Phil Fish Says YouTubers Are Stealing From Game Developers

"YouTubers commit 'piracy' by not sharing ad revenue says Fez dev."

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ah Phil Fish... Your constant need for attention eventhough you claim to hate it.

5 Stages of Grief:
1. Denial and Isolation X
2. Anger X
3. Bargaining X
4. Depression X
5. Acceptance ...?

XiNarutoUzumaki1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

He's still in the last stage. He can't accept the fact that he sucks.

Mr Pumblechook1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

Phil Fish wrote "If you buy a movie, are you then allowed to stream the entirety of it publicly for people to watch for free? No, because that's illegal."

You know when I first heard that Nintendo wanted a cut of Let's Play videos I thought they were greedy crooks. But hearing Fish's argument it has got me thinking that it's a valid point. The difference with a movie is that it is a passive media where watching it on YouTube reveals the whole content. Whereas with a game it is interactive and a video of it does not provide the user with its full functionality.

But this debate is interesting and does give an insight 2 years into the future. If enough publishers complain Let's play video makers might all have to give a cut to publishers.

johndoe112111588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

@Mr Pumblechook

I think that those youtubers are actually doing more good for the developers than bad. guys like fishy boy there are short sighted and don't see the whole picture.

I can't tell you how many times I've purchased a game from watching a youtube video. A lot of times these videos let us know if we'll like a game or not.

Let's look at an example. Let's say that youtube videos didn't exist and battlefield 4 was my first venture into the battlefield franchise. After that horrid first experience there wouldn't be a chance in hell I would ever purchase that game again. When battlefield 5 comes out I would pass that like a bull on steroids.

Now because of let's plays I could go and look at a couple of videos and see if 5 suffered from the same issues as 4 and if it doesn't, seeing the good gameplay I would probably go get it.

Youtube has done wonders in making cod what it is today hence why activision actually encourages youtubers to play it. People like fish are going to kill the gaming community with their greed and stupidity. Make a good game and people will buy it, that's how devs should make their money.

In fact, If they want to get technical, they should probably be paying youtubers to play those games because essentially what youtubers are doing is called "advertising".

thorstein1588d ago

Johndoe is onto something here. Playing a video game and watching someone play it are two different things. Am I supposed to pay the publisher of Dance Dance Revolution because I watched my kids play it at the arcade?

So, posting the game and getting hits does two things: 1) Exposure (sometimes viral) getting your game the hype your overpriced ad agency could never do.
2) allows players to really get a feel for your game. If it is as excellent as you claim, then people will want to buy!

SpringHeeledJack1588d ago

If someone has bought the game then they are not stealing a thing and have contributed already. Not many even make money anyway, a handful out of millions of uploaders.

lilmetal1588d ago

The thing is, most of the people watching these videos are there for the personality, and couldn't give two Fish about what game is being played.

Dee_911588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

@Mr Pumblechook
First off, just because its illegal doesn't mean its wrong. Its illegal because of a greedy film industry.Second, and a video game and a movie are 2 different things..

But in reply to the topic.. WHAT A CROCK OF HORSES#IT.YOU don't tell advertisers to pay YOU for advertising YOUR stuff you douche..Lol I don't even know who is this guy is and I already hate him.Spewing greed propaganda needs to stay in the film industry and politics.You got your damn money when we bought the game the game.. THATS your ad- revenue share

AndrewLB1588d ago

Dmarc- I think I saw that guy rooting through a dumpster behind a friends apartment the other day. He kept talking to people that weren't actually there. We commonly refer people who do that as "dealing with the committee". (those of you in the business world would understand)

DARK WITNESS1587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

He is living up to his name - being a fish!

if anything the dev's/publishers should be paying youtubers. it's the youtubers sharing their gameplay videos that are advertising the game to other games.

If I stream a session of me playing Titanfall and talk about how awesome the game is and show off all the little tricks and how to own at the game and someone watches it and thinks it's cool, well they are more likely to go and buy it or if they have got it and they learn how to own at the game they are more likely to tell their friends to go and get it. who is really benefiting from me playing the game...

