The future of audio and its top trends in the gaming industry

Special IRCAM Amplify forum 21 edition – chapter 2/5

Watch the replay of the 2021 forum


– Stéphane Roussel, CEO – Gameloft, COO – Vivendi

– Antoine Peltier, Worldwide Audio Manager – Gameloft

Video games evolve rapidly. Sound is taking the lead. It might even become the foundation for the quality of a product.

Stéphane Roussel, CEO – Gameloft, COO – Vivendi

Echo chamber for weak signals

Along with leading actors from the US, the industry of video gaming is showing a growing interest in audio. Apple Arcade has recently ordered musical games and new devices such as Alexa are also turning to games evolving around sound. It is more than just a trend or a fad. It is becoming a structural transformation.

From the outset, the video game industry has naturally relied on the powers of sound to:

– create unique worlds, guide and alarm the player and even promote the gameplay,

– develop accessibility : voices and sounds do for example help a visually impaired player to navigate in a visual game,

– boost family and collective entertainment such as in the car for example.

New uses for video games are placing sound at the forefront going beyond functional or musical aspects. The sound is becoming a real driving force for the gameplay and even for the scenario.

In order to stand out, the technologies must deepen the experience for the player, keeping immersion in mind. Furthermore, the growing amount of immersive sound devices along with the arrival of the 5G are reducing the effects of latencies and favors its deployments.

However, it is the scenario of the game that must drive the technology and not the other way around!

Another major trend is the merge between video gaming and other kinds of entertainment. A few examples are live-streamed concerts in the virtual worlds of Fortnite and the presence of video games at real-life festivals which amplifies the overall experience.

By mixing the image, the sound and the live experience, unities are now able to create spectacular virtual shows that engage large communities.

As opposed to this, another trend of simplicity and refinement is emerging in order to meet the needs of a more sophisticated community. This trend focusses on improving the quality of a sound.

Which solutions by IRCAM Amplify for… the sound in video gaming?

With IRCAM Amplify, the technologies amplify the new uses and favors the emotions linked to the sound experience. IRCAM Amplify offers the following 4 types of collaborations to the industry of video gaming: 

– sound immersion accompanying new narratives, imaginary worlds and player engagement (the VR of audio),

– live voice transformation,

– the production of real-time sound effects,

– automatic variation of the soundtrack adequate with the evolution of the game environment (sets, events, etc.).

Examples of use of these technologies in other sectors 

– Creation of the voice of a tree and its live transformation depending on contextual data. (in this case, the data being the rate of pollution)

– Creation of an immersive scenographic experience evolving in real-time (image and sound): Opus at La Scala by IRCAM – Manifeste

A special focus on successful products based on IRCAM technologies from the range IRCAM – Flux::

1. High-tech tools for spatialized sound

As a pioneer in sound spatialization since its creation in 1977, IRCAM has developed a unique and internationally recognized expertise in this area.The tools derived from IRCAM’s research are now accessible through a range of products with an attractive and intuitive design specifically made for Flux::.

This range of products consists of the following software:

– Spat Revolution. A spatialization engine giving freedom to the movement of the sound. Since April 15, Flux:: has launched a license called Spat Revolution Essential to make the best of sound spatialization more accessible.

– IRCAM Hear. A binaural encoding tool for sharing sound creations in an easy-to-access immersive format.

– IRCAM Verb. A cutting-edge acoustic space simulation and reverberation technology, giving the power to transport the listener into new virtual spaces.

2. Transformation of sound and voice with Trax:

Trax is the next generation of voice and sound processing tools. Based on pioneering technologies developed over the last decades at IRCAM, Trax is composed of a line of 3 processors that incorporates algorithms for innovative signal transformation. It thus makes it possible to alter the characteristics and properties of a voice such as tone, gender, age and breathing.

Contact us to learn more about these technologies.

Want to learn more about the power of sound?

Watch the Forum on the Power of Sound in Industry 2022, to better understand the new uses of audio for a shared world.

The number that speaks for itself…

of French people think that sound is the most effective system for warning a danger.
OpnionWay Survey made for IRCAM Amplify 2020

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