Game Theory: YouTube is Ruining Gaming!

Game Theory: YouTube is Ruining Gaming!



please welcome Keanu Reeves I gotta talk to you about something cyberpunk 2077 walking the streets of the future is really going to be breathtaking you guys want to know the release date yeah then check this out check this out check this out check this out [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] hello Internet welcome to a very special episode of game theory apparently because I am sitting on the couch and in front of the camera which means that you know today's episode is gonna get serious real business talk today ladies and gentlemen we're getting meta so as most of you know III just happened it is the year's most famous or at least most infamous pipe events I wonder what this game would have looked like had we released it long ago where all the biggest games get announced about a half a decade before they eventually get released and I know a lot of us tend to get cynical about events like this myself included what with all the misleading trailers and impossible promises that can tossed around I gotta be honest I really enjoy it it's one of the few times that we gamers are truly able to unite around the pure joy that this industry is capable of bringing are they lying to us are a lot of the game's gonna be bland uninspired retreads of stuff that we've seen a thousand times before you bet they probably are but they might not be and that my friends is what matters our faith that this industry can be better no matter how many times we gamers have been kicked to the curb we still hold out hope right here showing that you know what we're not dead inside I'll be honest I was pumped seeing banjo-kazooie make his strength in return I was thrilled to get my hands on new Final Fantasy 7 remake heck I even got goosebumps seeing the return of Master Chief despite not being the biggest halo stand when you see how much these characters these titles mean to people the audience their communities the huge reaction that these announcements get it's electric in gaming where 95% of the year is spent ranting about bad business practices and nitpicking new releases to death it's just nice to have one week of hope and sarcastic retweets but you know mostly hope but you know what as I wandered around the show blissfully ignorant of the growing conference tank that was building in the hallways something did leave me a little bit worried it actually happened while I was watching the Bethesda conference Bethesda where they did a solid job of recreating that apology scene from South Park hello I'm Todd Howard president and CEO of the system fallout 76 is a tragedy that should have never we're sorry we're sorry we're sorry we're sorry for the first time something occurred to me that I don't think a lot of people are considering something that legitimately threatens the games that we all know and love and that threat is right here not this couch YouTube I guess it's outside the bounds of this video YouTube without realizing it is killing games it's the reason that I think a lot of this year's biggest titles like doom eternal are ultimately doomed to underperform and why literally no one is currently able to compete with fortnight's and unless the industry makes massive changes right now and I do mean right now cuz it takes a long time to make a video game for tonight is gonna remain untouchable for the foreseeable future and none of us wants that I don't even care if you like for tonight it's just nice to have new games to look at talk about play but here's the other thing in the most ironic twist of them all Google is actually screwing themselves over in this whole process so pay attention games industry new video game developers Google themselves literally anyone who has a favorite franchise that you want to see thrive and succeed this episode is for you so first I'm just gonna go over the top first we need to establish one thing is back YouTube is the Internet's primary source for gaming content now I know what you're gonna say to me now Matt I hear you saying and that sweet thoughtful polite way that you always comment you're just saying this because you're a youtuber and well yes I admit I am a youtuber and I have that bias the numbers don't have that bias green-screen activate wait why why am I suddenly wearing a crown oh god no we're not in a red shadow Legend sponsor deal we're like the only person who said no to that thing no jontron you stay back if I'm gonna earn that 50,000 silver I'm gonna grind for it the way that mobile games intended me to let's try this again shall we there we go infographic land where I most comfortable now while twitch does technically earn more money off of their gaming content than YouTube does YouTube actually has a lot more viewers of that content a lot more viewers according to super data research 44% of people who are looking for online gaming content are looking for it on YouTube twitch is only about a third of that at 16% the other 40% meanwhile are aggregated to basically everywhere else mostly websites like IGN and kotaku and honestly this shouldn't come as that much of a surprise gaming centric websites have taken a massive hit since the surge of YouTube over a decade ago we can tell based on this Google Trends data and that's not all while twitch is admittedly huge and games it's still a relatively niche platform when it comes to the mainstream public and not only are people watching their games on YouTube but they're also deciding whether or not to buy the games based on what they watch there have been a lot of articles about this over the last few years and back when our meme Lord Himself Felix was a gamer on YouTube this actually used to be called the PewDiePie effects going way way back to my video back in what 2014 it was actually all about how trends start on YouTube and trickle out to the masses I actually talked about the adoption curve which basically describes how new stuff spreads to everyone online win large tastemaker channels cover a topic it then spreads out and trickles down to smaller channels looking to get suggested against them it then takes off from those smaller creators into the rest of the platform and then eventually into the mainstream public internet trickle-down my friends that is how you get mainstream appeal one of the most well-known examples of this actually was when PewDiePie played surgeon simulator a little-known indie gem at the time that he popularized and then it went on to sell 2 million copies if you're looking for any other example look no further than games like skate 3 which again EA had to literally reprint the game because PewDiePie had made it so popular or heck something closer to home for this channel five nights at Freddy's hi I know I know I hate it – it is everywhere or at least it seems like it's everywhere but it's really not – people outside of this YouTube bubble I don't slander the walls of YouTube this thing is unheard of opens ever heard of this game and yet here we are four years after it launched 52 games in with like 20 books a movie and a our spin-off and a soon to be released neural implant Scott Cawthon can inject obscure lore directly into your brain cells all of it all of it was built on the foundation of YouTube gamers and these are just the small examples friends for a big example look no further than this behemoth minecraft yeah another YouTube darling I already did a very in-depth analysis of how YouTube made minecraft successful to the point that it literally broke the systems of YouTube so definitely check that one out right here I asked because it's in Reverse because the camera reverses images upper right hand corner but the long and short of that video was basically that channels like dogs cast and skydoesminecraft we're making minecraft videos and raking in views to the tune of 30 1 billion 31 billion views so many views in 2014 minecraft was the second most searched-for term on the platform just behind another one you might be familiar with music yup it's that popular and it was all based on fan made videos this community posting a grand total of zero marketing dollars zero marketing dollars for all this free promotion and that my friends is the power of this was in a textbook it would be bolded to tell you got to pay attention to this word now if you ever want a job in marketing or social media or heck a lot of industries attached to YouTube this is gonna be an important concept that gets talked about a lot so let's make sure that you understand it the three types of media owned media gave media and earned media fun fact for about the first year of me having a job in digital video I had to fake my way through a lot of conversations about these three concepts cuz I couldn't tell what people were actually saying it always sounded like yearned media to me no sense what are you yearning for anyway to make sure that you don't have to fake it the way I did let's take you through and it's actually really simple own media is the promotion that you get off of your owned channels the things that you yourself possess your Facebook page your YouTube channel your website whatever it is paid media meanwhile is the extra promotion that you get when you pay for it when you pay people that's everything from commercials on TV to billboards along the street to ads on websites or hack paying celebrities or influencers to promote your product easy owned paid and then finally you have earned earned media is the holy grail here it's what you get for free when people just feel inspired to talk about and share what you've done websites and videos pitching theories about who dies in an upcoming Marvel movie gee that doesn't relate to me at all but that is earned media youtubers playing your game online because they like it earned media means cosplay remixes all earned media it is free it is voluntary and it is authentic and it's the reason that Minecraft went on to sell to Microsoft for 2.5 billion dollars for one video game it's insane I mean it's so much more than a video game but still that's that's crazy to think about earned media has been so important to Minecraft success that at Minecon they actually teach players how to make youtube channels and then provide resources for managing them because the understand that the popularity of the game is built on a foundation of YouTube and now it's happening once again with another game you might be familiar with fortnight well yes I think twitch does get a lot of credit for the growth and expansion of fortnight and it should a lot more views are coming from people who are watching fortnight on YouTube 183 million people on twitch vs. 594 million views on YouTube that's like five times the number which means that YouTube is still making serious contributions to fortnight's bottom line through billions of watch minutes of earned media see this is why this concepts important and that is what's made gaming on YouTube work it's the power of promotion it's the power of this earned media a new game comes out and everyone rushes to play it so they can get a lot of views it drives billions of views as audiences circulate between all these different channels as a result it drives millions of purchases of the game in question and thousands of dollars to those creators for promoting the game it's a system where everyone wins YouTube makes a lot of money off of those views creators make a lot of money off of their videos and game publishers make a lot of money off of the sales of their game or at least that's how it used to work in the last year the game has changed pun definitely intended and now devs are facing their greatest challenge yet it's not frame rates it's not DLC not micro transaction regulation its brand safety it's like a cursed word around here kind of watch out when you say it as we all know the brand safety standards on YouTube have changed a lot over the last two years and one of the categories that advertisers have particularly distressed it is us gaming content even as recent as this year where companies like AT&T are still talking openly about how they are avoiding gaming content because it is too fringe I mean gaming is the most popular entertainment medium in the world so if this is fringe I guess we're all living in it but I did it it's difficult to understand and it does have a history of potentially being edgy or risque again kind of hilarious considering that twenty years ago it was just a bunch of people arguing over who was better a red plumber or a blue hedgehog so safe but concerns like this got YouTube to respond which you can't really blame them for honestly their company they want to stay profitable they payout knowings people around the world they have to make their clients happy and we pretty much all know what came out of that one though D monetization my friends YouTube's AI systems scans thumbnails it reads text it analyzes images and ultimately to monetize as games that are considered violent including anything that involves visible blood or gore anything that involves fire and explosives and thumbnails and anything that be considered racy or suggestive including luigi holding an eggplant which you'll notice has had to have been removed strategically from one of our previous videos Branden save it also Flags videos for profanity including profanity that's beeped out since it can now detect those sensor beeps if you hop into Google ads where all the advertisers are spending their money you'll actually see that they've created content categories that outline all this with focus on blood and gore in video games being available to only the broadest types of ads profanity at the beginning of the video same thing only that first caliber which is basically anything goes and just to round out the offering gaming is the only content cache Gouri that has a separate opt-out checkbox there it is ladies and gentlemen that is why gaming is so hard to monetize on YouTube so why do I bring all of this stuff up well if you look across e3s lineup almost every single title except for some of the Nintendo titles violate these brand safety guidelines doom eternal big ol check mark there call the duty yeah people are getting shot and bloody they're the division Ghost Recon watchdogs check check and check cyberpunk 2077 like the most popular game at e3 this year they couldn't even show it on the e3 YouTube livestream without censoring it just watch it there's something like every third word and this is brought to you by YouTube so what happens when you YouTube gamer X X Sephiroth lover xx decide to stream the latest new release from your favorite triple-a developer first you're likely getting yourself demonetized from the outset because your game contains graphic violence or suggestive activity or heck just simply bad language so that's already a non-starter but if you somehow managed to thread that needle and make it all the way past the advertiser filters and stay greenlit long enough to set your video live on the platform now you're just contending with the less talked about YouTube content ratings system oh yeah that's a real thing other channels have talked about this so we're not breaking any new territory here but YouTube has a separate content rating system like you do with movies it groups your content into specific maturity levels based on the same kinds of things that we talked about on the advertiser side violence language etc and it will actively limit the viewership of your video to only the audience's where it's appropriate makes sense but again if you're covering mature stuff fewer and fewer people are gonna watch what you're doing so think about what this has to do with all of these games that you love