The youtubers are basically acting as affiliate for the devs' If you understand how they get paid, they are basically getting commission for promoting your product and your benefit is that the traffic coming to your product are buying it.

I do affiliate marketing myself. It's like me promoting a product on Amazon, amazon paying me a commission for a sale... and then amazon charging me for the privilege of being able to promote their product. How the F"^%£"^k does that make any sense?

Zerotino1587d ago


As much as I hate to agree with Phil, I kinda see his point. Some games I watch people play and yes 'I want to play this, I'm gonna get this'.

But I remember watching someone play through 'L.A. Noire' and thought the same thing, went to go buy it and started thinking 'Hold on, I know the story, I know who done it, there's nothing new I'm getting from this.' I chose not to get it.

Now thats not to say Phil is right, no he's totally wrong, but the point is still there.

Visiblemarc1587d ago

Yeah, I saw Indie Game The Movie after the hype surrounding his insanity. I thought "surprising this guy put together such an awesome game, he seems to not have his stuff together in general."

Then I actually played Fez...

Imo, most overrated game I've played. Ok the art style is nice, and there's a zen-like simplicity to the core gameplay, but man imo, it tries way too hard to be some clever complex game.

I urge no one here to disagree with me unless you collected 100% without consulting internet guides. To me the game doesn't stand alone. Like. "Why can't I collect a bunch of the stuff?" Internet: "halfway through the game you're going to get some otherwise inscrutable code key that requires you to transcribe a bunch of symbols." Me "Oh I get it, this game is half-baked."

VealParmHero1587d ago

This is easy for me to say since Indies are not something that interest me for the most part, but this guy does suck and needs to go away. Just an arrogant hipster with a childish need for attention.

I'd imagine conversation with him goes something like this:

XiSasukeUchiha1587d ago


Should I put him in Izanami really quick?

dredgewalker1587d ago

Movies and videogames are very different types of entertainment. A game is meant to be played so watching it on youtube does not constitute to piracy. These youtubers are giving the devs free advertising and sometimes even a seal of approval if the game is really good.

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Timesplitter141588d ago

I can't believe he's back with this sort of attitude after what happened to him

Gh05t1588d ago

Really? This sounds exactly like what I would have expected him to do. Right up his alley.

killbillvolume121588d ago

To me it sounds like he has ass burgers.

frostypants1587d ago

He's got nothing more to offer as a developer and nobody likes him, but he wants to be considered relevant. I could see it.

dillydadally1587d ago

Seriously. I've given him the benefit of the doubt in the past, but this language is just too damaging to the game industry to excuse.

Youtube videos are free publicity Phil. Watching them makes people buy your game. It's a synergistic benefit to both the video maker and the game developer, so why is he trying to fight it? He just can't stand that someone else is making money.

Anyone that decides he has experienced a video game enough by watching it instead of playing it would never have bought it in the first place. Honestly, the smartest thing to do is try to get as many people making Youtube videos as possible of your games and watch as they sell like hotcakes.

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fenome1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

I know right. It's actually more like they are giving your game free publicity by showing it off to people. Free marketing for the win.

We can watch people stream games anywhere, the people who actually earn money by doing it are already established in their own right and have a fanbase that follows them specifically because of their online personality or whatever their 'niche' is.

It's not just because they played your one game that one time or anything like that, plus they are taking absolutely no revenue away from your game. Hell, they gave you revenue by buying in the first place.

This dude is such a drama queen, it's annoying. Never bought any of his games, never will. I'm not supporting him and his negative attitude.

Do it because you enjoy it or GTFO.

shivvy241588d ago

Ive bought alot of games from watching YouTube videos, I was 15 when uncharted 2 came out, I watched a vid and my balls dropped. Same goes with infamous, assassins creed, motorstorm and more

rainslacker1588d ago

What's even funnier is that let's play helps indie games such as the one he made. If a big youtuber decided to do one of those, it's means quite a lot of exposure, which any indie developer will tell you is the number one hardest thing to get. Having the bad luck of having the number one game pick on iTunes during one week where iTunes decide to do it's own special thing not showing the top game picks means death to some developers.

