Jason Michael Paul Talks Blizzard And The Heroes Video Game Concert

Recently I spoke with Jason Michael Paul

About the Heroes Video Game Concert.

How did the idea for the show come about?

I was ready to move beyond VGM concerts that were compilation concerts or the best of VGM. I was always aware of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth “The Hero’s Journey.” The Heroes of our story are your favorite video game characters. Using that framework along with the idea of a narrator, I commissioned the voice of “Dear Esther,” Nigel Carrington, who is providing the context for the chapters. We have chosen the best game that fits each chapter.


What are some of the previous productions you have worked on and how does this show compare in terms of scale and complexity?

For starters, we have over 17 different video games all officially licensed musically and visually as part of the show. That was perhaps the greatest source of complexity – the wrangling of all the licenses, whereas concerts in the past were a singular property. Also, we are constantly adding more properties to the series. Keeping it relevant! For a point of reference, here are some of the previous concert series I produced:


National Geographic’s Symphony for Our World 2018-2019

The Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses Concerts 2012-2017

rePlay! A Video Game Symphony 2014-2017

The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Concerts 2011

Play! A Video Game Symphony 2006-2009

More Friends- Music from Final Fantasy 2005

Dear Friends- Music from Final Fantasy 2004

How did you decide which scenes to show and which music to use?

Top 50 video games of all time is what I am working with. Also, some nods to independent game devs like the Chinese Room’s Dear Esther and Valve Portal 2. We have a bit of nostalgia with a Castlevania Suite. We also have brand new titles like Starfield, for which we recently did a world premiere in Cincinnati. Inon Zur, the composer of the score, is a collaborator of the show and he sent a video from his studio to the fans in attendance apologizing for not being able to be there. We have many collaborations with original composers of the game franchises, such as Uematsu san, Mitsuda san, Kondo san, Marty O’Donnell, Michael Salvatori, Jason Hayes, Kow Otani, Gustavo Santaolalla, and many more. Everything is both musically and visually licensed except Square Enix and Nintendo titles (they will only grant musical performance rights).

How was working with Blizzard and what was the creation process like as did you have to pitch the full show ahead of time in detail or was it more of a collaboration over time?

I have been working with Blizzard since 2005, dating back to when Jason Hayes was their Audio Director. They are a highly motivated group and are active in looking for ways to engage their fan base. I am looking to build upon this relationship to include other IPs such as Diablo as part of Heroes.

Were there things you wanted to include but were not able to do so?

Absolutely! But there wasn’t enough time in the show to include all of our ideas, as we didn’t want to exceed two hours, including a 20-minute intermission.

To what do you attribute the continued appeal of the franchise?

The franchise is constantly reinventing itself with new installments, more content, and ultimately future expansion. It’s a world that a lot of people enjoy playing in.

Do you have plans to expand the tour beyond the current dates?

Yes! My goal is to bring Heroes to even more cities than I did with my Zelda Symphony shows.


What else do you have upcoming?

To experience this journey with us, visit www.heroes-symphony.com for more info for our growing list of tour dates around the world! Additionally, here are a few of our upcoming shows:


Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Symphony Hall

September 21 & 22


Portland, Oregon

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

January 19, 2024


Monterrey, Mexico

Arena Monterrey

January 31, 2024


Mexico City, Mexico

Arena CDMX

February 1, 2024