Film Fest Ghent: Australian River Boy wins first World Soundtrack Award for Video Games

Australian composer Narayana Johnson won the first World Soundtrack Award for Video Games at Film Fest Ghent on Thursday. "I'm really honoured," he said in an exclusive interview with Belga.

Under the name River Boy, Johnson wrote the music for 'Cult of the Lamb', a dark but addictive game in which the player takes on the role of a possessed lamb who must gather a flock. He composed an impressive soundtrack of no less than 51 pieces of music, one for each part of the video game.

"I wasn't aware that this was a real category," says Johnson, whose 'Cult of the Lam' is only his second composition for a video game. "It wasn't until I got to the festival that I realised how serious it was. This is really serious," he laughs. "I'm really honoured."

The creation of the Soundtrack Awards for video games is a natural progression, says Johnson. In terms of global turnover, the sector is now no slouch compared to the film industry. "A lot of people don't take video games seriously. A film, that's art. Video games are for children. But that's not true. There is so much artistic talent sneaking into them. A lot of games are just fun. But it's the same with films, isn't it?"

Tough competition

Johnson faced competition in the new category from Maclaine Diemer, who composed music for Firmament; Nainita Desai, who provided music for Immortality; Gareth Coker, Grant Kirkhope and Yoko Shimomura from Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope; and Gregory Nicolett, who worked on Potionomics.

The official announcement of the first WSA Game Music Award took place at the 'PRESS PLAY: Music in Games' concert at the Capitole in Ghent, where a symphony orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé paid tribute to the genre. The concert was entirely dedicated to video game music, a historic first in the 50-year history of the festival.

All other WSA winners will be announced at the World Soundtrack Awards on Saturday, 21 October. As well as being available in the video game and on YouTube, River Boy's work can also be heard on traditional streaming platforms.



Related News

Website preview
Film Fest Ghent celebrates 50th anniversary with new formula and branding
For its 50th anniversary, Film Fest Gent is unveiling a new formula and house style. The festival, which takes place from 10 to 21 October, also announced the nominated films for this year's competition on Thursday.
Website preview
Gaming sector enjoys continued growth
Belgium's computer gaming industry continued to grow substantially in 2022, with the number of companies rising by more than a fifth to 133 compared to the previous year. The Video Games Federation Belgium (VGFB) reports that these figures have doubled in eight years.



Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels