Tommy Tallarico is a veritable video game industry icon. As one of the most successful video game composers in history, he has helped revolutionize the gaming world, creating unique audio landscapes that enhance the video gaming experience. He is considered the person most instrumental in changing the game industry from bleeps & bloops to real music now appreciated worldwide by tens of millions of fans. As a well-recognized on-air television personality, live performer and composer, Tommy brings his in-depth knowledge, years of experience, and love of cutting edge multimedia and video games to the masses. Tommy has worked in the gaming industry as a designer, product manager, producer, writer, games tester and heads of both music and video departments.
An accomplished musician, Tallarico has been writing music for video games for more than 23 years. He has won over 50 industry awards and has worked on more than 300 game titles; to date, they total sales of more than 100 million units and over four billion dollars in revenue. No one in the history of the video game industry has ever worked on more titles and projects. In 2008, he was enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records with a two page feature article and interview and currently holds 3 Guinness World Records including the person who has worked on the most commercially released video games. In 2012 during the Game Developers Conference he received a Lifetime Achievement Award and is also in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. for his contributions to the game industry. In 1994, he founded Tommy Tallarico Studios, the multimedia industry’s largest audio production house. In video games, television, film, radio, soundtracks, toys and even on floats in the New Years Day Rose Parade in Pasadena CA, Tallarico’s music has been heard by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Tommy is a cousin of rock star legend Steven Tyler (nee Tallarico) and in 2002 Tallarico’s music was used as the opening song for Aerosmiths’ “Girls of Summer” world tour. His top titles include Earthworm Jim, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Disney’s Aladdin, Spider-Man and Metroid Prime as well as top selling popular game franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Madden Football, Mortal Kombat, Time Crisis, Unreal, Lineage, James Bond, Blitz Football, Knockout Kings, Test Drive, Scooby Doo, WWE & Twisted Metal. His score for Advent Rising has been noted as “one of the greatest musical scores of all time” by websites such as Yahoo, Gamespot and others.
Tallarico has been featured on numerous national and international television shows, appearing repeatedly on CNN, FOX and MTV. Tommy hosted, wrote and co-produced the top rated and very popular Reviews on the Run/Judgment Day television show as well as the longest running award-winning video game television show, The Electric Playground (www.elecplay.com), which has been on the air since 1997. The show is syndicated worldwide and airs daily in prime-time. The Electric Playground won the 2001 Telly Award for “Best Entertainment Cable Program”. In 2006, Tommy hosted and helped to launch the worldwide Championship Gaming Series for DirecTV. His national television debut came in 1994 when he was featured and asked to guest host ABC’s “In Concert” television program which included artists Peter Gabriel and Todd Rundgren. From 1991 to 1994, he headed Virgin Interactive’s music and video division, and executive produced numerous video game green screen shoots for films including “Demolition Man” where he worked with Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Hollywood producer Joel Silver.
In 2002, Tallarico created the critically acclaimed Video Games Live (www.videogameslive.com), an immersive, audio and video concert experience celebrating video games. Video Games Live features music from the greatest video games performed by top orchestras and choirs around the world combined with synchronized video footage, lasers, lights, special effects, interactivity and live action to create an explosive and unique one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. Video Games Live is the first and most successful video game touring concert in the world having performed over 250 shows in 25 countries on 5 continents. The debut performance was launched on July 6th, 2005 at the world famous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles with the LA Philharmonic. Over 11,000 people attended making it the biggest video game concert in the world at that time (since then they have performed to over 40,000 people in places like Taiwan and China). Most of the game music played during the initial launch of the show (Halo, Sonic, Warcraft, Tomb Raider, Myst, Kingdom Hearts, Tron, Advent Rising, etc.) had never been performed live anywhere in the world. Since then over 1 million people have experienced the show live. On October 30, 2005 they broke new ground once again by putting on the very first video game concert in Canada (Vancouver). They followed with groundbreaking first ever game concert performances in countries such as Brazil, New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, England, Chile, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Wales, United Arab Emirates & France. Video Games Live was also the very first American video game concert to perform in Asia (Korea) and the first non-Japanese game concert to perform in Japan. In 2007 they were recipients of a major industry award in Brazil for “Special Breakthrough Achievement” following their performances in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo the year before. Also in 2007 they helped to launch the $1.8 billion LA Live Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and had their national television debut on Spike TV. In 2008 they released the highly anticipated album entitled Video Games Live – Volume One, recorded at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London, the album debuted at #10 on the Billboard charts. It was the first video game compilation album to ever be released worldwide and won BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM awards from IGN.com and the Game Audio Network Guild. In 2010 a 90 minute national PBS Special was aired in over 90 million households across America. A Blu-Ray, DVD and album were released. It was the first time that music from franchises such as Mario, Zelda, Sonic and Megaman were released outside of Japan. The second album (entitled Video Games Live – Level Two) debuted at #8 on the Billboard Charts. With literally 100’s of ticket buyer reviews on Ticketmaster.com, Video Games Live boasts an impressive and outstanding 4.6 (out of 5) rating. There are currently over 30,000 unique videos of Video Games Live performances on YouTube which total over 100 million views. Sponsored and endorsed by some of the top corporations in the world, the Video Games Live concert event continues to tour the world, break new ground and thrill audiences worldwide with brand new content each year.
