Gamasutra survey: Contacting video game YouTubers

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Q14 What is your opinion of YouTubers
charging money to devs for video
coverage? Is it ethical? How widespread
do you think YouTubers asking
for/receiving money for covering specific
games is?
Answered: 119 Skipped: 22
# Responses Date
1 i t seems a l i ttl e ri sky for the i ntegri ty of the revi ew but youtubers need money coveri ng games even
i n si mpl e gampl ay vi deos are expensi ve
6/18/2014 9:33 PM
2 Ethi cal , onl y i f i t's a smal l fee. 5-15usd. Though a youtuber shoul dn't charge money to get a game
for free...
6/18/2014 9:50 AM
3 Bi gger youtubers are mai nl y PR mouthpei ces. As such, adverti si ng rul es seem normal as l ong as i ts
di scl osed vi a the youtuber
6/18/2014 7:30 AM
4 We - vi deo creators - l i ve i n compl i cated ti mes. It i s expected from our work to be free. Copyri ght
hol ders don't want us to moneti ze, no one l i kes Ads, no one l i kes pai d content but we i nvest our free
ti me i nto coveri ng the games we l ove, want to share - basi cal l y gi ve free PR for the game i tsel f. If a
Youtuber asks for money for del i veri ng great content, i t's not wrong - i t's a compensati on.
6/18/2014 6:33 AM
5 I thi nk they shoul d be avoi ded l i ke the pl ague. If a Youtuber wants to make money then they shoul d
work hard l i ke the rest of us on the vi deos. If a devel oper wants to sponsor a channel then thats up
to the devel oper not the YouTuber
6/18/2014 6:28 AM
6 I di sagree wi th i t. It does not seem ethi cal at al l as i t j ust seems l i ke a bl atant money grab i f they
feel they're not getti ng compensated enough from Youtube or thei r partner program. And whi l e I
feel for those that do thi s as a ful l -ti me j ob, i t's j ust a drop i n the bucket at the end of the day and
can real l y rui n not onl y that Youtuber's reputati on, but the devel oper as wel l (some may see that as
them buyi ng off a Youtuber for a posi ti ve spi n i n coverage). I don't thi nk i t's a wi despread i ssue, but
I'm not nai ve enough to thi nk that i t NEVER happens. Maybe thi s happens i n about 10% of al l
6/18/2014 6:26 AM
7 I thi nk i t's an awful , shi t practi ce that no devel oper shoul d ever accept. Less wi despread than
peopl e seem to i mpl y, possi bl y more wi despread than I thi nk, however. I've never seen si gni fi cant
evi dence of the extent of thi s.
6/18/2014 6:22 AM
8 It shoul d be the other way around. Devs shoul d pay the pl ayer for thei r ti me and testi ng the game
on a ful l -throttl e PC duri ng an earl y bui l d/
6/18/2014 6:19 AM
9 I thi nk i t's total l y fi ne to be pai d for coverage, but not i f they payment demands you to gi ve a
posi ti ve i mpressi on especi al l y i f i t mi srepresents the game. The best way to handl e i t woul d be to
agree to cover i t, pl ay the game, and gi ve no strong opi ni on to your audi ence about a purchasi ng
deci si on - - and you shoul d di scl ose i t i s a pai d promoti on.
6/18/2014 12:48 AM
10 If i t's not an opi ni on pi ece, but merel y coverage. Tal ki ng bul l et poi nts or j ust gi vi ng i nformati on on
i t, then i t's probabl y somethi ng that i s fi ne. Chargi ng for revi ews or LP's, I don't thi nk i t's wrong, but i t
real l y makes i t di ffi cul t to j udge the i ntenti ons of the content creator. I actual l y thi nk i t's very rare, I
thi nk most peopl e based on the current market A) are smal l enough where free games i s cool
enough. B) get enough ad revenue from a free game and 3 hours of work to make i t worth i t to
them. Bei ng pai d ontop of that mi ght not be needed.
6/18/2014 12:22 AM
11 It seem's a bi t wrong to me. A YouTuber shoul d be pretty grateful to si mpl y pl ay the game earl y at
al l . I have heard of compani es offeri ng payment, haven't heard about a Youtuber who sel l s thei r
ti me.
