Fez Creator: YouTubers Are "Stealing" Content From Game Developers

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I find it amusing that instead of seeing it as "Free Advertising" he sees it as "WAHHHHHHHHH! Someone is watching my game! They might decide to buy it in future but I'm not getting money now! WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!"

Dude, if your game is so boring that someone watching your game can get the same experience as if they were playing it(and thus doesn't need to bother playing it), you've got bigger problems then people using pieces of your game to make a video.
Last I checked, you don't own Square-Enix *rimshot*.

I probably should be relieved he's not making any more games. I already own fez and won't have to worry about buying anything else from him.

Exactly. I remember being on the fence about buying Shin Megami Tensei IV - leaning heavily towards skipping it - because I was COMPLETELY turned off by the idea of first-person battles.

Then I watched a gloriously commentary-free (screw whiny, annoying, mouth-breathing voice-overs, and bad commedy) / spoiler-free LP of randomly selected portions of the game. That FREE ADVERTISING convinced me not only to give the game a shot, but to go all out and buy the special edition. Seriously, this guy is one of those very STUPID, smart people.

The account that had the videos has since been deactivated. Garbage.

The problem is, he is right, and I say this as a maker of videos (ones that get a total of 10 views each but that's not the point). All of the arguments saying that the devs already have their money are predicated on the idea that games change depending on the person playing them, which is true.

But the art assets, the sounds and the way the game works doesn't.

No, saying that the devs already have their money is predicated on the idea that whatever money they are owed is determined by practicality, not by an inherently "right" way to determine their deserved copyrights.

If you remix a song or make a parody of it , the original song creator is due a cut of the money made from it, because you still used part of there work.

Then again, to a smaller degree, this is also true if you quote a single line from a book, or take a single screenshot from a game.

Creative works are not sacks of potatoes, that you can just give absolute control over them to one "owner" and call it a day because the creators got exactly what they deserved.

Information is the act of a messge being conveyed. When you limit access to potatoes, that's possession. When you limit usage of publically available information, that's censorship. Even if it can be a particularly useful and just one, that's just what it conceptually is.

On one extreme end, you could say that the creator only made one copy of the game and that's the one that he owns, if others are able to make more, too bad.

On the other extreme, you could try to give them absolute control over every instance of access to the assets, (and to the franchise conncept too), greatly penalizing public communication in the process, by limiting the conditions under which people allowed to create new works, or describe the former ones.

Ideally, regulations should be somewhere in the middle, so enough information creators get to make a living, but without giving them an overbearing control over our freedom of public communication, and our own ways to make money.

This should be based on practical arrangements, whatever is the most useful for society, not on some nonsensical semantics-based moralization about how people should "own their work".

I thought you wanted to stay away from gaming Mr Fish?

Because I sure as fuck want your ignorant opinions to stay away as well.

This pretty much demonstrates everything that is wrong with the IP culture, more obsessed with penalizing how people freely enjoy themselves, just for the hell of it, than actually caring about securing a stable business model.

Like building a dome of black fabric around your house, just to make sure that no one gets to benefit from the light pouring out of your windows. After all, what if someone passes by the street trying to read a map, and they get to derive a value out of YOUR photons, that you have paid for with your hard-earned money? Entitled freeloading pirates!

I like fish, i like that he gets people talking. Maybe it would go down better if he got someone else to voice his concerns o for him because no one seems to like him just for having an option. Is this not something worth checking out? if he feels something is wrong can we not check the facts first then point it out to him if hes talking out of his arse? Instead of going "oh hes saying things again, i hate that guy". If its legit, that devs arent getting a cut from people making money off a game that is his own surely hes allowed to ask "whats the deal here?"

Well it is a difficult subject.
Yeah, youtubers are earning money from the game you created. In the same way a company is earning money using the office software created by microsoft. But suggesting that these companies give microsoft part of their revenue is insane.
They allready bought the licences to buy the software.
In the same way the youtubers allready bought the game.
Besides most of the money comes from the youtuber, not the game.
You can post videos of games all you want, when the quality is shit, your not going to earn any money.
The youtuber is making money because he spents a lot of work on recording, commentary, rendering, editing and uploading.
You can try this yourself. record some video game footage and upload it. No commentary, no rendering, no editing.
See how much money you make with this method.

I work in IT should i give some of my wages to NEC as they made the monitor, Lenovo for making the computer, flico for the keyboard Logitech for the mouse.? What about paying the power company some for the electricity? See how totally retarded that sounds! Well that's what you sound like fish.

Whist i agree that 90% of lets plays have terrible production values and have voice overs from childish or downright boring people that is there job, they must be doing something right as they are quite popular despite the fact that i don't like most of them. And on reviews, first impressions and so on they are a important consumer tool and if developers steal there hard earned ad revenue then they will stop making that stuff and that is bad for the consumer and ultimately bad for the developer.

