Materia Community, the community-focused arm of video game music publisher Materia, has announced that it will remove all of its video game tribute albums from all platforms at the end of this month, citing artists' legal requests as its reason for doing so.
Why is Materia Community removing its albums from all platforms?
This decision was announced via the official Materia Community Twitter page. In the announcement tweet, Materia Community says it has received "legal requests from several participating artists" necessitating the removal of all Materia Community albums from "music platforms". The final date on which you'll be able to acquire any Materia Community albums is November 30th, after which they'll be removed. These albums include works like MOBIUS: Sonic the Hedgehog Remixed, TESSERACT: An Acoustic FEZ Album, and SPIRA: Music from Final Fantasy X, among others.
Materia Community doesn't offer any kind of explanation as to what the issues raised by the artists are, merely thanking fans for their "love and support". This is far from the first we've heard of potential Materia legal issues, though. In January this year, it emerged that Materia Collective, another arm of video game music publisher Materia, was being criticized for not paying royalties owed to artists who had released music with it. The collective subsequently responded and promised it would pay all overdue royalties.
Something could be rotten in the state of Materia
Despite these promises, if composer Laura Platt is to be believed, things haven't improved much for artists at Materia since January. Platt says she "still [hasn't] recovered" from the way she and other artists were treated at Materia, with Materia Collective head Sebastian Wolff supposedly to blame for disregarding artists' wishes and playing down the need to pay them for their work. Materia has since responded, saying it's "incredibly saddened" to hear of Platt and a colleague's experiences and that it's currently undergoing "organizational changes" to put employee mental health and wellbeing first.
This could be a major issue for Materia; after all, video game music is big business, and it's getting bigger all the time. Earlier this year, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games opening ceremony featured pieces of music from popular Japanese games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, such is the cultural reach of game music. Spotify also revealed late last year that video game music was phenomenally popular for listeners during 2020, with soundtracks for titles like Doom Eternal, Castlevania, and Dark Souls becoming publicly available on the platform within the last few years. We've reached out to Materia for comment on this story and will bring you more as soon as we get it.
How do you feel about Materia Community removing its albums from music platforms? Let us know in the comments below!