6/10/2014 4:30 PM
12 I thi nk that's ri di cul ous. Just pl ay the game, and remai n humbl e. 6/9/2014 3:21 AM
Gamasutra survey: Contacting video game YouTubers
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13 I don't thi nk i t's ethi cal . The devel opers have made that game and are tryi ng to recei ve some wel l -
deserved recogni ti on for i t. They shoul dn't have to pay some Youtuber when they have spent
countl ess hours devel opi ng the game and perhaps even money out of thei r own pockets. If
Youtubers real l y need the money, they shoul d earn i t through thei r subscri bers or set up some
donati ons bi n i nstead of chargi ng game devel opers.
6/7/2014 8:25 PM
14 To be honest, whi l e I don't agree wi th how i t's reputedl y been handl ed, as someone that has spend
thousands of hours and dol l ars on maki ng vi deos and al l the accompanyi ng work that has to go i nto
a channel , researchi ng games, brandi ng, soci al medi a, devel oper rel ati ons, emai l s, comments,
col l aborati ons etc... I'm sure the l arger youtubers make a l i vi ng at what they do, but for the smal l er
channel s (even ones wi th hundreds of vi deos, great content and overal l qual i ty, and years of
experi ence)... If you don't get the numbers, i t's a bi t of a very expensi ve and ti me consumi ng l abour
of l ove, and as awesome as that i s i t doesn't pay the bi l l s. Aski ng for donati ons, patreon, stuff l i ke
that has a l ot of taboo i n the communi ty as wel l , i t's real l y di ffi cul t to natural l y grow a posi ti ve
communi ty and publ i c personal i ty, to be abl e to reach a wi de audi ence that trusts your opi ni ons
and wants to spend money on whatever you say i s awesome, whi l e al so sti l l bei ng abl e to afford to
spend al l the ti me you want on Youtube especi al l y i f i t doesn't pay wel l yet, and I thi nk game
devel opers and PR someti mes take al l that work for granted.
6/6/2014 1:43 PM
15 I thi nk i t i s unethi cal . I do not know how wi despread i t i s, but my guess woul d be that i t i s fai rl y
6/6/2014 1:18 PM
16 Chargi ng money to a dev seems l i ke a wei rd i dea to me, I do not know how wi despread thi s i s but
woul d never requi re that sort of thi ngs. I know promoti onal deal s wi th publ i shers are common and
I'm fi ne wi th them as l ong as they're branded for what they are but chargi ng devs j ust sounds wrong
and agai nst what al l thi s i s supposed to be about.
6/6/2014 7:56 AM
17 It's a bi t too far. I'm al l for profi ti ng from your work, but taki ng payment to pl ay a game i n thi s
manner i s a bi t l i ke taki ng a bri be to provi de a good revi ew. It feeds di shonesty.
6/6/2014 5:52 AM
18 If you need money and you get an offer to adverti se a good game I thi nk i t i s worth i t. If the
devel oper can't afford to pay YouTubers to promote thei r games they shoul dn't do i t
6/6/2014 4:50 AM
19 I don't see any probl ems wi th i t as l ong as any deal s don't i nterfere wi th the i ntegri ty or vi ews of
i ndependent Youtubers. I don't want to see Youtubers getti ng pai d to say somethi ng the
corporati ons tol d them to say.
6/5/2014 1:57 PM
20 I guess i t al l depends on how much the Devel opers are wi l l i ng to do to get thei r game out there
and known. I know that i f i found a dev aski ng me to do a vi deo on one of thei r games and i found i t
to be a i nteresti ng game i woul d j ust record i t for the fun of recordi ng a great game!
6/5/2014 7:43 AM
21 If they can get away wi th that, i t's thei r prerogati ve. 6/4/2014 7:23 PM
22 I thi nk i t i s perfectl y ethi cal , as l ong as i t remai ns aboveboard. Vi ewers shoul d know i f gamepl ay
coverage i s sponsored. Revi ews, however, shoul d NEVER be pai d for,
6/4/2014 4:14 PM
23 Pai d revi ews are compl etel y unethi cal and shoul d not happen (and though onl y restri cted a smal l
proporti on of the YT communi ty they're opi ni ons do carry some wei ght). Payi ng for coverage (travel
& accomodati on) of rel ease events, earl y previ ews, j unkets, etc. i s an ethi cal grey area. Though not
an out and out bad practi ce i t i s sti l l goi ng to i nevi tabl y bi as the YouTuber's opi ni on.