I really don't know why this guy is even bothering to talk anymore. He decided to quite game development, and it's not like he has a huge portfolio under his belt. Some times people feel they're much more important than they really are.

Ever notice how those that have been doing this for a long time tend to be more reasonable and not talk down to their consumer base so much?

Timesplitter141588d ago

hmmm... that's a pretty insightful video

fenome1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

I'm an asshole too though, everyone can be, just don't dish it out if you can't take it. It is what it is. I stand by what I say unless I stand corrected and then I'll man up to that as well. Nobody's always right and everyone is entitled to their own opinion no matter what.

The point is that he sounds like he's taking it out on the community (his fanbase) when he comes out like this. He should actually be blasting Youtube and other sites that have these systems in place, not the little guys that are actually playing his game. People that post the vids only make a tiny fraction of the ad revenue that the actual sites make on the same exact videos. There're bigger Fish to fry.

I mean c'mon, what's next bashing a game review site for talking about your game and getting ad revenue?

Nobody's happy with a slice of the pie anymore, they want the whole damn bakery.

morganfell1588d ago

Actually he is now in the regret stage - evidenced by his deleting his twitter account. I bet he wishes he had never opened that bottle of mezcal and then jumped on the internet.

AndrewLB1588d ago

Ugh... last time I got into the Mezcal, it involved Tijuana, police, and them driving me to an ATM to bribe them for my freedom. I hate that pi$$ hole of a country.

Darkstares1588d ago

He should integrate with the community more instead of being so abrasive all the time thinking everyone just pirates everything. YouTube and Twitch can be great channels for getting much needed advertising for indie games.

He's gotten himself caught up thinking he can police everything. His passion should remain on making games, not getting frustrated on things out of your control. Otherwise you just become some depressed dude who looks like they haven't showered in a week talking out loud to yourself.

fenome1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

That's exactly it, instead of blaming the comunity (his fanbase), he should be standing against the systems in place that allow this to happen. When he comes out like this he just sounds bitter, resentful, and money-grubbing.

rainslacker1588d ago

That's exactly what Nintendo did, and I guess they came to some sort of accommodation with the Lets Players. I'm not sure how well it went over, as I don't really follow that scene, but at least they did something more productive that may ultimately work out for everyone involved.

timemuffin1588d ago

Phil Fish is totes right. Say whatever you want about the "personalities" being the reason to watch these youtubers but if they weren't recording the work of someone else you would have no idea who ANY of them are. They are all the worst and are NEVER funny.

SoulSercher6201587d ago


That's not what Phil was talking about at all.

Heisenburger1588d ago

Replace acceptance with attention. ;)

SilentNegotiator1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

Aaaaand there goes my last shred of sympathy for him.

I'm sympathetic that he has had to single handedly deal with mountains worth of internet hate, but once you get greedy and anti-consumer, I just can't be bothered to deal with defending you, because you certainly don't care about the group I'm a part of (consumers).

randomass1711588d ago

To be fair, if I was in his position, I'm not sure I would care about gamers either. Not even like I agree with him, but from his perspective I don't think his outlook on gamers is very positive.

SlyFoxC1588d ago

god you just took me back through my Emergency Medical Responder class...

thank you for that trip!

ITPython1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

Ads... what ads? I use NoScript + ABP, I never see ads on YT (or anywhere on the net for that matter). Heck, nowadays I just download the video using something like Flashgot/DTA and bypass watching it on YT altogether (I get the highest quality video regardless of my net speed, no buffering and I can re-watch any part of the video on-demand instantly without having to worry about re-downloading or any of that).

Oh and those that upload gameplay vids and whatnot, it is essentially free advertising. Whatever ad revenue the ones uploading the video get is completely legitimate because they are actually advertisers for the game.

LonDonE1587d ago

FISH has a face which just makes you feel like you want to punch him and knock him out then when he's down stamp on his face!!! the guy annoys the hell out of me! i still remember the conference of him and his buddies making a poor fellow Japanese gamer feel like shit for asking a question! they proper ganged up on him and treated him like shit!

