Electronic Arts has a reputation for being money hungry, and it doesn’t just extend to overpriced Sims expansions. This time they’ve turned their attention to YouTube and all the videos there, from walkthroughs to showing off favorite in-game moments. On YouTube, when you become a partner, you can actually make some money off advertisements shown in videos you create.
Unfortunately, for the people taking advantage of this opportunity, EA isn’t the only one cracking down, Microsoft is doing it as well. Microsoft took the annoying but justified step of forbidding anyone to make money off their games, meaning no revenue for those partners. EA is taking it a step further, and claiming the videos, then reaping the advertising rewards.
All of this is completely legal, since Electronic Arts holds the copyrights, but you can expect this to devastate video communities like Machinima, who rake in a decent profit from their videos. While this likely won’t affect the regular gamer, it does have a negative impact on the pros.
After all, I used to work for a Star Wars: The Old Republic fansite, and we were strictly forbidden by EA from having any ads. Even though we were supporting their game, they were terrified of anyone but them making even a single cent to cover costs, not even profit. Will EA start trying to collect from DualShockers because we report on their games? I certainly hope not.
The internet as a medium for profit is still in it’s infancy, and constantly changing. If this trend continues you can expect to see a lot less people posting helpful videos and guides for games. Fandom will keep some doing it, but the pros will move on unless another method is found to generate even a tiny bit of income compensation.