6/4/2014 2:49 PM
24 I thi nk Youtubers are offeri ng a servi ce to devs and shoul d get money for i t. 6/4/2014 8:45 AM
25 YouTube vi deos are, i n a sense, a form of adverti si ng - therefore i t makes sense to pay for
adverti si ng.
6/4/2014 8:02 AM
26 No i t i s not ethi cal at al l . I don't care how bi g the channel i s. Game devel opers shoul d have games
pl ayed because they are good, not because they basi cal l y have to pay a bri be.
6/4/2014 7:51 AM
27 I thi nk i t i s unethi cal as most Youtubers record games for fun and not for profi t. 6/4/2014 7:14 AM
28 It depends how they run thei r channel /busi ness. Personal l y, I make vi deos of games I enj oy, and I
can make money from the ads I have permi ssi on to pl ace on those vi deos. The
devel opers/publ i shers coul d remove that permi ssi on, so I see that as the gi ve and take: I adverti se
thei r product, they al l ow me to potenti al l y make money. If a YouTuber wants to promote a game
despi te thei r personal opi ni ons on i t, then I can ki nd of understand chargi ng for i t, but I don't real l y
agree wi th i t.
6/4/2014 6:15 AM
29 I personal l y frown upon thi s. I feel l i ke i t j ust i sn't i n the spi ri t of what we are doi ng as YouTubers. I
woul d suspect that i t i s probabl y far more wi de spread than i t appears.
6/4/2014 5:15 AM
Gamasutra survey: Contacting video game YouTubers
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30 I do not thi nk i t i s ethi cal i f i t i s a di rect payment. But I thi nk i f devel opers can/want to support
revi ewers/revi ew si tes i n a near-anonymous way, that hel ps support the very i ndustry they devel op
for. I assume youtubers aski ng for money i s pretty wi despread. Youtube i s a chi l d's toy, and there
are far too few grown ups.
6/4/2014 5:15 AM
31 I don't thi nk YouTubers shoul d charge devel opers for coverage. Most can put on adverti sements
anyway and they get the game free al ready. But si mpl y doi ng a vi deo about a game because you
get money i f you do, j ust doesn't seem ri ght to me.
6/4/2014 4:46 AM
32 As l ong as they don't charge too much, they are getti ng pai d for what they enj oy doi ng, whi ch I am
al l for.
6/4/2014 4:14 AM
33 It depends i f they are goi ng to do a ful l i n depth seri es supported by the devs maybe some money
woul d be good to recei ve i n return. I don't thi nk thi s i s very wi despread ATM I haven't heard of
anyone I know doi ng thi s.
6/4/2014 4:04 AM
34 It i s ethi cal . It i s a much more effi ci ent way of adverti si ng vi a actual gamepl ay footage. Pl us, our
fans l ove us and want to pl ay the games that we pl ay, therefore these vi deos bri ng a much more
di rect and consi stent return to the company.
6/4/2014 4:04 AM
35 That i s a horri bl e i dea. The peopl e doi ng that are a si gn of a fundamental mi sunderstandi ng of
what the rol e of the medi a i s.
6/4/2014 3:37 AM
36 I thi nk i t i s not ethi cal 6/4/2014 3:24 AM
37 YouTubers aski ng for money for coverage i s sl eazy and borderl i ne unethi cal . Both the YouTuber
and Dev benefi t from thi s coverage and ei ther si de aski ng for addi ti onal monetary compensati on
seems greedy to me. As to how wi despread, I don't thi nk that i t i s. I don't tal k wi th the bi g channel s
but I know that al l of the other LPrs I do communi cate wi th woul d not do thi s and al so bel i eve that
i t's wrong to do.
6/3/2014 1:02 PM
38 Unethi cal ; A YouTuber shoul d not expect or ask for more than bei ng al l owed to moneti ze the
vi deos. I woul d assume i t's somethi ng not many (reputabl e channel s) try to do, though I al so
woul dn't doubt i t i f there were a l i st of bi g channel s doi ng i t under the tabl e because they're bi g
channel s and offer "exposure". However, i f the dev studi o where hi ri ng for a posi ti on to make onl i ne
vi deo content for them, i t woul d be di fferent.
