It's a tricky situation for fan creators right now, particularly in the video game realm. Some companies have encouraged fans to express themselves using their characters, and have even given them jobs as a result. The team behind Sonic Mania is full of fans who got their start making fan games and ROM hacks. On the other side are companies like Nintendo, who don't even seem to want fans to have fun with original characters.
It's always nice, then, to see a creator fully embrace the fandom in the way that Skyrim composer Jeremy Soule just did. Soule recently announced on Twitter that he's allowing modders and streamers full use of one of his soundtracks at no cost.
Dear mod community, please feel free to include The Northerner Diaries in your games. I only ask that you credit me when possible. https://t.co/0JnmD4HaSY— Jeremy Soule (@mistersoule) January 9, 2019
Soule has a long history in the industry. While he's largely noted for his work on the Elder Scrolls series, he's also written music for Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic and some Harry Potter games. He even goes back as far as the Super Nintendo, where he wrote songs for the Secret Of Evermore while he was in high school.
The album he is allowing fans to use for free is called "The Northerner Diaries" and, as the name implies, it channels Soule's Skyrim style.
"This only applies to games," he wrote. "Or videos related to games (twitch streaming etc) - for short films or other productions contact us for licensing."
This means that use of "The Northerner Diaries" isn't just restricted to fan projects or mods. Brand-new indie games and gaming Youtube channels that collect ad revenue are allowed to use the album. That's a generous gift from Soule, and will no doubt inspire a lot of Skyrim-esque RPGS and videos in the coming weeks.