Developer Wales Interactive has said that it was asked for a payment of $22,000 when it approached a YouTuber about possible coverage for its game.
Ben Tester, the PR man for the Soul Axiom creators, said that the YouTuber in question had a few million subscribers”. He was told that a video with two to three talking points would cost $17,600. This fee raised to $22k with the addition of a description link on the video.
Upon reading this my jaw dropped. Is this real? Are there developers out there that pay that sort of money to have their game featured in one video?” Tester said on Reddit.
I must stress that I emailed the YTer first to ask if they would like to receive a free code for our game to play for their channel. The YTer did NOT mention anything about making a 'positive' promotion nor was this a scam from a fake YTer. Finally I'd like to state that I refused the offer.”
What isn't clear, however, was whether the unnamed YouTuber had intended to disclose the terms of the deal, which is of course required – but, as we know, not always done.
Also up for question is whether a single video covering a title from a recognised online figure can provide the sort of sales uplift needed to justify such expense.
Let's Play video specialist Slowbeef responded in the Reddit thread to say that he laments to current relationship between YouTube stars and content creators.
I obviously am in no position to speak on behalf of the LP community, I can only say personally that I'm really sorry that this happened,” he stated.
We always wanted to foster a symbiotic relationship with game developers. I don't like this trend, and I want to do what I can to spread the word about it. Game developers shouldn't be exploited like this and most every Let's Player I've talked to about this agrees that it's disgusting.”