raise money for the devastated nation.

Play for Japan, a campaign that coordinates fundraising opportunities and video game-themed charity auctions to raise funds for the disaster relief, has announced it has teamed up with Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka to begin work on a collaborative album titled Play for Japan: The Album.

Set for release in May, the album will feature the music of some of the most revered game composers working in the industry today, including Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption), Bear McCreary (SOCOM 4, The Walking Dead), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger, Luminous Arc), and Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series).

Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka.
Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka.

After hearing from peers and players from around the world, Yamaoka was inspired to start work on the benefit album as a way to express the outpouring of grief for Japan coming from all corners of the world. With this album, Yamaoka says he hopes to inspire other video game and music enthusiasts to show their support.

"The challenge facing Japan is unprecedented and immeasurable," Yamaoka said in a statement. "People around the world have already reached out, working together to help Japan rise up and rebuild. As citizens of the same planet, we share and take strength from this bond.

"In the video game industry, composers like myself are responsible for engaging the player through music. Music, too, creates bonds, inspiring listeners to share their passion with others. In this spirit, many gifted composers, musicians, and artists--from East and West--have come together to record a benefit album. For creators whose role is to inspire, it’s only fitting we come together, across borderlines, for those in need. It’s our desire you’ll hear our hope for a brighter future and the prayers heard from around the world given voice. We are all united by one common bond."

Play for Japan: The Album is scheduled for release in May via the iTunes store. To learn more about the campaign or to donate to the relief fund, visit Play for Japan.

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