“2021 in video games” with Mátyás Csernák, CEO of Grand Beats Production

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Mátyás Csernák, CEO of Great Beats production. Grand Beats Production is an audio production studio specializing in video game special effects, music, voiceovers, and audio implementation.

Mátyás Csernák, CEO of Grand Beats Production

How did 2021 treat Grand Beats Production?

Our studio is one of those lucky service providers who managed to have dozens of meetings at several physical game development conferences in Europe before COVID. For this reason, we have had a lot of potential partners who brought us a lot of new projects in 2021. From my perspective, since the majority of game development events have been happening online, it is now much more difficult to do so. ‘approach new game development studios. and finding potential new partners, which is crucial for a game audio production studio like us. If we hadn’t been able to expand our network before the pandemic, it would have been quite difficult to launch new cooperations now, I guess.

On the other hand, the pandemic has had a positive effect on the growth of the gaming industry, with millions of people playing games more than ever before – this means that our partners have also seen their sales increase, so that ‘they can invest more in development and outsourcing, for example in immersive game audio experiences in their games.

Among our successes in 2021, I will undoubtedly mention our Audio travel optimized for web browsers. Developers can now experience an adaptive and interactive audio concept on our website and, more importantly, they can now better understand the importance of audio in video games – and that is our mission.

What development or trend that you saw in 2021 do you see as critical for your niche?

I can mention the new generation consoles, their new technologies and methods of audio implementation and reproduction determined by new hardware and software. As a jury member for this year’s White Nights Dev Contest, I had a unique chance to dive deeper into current trends: what kind of prototypes and games independent studios are making in their “labs”. While it didn’t come as a surprise to the developers or to us that in 2021 we were talking a lot about binaural audio, Tempest 3D audio technology, and other VR audio solutions, we had several projects that required the aforementioned audio XP. I think our team of audio designers and programmers handled the first wave of these projects really well, so now we’re ready to port our new audio journeys to PS5 / XBOX Series X, or optimize for Oculus Quest 2. It’s is something that we are very proud of.

As a business, what will you be strategically focusing on in 2022?

Besides the hyper-realistic sound perspective in PC and console games, in 2022 we will focus on three other main areas to strengthen our market position and the role of audio in the video game development industry:

  • AAA audio in your pocket The mobile gaming industry is growing exponentially. Mobile game developers need to know how to get better results in their business and how to attract gamers with their projects among thousands upon thousands of mobile games. So in my opinion, they will be forced to look for competitive advantages that they can build on to make their game stand out. Game design and levels, monetization or marketing is important. Until now, developers have tended to “forget” the audio in their games. Now, however, an interactive, reward-based audio concept with psychological effects (all optimized in just a few MB) will become increasingly important in free and premium mobile games.
  • Custom audio engine We are at an advanced stage of development of our own audio engine, which will make audio integration and adaptive music implementation easier for developers without the use of third-party middleware. Hopefully after the successful testing and debugging of this system in our projects, the engine will come to life and be available to independent game developers.
  • Association of Czech Game Audio Professionals – Together with our Czech and Slovak friends in the game audio industry, we have established an association which will represent all the above mentioned topics at different levels. Workshops, discussions, lectures and many other activities will help create a lot of useful content for both developers and audio professionals.

Great Beats production

What games were you personally excited about as a gamer?

Definitively Little Nightmares II. After playing the first episode, this puzzle-platform horror adventure was the game I couldn’t wait for this year. On behalf of our studio, I can absolutely promise that the audio dramaturgy featuring iconic melodies, adaptive musical vibes and immersive sound effects will give you goosebumps when playing the game. It’s a pretty good mix of mechanics from gameplay, story, immersive audiovisual / game experience, and thoughtful puzzle solving.

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