sure do was a huge success in 2016 the times have changed so doom eternal launches later this year is one of the biggest games of 2019 right but it's a game glorifies violence meaning that it's gonna hit all of these flags if youtubers get to monetized well they're gonna be much less likely to cover that game and that's on top of the already limited visibility that those videos are gonna get just by the nature of them covering mature content gotta make sure that little Timmy isn't exposed to gamers ripping the heads off of heck demons it's the brand friendly term for the enemies in do all of this throws off this adoption curve that we covered at the top of the episode right the game might not even be able to get enough momentum to crest that first hill because there's just not enough people watching consuming and making more videos about the game in the first place all that earned media which would have been huge in 2016 just disappears it is just reduced it has been snapped away by Thanos owned earned paid media that circle right there just gone flat-out kill it off slice it I mean nowadays that owned piece of media there would actually be a little bit higher because now people actually care about the franchise again and are actively following the latest doom release so this disappearance of earned media has actually been counterbalanced a little bit but not enough it's gone it's been halved effectively it's crazy and now all you got is marketing dollars to help promote your game that is for practically every single title that you see announced at e3 this year on flipside though – what's one game that has gun violence but was somehow able to keep it largely family-friendly fortnight fortnight has about as much violence as a typical episode of Tom & Jerry no blood no suggestive content no strong language the only hip thrusting and this geekness from incorrectly doing the floss the more brand friendly games like minecraft and roblox are the only ones that are able to keep pace which go figure are also the other two massively successful games on YouTube right now they stay at the top of YouTube gaming leaderboards because of their broad appeal and their ability to play nice with the new system and no one has a chance to compete and while this is just a theory it's one that we're actively seeing play out right now as we speak take for instance Mortal Kombat 11 first of all there was a new Mortal Kombat game that came out last spring were you aware of this judging by the sales numbers you weren't what was anticipated to be a wild success for this franchise a return to form failed almost immediately out of the gate resulting in the game getting a $10 cost reduction a day after it had been released one day I mean sure the press in the headlines say that this was the most successful launch in the series's history but are you gonna believe that you're gonna believe that a game company is gonna drop their price by 15% if something is doing well anyway obviously a lot of different things goes into video game sales beyond people just playing it on YouTube and people were unhappy with Mortal Kombat 11s mechanics character designs plots things like that but one thing that can't be denied is that Mortal Kombat videos here on YouTube are just hard to find I mean I covered the game in the past and I couldn't find it I watch mature content it wasn't served to me story started to surface about Mortal Kombat players ending up on the LG side of youtubes banhammer Newsweek recently covered a gamer named Maximilian dude who's played Mortal Kombat's 9 10 and 11 with over 500 total videos here on YouTube about those games when he tried to cover the new Mortal Kombat last April though he reports that quote between 85 and 90% of his videos were demonetized and/or age gated so what happens when you try to cover a game and then it just gets filtered out of search and suggested video feeds and is also demonetized you either play it just because you love it or you don't you move on to the next title and most people quite frankly art can waste their time online influencers don't play the game as a result – audience aren't aware of the game in the first place the game then doesn't sell as well as it used to and prices get dropped quickly to try and save face hopefully trying to sustain that franchise for yet another installment but if the game doesn't sell they're like well that franchise is done we snap it out of existence and all of this is a bummer because to me Mortal Kombat Elevens fatalities are just really fun which I would show you behind me on this big green screen but again I can't no Theory episode will happen on that topic because I can't do it it's too mature you see how this all starts working together cuz based on the release calendar I don't think the games industry does the success or failure of a game now more than ever is dependent not on a developer not on gameplay not even on the player it's dictated by a platform or more specifically a massive AI babysitter who has a real issue with potty mouths when players can't monetize their content and it's in from viewers they don't play the games with no videos on the games the developer gets no earned media no free marketing for that game so unless you just have a die-hard fan base or a lot of money to burn on advertising your game is crippled under the weight of YouTube well as one last little ironic twist here that I just kind of find funny in case you weren't aware Google announced that they're getting into the gaming business I would know because I was actually there on stage at the stadia announcement expressing my support for all the cool new opportunities and accessibility that this sort of technology can make available how they decide to implement it though is gonna be another thing but in theory there's a lot of really cool stuff that can come out of something like this anyway that's not the point of this video the point is that this is a platform all about integrating gaming with YouTube's place where you watch meets the place where you play that makes a lot of sense right except when you start looking at the biggest names to be confirmed to be partnered with stadia doom Mortal Kombat the Ubisoft library including the Assassin's Creed games guys they have assassin in the title oh and then there's just dance a game that gets you immediately copyright claimed if you ever try to play it on YouTube winners all around so the major launch titles for stadia a platform specifically built to facilitate youtubers playing games and interacting with their audiences are all games that YouTube itself is de monetizing and actively throttling on the system guys I can't do everyone's job around here so YouTube on the one hand is like we're not gonna promote violent video games which hey that's okay I totally get why you want to do that it's your platform you do you but then big Papa Google over here is like we're launching a big gaming platform under the banner of a bunch of extremely mature games and everyone's gonna watch them over on earth or product YouTube so like guys someone someone needs to get together in a boardroom here and talk it out because right now you are fighting against yourself seriously unless YouTube eases up on violence and profanity which advertisers aren't gonna really like or stadia clinches of or tonight deal which again I don't think epic wants to support a big competitor of theirs I think everyone's gonna be in for a rude awakening and as a result since the system isn't gonna change in a while it might be time to get Keanu Reaves back into the recording booth to get a few more takes of heck in and freakin before the final release of cyberpunk maybe dooms demons can spray candy out of their necks I don't know not a game designer anyway that is just a theory a game theory thanks for watching provided this stays brand safe

