Release groups.. for video games

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In certain instances, there is an official release of a video game’s soundtrack on CD / digital. Often, there will also be community-produced bootleg version made using reverse-engineered game assets on the internet.

Does it make sense to group them all under the same release group, by game of origin? It’s not unreasonable that one title’s soundtrack might have multiple re-releases, like for instance Streets of Rage.




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VMGdb has another entity called Product that can be devlined as Franchise and Game (at least).

Sometimes I am just about to create our equivalent here with Series.

We could make the game, a Series of Release groups.
And we could make the franchise, a Series of those game Series.

Maybe someone like @CyberSkull already started this kind of stuff.

But the inconvenient of our game Series of Release groups is that we could only link release groups to it, not works, not events, etc.

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I’ve made a couple of game franchise series, but nesting games under that seems a bit complicated?

My thoughts on @Mobes’ question: It really depends on how different they are. Almost all those ones you linked should almost certainly be in the same release group: Same track names and order, presumably the same music.

The Bare Knuckle compilation is probably its own compilation release group, as it has tracks from other games as well? It depends on if you see those extra tracks as ‘bonus’ material, or important enough to be its own release.

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Some games have about 10 related release groups (OST, image album, orchestral album, tribute album, etc.).
For those, like FINAL FANTASY, having everything linked to the Franchise, instead of Games, would be too much of an unordered mess. :wink:

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Currently we also have tags.
Whichever the system, should tributes or other unofficial stuff be linked or not… :thinking:

Hah, that’s sloppy on my part. :stuck_out_tongue: I pick Streets of Rage by random and quickly looked up some examples, and having the compilation undercut what I was trying to say. Of course the compilation would not be part of the release group.

Generally, I’ve been trying to fill out “Work” entries with game’s soundtracks. So hierarchy would be

Work series (game series) => Work (game) => Work (song)

So any recordings of any game soundtrack release are based on the individual works. “Recordings” become a weird concept when, essentially, encountering music in a game is a new performance every time.

What I’m thinking then is that, Work series of video game series and Release group series of video game series might exist together. In this scenario, the Work series exists over the Release group series, so the Release group series would use the “subseries of” connection to the Work series.

Grouping game soundtracks together in a release group despite different releases over time… like the Streets of Rage example I made pretty badly… makes sense then.

Here’s me putting this into action:

https://www.musicbrainz.org/series/86d65955-a4af-4f2a-8f92-2106665ae872
This catalogues all the releases of the game music from the franchise Super Smash Bros., which you will linked as a series relationship.

This edit merges the release group of the official CD release and someone’s bootleg gamerip into one which would then be part of the release group series above.
https://www.musicbrainz.org/edit/72088302

I wouldn’t put those in the same release group. The track listings are way too dissimilar.

You should add both of the release groups to the release group series. There’s no need for a merge to do that.

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I guess this is what I’m testing, and trying to find an answer to here.

Either:

  • Every release group of releases that contains recordings of music from one particular game should be singular. Recordings of game music can vary even by how many times the music is looped, so there can be wildly different tracklists.
    Obviously, compilations etc are exempt from this method
  • Release groups are meant for releases when tracklists are similar.
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Release groups group different editions of the same “album”.
For games I would say that an official soundtrack release would be a separate RG from a game rip, but a game rip of a “complete edition” or “deluxe edition” would be the same RG. Just like a “40th anniversary edition” of a classic rock album is in the same RG as the original.

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My rule of thumb for when to group releases is, “Would the release substitute for another in the group” (assuming a casual collector). That is to say, if you wanted to get “the soundtrack for Streets of Rage” you should be able to get any one of the releases in the release group, and be satisfied that you have that thing. You might not have every single bit of music that appeared in the game, and you might not have the exact same version of a track as some other release in the group, but they are generally equivalent. Obviously to the more enthusiastic fan they might want to get every release in an RG so as to have the “complete” set of tracks, but as an approximation it works pretty well.

Specifically for the case of game soundtrack rips, having the original game usually does not substitute. There are a few exceptions: for example, Quake and Grand Theft Auto where the disc game itself contains CD audio and therefore is the soundtrack. Some games on Steam include the soundtrack within the game download; I’d count this as “part of the game”.

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Thanks for all of your responses. I’ve cancelled the merge that I was proposing above. I have a better sense for release groups, I think.

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