And so when i saw fish had quit like a winging cry baby i was happy! the guy is a douche bag and we could do with less of his type in this industry we all so love.
Seriously the guy sounds and even looks like a spoiled brat 12 year old throwing a tantrum.
He should learn to STFU!!!!! nobody cares about his opinion, why he craves the spot light so much is beyond me! PEOPLE STOP GIVING THIS LOSER ATTENTION!!

Their are allot more kind respectable talented developers who deserve the attention of the gaming media and players!!!

mmcglasson1587d ago

I see his face and I just want to punch it. Honestly... As many others have said, YouTube is a great way of providing free advertisement for many games. In fact maybe big companies should start advertising their games like this on YouTube. Have a developer make a video of himself playing the game, showing it off, and then upload it to YouTube. You are now advertising your product to millions of people, for free!

windblowsagain1587d ago

Some of Those are valid reasons.

Making money from showing video's of a game is still using copyrighted material.

The only difference i can see is that Movies are made to be watched and games are meant to be played.

3-4-51587d ago

* So person A takes time out of their life to create a product.

* Person B, thinks it's ok to make money off of somebody else's idea, without having to compensate the creator ?

So people WANT to screw people over?

Why wouldn't you just want to be a nice human being and show your thanks and pay a small % for THEM TO ALLOW YOU to USE THEIR CONTENT.

* Person A did all the work.

* Person B wants to show everybody that work, but then, make money off of it, even though it's now their work.


Gh05t1587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

You assume person B is doing ZERO work. You are saying all these people that arrive to their site only do so because of only the developers work.

Not to mention it is exponentially generated. Lets just say FEZ generated person B 100,000 views. Those views aren't all because the title. They are because the followers who have been there for a while continue to come back. Do you really think that Fez deserves more revenue because it had 100,000 views but GTA4 which was showed years ago only got 1000 views because person B was just starting?

The amount generated is not a correlation of the title viewed but rather the result of MANY developers work but most importantly it is a result of person B and the work they put into the videos.

Also if Person B generated game sales for person A does person A pay person B?

Lets also not forget person A did get paid for a copy of the game. Only one person is PLAYING it and others in order to PLAY have to buy a copy themselves.

MetaReapre1587d ago

In the words of totalbiscuit, "of all the people to start this debate..."

Seriously, he's the worst kind of person... But on the topic, you can't compare movies to video games and vice versa, they are way to different. Also I could agree if the let's players were doing a game heavily bases on its story, an example would be a final fantasy game, as it would be the reason you play the game, fez... Is not one of those kinds of games...

assdan1587d ago

Yeah, I really don't like this guy at all? I don't think I'd get any game made by this guy just to protest him. I don't care how good any of the crap he made is. Also, does this guy realize that "youtubers" are generating free ad revenue for them. The final decision to buy several games that I currently own was because I watched gameplay on youtube. So tired of this guy, and I just wish he'd stop talking.

Bobby Kotex1587d ago

Didn't this guy quit game dev? The attention whoring is strong with this one.

geddesmond1587d ago

Is this guy serious, the reason many people watch youtubers videos is for their sometimes funny or outraged commentary. It's also free advertisement for the games. Theres a reason why so many people have thousands of followers while others have only a few even though they are showning the same game and its nothing to do with the game. Its to do with that persons attitude. The amount of games I bought over the years after seeing someone on youtube play it and thought that looked funny.

I don't go to these revenue based review sites for game opinions. I go to the real gamers who give their honest opinion. WTF is Fez anyway.

DefenderOfDoom21587d ago

Everybody goes thru rough times in their life./ For everybody reading this article/ I think that PHIL PHISH is just playing mind games with people on the internet! Really should check out some YOUTUBE videos, featuring the famous comedian ANDY KAUFMAN ! They also did a movie about ANDY KAUFMAN with JIM CAREY called MAN ON THE MOON. PHIL PHISH is a big fan of ANDY KAUFMAN. I think if PHIL PHISH makes another great game for us to play , then who really cares about what he says! I think he is just trying to imitate ANDY KAUFMAN, except he is a well known video game developer , and not a well known comedian. One last thing. I think this "youtube gameplay debate" is the best debate on N4G in the last 4 years . I know a lot a people here at N4G who do gameplay videos on YOUTUBE are affected by YOUTUBE/GOOGLE policies . And i think we are long way from a solution. Hopefully they will figure out a way to make everybody happy!

