The ever-controversial Phil Fish yesterday took to Twitter to compare YouTubers who post game footage to pirates, before going on to delete or suspend his Twitter account entirely.
"YouTubers should have to pay out a huge portion of their revenue to the developers from which they steal all their content," Fish said, as reported by GameSpot. "[Ad] revenue should be shared with developers. This should be built into YouTube. Anything else is basically piracy.
"If you generate money from putting my content on your channel, you owe me money. Simple as that. If you buy a movie, are you then allowed to stream the entirety of it publicly for people to watch for free? No, because that's illegal.
"Systems are in place to prevent that. But buy Fez, put ALL of it on YouTube, turn on ads, make money from it and that's TOTALLY FINE. And the developer should in NO WAY be compensated for their work being freely distributed to the world. Right. Makes sense."
The comments come at a time when the prominence of YouTubers is one of the hottest industry issues. Exposure for a game from big-hitters like TotalBiscuit, DanNerdCubed, EpicNameBro and Jesse Cox – and of the course the $4m per year earning PewDiePie – can lead to far greater sales spikes than coverage on traditional games sites.
Therefore, developers and publishers should be delighted for exposure, right? Not always. The counter argument, which is demonstrated by Nintendo’s efforts to grab a slice of the plentiful ad revenues being generated by these videos, is that content creators shouldn’t be locked out of this very lucrative revenue stream.
“Well I guess it's time to delete all those Fez videos, huh?” popular YouTuber NorthernLion wrote of Fish’s comments.
“I know it's not personal (and might just be a joke for him) but that Phil Fish tweet mostly just makes me sad considering I've done my best to fight back against unreasonable hatred of him and tell people to play the shit out of Fez because it's wonderful in spite of everything.
“Now that Game Informer included my tweets in their Phil Fish article today I just want to clarify that he can say whatever he wants of course. It's just disappointing to have defended him for what I felt was undue internet outrage for like two years and then he shit talks your job.”
The storm comes on the same day that a YouTube video called This is Phil Fish was creating a huge groundswell of goodwill for the talented but outspoken developer.
Last week Fish revealed his new publishing/not publishing scheme Polytron Partners.