21 thoughts on “Game Theory: YouTube is Ruining Gaming!

  1. 20:19 Does someone know the name of this game?? I played it when i was a kid and it means so much to me ;-;

  2. MK11's bigger issue was that it came out at the tail end of about every other fighting game known to man, and all within the course of one year (that's Injustice 2, Dragonball Fighterz, Tekken 7, Soul Calibur 6, Street Fighter Anniversary, and Dead or Alive 6). I blame fighting game fatigue.

  3. Spontaneously making the same game every year is ruining gaming. Its for the better because anybody who plays games lack alot of social skills. They blame it on other things when you're isolating yourself for hours and intune on a reality that takes away ambition.

  4. Oxhorn doesn’t get demonetized for his videos. So either he’s a genius or Youtube’s algorithm is flawed as crap

  5. Finding out what he was talking about was actual taking effect on something I can relate gets me a burning fire in my stomach I was excited about mc11 I bought it yeah but I never sall it on YouTube which had me disappointed but I forgot about it and mat bringing it up just reminds me how YouTube is becoming such a platform that is not friendly to 78% of his users and its creators at this point the only thing keeping up this gaming platform is fortnite which makes me sad cause fortnite is just old

  6. I’m currently working on the design for a game right now. I’m really happy to see this video because this does educate me a small amount on how to get the attention of potential players.

    As for the game itself, I still have a long way to go, but lucky me, it’s not going to be something Gordy or filled with swears or anything. Mainly since I already have a vision for the game and gore doesn’t fit in it

  7. Here, have some more fuel: I have had trouble with advertisement on videos I watch. It didn't have anything to do with me and was SOLELY in the realm of advertising content that I put into the "no interest" category in googles options. And about three months ago they started playing TWO not fitting ads in direkt succession, even in videos where there already were 2-3 ads for a 15-20 min video. And that is where I caved and installed an adblock.
    And here is the plot-twist: I watch almost exclusively content with games, a little bit with movies, a little bit of crafting-channels.

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