6/3/2014 9:24 AM
39 I dont do i t and thi nk earl y access i s enough of a trade off. 6/3/2014 8:18 AM
40 If the Youtuber i s not moneti zi ng the vi deo through other means than i t i s somewhat acceptabl e to
me. My onl y ethi cal concern wi th that i s there i s no market regul ati on at work when these "back-
room" deal s are made and no i mpetus for the Youtuber to reveal to thei r audi ence that they have
been compensated for thei r ti me (whereas i n the tradi ti onal moneti zati on model i t i s somewhat
more cl ear that compensati on has happened i n the form of ad revenue). I do not bel i eve that
youtubers chargi ng devel opers di rectl y i s a wi despread practi ce to date.
6/3/2014 8:06 AM
41 It turns thei r opi ni on i nto nothi ng more than a pai d endorsement, i f they di scl ose the payment. If
they do not di scl ose the payment, i t i s enti rel y mi sl eadi ng and unethi cal .
6/3/2014 7:34 AM
42 It's context dependent. If the dev i s payi ng a bi g name to pl ay thei r game on YouTube, not for thei r
opi ni on, that's j ust adverti si ng, so l ong as the YouTuber di scl oses that the content i s bei ng pai d for
by the dev. If we're tal ki ng payi ng for a revi ew or for a better revi ew, that's not acceptabl e. It
woul dn't fl y i n pri nt medi a and i t's no di fferent i n vi deo. I know l arge channel s often get offers to
promote games for money. I'm not aware of many i nstances of YouTubers approachi ng the
devel oper fi rst.
6/3/2014 7:23 AM
43 Di sgusti ng 6/3/2014 7:17 AM
44 Absol utel y not ethi cal . Devs owe us nothi ng, and we owe the devs nothi ng. Thi s i s a knee-j erk
reacti on to Content ID matchi ng and the percepti on of publ i shers "steal i ng our money", and I hope
the trend di es soon.
6/3/2014 7:00 AM
45 I bel i eve i t's unethi cal . We al ready get money for the vi ews, and personal l y, I'm not i n thi s for the
money anyway. I can understand why a YouTuber woul d charge (we al l have to make a l i vi ng and I
respect that), but I feel that i n thi s context, the YouTuber becomes a j ournal i st or a revi ewer.
Taki ng money for a revi ew i s a sl i ppery sl ope and untrustworthy.
6/3/2014 6:52 AM
Gamasutra survey: Contacting video game YouTubers
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46 Whi l st I understand the concept of many Youtubers havi ng a l arge sub base and subsequent
promoti onal pl atform I cannot abi de anybody who woul d accept cash to promote a game they do
not actual l y l i ke. Sadl y, thi s happens al l the ti me, peopl e al l ow themsel ves to be temporari l y
bought i n order to promote a game. They get fl own to excl usi ve events and al ways real l y enj oy the
Beta but when the game actual l y rel eases...where i s the content? It's not there, because they di dnt
actual l y l i ke the game.
6/3/2014 6:44 AM
47 I thi nk i t's outrageous for YouTubers to ask for money from devs. If devs want to offer compensati on
then that's fi ne, but not the other way around. I suppose i t's ethi cal as l ong as the YouTuber made
i t abundantl y cl ear that they are si mpl y acti ng as a marketi ng tool . Frankl y I have no i dea how
wi despread i t i s, I hope not very.
6/3/2014 6:43 AM
48 I don't thi nk i t i s ethi cal at al l . Bi g YouTubers wi l l get thei r revenue from ads. If al l YouTubers di d
thi s then onl y the bi g games wi th bi g marketi ng budgets woul d get any coverage.
6/3/2014 6:41 AM
49 Case speci fi c I woul dn't necessari l y be agai nst i t. I'd have a coupl e of condi ti ons though, eg. I can
have my own honest opi ni on about the game, and i n turn I'l l do me best to l ook at the game
obj ecti vel y
6/3/2014 4:55 AM
50 I thi nk i ts okay for them to do i t as the publ i ci ty they woul d gai n from a real l y l arge youtuber i s a
good way of getti ng the game out there. At a fracti on of the cost too.
6/3/2014 4:06 AM
51 Very wi despread. Maki ng vi deos takes ti me and money greases the hi nges. 6/3/2014 4:02 AM
52 I don't agree wi th i t but I can understand i t. You are payi ng to i nj ect coverage of X game to a pre-
made l arge-scal e audi ence, after al l .
