A sad, sad song.
Celeste was well received for multiple reasons. It’s a more than solid platformer, with unique movement and challenging levels. And if that wasn’t enough, it also has a killer soundtrack. That goes double for the game’s B-sides section, an incredibly difficult group of levels that push players to their limits. However, it was recently revealed that the composers behind those choice tracks haven’t received royalties due to music label Materia Collective.
Accusations of Materia Collective neglecting to pay composers for royalties on sales or streams stretch back nearly two years. The label, famous for its multiple tribute albums to games like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, took over publishing rights for the Celeste soundtrack in 2019. Since that transfer, at least four composers have reported that Materia Collective has failed to pay them any royalties.
We’ve heard your concerns and we apologize sincerely for the incident. Moving forward we recognize the importance of resolving this swiftly and fully.
All delayed payments will be made by mid-February and we are fixing the issue so this won’t happen again. pic.twitter.com/veKYko38us
— Materia Collective (@MateriaColl) January 18, 2021
One of those composers, 2 Mello, voiced his concern over not being paid on Twitter. In a short thread, he said that he had contacted Materia Collective once in October 2020 regarding payments and was told that there were no royalties waiting for him. After sending the label three other messages without replies, he posted to Twitter hoping for a response.
The Materia Collective quickly issued one. The label posted a lengthy response to Twitter, saying that its outdated in-house software was to blame for missed payments. The statement ended with a promise to be better going forward and ensure that anyone that was owed royalties would them. However, it’s undeniable that the label’s reputation has been somewhat damaged by this episode. Getting payments to artists is a basic task for a record label, one that shouldn’t be an issue. According to the Materia Collective, any missed payments will be caught up on by mid-February.