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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Avatar image for sirapathetic01
SirApathetic01

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I don't think EA is the only one to blame here. It's also the YouTuber's fault. I mean, money or not, I would have enough respect for my fans to NOT lie to their faces about a game I may hate or just not like a lot at all.

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diggyphelps

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Why blame EA? Everyone knows they are shit. It's the youtube kids that hid under the guise of being impartial.

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Banefire76

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>........Nope EA is to blame as well as the YouTuber's that go along with it.


So a hardened serial killer (EA) brings along a newbe/wanna be serial killer (youtuber) on his next "venture" and the hardened serial killer does not deserve any blame?!


WRONG!!!!!!!!!!

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Draign

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Actually its the consumers fault. See how this is a neverending cycle?

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Avatar image for s2i2p2i2o
s2i2p2i2o

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I don't see what's wrong. It's a great marketing stategy used by a lot of companies. It's like clothing companies or similar business paying people to wear and say nice things about their products. Or commercials about toothpaste which hs a dentists in them saying how much they recommend a certain product.

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Avatar image for sirapathetic01
SirApathetic01

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<< LINK REMOVED >> If everyone got paid by companies to say good things about their games, we'd have no real reviews or commentary videos at all anymore. And that's not why I watch or read reviews...

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Avatar image for diggyphelps
diggyphelps

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You don't see whats wrong with lying to your viewer base? Selling out for a couple extra bucks? I don;t want to hear any of these youtubers crying when people unsub from there channels.

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s2i2p2i2o

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I don't really see it as lying. I see it more as "getting paid to show off certain parts of the game that are good and ignoring the bad". I might have missinterpreted this article but as far as I understood it they didn't get paid to do positive reviews, but to do specific tasks and show them off, like taking down skyscrapers and play certain sections of a game. Calling it a review and only say the good things because you got paid is opf course something bad.

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Avatar image for s2i2p2i2o
s2i2p2i2o

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I respectfully disagree. If you want to see how the game is, good and bad, watch a review. There will always be parts of a game that are bad but not shown. If I were to make a video playing a game I wouldn't neccessarily show the bad stuff during a let's play, even if I knew it was there. Like a bug or someting on a certain level.


If my goal with a video was to show of a specific mission in, let's say Splinter Cell, I would just play the mission. If these youtubers are getting paid to show of certain things, like a building being blown up, then by all means make of video of that. It is not missleading in any way as long as it's really from the game and a part of it.


As I said before though, don't call it a review and then ignore all the bad stuff. That is just bullshit. But otherwhise I see nothing wrong with this.

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Fryboy101

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> ignoring the bad is the problem. People who watch youtubers want to see the game and how it plays. To show off a game without any negatives sets up a false image for the viewer. People want to see the good and the bad of a game

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Avatar image for s2i2p2i2o
s2i2p2i2o

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Why? What does the fact that it was revealed days after MS story have to do with anything? Plz, explain what you mean. I am tired as shit after studying all day and can't see the correlation .

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diggyphelps

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> It's the fact that this came out days after the Microsoft story that makes them look shameful.

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diggyphelps

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I always hear these youtubers complaining about how nobody takes there opinions/content seriously in the industry, now you see why. There all just a bunch of bought a paid for shills.

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Fryboy101

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<< LINK REMOVED >> someone posted a link of youtubers who have taken advantage of this, and it's a significantly small amount of people. To say everyone does it is just stupid

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diggyphelps

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Thats the MS list. You nor I have seen the EA one. This also is not some isolated incedent only involving these companies. You better believe the activisions, ubisofts, sony etc... of the world are taking advantage of these shills as well.

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diggyphelps

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@Fryboy101 @diggyphelps Christ, first off I did not say all company's, I named a few LARGE ones. 2nd, yes when it comes to this topic I'am very pessimistic. This is because there is no reason to feel otherwise. These company's have proven over the last gen that they will do anything, be it bribery or censorship or otherwise, to move the units they have to. Instead of sitting here talking about stuff you don't know about, go educate yourself on the matter. In fact, go watch Boogie2988's videos on the matter because I'm not gonna sit here and argue with ignorance.

