The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics have officially kicked off, albeit a year late and without live spectators. Gamers who watched the Opening Ceremony of the event and the Parade of Nations were greeted by something they probably weren’t expecting: a soundtrack filled with video game music. Many took to Twitter to call out songs they were familiar with as tracks from games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Dragon Quest played during the event.
While it was surprising at first to hear video game music at the Olympics, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. After all, Japanese studios have a long history of making games and franchises that go on to become hits worldwide, and many of those games were represented at the 2020 Olympics.
Nikkei Asia actually put together a full playlist of all the video game tracks in a thread on Twitter, and there are indeed some verified bangers on there. All of the songs come from Japanese games, with a few studios in particular well-represented on the list. With songs from Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, NieR, SaGa, and Kingdom Hearts on the list, Square Enix is arguably over-represented, if anything.
Music from games belonging to other studios is on the list as well, though perhaps not to the same level as Square Enix. We see a couple of songs from Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, while Sega has music from Sonic the Hedgehog and Phantasy Star. Other games represented in the Toyo 2020 Olympics playlist include Ace Combat, the Tales series, Gradius, and Soulcalibur.
Strangely, there’s no Nintendo music on the playlist Nikkei has put together, even though Nintendo is undoubtedly the most recognizable Japanese developer in the world. Sadly, it looks like the IOC wasn’t able to get permission to play Nintendo’s music (or just didn’t think it would be a good fit), but regardless, we’d say that the list the IOC came up with is a pretty solid representation of the Japanese games industry.