6/3/2014 3:26 AM
53 I don't agree, but I understand. I al so onl y thi nk i t shoul d be done i f i t doesn't effect the YouTubers
opi ni on of the game (Or j ust stops them cri ti si ng i t l i ke the Yogscast and Watchdogs).
6/3/2014 3:15 AM
54 If the youtuber brands hi msel f as a revi ewer, i t woul d not be ethi cal . If the youtuber i s more of a
l et's pl ayer, i t's real l y up to hi m as l ong as he remai ns transparent. I real l y cannot say how
wi despread i t i s. Most youtubers don't di scl ose those offers, even i n vi deo descri pti ons. It's pretty
secreti ve.
6/3/2014 3:08 AM
55 Not real l y... ;) 6/3/2014 2:57 AM
56 Thi s i s not ethi cal behavi our; newspapers do not charge when they revi ew books, fi l ms or games, so
nei ther shoul d vi deo producers. I do not consi der thi s behavi our wi despread. However, such
behavi our i s techni cal l y a vi ol ati on of the Bri bery Act 2010, where posi ti ve coverage equal s
"fi nanci al or other advantage". Thi s i s qui te cl earl y a bri be and i s agai nst the l aw.
6/3/2014 2:43 AM
57 I don't agree wi th i t j ust as I don't agree wi th revi ew si tes aski ng for money. It's hard to j usti fy an
i mparti al revi ew when you have been pai d to do i t. Personal l y I fi nd i t hard enough when j ust gi ven
a revi ew code. I don't thi nk i ts too wi despread yet and hope that i t never becomes a bi g thi ng
6/3/2014 2:42 AM
58 n/a 6/3/2014 2:31 AM
59 I thi nk i t i s a di sgusti ng practi ce. 6/3/2014 2:29 AM
60 I thi nk that i t i s ri di cul ous, unl ess the youtuber i s sponsored to show the game then they shoul d
never ask for money from devs to pl ay!
6/3/2014 2:20 AM
61 I don't know 6/3/2014 2:01 AM
62 Recei vi ng money to revi ew a game makes for a unfai r and unbal anced vi ew on the rel ease. The
YouTuber feel s obl i ged to gi ve the game a posi ti ve revi ew.
6/3/2014 1:54 AM
63 It's not ethi cal , and i t compromi ses thei r i ntegri ty. If they're upfront about i t, then fai r enough - but I
woul dn't trust anythi ng they had to say. Any dev/publ i sher that woul d pay money for coverage that
i sn't adverti si ng, and expl i ci tl y presented as adverti si ng, i s al so on poor ground moral l y i mho.
6/3/2014 1:53 AM
64 Pai d promoti ons can work i f al l i s above board and di scl osure i s made. It's pretty rampant amongst
l arger YouTubers. Sel dom di scl osed. You have the potenti al for huge i nfl uence wi th none of those
tradi ti onal j ournal i sti c ethi cs i n the way. Many young i nfl uencers won over by rel ati vel y smal l
6/3/2014 1:48 AM
65 I don't thi nk they shoul d ask to be pai d for i t, i t i s unethi cal and makes them seem l i ke a douche. 6/3/2014 1:47 AM
66 I don't agree wi th thi s personal l y. I feel that money woul d make the coverage unethi cal and bi ased.
I woul d hope that i t i s somethi ng that happens very rarel y.
6/3/2014 1:46 AM
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67 It's unethi cal , as i t can i nfl uence the potenti al opi ni on of a game. That's reason enough that i t
real l y shoul dn't happen.
6/3/2014 1:44 AM
68 If i t makes the dev more money then spent then fai r enough but a smal l channel I woul d never
charge we are al l Indi es and shoul d hel p each other
6/3/2014 1:43 AM
69 No, i t's not ri ght. 6/3/2014 12:11 AM
70 Aski ng for payment i s dumb especi al l y consi deri ng peopl e l i ke mysel f make a l i veabl e wage off of
i t.
6/2/2014 8:53 PM
71 Whi l e I thi nk i t i s a l i ttl e unseeml y, i f the YouTuber i s up front about havi ng recei ved money for
thei r coverage, i n thei r coverage, and i s sti l l honest i n thei r commentary then i t's fi ne.
