from the show-me-the-money dept
I've argued in the past that YouTube videos, far from the bane of gaming companies' existence, actually serve to drive sales by informing the public of gameplay, graphics, and the overall quality of the product being offered. Yet, for reasons that escape me, some companies view "let's play" style YouTube videos as a threat and choose to restrict their fans' sharing their experiences. I happen to think that this is an indication of insecurity in the product, but it turns out not every gaming company is so myopic.
Meet Vlambeer, makers of the wildly popular Ridiculous Fishing game, which we've talked about before. The company found it was getting requests from its fans for permission to put some gameplay videos up on YouTube. Their reaction? Create a simple uber-permission tool granting each user forever-access.
Vlambeer has launched an express consent generator, aptly named "monetizethat$hit", which allows users to simply enter their username and come away with a document that grants them permission to make videos of the developer's games.The form, which has an entertaining tone, reads "This permission is (retro-actively) valid from the moment your service has been launched until the end of time / apocalypse / the events in Nuclear Throne become a reality. This permission shall not be limited to any territory, planet, solar system, universe or hypothetical alternate realities." It goes on to emphasize that Vlambeer loves to watch people enjoying its games, as it's creatively energizing.This is what scientists refer to as being awesome. It's the trifecta of permissive use, a sense of humor, and engaging with fans. Perfect. And, while the company states its goal is to energize their own creativity, the end result of these fan videos is most likely the spread of information about the games themselves, driving future sales. It shows what relinquishing a bit of control can do for the business. On top of that, it doesn't hurt to build up some good will with your fans.
However, the Techdirt playbook doesn't end with permission and being awesome. Shaming cloners is in there as well.
Vlambeer also couldn't resist the opportunity to provide a bit of commentary. The end of the form states "Either way, if somebody can earn a penny or get filthy rich doing that, we're totally cool with that. That's not upsetting. It'd be upsetting if someone got filthy rich by, say, stealing our game idea and mostly replacing the main character with a ninja or something silly like that."This is an obvious dig at Ninja Fishing, a not-so-subtle clone of Ridiculous Fishing that Vlambeer managed to beat out simply by being a better game and with a little similar social-shaming. Way to stick the landing, Vlambeer.