Grammy-Nominated Composer Austin Wintory Scores the Long Awaited Video Game The Banner Saga


Wintory became the first Composer in History to be Grammy Nominated for a Video Game Score in the category of “Best Score Soundtrack – Visual Media” with his score to Journey.


Grammy-nominated, BAFTA-winning composer Austin Wintory scores the highly anticipated video game The Banner Saga for Stoic Systems. Funded by Kickstarter, The Banner Saga is an epic role-playing game inspired by Viking legends. The game features hand-painted landscapes that portray a world eerily suspended in perpetual twilight. Cities and towns begin to crumble into chaos. Heroes abandon their hearths and homes to traverse the snowy countryside, gaining allies along the way to help battle a strange, new threat. With visuals evocative of the golden age of animation, The Banner Saga brings skillfully crafted art, story and strategy to gamers waiting to re-experience classic adventures and tactics.

For The Banner Saga, Wintory created a warm, orchestral yet earthy score for the single player role-playing game that is currently available on PC and Mac. The score incorporates dynamic cues that react to the player’s actions during a battle scene, a relatively new concept. If a player starts to win or lose a fight, the music will subtly shift between tense and triumphant. “At its best,” Mr. Wintory said, “game music turns the player into a co-storyteller.”

Alex Thomas, a developer of The Banner Saga, originally wanted to score the game along with his fellow creators. Mr. Thomas said. “But when Austin got involved, what had begun as a side note changed to an integral part of the storytelling.” Austin Wintory spent hundreds of hours playing the game as it was being made and learning about the lore and history of its fictional world. “He understands game design, programming and technical implementation, and he makes music that is part of the game instead of sitting on top,” Thomas said. “There aren’t many writers, designers and composers who are able or willing to work at that capacity.”

Last year, Wintory was Grammy nominated for his score for the video game Journey alongside all Oscar-winning film composers: John Williams, Ludovic Bource (The Artist), Hans Zimmer, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and Howard Shore. The Journey score album charted on Billboard higher than any previous video game score in history, and was the #1 soundtrack on iTunes worldwide. Austin Wintory won “Best Original Score” for Journey at the Spike Video Game Awards and has conducted the Journey score with orchestras around the world.

Austin Wintory is hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as one of 15 composers “primed to take their place on the A-list.” The 28-year old has already amassed over 300 composing credits including over 40 features, a dozen video games, and numerous concert works. Wintory’s works have been performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles around the US and Europe. His accolades include two BAFTA wins for Journey and the following nominations for flOw: two Hollywood Music in Media Awards for “Best New Composer” and “Best Original Score, Mobile Video Game,” and the Game Audio Network Guild Award for “Rookie of the Year.” flOw was honored at the Smithsonian Museum last spring as part of The Art of Video Games exhibit. His film, A Little Help, starring Jenna Fischer (The Office), won “Best Feature” at several film festivals. Other accolades for Wintory include the Fangoria Chainsaw Award nomination for “Best Original Score” for the Sundance hit Grace, which was also named one of Vision in Sound’s Top Ten Scores. The Sundance Audience Award winner Captain Abu Raed put Wintory on the short list as a contender for the Academy Awards for “Best Original Score.” He was also nominated by the International Film Music Critics Association for “Breakout Composer of the Year.”