6/2/2014 6:14 PM
72 YouTubers are a certai n ki nd of press, so chargi ng money to cover somethi ng seems compl etel y
stupi d. Press cover thi ngs to get themsel ves the scoop and al so recei ve al l the gl ory. Whi l e i t i s
adverti si ng to some extent, i t's al so the j ob they si gned up for. If they want to charge devs for
coverage then they shoul d go i nto the pop-up ad busi ness. I doubt i t's very wi despread unl ess
devel opers are way more desperate than they shoul d be (i f your game i s good, i t wi l l get out there,
trust me).
6/2/2014 5:34 PM
73 Unethi cal . It's pai d promoti on at that poi nt. 6/2/2014 5:23 PM
74 The bi gger the YouTuber, the more ethi cal , I guess. It's l i ke payi ng a basebal l stadi um to put your
ad somewhere; It's probabl y not al l that common at thi s poi nt.
6/2/2014 5:18 PM
75 It's ethi cal as l ong as i t does not i nterfere wi th the qual i ty of the vi deo and the vi ewers know. 6/2/2014 3:55 PM
76 It's shi t and not fai r. 6/2/2014 3:40 PM
77 Bad practi ce, i t's not ethi cal . I thi nk i t's a very rare occurence, but undoubtedl y i t happens from
ti me to ti me.
6/2/2014 2:53 PM
78 It's probabl y more wi despread than you woul d thi nk. I feel that i t i s wrong si nce doi ng so puts up a
bi as for YouTubers to say posi ti ve thi ngs about games they may not actual l y enj oy.
6/2/2014 2:43 PM
79 Its ri di cul ous 6/2/2014 2:29 PM
80 Aski ng for a fl at out fee seems real l y di shonest and I'd l ose respect for revi ewers that do so. Getti ng
the game for free i s al ready good enough for me. If the dev wants to gi ve a youtuber fun thi ngs l i ke
a shi rt or dol l of a character- that'd be far more acceptabl e/l ess skeezy.
6/2/2014 2:18 PM
81 i f i t i s offered i t i s fai r game. demandi ng i s wrong. 6/2/2014 2:15 PM
82 Consi deri ng Youtube i s mostl y bei ng adverti sed as a PR pl atform and not as a pl atform for
l egi ti mate cri ti que, I woul d not be surpi sed i f bi gger Youtubers woul d charge money for coverage.
In that regard they woul d provi de a servi ce to the game devel opers. I thi nk i t's sti l l unethi cal i f i t's
not di scl osed to the vi ewer however.
6/2/2014 2:09 PM
83 It's OK, al though I don't l i ke i t. It's not l i ke the dev has to pay the money. 6/2/2014 2:02 PM
84 I thi nk i t i s ki nd of wrong but, i f done, i t shoul d al ways be ful l y di scl osed to the subscri bers. I thi nk i t
i s qui te wi despread among the 1-2m+ subs youtuber communi ty.
6/2/2014 2:02 PM
85 Is thi s i s a thi ng? If i t i s i t's ki nd of crappy. The onl y way I see thi s bei ng acceptabl e at al l i s i f i t's a
bi g studi o contacti ng a Youtuber wanti ng them to pl ay a tri pl e A rel ease - they have money i n thei r
budget for adverti si ng. They are contacti ng someone speci fi cal l y wanti ng that person to adverti se
thei r game. Other than that - no, I don't thi nk Youtubers shoul d charge devs money to cover thei r
6/2/2014 1:57 PM
86 I do not l i ke aski ng for money to revi ew a game. I thi nk i ts enti rel y reasonabl e to ask for the game
for free l i ke a devel opers copy but other than that no. It feel s to me that based on pay you coul d
rate the game hi gher. I honestl y dont know how wi despread thi s i ssue i s.
6/2/2014 1:56 PM
87 No. Just no. 6/2/2014 1:54 PM
88 That's horri bl e. 6/2/2014 1:51 PM
89 I dont mi nd, i f they take money, I thi nk i t woul d be better, i f they menti on thi s fact, but when they
do, why not?
6/2/2014 1:51 PM
90 If the dev i s wi l l i ng to pay for coverage, that's fi ne. That's an agreement between two parti es. It
coul d be annoyi ng i f the channel wi nds up bei ng company shi l l s.
6/2/2014 1:49 PM
Gamasutra survey: Contacting video game YouTubers
6 / 7
91 Depends on the scal e. Anyone prol i fi c l i ke Pewdi ePi e, maybe. It al so sort of depends on the studi o.
For the most part though I am not a fan of i t.
