EA are now more Transparent in their Manipulations
Last week one of the biggest publishers in the video game space, Electronic Arts, rolled out new guidelines for streamers and YouTubers previewing their content.
The new initiative, requiring “influencers” to label video and content from EA with a variety of hashtags, stems from previous occurrences of lack of disclosure. In 2014 it surfaced that EA was paying YouTubers to stream Need for Speed Rivals footage. The deals with “content creators” quickly came to light when people begun questioning why anyone would bother to post footage of Need for Speed Rivals.
EA still believes in working with these “excitement incubators”, or “mother hens that sit squarely on an EA game, generating interest with the warmth of their outrageous personalities, until the final product hatches to the sounds of internet vuvuzela artfully cut over the top of gameplay videos”. However, in an attempt to more clearly differentiate between the amateur “YouTube doyen” posting their kill streaks online from a place of pure egotistical showmanship, and the “professional doyen” who have had their egotistical showmanship acknowledged by the internet, the company has introduced a set of hashtags.
For future EA games the “personifications of the internet given human shape” have to label footage depending on the amount of control EA have exerted over said video. If EA have only applied soft pressure, buttering up the “Lord of YouTube” with footage, games, trips, drugs, access to EA’s black ops hit squads and marketing speak, then they are required to include #supportedbyEA on their videos and related coverage.
If the “Grumpy Cat” is regurgitating footage and content more directly from EA’s mouth, or if EA have had any traceable editorial control in the content they need to use the hashtag #advertisement.
Finally, for YouTube channels that are #supportedbyEA or screening an EA #advertisement, they will be required to watermark all other content with #notanEAgame along with describing how terrible the #notanEAgame is in their commentary.