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Musicians union cuts a deal with Microsoft, breaking two-year hiatus

Microsoft has agreed to the terms of an agreement with the American Federation of Musicians that may allow members to compose new game soundtracks for the first time in two years.
The American Federation of Musicians has reached an agreement with Microsoft tbat will allow AFM members to enjoy union sanction in their dealings with the company through 2016. The announcement comes just days after award-winning composer and AFM member Austin Wintory publicly lambasted the union for failing to negotiate with video game companies and threatening to fine union members who worked on video game soundtracks. Wintory himself was threatened with a $50,000 fine for his work composing the soundtrack of The Banner Saga. AFM president Ray Hair told Variety that the union has been in negotiations with Microsoft for eighteen months, and that the new deal will be submitted to union members currently engaged in recording game soundtracks for approval. That's notable in light of the fact that Wintory claims the the terms of the union's previous agreement -- which were universally rejected by all video game publishers and developers -- were ratified in 2012 without any input from its members, making it effectively impossible for union musicians to work in the industry for the past two years.

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