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."

472 Comments
No Caption Provided

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.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

$13.90 on Amazon
Buy
$12.99 on Walmart
Buy

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 472 comments about this story
472 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for tomservo51
tomservo51

698

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 0

Tip of the day: Never fart in a YouTube.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for itmustbepaul
ItMustBePaul

33

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 6

What makes me chuckle are all of the people who don't trust gaming websites and only trust YouTube videos to give them "honest" critique on video games. The reality is that everybody is out there to take your money from your pocket in order to put bigger sums of money into their pocket.

"Video game journalism" or Garme Jurnalism is a cruel joke that needs better oversight, or you'll continue to get people wondering who's on the take when video games don't receive the critical praise that specific people don't agree with, or criticism that you think is wrong.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for frylock1987
frylock1987

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >>

Meh, I go by the user reviews on Meta Critic. i'll look at what the overall user rating is, which is a couple thousand reviews anyway. If its high enough, Ill look at a Video on youtube to look at Gameplay or if i have time, I'll download a Demo if available and base my purchase off those two things.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for beuneus12
beuneus12

529

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> it's the carrot and stick approach big gaming companies use. Give us decent reviews/put in positive light and we give you our advertising dollars, early access to our games and events passes/other goodies.

Review negative and say bye to all that.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for DIGN
DIGN

30

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 0

If I weren't so rich, I'd actually care.

2 • 
Avatar image for tomservo51
tomservo51

698

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> Give me 1 million dollars please.

3 • 
Avatar image for DIGN
DIGN

30

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Sadly I can't transfer money though computers. Oh well. I can pay you in Xbox One games though.

3 • 
Avatar image for ellinax
Ellinax

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

@Vidpci@tomservo51@DIGN how about giving em xbox one ? it shaped like a brick, is a brick and if you put it next to a brick it will blend like a brick. they could build a house with all those bricks

Upvote • 
Avatar image for neowarrior121
neowarrior121

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@tomservo51 @Vidpci @DIGN what an overestimation if you made a house out of them it wouldn't be worth half that much to hobos, who would be more embarrassed if they were seen living it it, they would prefer the streets

Upvote • 
Avatar image for tomservo51
tomservo51

698

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 10 billion copies of Ryse are worth about $100

2 • 
Avatar image for tomservo51
tomservo51

698

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Me first!

Upvote • 
Avatar image for jeremy-
jeremy-

49

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

I thinks its worth mentioning that this kind of marketing is actually GOOD for gamers. No scratch that... its AMAZING.


The only problem is that the content makers arn't announcing they are doing a paid marketing. Let me explain.


Would you rather a 20,000 to 50,000 marketing budget go to a fat-cat TV studio where some billionaire will use it to buy a solid gold ornament for his yatch?


Or would you rather it go to players in emerging media who do video gaming content on youtube. WHere Youtube is a publishing partner which goes 50/50 with regular gamer guys.


So, we want the money to be spent on new media, like youtube advertising... not TV which is wasteful. Hell, in TV advertising, 75% of the budget is blown on wankers circle jerking in a boardroom before the tv advertisement even starts getting paid for.


The ISSUE with this whole thing is that the youtube marketers are not disclosing its a paid article. If it was somebody who already liked the game.. and they are making content... whats the issue.


So I think the general public needs a perspective change on this. If you yell for this never to happen again.. you might as well be siding with Movie studios to not make movies accessible.. with Music producers to go back to the old ways of CD's and not music on demand digital... and old marketing on TV....


Embrace this new marketing... just ask the companies to be honest about it.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for beuneus12
beuneus12

529

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> honest marketing, now that's a joke

2 • 
Avatar image for jeremy-
jeremy-

49

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> not really since its mandated by legislation anyway.


Mark my words... because gamers dont know whats good for them.. they will scare the game publishers back to spending marketing budgets on TV and Bus Stops..


There goes the economy of small-time gamers who want to make a few bucks streaming and producing.


(it was pushing CPA's from like 4-5 to like 7-15).

Upvote • 
Avatar image for jeremy-
jeremy-

49

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> not even slightly aware of the circumstances regarding the specific user you mentioned.


