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Let’s Purvey Let’s Plays

Let’s Purvey Let’s Plays

That title was almost clever!  Anywho, gaming has been going from strength to strength in recent years, and it’d be foolish not to attribute that to let’s plays, at least in some small part. We’ve all seen them, in fact I’d wager anyone tech savvy enough to come across this blog has seen a fair few. Many of us love them, myself included. I even do them with a close friend as a hobby, so I appreciate that I’m hardly impartial on this whole matter.

Critics of Youtube personalities regularly raise concerns that “it’s not a real job” or “it’s just being payed to play video games” as well as “Let’s Players are parasites”. Let me explain why I believe they’re wrong.

At what point is a job ‘a job’ do you suppose? When it’s hard work? When it contributes to society? Speaking as someone who has edited all the videos for and managed a Let’s Play channel for a year and a half, putting literally hundreds of hours of work into learning the software from scratch, working hard to make it good and forever endeavouring to actually catch someone’s attention and hold it, I can tell you this is not easy. And I’m not even doing this as a job! A lot of the big names now where just starting out when the climate much more poised against the idea of Let’s Plays being a remotely good idea as a way to make living. These were the people that did it simply for the passion (which I also do, otherwise I wouldn’t bother with it at all).

The idea that Let’s Players are parasites? Lecherous cretins that try to catch the falling crumbs from the cake that is the games they play for a living? Total poppycock. Many developers recognise that Let’s Players have far closer to a symbiotic relationship with them, a mutual back-scratching bonanza. Everyone wins in this scenario.

Of course this is without drawing the comparison between Let’s Players and athletes. It takes a lot of hard work, natural talent and a little bit of luck to be good at both. If Let’s Players are the Sportsmen and women, the video games are the ball and goal posts, Youtube is the pitch and the video viewers are the crowd in the stand. Plus the really really good ones make quite a bit of money, whether that’s fair or not is a debate for another day.

These people are entertainers. Commentators. Comedians. Reviewers. People that make their living from contributing content to an advertising platform behemoth that millions watch every day. Not unlike television which has long since entered and become accepted into the cultural lexicon, just as Let’s Playing will become as the generation that watches it more than or as much a TV grows up and knows it as the norm. And is there anything wrong in that?

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Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Gaming, Youtube

 

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More like Ninten-DOH!

More like Ninten-DOH!

Well following that sick burn I think it’s about time we launch into this issue as the world is clearly eagerly awaiting my input on the topic.

For the unaware, a fair few people create Youtube videos. They are known as Youtubers. They make money from this and make content creation their full-time job if their channel is big enough to support them, if not, it’s part time as a hobby or whatever. How do they make the money? You can choose to ‘monetise’ a video you have uploaded which puts adverts on said video, thus raising money through the fact that viewers see an advert before their viewing. Got it? Cool.

Now with an ordinary video, about 40% of the money goes to Google (owners of Youtube) for server maintenance, paying of employees, the facilitating of the opportunity to make this money and just general Google shenanigans. The remaining 60% goes to the content creator. The Youtuber you just watched. Nintendo have previously not allowed monetising of their games whatsoever on Youtube, which is their right, with the 60% we just mentioned all going to Nintendo should you even try. But recently, Nintendo have announced their “Partner Programme” meaning Nintendo would split that 60% with the content creator, taking approximately 18% for themselves and leaving 42% for the content creator. No other company takes a portion of the monetisation of Youtubers, Nintendo are the only ones.

Why? Financially they are not in the best situation, although they did just have an outstanding year with the release of several critically acclaimed games and their reputation among the gaming community soaring as one of the only big guys who make consistent quality games. Another motivation is an apparent lack of understanding of the Western market on Nintendo’s part. A massive Youtuber having a good time on a game is a proven way to raise game sales. Youtubers are free advertising for games. Youtube personalities will have the trust of many of their subscribers and their approval can go much further than an advertisement directly from whatever company it is. I myself have bought several games after seeing a few of my favourite personalities having a great time with them and thinking it is my sort of game. And I’ve always been thrilled with those purchases because I knew exactly what I was getting.

Who remembers Minecraft? Bloody everyone who wasn’t living under a rock. It’s now one of the most popular games to have ever been. Why? Did you ever see a minecraft billboard advert? A television commercial for it? I certainly didn’t. Back in early 2011 I saw Seananners play it, binge watched his series on it and got the game for myself the next week. If your game is good enough, a Youtube Let’s Play of it will sell it to an audience. Nintendo has nothing to fear, their games are widely received has good, a Youtube presence from the big names will boost their sales no end.

Of course, as long as you hold Youtubers back and give people a reason to be wary of Let’s Playing your games, they won’t do it. They’ll go elsewhere with all the great games that don’t bite into their revenue. It’s the same principle for raising Corporation Tax highly in the political world. If you do it, businesses will not operate in your country, jobs will be lost and you don’t make any tax revenue at all.

And this is all without bearing in mind that every Nintendo video you intend to monetise needs to be sent to Nintendo for ‘approval’ first. This essentially means that you can’t talk shit about Nintendo because they’ll just take all the money. Suppression of criticism like this is … needless to say a little creepy. I imagine few will take this deal. This reminds me of the controversy around Shadow of Mordor’s review copies that you weren’t allowed to saying anything bad about the game with but the game in itself was actually pretty good.

Nintendo have for whatever mad reason set themselves up as the bad guys for a puny amount of ad revenue to help catch some of the wind from the new media in their sails. Unfortunately this ships sails are made of lead and if anything are just going to slow the ship down.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Gaming, Youtube

 

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