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 jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

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GS knows a lot about paid reviews.

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jeremy-

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@jacquelineferre All jokes aside, Obviously GS has never been paid for a review...


But you gotta wonder whether they bump 1-2 points in a rating when they have an EXISTING relationship with the game publisher and the game publisher has a proven track record of paying 10,000... 20,000, 30,000.... 50,000?... for 'front-page skins'... and other advertisments on gamespot.


I'm not saying any one person would be laughing like Dr Evil about how dumb all gamers are becasue they can decieve us.. but the lines would be blurred when you know you are going to be damaging potential marketing arrangements with the publishers if you trash the game in a review score.


While we dont have evidence that GS has ever been paid (because they wouldnt have).. we do have evidence that EMBARGOS have been lifted on games early because of high review scores.

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beuneus12

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<< LINK REMOVED >> who said it was a joke..

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Draign

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> RYSE...paid for by Sony :-) J/K or am I?

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jeremy-

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You tell me which review was paid for and we'll start from there.

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Unholy123

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<< LINK REMOVED >>Ba Zing

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tommiveceti

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heh, after Microsoft , now EA! Sometime i still think that Youtubers are on their own, like i would like to believe (sign). Never again when i hear those honey words.

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Sigma_Fury

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So EA has moved on from making shitty GAMES to making shitty ADS. I guess that's what partnering with Microsoft does to you.

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DarkSaber2k

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So Microsoft and EA have been doing to YouTube producers what they and plenty of others have been doing to Gamespot for years. GG Eddie.

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IndremaLover

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EA, America's most hated corporation (Consumer Reports) is in good company with Microsoft.

Is this illegal? Maybe not. Unethical? YES, to anyone with a moral compass.


20 • 
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Xx_DemonSoul_xX

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<< LINK REMOVED >>


EA says: "Duh.. what's a moral compass?"

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DarkSaber2k

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<< LINK REMOVED >>Actually it clearly states in the article that it probably IS illegal.

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IndremaLover

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> You're right, i stand corrected.

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tomservo51

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I'm going to start a website and post unbiased reviews, up until it becomes popular and companies pay me to like their games anyway.

2 • 
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Chr0noid

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law of disclosure. Please enlighten yourself before typing.

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Sigma_Fury

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I'm pretty sure facebookers can't see replies.

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Chr0noid

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>damn parasites.

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Mr_Enlightened

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You know, it is really difficult to get a job as a propaganda troll.

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Fetuskid

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I invented plastic bottles.

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WskerFan

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isn't this what Microsoft is doing too?

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Mr_Enlightened

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Microsoft does it with love.

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Chr0noid

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Yet another cancerous practice of this disgusting, deplorable, corrupt gaming industry.

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Nyrex

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So is Facebook!

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de-astroturfer

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And Apple lets not forget them

14 • 
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Xx_DemonSoul_xX

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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."--- Especially when you are paying them for the opinion. That's called propaganda.

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PHOENIXZERO

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Mmm modern day payola...

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Xx_DemonSoul_xX

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EA - It's in the YouTube reviews.

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tomservo51

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I got an Idea EA. Take that Money and make your GAMES BETTER!!

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neowarrior121

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> yea because universally everyones cheated the game

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xsonicchaos

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Good thing they're not holding people at gunpoint to promote their games. Next thing you know, every publisher pays youtubers to promote their s**t.

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Sigma_Fury

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Why are these articles making the news? IT'S FUCKING CALLED ADVERTISING.

One company pays another company or individual to promote their product. HOW IS THIS NEWS?!

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frylock1987

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

Well....seeing as how they are not allowed to say anything negative about a product, even if there are game breaking bugs in it, but they aren't allowed to say so because of the deal with EA...wel....I kinda have a problem with that.

and so should you?

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atopp399

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It would seem they are breaking a law of disclosure.

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Prats93

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Exactly. The FTC guidelines mandate that online content producers disclose all promotional info to viewers. Its common fuckin sense. The worst thing that can happen is companies like Microshit pay popular Youtubers for their positive opinion on MS products whilst getting them to sign non disclosure, so basically lie to their viewers.

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xsonicchaos

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

LAAAAWWWW!!!!

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Mr_Enlightened

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EA has recieved more heat than Pablo Escobar

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xsonicchaos

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<< LINK REMOVED >>

And still no one gets fired over there. What's up with that?

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atopp399

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I never buy EA games anyway. They proved to me with Origin that they don't want my business. It is unfortunate I can no longer look to Youtube reviews to be objective. These revelations will probably mean I view less of these people's videos.

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awhite33

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EA and Microsoft think just because they got money they can do whatever they want.

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Mr_Enlightened

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<< LINK REMOVED >>


Anyone with money can basically get away with anything

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frylock1987

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

lol. Wesley Snipes. Went to Federal Prison for a long time because he didn't want to pay taxes on the millions of dollars he's made throughout his career.

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Mr_Enlightened

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Wesley Snipes is not a billionaire,

If Bill GAtes woke up with Wesley Snipe's money, he would jump out of a window

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awhite33

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Most of the time they can.

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awhite33

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

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Mr_Enlightened

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> I would do unforgivable sick things if i was a billionaire.

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cboye18

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Lesson of the day: don't buy EA games.

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Nyrex

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There's a simple lesson to be learned here, YouTube is best for watching funny clips of cats etc. not for taking consumer advice from people.

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