owsf2000: (default)
This seems to be making news on reddit/pc gamer/etc. It's about a game dev that, "on his normal PR rounds" received an email from one youtuber with millions of subscribers that offered to do a video with 2 or 3 talking points for $17.6k - or $22k with the inclusion of a link in the description. This of course apparently baffled the dev who refused - then went to reddit to complain.

First of all, complaining on reddit. lol.

Ok, that's out of my system.

Personally, I'm not entirely sure what the big deal is. Should you be siding with the developer here at being shocked at being quoted something much higher than the free review copy of his game that he was offering? Or should you be siding with the Youtuber?

First of all, let's assume that the paid nature of the review will be made apparent to the viewers. After all we already have youtubers getting in trouble and facing stiff penalties for deceptive advertising. IE: Passing paid advertisements off as their personal opinions by not explicitly telling people that they are being paid to make the video.

So. Assuming that's out of the way what do we have here? The Game Dev is going around trying to solicit people to review his game by giving them free copies of the game. That's one cheap bribe, especially if the reviewer doesn't particularly want to play it on his own dime. What does the game dev get for this free copy (A copy that costs him nothing to offer!) It gets him public exposure to a few million eyeballs - and free video recording, editing, cleanup, and hosting.

He refuses to mention the name of the person that actually expected to be paid for the time spent on video editing, game reviewing, commentary, etc etc. With a few million subscribers however he must be doing something right so his videos are probably a bit more than him sitting in front of a webcam talking for 20 minutes. (Think Angry Joe for instance. Most of his videos probably take a bit longer than sitting down for 10 minutes. There are some videos where the props alone cost a few hundred dollars.)

It's not wrong to expect compensation for work expected. The question is whether or not the person wanting the work done is willing to pay. If he isn't, then nothing gets done and both can go about their lives. Or COULD have gone about their lives if one didn't decide to start a bitchfest on reddit.

One last thing to consider. If this youtuber has a few million subscribers, odds are this dev isn't the only person trying to pawn off free games for a spotlight on the channel. The youtuber only has so much time available. When time is a limited resource, and demand far exceeds it, you weed out demand by raising the price. Demanding that much money for a game he probably wasn't interested in is probably how he tells them "No. Unless you make it worth my time, I'm going to play something else." Net result would be all the riftraft he doesn't want to review anyway shuts up and he can play and review things he's actually interested in for free (getting money from youtube instead for the views, etc)

There are people on the reddit thread saying how they're Let's Players and how they're shocked and sorry that people are "exploiting" game developers by demanding fees for exposure but seriously I just can't get upset over it. It's not like EVERY Let's Player is doing this. Supposedly very few are. If that's the case, a game dev should quickly learn which channels are "off limits" to his games and move on. Not everyone is willing to do 6-10 hours of video editing for a free game they didn't want. (And apparently one person in the reddit thread said the game in question was pretty bland and unremarkable anyway. Whether or not he's just trolling though I dunno. I can't even be bothered to verify what game this is all about.)


Of course this makes me wonder how I'd do it if I were a youtuber myself. Of course, I also mean assuming I had more than 20 subscribers as well.

How would I handle being offered free steam games from devs? Fact is I know I wouldn't have a lot of time to cover even the games I wanted to cover, but at the same time I doubt I'd ask for $22,000 either. Why? Because that would actually add work to my schedule that I'd -have- to get done, if someone was silly enough to agree to it. Right now I'd probably reply to any dev that sent me that kind of offer with something like "If you want to, you can send me a code for the game. I can't promise a review will be made, but if it is I'll let you know."

And then let them decide if they want to take the risk of giving away a free copy of their game and not getting a review - since none is being promised.

Of course this would also depend on previous actions of devs as well. For instance, I wouldn't even agree to take a code from Nintendo etc - companies that screw over youtubers by making claims on their videos. Angry Joe has had lots of things to say about that in the past! In one case he was even given promotional materials to use in his review, and the company used those very promotional materials to lay claim on his video - thus stealing all the revenue he would have made from it after having him spend 10 hours making the video. (IE: American office of company gave him the materials, then Japan office claimed the video. In my opinion, there's no difference.)

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