Tallarico was the first musician to release a video game soundtrack worldwide (Tommy Tallarico’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 – Capitol Records). He has released over ten video game soundtrack albums since, including the highly acclaimed James Bond Tomorrow Never Dies, MDK and award-winning Advent Rising andEarthworm Jim Anthology. Tommy was one of the first musicians to ever use live guitar and 3-D audio in a video game (The Terminator), and was instrumental in bringing true digital interactive multi-channel 5.1 surround to the gaming world. He has written, produced, performed and recorded with a wide range of talented musicians including the LA Philharmonic, Hollywood Studio Symphony, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Hungarian National Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonia Orchestra, the English National Ballet, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the National Taiwan Symphony, the Budapest Chamber Choir, the band “Fear Factory”, composer/DJ/artist BT and guitarists Dweezil Zappa and Steve Vai. He continues to work with a plethora of GRAMMY and Academy Award winning producers and engineers. He has performed and sold out shows on the biggest and most prestigious stages in the world including London’s Royal Festival Hall and Hammersmith Apollo, the Olympic Park Stadium in Korea, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., WolfTrap, Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Pan-Chiao Stadium in Taipei, the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and multiple shows at the Hollywood Bowl attended by tens of thousands of fans. In 2004 he performed the grand finale music act on national and worldwide television (E! Entertainment, G4TV) with BT & Mobius 8 for the G-Phoria awards show. In 2007 he performed along with Kid Rock and the Foo Fighters during the nationally televised Spike TV Video Game Awards show.
Tommy is the founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), which is a non-profit organization educating and heightening the awareness of audio for the interactive world (www.audiogang.org). With over 2,500 members representing over 35 countries since its inception in 2002, G.A.N.G. has quickly become known as one of the strongest and best examples of helping the game industry community. Each year during the Game Developers Conference Tommy produces the annual G.A.N.G. awards revered by many as one of the best award shows in the industry. Tommy is an Advisory Board member for the Game Developers Conference, a Governor for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS/GRAMMY’s), a spokesperson for the Entertainment Consumers Association, a proud member of the International Game Developers Association and a nominating peer panel leader for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
Tallarico has appeared in a myriad of magazines and newspapers, including USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, the Hollywood Reporter, the London Times, Rolling Stone, Daily Variety and the Chicago Tribune. In 1999, he helped secure official recognition of video game music by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and the GRAMMY’s. Also in 1999 he co-designed the award-winning boxing game “Knockout Kings” for the Nintendo 64 with Electronic Arts which went on to win the “Best Console Sports Product of 1999” by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
Tommy has consulted for Fortune 500 companies such as Intel, Sony, AMD, Microsoft and Apple as well as audio companies including DTS, Dolby, Roland, THX, Yamaha and Creative Labs. He has given lectures and speeches all over the world on audio and video games which include his keynote at the 1999 Game Developers Conference, and MILIA 2000 in Cannes, France. He also teaches courses and has been the guest speaker at many schools, organizations & universities such as Yale, UCLA, USC, Berklee College of Music, Carnegie Mellon, Expressions College, Vancouver Film School & Full Sail University.
Tommy is involved in many community, non-profit, scholastic and charitable organizations which include the Hollywood Arts and GRAMMY In The Schools. In 2007, Tommy’s many charitable works were recognized by the Hollywood Arts organization when they chose him as the first honoree and recipient for their now annual Dream Awards. The IDG video game industry white paper mentions Tommy (along with Bill Gates) as one of the people who contributed the most to the advancement and growth of the industry in 2003. In 2009, he received the prestigious “Ambassador Award” during the Game Developers Choice Awards which was only the 2nd time the award had ever been bestowed. That same year he was chosen as one of the Top 50 Game Industry People by Game Developers Magazine.
Born February 18, 1968 and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, he moved to Southern California on his own at age 21 to pursue a career in entertainment. Homeless with no means of financial support, Tommy was discovered in a music store and started working in the video game industry within 3 days of arriving in California. All 4 of his grandparents came to America from Italy in the early 1900’s and instilled a great sense of hard work, compassion, appreciation, passion, dreaming, creativity, sense of accomplishment and love for others that he has carried with him his entire life. Tommy is a proud vegan and has been a spokesperson, supporter and contributor for many animal rights organizations. In his spare time he enjoys nature, photography, traveling, cooking, video games, comic books, being a kid and meeting new people. His popular website www.tallarico.com has received over 250 million hits by more than 10 million unique users.