EA pays YouTube producers to promote its games

Company says "User-generated videos are a valuable and unique aspect of how gamers share their experiences playing the games they love, and one that EA supports."

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Earlier this week it was revealed that Microsoft paid YouTube producers to create video content that promotes the Xbox One, and now it's confirmed that Electronic Arts is operating a similar program. An EA representative confirmed the program, called Ronku, to The Verge after documents detailing its guidelines leaked on noted game forum NeoGAF yesterday.

Under the terms of the program, YouTube producers were paid to publish video content for Battlefield 4 and Need for Speed: Rivals. Each "assignment" had specific objectives, like focusing on in-game activities including taking down an entire skyscraper in Battlefield 4 or crossing the finish line in Need for Speed: Rivals. For Battlefield 4, producers were told not to make videos featuring any glitches they might encounter during gameplay.

Participants in the program could earn $10 per thousand video views from a maximum of three videos. Other games featured in the program were FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NHL 14, and Plants vs. Zombies 2, all of which granted payments of $10 per thousand views.

As The Verge points out, the issue here is not EA finding a new way to promote its games, but rather the way in which the company is reportedly going about it. The Federal Trade Commission mandates that endorsers "clearly and conspicuously" inform their audience that they are working on behalf of a company. However, the documents from NeoGAF suggest that producers of EA's Ronku program are barred from making such a disclosure.

"You agree to keep confidential at all times all matters relating to this Agreement and any Assignment including, without limitation, the Details and Compensation listed above," the document supposedly reads.

We have not been able to independently verify that this line from the agreement is in fact genuine, but the Ronku program itself is indeed real.

"Through EA's Ronku program, some fans are compensated for the YouTube videos they create and share about our games," an EA representative told The Verge. "The program requires that participants comply with FTC guidelines and identify when content is sponsored. User-generated videos are a valuable and unique aspect of how gamers share their experiences playing the games they love, and one that EA supports."

"We explicitly state in the Terms & Conditions of the program that each video must comply with the FTC's Guidelines concerning Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising," the representative added.

Microsoft and Machinima described their promotional partnership as nothing more than a standard agreement.

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2tonjunk

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HA! I just posted that I have done this for EA and here it is. LOL. I done this for Sony, Canon, and others. People think Microsoft is evil for doing it. Most of them are doing it. Just Microsoft got outed by a pissed off gamer. I have Done this For PS vita, the Phone Sony made a few years back, a friend has done for the PS4. I have done one for PS3.

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TheNightMammoth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Paying for an advertisement is different than paying for an opinion.

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2tonjunk

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It always has. I work in advertisement. Well, more like filming and editing it. Ever see TV ads for things and at the end of the ad they say you can buy what ever it is at these fine retailers?stealth marketing. Done all over on youtube,, TV shows, TV ads, places like BestBuy web page. Ever read reviews on bestbuy. A lot of people review and are paid to do it. A lot of letsplay videos stealth marketing. Ever see videos where people talk about something and have some gameplay videos, stealth marketing.

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xxmavr1kxx

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<< LINK REMOVED >> MS didnt write the language in that contract. Machinima did. Gamespot just never posted that story though!

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2tonjunk

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@xxmavr1kxx@2tonjunk Machinima talks with MS and they work out the details. All we ever got was a email telling us what we can and can not say. A bullet point, or outline. every 1000-1500 views we make 1-4 bucks. When I did the PS3 I made 2 bucks for ever 1500 views. most of the time it was a buck for every 1500 views. I know a friend is getting 3 bucks for 1000 views on his PS4 review. And a tag name had to go with it.

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demondogx

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This is why you dont pre order ppl
Those who get to play it before its released are usually payed off
Wait for the end user reviews, dont buy a game based on marketing material, and game dev partners

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Porcupeth123

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MS and EA holding the trident, polishing their horns.

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jagdedge124

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For those of you too young to remember (i do from back in the 80's) search "Payola Scandal". Eerily similar and going on for decades in the Music Industry. Now it's games. Big Business.

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obsequies

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how convenient

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pyro1245

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oh boy. first i guess?

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tinyname

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@pyro1245 not by a long shot. You should probably work on a constructive comment. No one gives two flying craps if you're first.

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pyro1245

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<< LINK REMOVED >> i don't care about you or anyone else here. i can be first all day. so suck it.

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de-astroturfer

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EA and Microsoft the perfect corporate, consumer shafting partnership ! Im sure other companies do this but lets not dilute the blame and let it continue, lets us instead target the worst offenders by telling them where they can stick their dishonest company and products !

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senorbusyman

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i wouldnt mind advertising some ea games as long as dragon age 3 is one of them

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rtircoklled

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<< LINK REMOVED >> and as long it is much better than dragon age 2

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deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

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Wow EA really are so far up Microsoft's kaboose, they actually have to do damage control for them.

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Porcupeth123

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Must be cozy in that bed they're sharing

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Divisionbell

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It's EA. This is not a muppet news flash.

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b74kd3th

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This is a paid advertisement.

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deactivated-58270bc086e0d

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Wow that must be the most ineffective idea ever. Even with it I still hate most of their games.

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tinyname

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Only natural they have the same business practices as their bedfellows at Microsoft.


Meanwhile all Sony needs to do to market their games is release a trailer and let word of mouth do the rest.


Lol MS and EA...It must suck to have to pay for all your friends.

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Riddick123

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Not surprised. Game critics are paid as well. Know an ex game developer/ programmer. He said game companies regularly pay people off to say how great their games are. I always go off of end user reviews.

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