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After a three day event to show off new games for Stadia, along with three special demos now live you would think Google was having a good time. Unfortunately, one developer derailed it all.

For a quick recap of the Stadia event you can see day 1 here with a PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle demo, day 2 here with the HUMANKIND demo and as for day 3: you can now play a free demo of the upcoming Immortals Fenyx Rising free, a new exclusive 'First on Stadia' title Young Souls was announced and the strategy game Phoenix Point is coming to Stadia in 2021. Additionally, Stadia's invite system is expanding so that if you do invite a friend to Stadia, that friend will get two months of Stadia Pro free and if continued after the free months you then get a month free too. See the Stadia community post for all the info on that.

So that all sounds pretty reasonable, some nice games coming to Google's Linux-powered streaming service Stadia. Where did it go wrong then? Well, Google are currently enjoying a serious round of bad press and Stadia ended up trending all across Twitter, and not for positive reasons.

The problem was Alex Hutchinson, who according to their Twitter bio was the "Creative Director for Google Stadia" that tweeted out these thoughts:

Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn't pay for should be more worried by the fact that they're streaming games they didn't pay for as well. It's all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it.

As a bit of context here, Twitch has caused a lot of issues lately due to DMCA take-downs due to copyrighted music. You can see an overview on The Verge.

Hutchinson followed that tweet with:

The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use. 

Hutchinson doubled down on these thoughts in another follow up tweet:

Amazing to me that people are upset at someone saying that the creators of content should be allowed to make some of the money from other people using their content for profit.

Not exactly a good look, coming from a person who works for a currently not exactly popular service streaming games. Even worse to post these up with a Twitter bio written like it was, doing more damage than intended to Stadia. However, Hutchinson is not the Creative Director of Stadia as their profile originally said. They actually worked for Typhoon Studios, which Google acquired and then became part of Stadia Games and Entertainment. So Hutchinson works for a smaller game studio that Google happens to now own to make games for Stadia. Hutchinson has since changed their Twitter bio to reflect that more clearly.

The problem though, is that Hutchinson's comments have been widely ridiculed and it caused Stadia to enjoy thousands of angry gamers, developers and publishers all calling out the comments. The original Twitter post has been quote-tweeted (where people quote it and make a direct comment above it) over four thousand times.

It's an easy argument to deconstruct for how ridiculous it is too. Showing off a game is nothing like playing music, or a movie. It's not static content, it's transformed by the person playing it and it's free advertising for the developer and publisher. You need only look at some of the most popular PC games around to see how livestreaming has caused massive surges in people buying those games like Among Us (source):

Care to guess when livestreamers picked it up? As another very quick example, here's what happened to Freehold Games with their roguelike Caves of Qud when a single video was done on it, to be clear this is their "whole sales history" (source):

There's plenty of other examples of this but you get the idea. There's a reason why so many developers have blanket statements up approving the use of their games in videos. Most understand it's important, and plenty directly pay streamers to take a look at their game. When talking about huge games from big publishers, most developers involved likely never see a penny from the games doing well anyway - only the people at the top do, which makes it even more ridiculous to want to see more money from people showing it off.

What Hutchinson said doesn't even match up with how Google are working with Stadia either. Google are building in streaming features to Stadia, gave out early access to livestreamers to show off Stadia and more. Google aren't dumb and they've distanced themselves very clearly from Hutchinson in a statement to 9to5Google:

The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.

As someone who personally purchased the Stadia Founders Edition, I have been watching in horror.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Quoting: GamewizardOn the Caves of Qud spike all I have to say is "hey, hey, people". Seriously that man can cause massive spikes in sales it's not the first time he's caused a spike like that for a game won't be the last.

Another game for people that don't know about Sseth's shenanigan is Synthethik, to the point the devs even put a blog update after only fixing bugs for a while titled "Hey Hey People". But Underrail, Starsector, hell pull up Sseth's youtube and just do them one by one, until it's some even weirder things like Evenicle, it's likely it's a massive bump in the sales. With Mandalore too, like W40K Mechanicus (a W40K that didn't sold a big chunk to the W40K heads right off the bat was a bad omen), and Brigador (tho it's a joint venture here).





Quoting: X6205Honestly, i am suprised that all those gameplay/walkthrough videos are not ilegal. How many people decide to watch gameplay instead of pay for the game and streamer got money from it. WTF? This cannot in any way benefit the publisher/developer.

We have been there, Twitter and Youtube already had a meltdown about it a few years ago.

It has been understood that most people watch the streamer / content creator and may actually buy more if they don't feel coerced by the publishers behaviour.

Oh talking about "It's illegal", there is a laissezfaire.

The whole thing already blow up in 2017 (wasn't it PewDiePie saying so slur on PUBG? I believe it is, but don't quote me on that) and everybody, the publishers, the devs, youtube, and the players don't want anybody putting their fingers in that jam.

Because the publishers will earn bad rep, the devs will earn bad rep, youtube will lose money and the players want to believe the devs and publishers are close friends or close enough because they also do video games.

And if we have to talk about that as being bad, let's hop off the whole game industry as a topic train. Things are only going to be nastier because this industry has a strong case of bloated and inflated business and yet the pus never burst out of it.


