Since the mid-1990s, soundtrack albums for popular video games have been seen as an exciting, low-risk opportunity for synergy and cross-promotion by the gaming and music industries, but very few video game soundtrack albums have found broad commercial success. Despite optimistic rhetoric from executives in both industries, stand-alone video game soundtrack CDs proved a tough sell for US retailers during the period from 1995 to 2005 when high-speed Internet access and the mp3 format were reshaping the market. But while CD sales faltered, the gaming industry exploded, and two distinct genres of video game music (VGM) soundtracks have found niches in the modern music marketplace as standalone commodities. These genres correspond to the distinction within VGM between original and licensed soundtracks. Original soundtracks (OSTs) feature scores composed specifically for video games; these albums have found a market as cult objects for hardcore gamers, Japanese import enthusiasts, and, especially during the current vinyl resurgence, nostalgic hipsters. As video games transitioned from the arcade to PCs and home consoles, improved graphics and sound technology facilitated more and more ambitious soundtracks by talented musicians and composers who created orchestral and electronic scores to accompany increasingly sweeping and cinematic video games. OST albums retailed poorly in North America in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and very few were released, but their success in the Japanese market created a platform for OST albums that allowed this niche genre to survive the digital revolution in a physical format.