I was sitting here working blueprints and listening to the awesome Borderlands 2 intro song when I remembered that I saw in a recent Twitch stream that Epic will be having a talk during GDC related to game audio and psychology.
I am no audiophile but I do feel like music and sounds in general are vastly under appreciated in the game industry. The Borderlands 2 intro, Baba Yetu from Civilization 4, the end song in Plants Vs Zombies, the song in Portal, etc all show the power of audio to evoke emotion in the player. If you can emotionally attach your player to the game, not only are they going to enjoy the game more, but they are more likely to spread the word that people should buy your game.
All these great songs are high art, not something you can just spin up on a moments notice and throw into a game. Even songs that are merely decent on the radio. I am always thinking about applying whatever music I am hearing to a thematic trailer that would fit the music. And then I wonder how much I would have to pay the artist to feature their work.
So apart from spending untold sums of money to get some great(or potentially great) muscician(s) to create music until it sounds epic enough, how do we find these treasures? Go through Soundcloud, iTunes, etc until the ears bleed? How do the AAA studios cultivate musical talent and how can indies compete?
Epic trailer music is probably going to be hard to come by no matter what, but how about procedural music for your average gameplay? I have heard people making such systems in UE4. If done right it could turn out pretty well.
And that is just music. At least sound effects is more in the realm of possibility. I think you could pick up all the right sounds for a decent price, and then it is up to you to sew them together into a beautiful tapestry of game sounds.