Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök won the first Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media last night (February 5).
The brand new category saw composer Stephanie Economou – who scored the Siege Of Paris (2021) and Dawn of Ragnarök (2022) DLCs – take home the inaugural award, though the game’s pronunciation proved to be a struggle for the presenter.
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Comedian Randy Rainbow – who was nominated in the Best Comedy Album category for ‘A Little Brains, A Little Talent’ – was tasked with reading out the winner in the new category, and tripped up over the pronunciation of Valhalla, which is known as the “hall of the slain” in Norse mythology.
You can watch how Rainbow actually read out the video game name below.
can’t stop laughing at this guy announcing the Grammy win for Assassin's Creed Valhalla pic.twitter.com/vz9bTVZFTX
— Wendell (@RhodeToLove) February 5, 2023
Other nominees in the category for Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media included: Austin Wintory (Aliens: Fireteam Elite), Bear McCreary (Call Of Duty: Vanguard), Christopher Tin (Old World), Richard Jacques (Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy).
Taking to the stage to accept the historic award, Economou said: “I want to say I’m so grateful to Ubisoft and [music superviser] Simon Landry for inviting me into the rich, rich legacy of Assassin’s Creed.”
She also thanked the “remarkable musicians” who had a hand in “shaping the sound of this score”.
She continued: “Lastly, I just want to recognise all of the people who fought tirelessly to bring this category of video game music into existence.
“Thank you for acknowledging and validating the power of game music. This is truly such an honour.”
You can watch the acceptance speech in full below.
While video games have received Grammy nominations before – with Christopher Tin’s Civilization IV intro winning the Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists back in 2011 – this year was the first time game soundtracks had their own dedicated category.
The original Assassin’s Creed Valhalla soundtrack, meanwhile, also features an original song by Einar Selvik of metal band Gorgoroth, who worked on the show Vikings.
Reviewing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in 2020, NME described the game in a five-star review as a “bold and bloody departure for the seminal stealth series”, adding that, for the first time in years, “Assassin’s Creed feels essential again”.