Alex Hutchinson, creative director at Google Stadia, has caused a storm by saying streamers should pay developers for playing their games.
It may seem normal now but the idea of streaming video games is a pretty odd one, with ‘content creators’ paying nothing to the people who make the games – something that would never happen with movies or music, where everything has to be kept to short clips at best.
There’s rarely been any suggestion that games companies are unhappy with the arrangement though, until Stadia creative director Alex Hutchinson – who previously worked on The Sims 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, and Far Cry 4 – decided to argue against the practice on Twitter.
‘Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn’t pay for should be more worried by the fact that they’re streaming games they didn’t pay for as well. It’s all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it’, said Hutchinson.
‘Game developers have the right to DMCA strike anyone streaming/uploading content of their game, they always have,’ pointed out Froste.
‘The reason they don’t is because it’s a win-win situation where the game gets free promo, and streamer makes a living from it.’
Things got so heated that Google had to issue a statement on the matter to 9to5google.com: ‘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.’
Hutchinson refused to relent, although perhaps the most sensible comment was from Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier, who pointed out that most developers don’t receive royalties from their games anyway.
So even if streamers did have to pay a percentage of revenue it would only be the publisher that benefited.
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