However, there are plenty of examples that have been pointed out in the last week of users with shady sponsorship so the point stands.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for draign
Draign

1824

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Anyone who thinks that TheRadBrad was gaming for free is an idiot. In fact he states that he gets paid but never says by whom. Can you expect a person to spend all of their life recording gameplay, and editing the video, for free?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for DIGN
DIGN

30

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> TL;DR


Flagged for spam I think.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for avery04
avery04

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Wake up people, all companies do it. It is a part of marketing. No one markets for free, it cost.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for evil_snuggles
evil_snuggles

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

M$ brainwashing everybody marketing yes. but not disclosing its marketing Is the problem

Upvote • 
Avatar image for IndremaLover
IndremaLover

48

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> Fine example of a lack of moral compass.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for beuneus12
beuneus12

529

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> we know this, but there are a lot of people who need proof like this before their eyes open

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Baconelite
Baconelite

190

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

It might have been naive of me to think that stuff like this didn't happen. Now that I know, I have to say that I am very disappointed. From now on, I will only trust Angry Joe on YouTube. He has been honest about bugs and glitches in all his game reviews.

8 • 
Avatar image for BehemothBlade
BehemothBlade

27

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> His Ride To hell review is the BEST one out there.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for BehemothBlade
BehemothBlade

27

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@Baconelite@BehemothBlade@Vidpci Mindjack, DBZ kinect and Colonial Marines reviews are great too.

2 • 
Avatar image for Baconelite
Baconelite

190

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>No, Sonic Free Riders is the best one xD

2 • 
Avatar image for evil_snuggles
evil_snuggles

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Microscam ,EA and Craptivation are the video game axis of evil

Upvote • 
Avatar image for tomservo51
tomservo51

698

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> Craptivation?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for evil_snuggles
evil_snuggles

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

CrAptivision cod 1-1000 the definitive edition

Upvote • 
Avatar image for BehemothBlade
BehemothBlade

27

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

So THIS is how nobody complained about the broken Battlefield 4 in their reviews.

20 • 
Avatar image for beuneus12
beuneus12

529

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> I didn't hear none of the big gaming sites complain about bf4. They get paid a lot more then them youtubers

Upvote • 
Avatar image for evil_snuggles
evil_snuggles

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Do you xfanBoy ever get tired of M$ lies . Ever thing m$ does is P.R SPIN and lies. Remember titanfail can't be done on any other consoles Because x1 cloud computing ability. But now the A.I are mindless bots running around the game waiting to be shot so much for "advanced A.I cloud computing" . I guess " next-gen" you need cloud computing A.I for mindless bots. This is nothing new m$ are a bunch of 2 bit con men. Thank GOD for the Microsoft defense League To protect m$ "good name" lol lol lol;-) polygon Machinima down next stop gamespot. Com evil laugh Microsoft Ha ha ha ha

Upvote • 
Avatar image for 2tonjunk
2tonjunk

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

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.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for tomservo51
tomservo51

698

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 26

User Lists: 0

<< LINK REMOVED >> Do you ever proof-read your posts?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for draign
Draign

1824

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You mad bro?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for BehemothBlade
BehemothBlade

27

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

All the horrible companies are doing this crap.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Unholy123
Unholy123

203

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 16

User Lists: 0

Lol ok you'll get paid to present a video putting our product in a positive light... just don't tell people we've payed you off... or else the video viewer they oh I don't know might find your opinions to be abit biased since your paycheck is riding on it being a 'positive' video.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

116

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 14

User Lists: 0

shut up facehooker

Upvote • 
Avatar image for IndremaLover
IndremaLover

48

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Thank you Mr. Madoff. How's prison treating you?

2 • 
Avatar image for mr_enlightened
Mr_Enlightened

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

You speak the truth

Upvote • 
Avatar image for zzanzabar
zzanzabar

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Isn't it ironic that recently both EA and Microsoft have been shown to pay for positive exposure of their products but the single most ACCUSED group, GAMESPOT, is nowhere to be seen. Is it possible that maybe all those saying that this site is in the pay of the producers could be WRONG? Nah that would just RUIN too good of a conspiracy theory.

Upvote •