6/2/2014 1:45 PM
92 No, i t's i ncredi bl y pompous. And i t's too wi despread; the atti tude that YouTubers are doi ng the
i ndustry a favor has to stop.
6/2/2014 1:44 PM
93 If you charge a dev i ts a bi t wrong, i f they're gi vi ng you a free key and you're moneti si ng you've got
no excuse to ask for i t. I don't thi nk i ts very wi despread, but I can i magi ne some smal l er devs are
offeri ng some money to get noti ced by bi gger names due to the l arge requests they get, not sayi ng
potatoman was one of those but Ive got my suspi ci ons and Im aware of another nova and the gang
got pai d a l i ttl e to cover, but they di d i t wel l not compromi si ng themsel ves
6/2/2014 1:43 PM
94 No I thi nk that i s unethi cal I make enough from youtube and twi tch by mysel f and I feel l i ke i t can
gi ve a negati ve bi as on the game.
6/2/2014 1:42 PM
95 i thi nk i t's unethi cal and wrong to charge for revi ews. You can't be sure the revi ewer i s unbi ased
because of that.
6/2/2014 1:41 PM
96 Never heard of i t, woul dn't do i t; seems unethi cal 6/2/2014 1:40 PM
97 I don't thi nk i t's ethi cal to take money for coverage, obj ecti vi ty mi ght be cl ouded. For bi gger
YouTubers I know i t's often offered but I hope i t's mostl y decl i ned
6/2/2014 1:37 PM
98 Usual l y i t's the other way around, publ i shers/devs offeri ng money to Youtubers (ei ther di rectl y or
through thei r MCNs). I don't know of any Youtuber that actual l y proacti vel y seeks out payment i f
they're goi ng to cover a game.
6/2/2014 12:52 PM
99 I thi nk i t's fai rl y wi despread. Requi ri ng payment for coverage shoul dn't be necessary. If there i s
games you genui nel y enj oy, wanti ng to support the devel opers and getti ng the game noti ced
shoul d be enough. Admi ttedl y,i t i s enti ci ng when devel opers offer money for vi deo coverage, but I
tend to decl i ne when they set standards of "No negati ve feedback, etc".
6/2/2014 12:39 PM
100 I thi nk, as l ong as there's ful l di scl osure, and as l ong as the Youtuber i s not prevented from
cri ti ci si ng, i t's absol utel y ethi cal . If i t's kept a secret, or the Youtuber has to keep thei r mouth shut
about fl aws, then i t's unethi cal .
6/2/2014 12:38 PM
101 I don't bel i eve YouTube's shoul d charge for vi deo coverage ever. Devel opers offeri ng money as
part of a marketi ng scene i s di fferent because that i s for the youtuber to deci de what ki nd of creator
they are eg entertai ner vs j ournal i st. I don't bel i eve the practi se of chargi ng for coverage i s
wi despread i f i t does happen. I've not heard of i t happeni ng i n my network.
6/2/2014 12:30 PM
102 I have no opi ni on on the matter, as I'm too smal l a YouTuber to have a say i n such hi gh pri ori ty
i ssues...
6/2/2014 12:29 PM
103 It makes about as much sense as Ni ntendo wanti ng to take a porti on of our ad revs for coveri ng thei r
games. A bi t of gi ve and take i s needed. I don't bel i eve i t's a wi despread practi ce, al though I can
i magi ne some of the bi ggest and most popul ar content creators coul d probabl y make such
demands, and have them accepted.
6/2/2014 12:28 PM
104 Everyone needs money, who doesn't, but no i t i sn't ethi cal and i f money i s exchangi ng hands then
there needs to be transparency between Youtuber and audi ence and devel oper i n al l
ci rcumstances. A Youtuber i s great for game coverage because the audi ence trusts thei r opi ni on, i f
that trust i s broken then so i s thei r career. I thi nk wi th "top ti er" Youtubers i t's defi ni tel y a probl em
whi ch i s the probl em i tsel f, Devs don't want "l ower cl ass" Youtubers coveri ng i t, they want as many
eyes of thei r stuff as possi bl e and the bi gger Youtubers wants as many vi ews as possi bl e on thei r
excl usi ve content = even more money and maki ng decent money i s hard unl ess you are
PewDi ePi e. I have no doubt thi s stuff goes on, on some l evel wi th some peopl e.
