Streaming Gamers (like me) Aren’t Stealing

Todd goes dark side on Fez.
Todd goes dark side on Fez.

You know, there are times when I wish that I can have my column posted any time I want. Having to wait until every other Friday can be a burden when breaking news and criticism on what I’m about to write about is still fresh, and by the time it comes out it will be pretty much forgotten.

But I’m going to speak about it anyway, because this is an individual I’ve been meaning to show my disdain over for the longest time.

As many of you know, I’m not a huge fan of the indie game scene. I don’t play Minecraft, I never purchased Braid, nor Super Meat Boy, nor have I even looked at the Indie Game sections on any console I owned. And no, if you’re reading the title above, I never even considered looking at Fez.

Why rip on Fez, you may ask? It’s because of the person responsible for not just Fez, but for a lot of negative publicity in the industry, one Phillipe Poisson, aka Phil Fish. I really didn’t know much about this guy until seeing Indie Game: The Movie, an otherwise excellent movie that I recommend everyone should watch. But unlike the “villain” of King of Kong, aka Billy Mitchell, Fish comes off as a much more reprehensible person to watch. Billy Mitchell, you’re off the hook for now.

It was after seeing this movie that I began to wonder how someone could act the way he does, saying how he always hates his life, how he hates the game industry, and wants to kill himself, or going as far as claiming that PCs were just for doing spreadsheets, and telling someone at a conference that Japanese games, flat out “just suck.”

Or most infamously, his public Twitter meltdown. After being criticized by Marcus “AnnoyedGamer” Beer as a “tosspot” and “hipster” among other terms I can’t say here since he wouldn’t comment about Microsoft allowing self publishing on Xbox One, Fish went on the offensive demanding an apology from Beer and to “compare your life to mine and then kill yourself.” Taking the meltdown even further, he abruptly cancelled Fez II, yet claimed it was not “because some boorish *censored* said something stupid, I’m doing it to get out of games…and I’m getting out of games because I choose not to put up with this abuse anymore.” Supposedly that was the last we heard of Fish as his Twitter account was protected afterwards…until last week.

After hearing news that YouTuber Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, earned over $4 million a year just for doing “Let’s Play” videos, Fish went back on the offensive on Twitter. And this is where the you-know-what hits the fan…

Here is what he posted. “YouTubers should have to pay out a large portion of their revenue to the developers from which they steal all their content. (Ad) revenue should be shared with developers. This should be built into YouTube. Anything else is basically piracy. If you generate money from putting my content on your channel, you owe me money. Simple as that. If you buy a movie, are you allowed to stream the entirety of it publicly for people to watch for free? No because that’s illegal. Systems are in place to prevent that. But buy Fez, put ALL of it on YouTube, turn on ads, make money from it and that’s TOTALLY FINE. And the developer should in NO WAY be compensated for their work being freely distributed to the world. Right. Makes sense.”

Needless to say, gamers did not take kindly to what Fish said. I am one of them. I might not be a Let’s Player on YouTube, but I stream on Twitch, and based on what he said, should I have any income from my stream (which I do not have as I stream just for fun,) I should have it taken away and given to him, almost as if a Matched Content ID would be placed on my videos.

But here’s where you’re wrong, Phil. I am streaming content that cannot be controlled by a third party who is watching. That is the huge difference between streaming game content and illegally streaming a movie. If you want to whine and complain about “stealing” your game, Phil, it would make more sense to go after game streaming services such as OnLive or PlayStation Now, as they are being controlled by a third party. But we’ll see if he’ll actually do that or not.

Or then again, he could always team up with Nintendo. After all they too announced a revenue sharing program where Let’s Players on YouTube will only receive “a portion” of any advertising profit compared to what would be received if you streamed on a Microsoft or Sony console. I’m sure if that was the case, Fish would be happy (a rare occurrence) to get some of the money that he claims Let’s Players are “stealing.”

But all for naught. Needless to say after all the criticism he got, Fish replied with a simple tweet. “Nevermind.” And then, his Twitter account was gone. I’m sure it will be back in time for his next meltdown, but in the meantime I will continue to stream games on my Twitch channel whether he likes it or not.

Congrats Phil, you just made my search for this year’s “Dumbass of the Year Award” much easier!

Currently Playing: Watch Dogs (Xbox One)

Waiting For: Halo: The Master Chief Collection

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