I’m going to try to address this issue about as calmly as I can. Especially when I’m having my integrity questioned by someone anonymously. Let me shed some light:
1. I love BF4. I play it nearly every day for at least and hour or two. It is the first next gen FPS (last time I played one was CounterStrike) I’ve actually been into. Long after I stopped making videos, I still play.
2. I cannot and will not be held responsible for bugs you experience, I experience bugs too. In fact I think in our videos crendor and I mentioned bugs we had. I talk about bugs in the game all the time on the polaris podcast. But with that said, it’s been a long while since I’ve had a problem. Mostly cause when something happens, I google solutions.
3. Will Hyde (formerly thewillofdc on youtube) is not only one of the EA community managers, he is also one of my very best friends. I’ve known him since before he worked at EA. Shit man, we went to area 51 together in a video I made. He gets me EA stuff all the time. And I STILL bash them on twitter. If you’re looking for some secret back deal shenanigans, it’s that I’m good friends with an employee there. Like, get drunk and eat chicken wings while watching robocop last weekend, good friends.
I cannot stress how infuriating all this is to me. Watching one internet media form curse and slander another for doing the EXACT SAME THING THEY DO. Money is being tossed around at everyone in order to sway opinion. That’s fact. And anyone who says “we get money, yes, but it doesn’t affect what I say” is nuts. Because simply doing a video on the subject of something you might not have otherwise done has already said enough. You gave them coverage. Even putting one ad on your website over another counts.
I am so sick of this double standard between youtube and all other media. Literally every form of media you ingest is commercialized. From the laptop your favorite character on TV uses to the phone a celebrity is seen talking on in a “candid photo”. Free promotional copies and paid endorsements are everywhere.
What’s even worse is that when we (youtubers) are seen in commercials or doing promotions we get a vast majority of the audience shitting all over us. But when James Franco does a watch ad (which he has) no one cares. BOTH of us, on different levels of course, are entertainers. What makes his need for an income any different than mine. Why is Dodger doing an ad for Divergent worse than Brad Pitt pimping cologne in a magazine?
Just some things to consider.
The only issue is the non-disclosure. When James Franco shows up in a watch commercial, everyone knows that he was paid to be there - that’s the nature of a commercial. When you make a BF4 video that is contextually identical to your other non-sponsored videos you are doing something very different. If you show up in a BF4 ad and say it’s amazing no one would bat an eye. If you start taking non-disclosure sponsorships which specifically disallow you from saying negative things about the game in your video, then you are pulling the wool over our eyes.
It’s just not the same thing.
All you did here is take the last paragraph about real advertisement deals (comparing dodger in a commercial to a celeb in a commercial) and mix it in with the rest of what I was saying. How does this explain TV shows hiding products in plain site? They don’t disclose that the guys on The Big Bang Theory are drinking coke or whatever in the scene and that coke paid to have it there.
I think the difference lies in the product. I don’t think many viewers would care if you were drinking Dr Pepper on the podcast or wearing certain T-shirts in your Q&A videos. People are always going to complain, and it’s sad that this has become such a massive thing. I fully support youtubers rights to try and make ends meet, it really doesn’t seem like an easy industry to work in (especially with the way Youtube has been treating people lately). It’s great to see that so many hardworking people are finally starting to make a decent amount of money from their work, and hopefully it enables all our favorite youtubers to keep working and producing more awesome content.
The only time it sits ill with me is with undisclosed endorsements. I don’t care if people get paid to review a game, as long as they are allowed to give their honest opinions about the game, I don’t need to be told about those times. But when someone is paid to say only positive things about it, I personally prefer if I’m told. This isn’t as much an issue with channels that are aimed at purely entertaining as much as it is with review/critique or news channels. For example, if TB did a “WTF is” on a game and was paid to give it far more positive critique than the game really deserved without mentioning it, that is when I would react. Not because I think it’s wrong for someone to endorse a game (especially not if they actually really like the game), but because I as a viewer don’t know if I should take what’s being said in the video with one or two pinches of salt. Even if it was just mentioned in the video’s description, it would enable me to “adjust my expectations” and thus still be able to enjoy the video for what it was.
Naturally, I don’t believe many youtubers would go as far as accepting money to say that “Superman 64 is a great game” or “Gary’s incident is flawless”. That would just hurt their credibility and they’d be laughed at.
It’s the grey area that is a bit worrisome.
Anyhow, I think the “Jesse sells out:” is a hilarious idea. And I certainly wish you keep receiving good offers from companies. And that your content remains awesome :)