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Fryboy101

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I'm talking about the youtubers, not the companies. You must be extremely pessimistic if you think every company could be doing this

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northArrow

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What ever happened to letting a great game speak for itself?

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s2i2p2i2o

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<< LINK REMOVED >> When the **** was that? There has always been some sort of marketing. This is just EA and Microsoft getting with the times and adapting accordingly.

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SirApathetic01

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Paying YouTuber's isn't real marketing. It's under the hood and out of the consumers' sight for a reason. It's very much not approved by even other companies. And yes, there are games that speak for themselves. Super Mario 3D World, indie games, etc.

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Draign

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Suddenly the PS4 greatness awaits theme song plays in my head. Hopefully I can get through the day without killing myself.

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ANUBISZER0

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Just like Big Daddy Micro$oft.

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ralphy248

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I think this sums it up.



<< LINK REMOVED >>

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Kinetical

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Hmm, big companies doing underhanded things, but I thought we lived in a good, honest world? I'm so surprised. This has made me question everything. Maybe the Priest wasn't trying to get the demon out of me after all.

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GrendelSP

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I think I am going to have a heart attack and die... of not surprised.

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deadpeasant

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Well its not too surprising that EA is involved in this kind of practice to. It doesn't change my opinion of the company though its just another thing in a list of reasons to continue not buying EA games. I wonder if there will be more revelations of this type to come for companies that are more trustworthy.

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yoda101280

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Watching youtube for reviews is like walking up to a stranger on the street and asking them what they think of a game.

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Draign

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@yoda101280 People watch youtube for gameplay, at least I do. But twitch is bound to kill youtube in this area. I wouldnt be surprised if this article is just a desguise ad for youtube gaming channels lol.

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beuneus12

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<< LINK REMOVED >> no, the stranger will tell you to piss off.

But at least he's honest about it

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dbene

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Are ya'll gonna hate Samuel L. Jackson too because he says that one "damn' credit card is awesome? since he might not really use it?

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Draign

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You hate Samuel L. because he is God.

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beuneus12

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<< LINK REMOVED >> at least you KNOW he's being paid

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Mr_Enlightened

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Titanfall March 2014 Exclusive on Microsoft platforms

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dbene

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You guys need to quit going to taco bell and eating as well because they advertise.

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beuneus12

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<< LINK REMOVED >> chipotle > taco bell

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Grenadeh

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Hothead> Chipotle. In fact, Qdoba > Chipotle and Moes > Chipiotle. Even Piada is Italian Chipotle but > Chipotle.

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HowlPendragon

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Ads are one thing, but this isn't even similar to celebrity endorsements.

It's downright deception.

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Grenadeh

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@HowlPendragon @dbene All advertising is deception and has been for eternity. The only "ads" that aren't are from stores where they go "Bread 1 dollar!" and it's bread which is always 1 dollar (that brand anyway). If you don't believe that, you've never seen an ad nor worked in marketing nor market research.

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dbene

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

Whatever man...it's the same thing


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HowlPendragon

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Yeah great point, you're totally right.

Except it isn't, moron

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Grenadeh

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Such as A) it's pure shit and B) They get rid of every good item that was ever on the menu. **** you, no chicken flatbreads, no baja chalupas, no club chalupas, no crunchwrap supremes. Do they still have crunchwraps?

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Mr_Big_Boss

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Youtube is supposed to be a hobby, these people shouldn't be making money off it.

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Draign

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<< LINK REMOVED >> LMAO, so naive.

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deactivated-584419ec3a052

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<< LINK REMOVED >>Who decided that?

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dbene

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Why is it that everyone is horrifed or surprised that a company would pay individuals to advertise when the shift to what everyone is viewing is in the individuals' hands?

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