Quoting: X6205DMCA and others are scared of giants like Google.

Implying Google didn't A) automatised it and B) actually think it's good for business, as they are put off the naughty list, but taking content out more often than note result in people putting back that content, sometimes several times.

Quoting: Purple Library Guybut legally he's on fairly solid ground.

It's likely a bit more complicated here, despite DMCA and the guy being on fairly solid ground. 2017 event I point at, and previous occurrences (nintendo going way harder than usual on Fan games on youtube), and all muddied quite a bit the waters: not only it's uneven (basic statments from Bethesda or CDProjekt RED for example to explicitly allow them on their website against people less fond of it), but also because a lot of the abuse against the lack of pushing the copyright on most cases may make the whole thing hard to apply in court (DMCA is not a court action, it's a claim that can be contested, if it is, it may actually end in court)


Last edited by MisterPaytwick on 23 October 2020 at 9:40 pm UTC
slaapliedje 24 Oct
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Just wanted to add this absurdity to the discussion;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEyvoqD5pZU
minfaer 24 Oct
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: minfaerBtw, the article confuses me. It sounds like Hutchinson tweeted this by himself, but then keeps using 'they' as if it was his studio's (or some groups) stance. Which is it?
Hutchinson did tweet directly, not from a studio account. Perhaps you're tripping up on singular they? Don't know, hard to tell, as you didn't point out the parts confusing you. When talking about a person, using "they" is just pretty normal here.

Thanks for claryfing, that was indeed what tripped me up. Non-native speaker here
Linuxwarper 24 Oct
Quoting: dubigrasuYep, more ammunition (as if it wasn't enough already) for Stadia detractors, I can see them buzzing with excitement for this new opportunity.
Equally so for Stadia community. I've seen so very few if any posts on Stadia reddit about implication Stadia can have for local play. There is plenty circle jerk too in there and misinformation. Like how if you got a great connection Stadia will be good and no waiting, but the fact that a great connection would also significantly reduce the waiting period for local installation too. Or fact consoles have a "update in rest mode" function, which many consoles owners have not turned on. Then a Stadia supporter posts a picture of "X Download" for console and uses that to talk about how great Stadia is.

If Stadia community wants everyone on board they should strive to preserve peoples wishes; that is local play being an option. It does not mean Google needs to provide local releases, but their Stadia business should in no way affect local play on other platforms. But I bet you Google would not listen to such request. So for gamers you are either Stadia or not. More dividing of gamers. We had console and PC, now we have Stadia too.


Last edited by Linuxwarper on 24 October 2020 at 11:42 am UTC
jo3fis 24 Oct
Quoting: einherjarAnd there the typical Internet Drama of these days is seen again (Twitter "outrage" etc.)

Calm down, he has an opinion and it is different from what the most people think about that topic. So what?

My thoughts exactly. Everyone needs to calm down.
Quoting: jo3fis
Quoting: einherjarAnd there the typical Internet Drama of these days is seen again (Twitter "outrage" etc.)

Calm down, he has an opinion and it is different from what the most people think about that topic. So what?

My thoughts exactly. Everyone needs to calm down.
I haven't actually noticed anyone foaming at the mouth. You want everyone stoned out on laudanum or what?
wvstolzing 25 Oct
I'm fairly calm re: the streaming; but the following is actual footage of me since hearing about youtube-dl: https://youtu.be/l91g5BmipVE
jo3fis 25 Oct
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: jo3fis
Quoting: einherjarAnd there the typical Internet Drama of these days is seen again (Twitter "outrage" etc.)

Calm down, he has an opinion and it is different from what the most people think about that topic. So what?

My thoughts exactly. Everyone needs to calm down.
I haven't actually noticed anyone foaming at the mouth. You want everyone stoned out on laudanum or what?

Well that would be a welcome improvement for a lot of people 🤣

How can we deploy this on a mass scale?
14 25 Oct
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Quoting: KithopConsidering how many games have lengthy cutscenes (i.e. movies), I'm tempted to say that in some ways, this guy's not wrong. For certain games, the 'stream' is basically just the streamer watching and commenting on these lengthy cutscenes. Probably stuff like the interactive storybook stuff Telltale was known for, or extremely linear RPGs where the main gameplay is a ton of repetitive grinding.
One could argue that the folk watching that type of game streamed instead of buying it wouldn't have purchased it anyway. The game still gets hype, now also by the people that didn't buy it. Overall, the publisher sees more sales.


Last edited by 14 on 25 October 2020 at 3:55 am UTC
14 25 Oct
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Quoting: minfaer
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: minfaerBtw, the article confuses me. It sounds like Hutchinson tweeted this by himself, but then keeps using 'they' as if it was his studio's (or some groups) stance. Which is it?
Hutchinson did tweet directly, not from a studio account. Perhaps you're tripping up on singular they? Don't know, hard to tell, as you didn't point out the parts confusing you. When talking about a person, using "they" is just pretty normal here.

Thanks for claryfing, that was indeed what tripped me up. Non-native speaker here
You were understandably confused. Using the pronoun they for a singular person is a new trend and not what anyone was taught in English.
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