Google has distanced itself from the idea video game streamers should pay the developers and publishers of the video games they play.
It comes in response to the suggestion made by Stadia Games and Entertainment Montreal (formerly Typhoon Studios) creative director Alex Hutchinson, which last night blew up on Twitter, causing Google Stadia to trend worldwide and a mountain of bile to be flung his way.
Here’s what Hutchinson said:
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
Hutchinson argued artists get paid when songs are streamed from a music service, and that in other mediums, permission or payment is typically required when using people’s copyrighted creations.
The general response to this idea was, well, streamers act as marketing for games, and many of the most popular titles on Steam and elsewhere owe their success to being streamed at all. (“Some!”, Hutchinson conceded.)
There’s also the sense that… this horse bolted long, long ago. Even Nintendo’s controversial attempt to bring in a YouTube revenue share program died a death a couple of years back.
Hutchinson’s idea was clearly provocative, but seemed to draw a special amount of ire due to his job title being listed as “Creative Director at Google Stadia”, a role he has now clarified with his actual job title.
And of course, the irony of someone who described themselves as a high-ranking exec at a struggling game streaming service saying streamers should pay money to publishers was not lost on Twitter dot com.
In response, a Google spokesperson told 9to5google: “The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.”
“We believe that Publishers and Creators have a wonderful symbiotic relationship that has allowed a thriving ecosystem to be created,” YouTube’s gaming boss Ryan Wyatt added. “One that has mutually benefited everyone! YT is focused on creating value for Creators, Publishers, & Users. All ships rise when we work together.”
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