from the ruh-roh dept
Way back in 2013, we discussed an interesting study conducted by Google looking at the effect of let’s play and video game reviews has on the gaming industry. That study’s conclusion was that viewers watched let’s plays at a far higher clip than, say, video game trailers. Two-thirds of those views appeared to be watchers focusing on the video itself, whereas the other third were watching on secondary devices/screens in order to find tips and tricks for completing the game in question. Both were conducive to promoting the gaming industry, being a method for finding out if a game is worth buying and because gamers know they have a resource to help complete a game.
Fast forward to 2020 and Google has its own game-streaming platform that it’s trying to get off of the ground. One of the folks that works at Google on the platform is Alex Hutchinson. And when it comes to let’s play videos and streams, hoo boy does he have some thoughts.
Earlier today Alex Hutchinson, creative director at Typhoon Studios (bought by Google last year to make Stadia games), made a tweet suggesting that Twitch and YouTube users should be “paying the developers and publishers” of the games they stream.
And the tweet that set this shitstorm off:
The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.
— Alex Hutchinson (@BangBangClick) October 22, 2020
The backlash online was swift and severe. So much so, in fact, that Hutchinson went on to wonder aloud why people were so mad about all of this. Several people attempted to explain to him that game streams are good for developers and publishers, not bad. Others pointed out that any licensing would go to the publisher and not the developer anyway, so Hutchinson was really just advocating for big companies to make more big money. And one streamer pointed out that Hutchinson’s Twitter banner was fan-art of that very streamer, used without attribution or permission.
I find this thinking extremely ironic considering you have fanart of me, a streamer, as your banner from when I played Savage Planet https://t.co/vr4M8WjBAS
— Jacksepticeye (@Jack_Septic_Eye) October 23, 2020
Meanwhile, I’m just wondering why Hutchinson doesn’t just go read his own employer’s 2013 study that shows just how beneficial let’s plays and game-streaming is for the industry. He might also want to realize that Google’s YouTube has an entire wing of it’s service called YouTube Gaming, built around game-streaming.
For what it’s worth, there is no reason to think that Hutchinson is making any actual policy decisions at Google or for Stadia. And, more importantly, Google reps have already come out and said Hutchinson’s tweets don’t reflect the views of the company.
But it’s probably time to educate Hutchinson on the actual facts that his own employer has made clear in the past.