6/2/2014 12:23 PM
105 I haven't heard too much about i t. I assume most of the games covered were gi ven to them and
that's al ready more than enough payment. Aski ng for money on top of getti ng the game does seem
unethi cal mai nl y because of possi bl e bi as.
6/2/2014 12:08 PM
106 Wel l nowadays bi g youtubers (E.G Pewdi epi e) are as much as a way to adverti se your game than
other adverti si ng methods. Lots of peopl e are guaranteed to see your game
6/2/2014 12:06 PM
107 YouTuber's can do what they want i n that regard. I guess i f the devs are wi l l i ng to pay i t, so be i t. Its
not my thi ng, but to each thei r own. I thi nk the number of YouTubers that charge devs to pl ay thei r
games i s very mi nor. I thi nk we are l ooki ng at an i ncredi bl y smal l group of peopl e i n rel ati on to
those that cover games.
6/2/2014 12:05 PM
Gamasutra survey: Contacting video game YouTubers
7 / 7
108 I do not l i ke the i dea of YouTubers chargi ng money for revi ewi ng a game. If you are l arge enough
to have a bi g enough fanbase to "charge money" then you are defi ni tel y l arge enough to get a
decent ad revenue. In my opi ni on, YTers who charge money to revi ew a game make content
creators l ook bad. The devel opment/revi ewer rel ati onshi p i s symbi oti c. We recei ve vi ewers and ad
revue to keep our si te open, they recei ve promoti on and revenue through sal es. Why mess wi th
6/2/2014 12:01 PM
109 I thi nk i t's fi ne i f for youtubers to do that, as l ong as the devs contacted the youtuber about doi ng a
vi deo on the game
6/2/2014 11:59 AM
110 I thi nk i t's total l y unethi cal . It comes off as a bri be. I'm not sure about coverage but I hope i t's smal l . 6/2/2014 11:58 AM
111 I don't real l y know. 6/2/2014 11:56 AM
112 It seems ri di cul ous to me and I can't i magi ne there's many channel s where a dev woul d even agree
to thi s. Havi ng sai d that, i f you can get peopl e l i ke pewdi epi e or other channel s of that magni tude
to pl ay your game i t'l l probabl y pay for i tsel f i n adverti sement. It does depend heavi l y on how much
there's actual l y bei ng charged though.
6/2/2014 11:54 AM
113 i m sure a l ot of youtubers do i t to most i ndi e devs si nce they feel l i ke they are gi vi ng the dev and
game coverage. i sti l l thi nk i ts a bad thi ng to practi ce, especi al l y i f the youtuber doesnt need the
money to survi ve. i l ove games, pl ayi ng them, showi ng them to peopl e, especi al l y the ones i enj oy
to pl ay.
6/2/2014 11:54 AM
114 I bel i eve thi s to be ethi cal however the YouTuber woul d have to have a l arge amount of audi ence
retenti on i n order ask for such a thi ng as they shoul d be tryi ng to get the game to as many peopl e
as possi bl e.
6/2/2014 11:53 AM
115 Defi ni tel y a bad thi ng. Thi s cannot not affect the opi ni on, and that's al ways bad 6/2/2014 11:52 AM
116 I bel i eve i f there i s no deal when the vi deo i s recorded then the YouTuber has no ri ght to ask for
money and makes the YouTuber l ook l i ke an arsehol e.
6/2/2014 11:51 AM
117 Provi ded that i t i s decl ared l oudl y, not mi sl eadi ng, not a revi ew of any sort and the YTer does not
offer opi ni ons on that game then sure. But i t i s a fi ne l i ne.
6/2/2014 11:49 AM
118 I fi n i t unethi cal and an opi ni on formed sol el y around the game and not because someone pai d
you wi l l i ncrease the qual i ty of the vi deo
6/2/2014 11:47 AM
119 It's ki nd of ri di cul ous to me. The onl y peopl e who can dri ve enough sal es to warrant chargi ng devs
a fee or (god forbi d) a revenue share al ready get hundreds of thousands of vi ews per vi deo. That's
potenti al l y hundreds or thousands of dol l ars for very l i ttl e work. On the other hand, the dev has
(usual l y) worked hard and sacri fi ced a l ot for years to get thei r game fi ni shed and rel eased. It rubs
me the wrong way that some peopl e (i t seems very very rare) step i n and want a share of i t j ust
because they thi nk they can.
6/2/2014 10:57 AM

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