A storm is brewing on the internet (yes again), and this time it seems that the Yogscast have placed themselves firmly at the center.
Just over four days ago, Yogscast CEO Mark Turpin (aka “Turpster”), decided to air on the side of ‘full disclosure’ with the Yogscast audience and posted an “Open Letter to Reddit”. This open letter detailed the rules and concepts behind a new system being implemented at YogTowers called “YogDiscovery”. It was apparently intended to let Yogscast channels run footage of games that are ‘risky content’ because they are less than popular or otherwise not very well known. The basic concept is as follows:
- A game developer can pay a fee to a Yogscast Youtuber to air footage of their game. <– This happens all the time already, this is not new.
- If the Youtuber expresses a positive attitude about the game during the video, they earn an ‘additional bonus’. <— This is where the trouble starts.
- If the game in question sees a boost in sales revenue after the airing of the ‘Paid Video’, the Yogscast Youtuber earns a bonus percentage chunk of that revenue from the game developer. <— This is just flat wrong, and actually illegal in certain countries if not publicly disclosed.
All of this starts to get even more complicated when you factor in the fact that Youtube Ads are already being run on these paid videos, which means this YouTuber is actually ‘double dipping’ on these videos and earning income from two different sources. Add to this the upcoming “Youtube Tip Jar” that is coming soon and that leads to ‘triple dipping’ your earnings from your audience. I also do not entirely buy into the concept that you have to counterbalance the ‘channel risk’ of playing a less than popular game through financial compensation. I am currently running a video series on my channel for a fifteen year old game called System Shock 2. This game sells for less than $5 on Steam and is in no way cutting edge or current, something that many other Youtuber would label as a ‘risk’. Keeping that in mind, the videos for System Shock 2 are quickly turning into some of the most watched videos I have for the last month… so I am not really seeing the ‘risk’. If you play a game your viewers don’t watch.. drop it and move on. No damage done.
Now having covered all of that … I am not going to pick up my burning pitchfork and join in on a crusade to have the Yogscast hauled off and executed. Why? I have faith in them and in their ideals. I really do not think that they have suddenly become rife with corruption; I believe this is a business decision made with the best interests of their Youtuber staff and their viewers at heart. I just don’t think they fully thought out the whole situation very well. They are now standing squarely in the middle of an internet crap-storm and I am more than sure they are reading comments and listening to their viewers. I have not abandoned hope in the Yogscast just yet, so have patience.
I want to state publicly that if I ever get compensated for the creation of a video in any way, I will make sure to state that upfront.. at the beginning of a video. I will always try to be as honest as possible with you my viewers and friends. However, complicated times are ahead from what I can tell. The introduction of the “Youtube Tip Jar” feature may lead to me needing to shut down my Patreon account to eliminate legal conflicts. This is something that I cannot predict now, and will just have to keep you all informed of when that time comes.
For now, stay calm and keep gaming.