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EA paying YouTube gamers for coverage

EA paying YouTube gamers for coverage

Wed 22 Jan 2014 9:03pm GMT / 4:03pm EST / 1:03pm PST
AdvertisingMedia

Ronku program shells out hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote titles like Battlefield 4, Need for Speed Rivals

Earlier this week, Microsoft and Machinima downplayed outcry about a program paying YouTube content producers to endorse Xbox One, calling it a "typical marketing partnership." It may be more typical than previously thought, as EA has confirmed to The Verge details of similar initiatives running for everything from NHL 14 to Battlefield 4.

"Through EA's Ronku program, some fans are compensated for the YouTube videos they create and share about our games," a spokesman told the site. "The program requires that participants comply with FTC guidelines and identify when content is sponsored. User-generated videos are a valuable and unique aspect of how gamers share their experiences playing the games they love, and one that EA supports."

Some detailed assignments from the Ronku program were publicized by a poster on the NeoGaf forums. Among the terms shown was an agreement "to keep confidential at all times all matters relating to this Agreement and any Assignment including, without limitation, the Details and Compensation listed above." Despite that, the EA representative told The Verge it hasn't run afoul of disclosure requirements, saying, "We explicitly state in the Terms & Conditions of the program that each video must comply with the FTC's Guidelines concerning Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising."

Unlike the Microsoft Xbox One Machinima program, EA's Ronku assignments did not explicitly forbid content creators from saying negative things about the games. However, they did require that creators not focus on any software bugs, and the Need for Speed Rivals assignment forbids disrespect toward the licensed car manufacturers in the game.

For most of the assignments listed, EA was paying an extra $10 CPM (cost per one thousand views) for YouTube videos that fit the criteria. The Need for Speed Rivals campaign was capped at a $60,000 payout, while the Battlefield 4 launch assignment was maxed out at $200,000 in compensation paid.

8 Comments

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,068 997 0.9
What is better than some good old fashioned flinging of turds between published press, established communities and trend of today Youtubers, where everybody loses credibility in the end including developers of games for their choice of PR?

If you ever watched three or four videos about the same cell phone on some random Youtube review channels, you know where this ends and run back screaming to the home shopping network TV channel. Xbox! KILL ME. .... Yes of course you can have all my money, now do it! IR blast my brain into oblivion.

Posted:6 months ago

#1

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

288 153 0.5
Frankly, I'll only pay Yiutubers who don't use the phrase "as you can see"

Next week it'll be Activision, UbiSoft, and so on down the line

2k reportedly paid Jack Thompson to leave them alone. No one bitched about that.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 23rd January 2014 8:38am

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Christopher Ingram
Editor-at-Large

47 38 0.8
Hey, it's a new digital age and these are just new ways for these developers/platform holders to attract new revenues.

I'm not stating that I personally like these new ways, but I don't see any harm in them either, especially for some of the talented and hard-working film-makers on YouTube. It especially doesn't surprise me that it's geared toward the Xbox One though. I'll never forget the disaster of a launch that was Microsoft's Windows 8 OS - I beta tested and loathed the OS months prior and up to launch - only to step into my local Best Buy a few months after launch to see it was absolutely plastered in the Windows 8 "metro" style, which regardless of the shape of the OS, looked blisteringly attractive in the store. It's arrogant and big brother-like, but it works for Microsoft.

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,068 997 0.9
Popular Comment
If you turn yourself into a spokesperson for a company without saying, then how do your site visitors know when they get an honest opinion/reaction/interaction and when they get an advert dressed up as your honest opinion/reaction/interaction?

Posted:6 months ago

#4
The customers lost interest in the magazines after they got caught too often taking 'money' for reviews. The customers lost confidence in the Blogs when they started to get 'prizes' for covering product - and now the sites will lose support if this latest debacle is true.

Frankly, its time that the consumer games industry created a code of practise regarding product representation as has been done with film, book and music; and the games media needs to grow up and grow a pair. There is just too much of a undercurrent of manipulation to the current game gen coverage. As if the executives know the parties coming to a close and they are all wallowing in the mud for one last time!

Posted:6 months ago

#5

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

288 153 0.5
@kevin

They lost interest in magazines when they could get their news right now, instead if monthly, and free instead if $5

agree with the rest

Posted:6 months ago

#6

William Usher
Assistant Editor

41 29 0.7
If you turn yourself into a spokesperson for a company without saying, then how do your site visitors know when they get an honest opinion/reaction/interaction and when they get an advert dressed up as your honest opinion/reaction/interaction?
Exactly this.

With a bunch of sites coming under fire for puffing up various publishers, one would think that this sort of scenario only taints the overall outlook on games media (and it does).

If Game Informer, Gamespot or IGN regularly received kickbacks for puffing up games pre-release, and it went public, people would absolutely flip out.

Posted:6 months ago

#7

Brook Davidson
Artist / 3D design

62 93 1.5
Frankly, I'll only pay Yiutubers who don't use the phrase "as you can see"
What's wrong with that phrase? Hear it too much? or some other reason?

Posted:6 months ago

#8

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