Sections

Wales Interactive: YouTuber requested $17,600 for coverage

Soul Axiom dev shocked by demands

A developer from Wales Interactive, the studio behind Soul Axiom, Master Reboot and Infinity Runner, has shared a recent experience where an unnamed YouTuber asked for thousands of dollars to feature a game.

Ben Tester shared his experience on Reddit and asked the development community if they had experienced similar requests.

"On one of my normal PR rounds I received an email from a very popular YouTuber with a few million subscribers offering to have one of our games featured on their YouTube channel for a rate of either $17,600 for 2-3 talking points or $22,000 for 2-3 talking points AND a description link.

"Upon reading this my jaw dropped. Is this real? Are there developers out there that pay that sort of money to have their game featured in one video?"

The news comes as popular gaming YouTuber Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg passed 10 billion views on YouTube and The Federal Trade Commission settled charges against Machinima for deceptive practices involving YouTube personalities.

"I must stress that I emailed the YTer first to ask if they would like to receive a free code for our game to play for their channel," added Tester.

"The YTer did NOT mention anything about making a 'positive' promotion nor was this a scam from a fake YTer. Finally I'd like to state that I refused the offer."

The Reddit thread prompted a response from YouTuber slowbeef, who also shared concerns about this type of request.

“I don't like this trend, and I want to do what I can to spread the word about it. Game developers shouldn't be exploited like this and most every Let's Player I've talked to about this agrees that it's disgusting.”

Related stories

Wales Interactive co-founder David Banner to receive MBE

Banner has become a central figure in the Welsh games industry in his 23 year career

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments (15)

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus3 years ago
Name names.
14Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rumor has it that one of the biggest tubers charges 50K for one let's play episode. When I started in reviewing games back in 1996 I was delighted to get to keep the review copy and get paid by the magazine I wrote for :-)

Then again, tubers are not game journos, they are more like marketing channels. And marketing costs money.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 3 years ago
Print magazines have always built an audience and monetized that audience by selling ads. This isn't any different. The editorial fluff and review pseudo-science was replaced by a personality focused show and the game is still as much in the face of the audience as it ever was.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Klaus Preisinger on 14th September 2015 8:41am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (15)
Rafa Ferrer Localisation Manager, Red Comet Media3 years ago
OK with people getting paid to promote any product, but please stop calling that "coverage" as it sounds too close to "press coverage". If it's paid, it's an ad. Ads are not journalism.
6Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jamie Firth Video Games Production 3 years ago
One the one hand, absolutely nothing wrong with YouTubers charging for their time if that's what they want to do. So long as it's very clearly disclosed and made clear it's a paid endorsement. It's like any other "celebrity appearance": they command a fee. I don't see why this would surprise anyone: it's no different from hiring Hollyoaks or TOWIE people to turn out (which happens at *least* once a week).

On the other hand: "Ugh". :-)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jamie Firth on 14th September 2015 10:42am

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greed
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jamie Firth Video Games Production 3 years ago
"Greed" is strong. It's no more greedy than any other job you do and expect payment for it, to be fair. Sure it seems like a lot of money for one video, but say you do one of these once a week, with a few weeks holiday... It adds up to a *fairly* unambitious yearly income. And for many this sort of arrangement will allow them to make other *unpaid* content full time.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd3 years ago
Print magazines have always built an audience and monetized that audience by selling ads. This isn't any different.
Print mags and legitimate online review sites have always had a clear organisational separation between editorial and advertising. It's fundamentally different.
7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago
@Robin

I think Jeff Gerstmann would disagree on that subject

Sure he won in the end, but the line between the two has definitely gotten very blurry in recent years at some major outlets.

Whoever is demanding 50k to drink a six pack of redbud. And scream at a camera should certainly be outed. The list of people that could even consider such a rate can't be that long.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 3 years ago
It does not matter if it is the shoddiest of video gaming outlets, or the brightest weekly magazine. If you throw a spear straight to the heart of one of their advertisers, the reaction is quite the same. You think EA and Konami can get salty? Try child labour in the fashion industry.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
So much for any pretense of "journalism", "ethics' and all that old crap, huh? The funny thing is, poke on any game board site and it's all "don't trust the major sites!" screaming while there's this automatic trust of "independent" YouTube screamers who are probably more easily bought or who can sell their fame and millions of views and page hits to whomever has the money and wants something marketed at cost.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Greg
You would be surprised the backlash youtubers get when they don't make it known they got paid to push a certain game. It's really no different.

Also the reason youtubers tend to get more trust is because when someone is watching the youtuber play .. they actually get to see the game. It's not like it's just a review based strictly on the youtubers opinion. The viewer can also have their own opinion based on the footage they see.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shane Sweeney Academic 3 years ago
Except that with positive editing you can do way more harm as the viewer can be easily and falsely led to believe you are watching an organic experience which makes the audience more receptive. Eventually the most talented (and eventually most expensive Let's Players) will be able to convey any tone they wish while simultaneously propping up the view the experience was organic.

It's a lot more dangerous because the YouTuber isn't necessarily giving their view in a traditional sense that can be held to any normal level of scrutiny, they are directing footage to convey any tone they wish.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 15th September 2015 2:09pm

3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Shane: EXACTLY. I've seen way too many fake "I'm SOOO scared" reaction vids and others for some games that look too phony. Hey, I'm too damn old to fall for some of that stuff and can read actual responses to stuff and see acting out for the camera miles away. It's a schtick for some of these YouTubers that gets them hits galore (and good for them, I say). But it gets dicey when a game gets bashed to death because it's a demo version and the person doing that video doesn't grasp that a build that's got a bunch of time to go isn't supposed to represent the final product. Then you get a bunch of followers who also know nothing about game development more or less condemning a product before it's actually completed.

@Brook: Oh, I've seen some posts about what you noted. But let's just say the people who ask for large sums of money probably aren't in that backlash getting group. I'm sure that person's fan base might be a little cranky if or when they find out.

Maybe. We seem to be in a phase where such stuff and far worse is forgiven (See a certain Trump-et who can't cease his noise-hole).
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 3 years ago
@Shane
Very good point. Can't disagree with you on that.

@Greg
I was about to say the same thing you said toward Shane's comment, but you summed it up pretty nicely. Youtubers, certainly do have to much power to make or break a game it seems.

As for being in such a phase of forgiveness, I really hope not.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.