And why would you not want free advertising and free exposure of your game to 100s of thousands of potential customers? Oh and if someone can get the full experience of your game from a lets play then you are doing something wrong, the story should be told through the world and the mechanics not via cut-scene and then a walk along a linear corridor.

Just another developer (sorry, ex-developer) who is totally ignorant to how the industry works, we have had all this "new thing" will kill the games industry we had it with floppy disks being copied being "the end" for games same with bad reviews and so on ALL of them have been proven to be bollocks, just shitty developers looking for an excuse as to why there shitty game did not sell.

Ed130 The Vanguard:
I thought you wanted to stay away from gaming Mr Fish?

Because I sure as fuck want your ignorant opinions to stay away as well.

To be fair, he didn't come back to gaming; he just revisited his hobby of impotently whining.

I kind of get what he's saying, and in part, I agree with it. Yes, the youtuber personality and the work they put into their video should count for something, but the argument that because a game is interactive and a video isn't and therefore shouldn't count.. that really depends on the game, I think.

Does a game that's heavily scripted and reliant on cutscenes really differ that much from a video? You could play Bioshock Infinite using different vigors and weapons, sure.. but the story is still the same in every playthrough, and becomes less interesting the second time around. If you watched a playthrough just to get the story without buying the game, isn't that basically theft? And should the person making the playthrough owe the developer money? In that case, I see his point.

And yes, bad games can get bad reviews, but reviews can be subjective and biased, and a game people enjoy can get a bad review if the reviewer just disliked it for some reason. Think of some of Jim Sterling's scathing reviews of games lauded by most reviewers for example, his opinions can end up costing them sales.

And yes, a good review by a popular reviewer/critic/first impressionist can result in a lot of positive and free advertising. So an argument can be made that the developers owe youtubers for their success too.

I guess my opinion is, some youtubers who are just trying to lazily cash in should have to pay devs, but those that end up being a benefit shouldn't, because they pay them back with free advertising. But try getting that sort of logic to work in reality where most people are greedy jerks..

LP Videos are essentially very, very long reviews.

Do game devs get paid when some one reviews their game?

No, on the contrary game devs should be obligeted to pay LP Tubers and Reviewers, but that's where Ads revenue comes in, so they pay nothing and actually get FREE advertisement.

Additionally, LP Videos taking works off customer support for them, by providing effective visual walkthroughs to help on tough spots adn if it's a good LP the tuber has played the game serveral times and provides a ton of info insights hard to find.
And even the tubers who are just doing it for the money spent at least dozens of hours in making the video to ADVERTISE for the game.

LP videos helped me A LOT in making POSITIVE buying decisions.

*Insert facepalm.jpg*

I watch things like the Yogscast, Jacksepticeye and even Markiplier - not so much for the game content, but to see and hear the channel hosts be funny and entertaining.

With the yogscast I get some delightful shop talk that is quite relaxing. With Jacksepticeye I get delishious irish hilarity, and with Markiplier I get... a lesser form of pewdiepie that I can actually stommach - which also occationally makes me laugh.

Heck, I'd probably watch most of their videos if it was just all black audio only... because I usually play stuff myself while listening to them

I'm glad to see that Fish his transition into PR and publishing (although he swears it's not publishing) is going smooth and without any issue what so ever.

Go back to not making Fez 2 and leave everyone on the internet alone Phil. I used to think he was just autistic, now I have the hunch he has full blown down syndrome, except that's probably an insult to those that actually have it.

How does this moron not realize youtubers are providing free marketing, and a form you can't actually pay for?

"Youtubers should pay a portion of their revenue to game developers"? OK then, what about those whose revenue is zero?

I've been making LPs for about a year and a half now and have never monetized. All my videos are adless. So... technically I'm doing just that. In fact, I'm giving Spiderweb Software (Whose games I was doing) all of the Nothing I've been making. More in fact, since alternate choices would promote people to buy the game. Indirectly GIVING THEM MONEY. Sort of.

So what about that, Mister Fish? What about people not making money from this?

What a big baby. Does he not realise that people doing Let's Plays of his game *is* free advertising?

I hate it when people generalise YouTube gameplay videos this way. Yes there are shitty Let's Plays of story driven games whereby people are making money just by being able to record and upload themselves playing the game and saying some generic shit on top.

Then there are YouTubers that put effort into it, that's all I'm saying.

Well i think YouTube needs to stood up to more and they should re-negotiate a bigger share of revenue to go to both the people making the content and the original content creators should be able to get a cut if they so choose. Buuuut the problem is most of the time money that is claimed back is done so by large corporate entries or tangential claims for things like music. The way the pie is broken up is fundamentally broken. For any form of revue sharing to actually be beneficial it would require a massive shake-up of the current systems and an inevitable revue hit from the youtube cut.

