Sunday, 17 February 2013

Project 365 - Related but no video

There will be no video again today but not because I didn't have the energy for it I just wanted to type out a little dilemma I was thinking about with recording and the public display of video game content. This came about while I was having a few frame rate issues with attempting to record some Borderlands 2.

Not that I currently monetise my video content but as I am doing a number of gameplay video I like to know what a given publisher/developer thinks about people doing so. Monetising videos on YouTube is generally having adds placed on or around a video in hopes that viewers will click on them thus making money from either people watching the video or clicking on an advert generated my the metadata of said video.

In some cases this could be breaching the "Non-Commercial" which most publishers appear to be fine with (until you go into modification of the game - then things get grey). In most cases a users generating content about your products - if positive - can be seen as free advertisement. People getting add revenue from them viewing such videos may or may not be directly related to the content of the video but then again it may not be directly something that keeps bringing people to view the content with any said game. I'm sure people watch the channel Game Grump for Egoraptor and JonTron and not the game as a whole or for Total Biscuit personality that keeps viewers coming back again an again. So can publishers/developers really claim that their content from any given game is the main drive for some "produces" of YouTube content to get the views they do. For a smaller channel that maybe the case.

On the topic of monetising content is how to start doing so, you can either just go straight to YouTube/Google or a dedicated gaming network. On the one hand I here that YouTube attempt to avoid the issue with people monetising gameplay even if you obtain permission. From what I've read YouTube kind of that a "If we let you, then we'll have the let everyone." blanket argument. Which is understandable from a copyright management point, for example all the Game Assets are owned by either or both the publisher, the developer or the artist (in the case of music which is licensed to be used in said game). The recording and the voice over of the person making the YouTube Content has a right to their own voice and presentation. When an individual asks for permission from someone like Take-Two, Ubisoft, Microsoft and others it can be either they may never get an answer or it will take a long stretched out process or just a outright "No.".

I hear from some people that this can be subverted a little with signing with a dedicated Gaming Network such as The Game Station, TGN or various gaming channels to some degree. As these groups have a bigger impacted in their communication they can obtain content rights where and individual is unable to. At least that's the common claim from people already apart of such a partnership, contract, agreement, etc.

In some cases I've found some developers and publishers have gone out of their way to actually define what it right and wrong to do with their content. I've look for statements from a number of different game companies I would like make videos of their content. There is one from Valve and from Blizzard have created policies that allow people to monetise via a Partner Program either offered YouTube or other such programs. Valve's is a "blanket catch all", Blizzards is more particular of which services.  There is also a vague statement on Rockstar Games site that more describes Take-Two's stance (given it's only on Rockstar and not 2K you can't just assume it implies both brandings). Microsoft also has one for Xbox content but unlike the policies from Valve and Blizzard you are breaking their rules if you are monetising your content at all (unless you have an agreement that negates this policy addition such as Rooster Teeth and Red vs Blue, as an example). Ubisoft apparently have one but you have to ask for it, according to a forum administrator you just send him/her a private message about it. No idea what it contains as it's not publicly accessible . I've also read that Bethesda Softworks/Zenimax have one to but I have been unable to find it. Legal things such as this can be interesting to locate sometimes.

Basically what I would like is that they all just embraced the social sharing but this saw the interest in letting people earn something indirectly from it, such as Valve and Blizzard. As much as they may not be getting the a direct money result from such practises they are getting advertising they didn't have to spend a cent on. Also a good incentive to not release sub-par games to get a much good press as possible but we can only hope for so much

But that's my rant for today in replacement of a video.

Darn frame rate issues