YouTubers and Twitch streamers will be able to earn a 10% cut of any game sales made as a result of their video content through a new initiative by Game Jolt.
The indie games marketplace has launched a new Partner program that is designed to enable smaller developers and up-and-coming video hosts support each other in spreading the word about titles available through Game Jolt. According to the website, YouTube and Twitch-based 'partners' will be able to create referral links in their video descriptions to direct viewers towards purchasing the game.
Should a consumer click on such a link, they'll be shown a message explaining that the game is part of the Game Jolt Partner Program and that 10% of the revenue from the sale will go to the video host, while another portion will go to the developer.
For developers, this means that their game will have to be added to the partner program, with YouTubers and Twitch streamers signed up able to access the game for free, without purchasing or accessing keys. Only games chosen by developers will be part of the program.
To begin with, the program is only open to YouTubers with 50,000 subscribers and an average of 3,000 views per video, while Twitch streamers are required to have at least 3,000 followers and more than 50 concurrent viewers. Streamers who are already Twitch partners can automatically join this program.
"We're starting out with bigger accounts to avoid potential program abuse," the site says. "If you don't meet these requirements, but would like to be considered, apply anyway."
It's an interesting scheme and another example of games companies trying to find ways to reach the highly-coveted audiences that influencers such as YouTube and Twitch hosts have gathered over the last few years. Where the program may find itself in trouble, however, is the need for full disclosure - particularly if those influencers are benefitting financially from promotions.
While the site says viewers who click a referral link will receive a message explaining the video was part of a promotional program, it's not entirely clear whether this will be disclosed before they decided to purchase. YouTubers in particular have been under scrutiny this year after the Federal Trade Commission investigated a deal between Warner Bros and prominent YouTubers - including PewDiePie - to promote Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. There was also controversy surrounding videos by two prominent YouTubers who were revealed to be owners of a gambling site they had been promoting through their channels.
With such scandals raising awareness of the need for full disclosure from influencers that are working with games companies, some firms are endeavouring to make it clearer that videos are paid for - EA, for example, has issued watermarks that must be used on promotional videos as part of partnerships with the publisher.