This is all hypothetical ideal world stuff though. It would be NICE of developers to be able to get a little bit of revue whilst those who make youtube content full time can still make a living but that's just pie in the sky.

The money being made by anyone who isn't pwedipie isn't exactly staggering. When a game is so small that a cut of the revenue from a lets play would be a significant help then that developer is probably clever enough to realize that getting exposure on that level is a nett gain for them. A LOT of independent titles adore the youtube coverage they get. Games like FTL have seen a huge wave of genuine appreciation from youtube video makers. Most of the time it is free exposure.

If a developer does not want their games to appear on youtube... that's up to them. Nintendo pretty much killed its self off on the service for a while, as did SEGA and i think they suffered for it greatly. The people like telltale who make content that has a very 'visual novel' like aspect and who you think would suffer most from this, actively engage popular youtubers giving them press copies and the like.

Because if your game is good (i.e. not fucking 'Hat Man' deliberate youtube fodder) this will drive sales

In regard to Phil Fish. You made ONE 2D game. It took you FIVE years through which you bitched and moaned and made excuses endlessly. You got inital Microsoft funding, you got a prime spot on XBLA. You had significant advantages and were given so much more time and space than most independent developers. And it was broken on launch and to an extent is still broken. Sit down and shut up. You want to talk about games and being a game developer? About people 'stealing' from you? then go and actually make some games. You're not a game developer anymore. You haven't shown a shred of work for two years.

News just in... Phil Fish is still a dickhead

If you remix a song or make a parody of it , the original song creator is due a cut of the money made from it, because you still used part of there work. It should be no different here REGARDLESS of how its being used. Doesn't matter if its for a review, a lets play or a speedrun, you are still using their game.

Actually, all of those things have an enormous impact on what the creator of the original content is owed, and in the case of the bolded it can (and usually does) mean they are owed nothing. Parody and review are explicitly covered under "Fair Use" in US law, meaning as long as credit is assigned and they're not selling the video itself (they're selling the audience to advertisers, not the content itself) they don't have to pay anyone. In fact last time I brushed up on the subject a 10% variation is all that is required to qualify for fair use. US copyright may be ridiculous, but that means the exceptions are equally so.

OT: I'd be alright with the dev getting a very small percentage of the money, but not more than 5%. I'm watching the video because I like the personality, commentary and want to see what the game is like. Since I like platformers and sandboxes, watching will never be sufficient for me if it looks good.

Though I do want to point out to Mr. Fish that Nintendo already did this, and all it did was make virtually everyone stop playing their games on Youtube, so rather than Nintendo getting a slice of the pie, nobody got any money.

Ironically enough, I only bought Fez because I saw VGA playing it, and thought it looked pretty neat.

So, Phil Fish is asking for ad revenue on top of having his games on market, basically. Who does he think he's fooling? If that was your marketing, you should have said so from the start.

I also don't see the point in going after YouTube producers, when they're the ones targeted for the product they produced. Call out ad agencies for shady or ignorant business practice(really, this doesn't seem to happen enough).

Of course, this lands LP'ers square in the 'grey' area, but I'm not stricken that it's such a tough dilemma. The purpose and intent of video games are to be played, to be interacted with. The 'video' concept is closely related, but that in itself doesn't define or express the medium properly. Assets are used, but only by the person who purchased (hopefully) the game; unless YouTube starts letting viewers play games with the content producer through its service, no viewer (who may or may not have purchase the game, yet generate revenue by proxy) is making use of those assets that would require the payment that developers would ask for.

Basically, if I see a movie, I should pay the movie house. If I play a game, I should pay the developer. Are you going to charge me for seeing games now? Intent of the product and the viewer need to be in line for proper IP defense. All I tend to see out of squabbles like this is developers or publishers divorcing the visual aspect of their games from the interactive element.

I like fish, i like that he gets people talking. Maybe it would go down better if he got someone else to voice his concerns o for him because no one seems to like him just for having an option. Is this not something worth checking out? if he feels something is wrong can we not check the facts first then point it out to him if hes talking out of his arse? Instead of going "oh hes saying things again, i hate that guy". If its legit, that devs arent getting a cut from people making money off a game that is his own surely hes allowed to ask "whats the deal here?"

To be fair the the internet collective, we hate him less because he has opinions, and more because he can't seem to express them in any way that doesn't involve being a [CENSORED]. If we could filter his opinions through somebody that could actually use the English language with some nuance then it would likely be fine.

Very much related - "this is Phil Fish" video from a couple days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmTUW-owa2w

You don't get to just broadcast the entirety of a work and profit from it without permission. Fair Use can be used by reviewers and the like in court but Fish is right here.

