Indie Game Soundtrack to 'Transistor,' Even with Uncounted Sales, Has Impressive First Week
Courtesy of Supergiant Games

The score to Transistor sold a startling 13,000 copies, debuting at No. 7 on the Soundtracks chart.

This article first appeared in the June 21st issue of Billboard Magazine.

The soundtrack to the sci-fi indie video game "Transistor" is off to a Halo-sized start, according to sources. Though the musical score debuted with 2,000 copies sold in the week ending May 25, according to Nielsen SoundScan, that number might have been larger had sales from Steam, the video game equivalent of iTunes, been reported to SoundScan. Sources who have seen Steam's figures say the digital game store sold 11,000 copies of the album in its first week. (The soundtrack was released May 20.)

A representative for Steam's parent company, Valve, tells Billboard that Steam does not "release sales data on music or games." That's too bad, because the combined 13,000 units would have secured the biggest sales week ever for a video game soundtrack, surpassing the 9,000 sold of the Halo 2 musical score in its second week of availability (ending Nov. 21, 2004).

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The "Transistor" album, which was not sold at a discount, was bundled with the game, sold separately through digital retailers like Amazon and made available as a CD through the website of its creator, San Francisco-based Supergiant Games.

"Transistor" debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Soundtracks chart - the first game soundtrack to arrive on the list in 2014.

Supergiant audio director Darren Korb, who operates from Brooklyn, composed the album's music and also moonlights as a member of the band Control Group. In a post on Sony's PlayStation blog, he described the music featured on the soundtrack as "old-world electronic post-rock," composed of electric guitars, harps, accordions, mandolins, electric piano and synth pads. The album also features vocals by New York-based singer Ashley Barrett. Korb previously composed the soundtrack to Supergiant's last game, "Bastion," in 2011. According to SoundScan, it has sold 15,000 copies, but Korb contends the true number is actually north of 200,000 because, once again, the bulk of its sales came from Steam.