I never got much sympathy from him in Indie Game: The Movie, and now he's just asking me to put him, Ubisoft Montreal, and every other French-Canadian that screams at non-FCs for not speaking Quebecois into the "Hey, Quebec, you want to know why I absolutely despise you?" spotlight.

I would absolutely love to meet Phil Fish just so I can punch him in the face. All of you here trying to stop me with "that's only going to make things worse for you" speeches, yeah, don't care about that. I will care about the police detaining me for trying to silence a walking punchline, but I've had enough boyscout speeches to last me a lifetime. Save all of that for him, please.

I wonder whether the recently released video about Phil Fish below, which I'd argue was more sympathetic to Phil Fish than antagonistic, caused mr. Fish to dare to actually start posting again:

Edit: Nevermind, Sol_HSA already linked the same video.

Woah, Phil Fish said something stupid?!
I was not expecting that too ever happen again!! D:

Did you not get enough the first time around, Mr Fish?

Some people never learn. Phil Fish got all the shit he did, not because he spoke his mind, but because he was an arsehole about it. Seriously, some of the twitter flamewars he was in read like the voice chat on games of Counterstrike I played when I was 14, that is to say, as bad as the kids who liked MW2.

What he gets now, he brought on himself. I've no sympathy for him anymore. Fez was good, though.

And there was once a time where free advertisement, and indeed, any kind of publicity at all, was a good thing. I swear, the pretense in the industry is so thick I could cut it and serve it with tea. I have bought so many games just because youtubers showcased them, that I honestly believe developers should be giving them money.

I find it interesting that this came out now, especially after this started making the rounds just the other day;

As someone who never got on the 'Let's hate Phil Fish' wagon, I'd suggest giving it a watch; it has some very intelligent points about how fame acts on the internet.

Fish, SHUT UP. It's not enough that you've shown to be a racist, xenophobic, unprofessional, thin-skinned, childish, arrogant, self-centered hack, you're now going into shameless attention whore levels. Seriously, considering how much he tries to keep in the spotlight he should make a show with Cliffy titled "Washed Up Hacks" where they bitch forever in a miserable dark corner of the internet. You left Fish, no one wants to hear you talk anymore. Stop loitering in the lobby harassing people.

The comparison with piracy is actually pretty strong; it doesn't seem right that the creator of something gets no recompense for the use of their creation, but at the same time I'm not sure there's anything that developers can do to improve the situation for themselves.

I'm going to assume this is about revenue from the mostly unrelated ads played before the videos in question, and not the advertisement of the games being played in the videos themselves.

This would've been a major issue if the YouTubers actually charged money for viewing their LPs. But this is about ad revenue, which is usually generated by viewers voluntarily clicking on ads to support the YouTuber. There's a lot of folks out there recording themselves playing video games, and only a few (most notably, a certain Swedish gentleman) gained widespread popularity due to their genuinely entertaining commentary and accessible humor (which is subjective, of course). They get a ton of views on their videos, the viewers click on ads, the LetsPlayers get money.

Now, if a game developer like Fish decided he deserved some of that advertising money because he believed it was his product that was drawing in the viewers, he'd find himself in the middle of a ridiculous debate over how much money he's entitled to, i.e. how much of the video's "click bait potential" is attributed to the source material. Dividing the revenue for each video between the YouTuber with his reputation, appearance, humor etc. and the developer with his... well, his game, would be virtually impossible, and establishing a fixed "cut" of the money for every video would be unfair to both parties. Phil Fish wants some of that $$$ that people are earning while playing HIS game, but it's hardly his game that's making the money here.

The problem, for me, lies in the entire ad system on YouTube. I don't like advertising, I never liked it, and the bullshit YouTube's pulling is horrible. It's not even sponsoring, since the 'Tubers have no say in what ads are shown on their videos. I personally consider it a shameful way to make money, and wouldn't do it myself. If you think you should get paid for your content, fucking sell it! Ask for donations, start a Kickstarter campaign to buy some new equipment, whatever. Except if you want to sell something, it's got to be 100% yours. And these big YouTube stars are getting paid for their views, not their content.

I don't have a point to prove. Fish is a greedy, oversensitive dick, advertising sucks. I'm out.

Guys a Jackass, half of my Library I bought is because I saw others play them Online, infact you could say the same for many reviews of games, snippets or otherwise and i'm willing to bet much is the same in regards to Fez.
Lets just hope his words end up being a Fart in the wind.

This makes me sad more than anything else. Phil's just an opinionated guy, and whenever he posts an opinion people give him so much shit for it that I'm surprised he didn't quit the games industry much earlier. Just leave the guy alone, he at least deserves that.

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