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 1587d ago
SilentNegotiator1588d ago

Come on now...just because you dislike the developer, doesn't mean that you can rewrite history.

KinjoTakemura1587d ago

Metacritic 89 based on 66 reviews.

Metacritic user review 6.3 based on 330 user reviews.

66 vs 330... I'd have to say that FEZ sucks.

BlindMango1587d ago


Even though the developer of Fez can be a bit annoying, the game is very fantastic, almost genius in how it works - especially the more you play it. And placing the infamous "Metacritic user reviews" over professional reviews is not very smart, because most people know that Metacritic reviews are run by fanboy bias and in this case, people who dislike the developer drama.

nidhogg1588d ago

Oh come on. Fez was awesome.

SouthClaw1587d ago

Hmmm so developers cannot beat retailers for selling pre-owned games so they start on people making videos. Once again does any other industry moan and want more money? No it is bull. You have a higher price point than movies and still want more. You sell content as an addon which could have been part of the game and still you want more. Pathetic.

BrianG1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

If you want ad revenue how about making a YouTube channel and creating entertaining content.

You act as if these YouTubers are not putting in some type of work. It's a day job for the ones being paid enough to live off of it.

BTW Phil, movies are entertaining for their VIEWING experience, video games are entertaining for their INTERACTIVE experience. You'd still buy Fez if you wanted to enjoy it, shoot, I bet you got more sales because of these so called Pirates that open you're game up to their viewers.

You're in the industry for the wrong reasons Phil.

SpiralTear1588d ago

The problem is that some people AREN'T putting effort into their videos. They're monetizing content without any editing, commentary or post-production.

I'm all for supporting people like JonTron or The Completionist, because they actually make game videos and don't just record the game with a silent facecam in the corner. They deserve a cut of the revenue because they put EFFORT into their videos.

But there are people who will simply record gameplay, submit it to Youtube, and claim that they own everything in it. I can't say that they deserve much reward with that little effort.

Tetsujin1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

The whole argument about YouTube and people making money off video game footage is an argument I'm not getting involved with. My static is Phil whining on the internet AGAIN about something that he could have easily avoided by just keeping his mouth shut. Phil is part the reason why a lot of game developers aren't being seen seriously. I lost all respect for Phil when he let a journalist decide his fate of the game industry; and what makes it worse is there's other devs with WORSE reputation yet still actively involved with the video game scene.

When I enter the gaming industry the LAST thing I'm gonna do is whine like a punk and "quit" the industry because someone has a different opinion about my games/projects. There's this thing called opinions, and if someone doesn't like your games, so what. For every one fan that doesn't like your games, there's 2+ that do.

I also wanted to add if it wasn't for YouTube there's a lot of games I wouldn't have played, or even tried (I'm referring to the ones that don't have a demo). I know Phil had a whole different argument however I wanted to throw that in there just in case.

randomass1711588d ago

Fish's leave had nothing to do with anyone's opinions. It had to do with receiving tons of hate online, being publicly ousted by Marcus Beer and being socially inept to deal with these situations. If I were in his shoes I'd have bailed too.

rainslacker1588d ago

" For every one fan that doesn't like your games, there's 2+ that do."

The ratio is much bigger than that. People are very vocal and very negative on the internet. Haters gonna hate and all that. Fez was very well received, but Phil decided to focus on the negative.

Much of the hate directed at Phil was because he fed the trolls. He went negative, and ended up saying a lot of stupid things that offended those that actually enjoyed his work. In the end his own ego was his undoing, because he couldn't just accept that he couldn't please everyone, and that he shouldn't bother focusing on those that he couldn't please.

There are developers out there that get this kind of hate on a daily basis, yet they don't react to it individually, and only address concerns that creep into their fan base.

garrettbobbyferguson1588d ago

They're putting in effort, but they're still using someone else's copyrighted material, their intellectual property to make money.

BrianG1588d ago

If it were a problem or illegal everyone would be complaining about it.

Phil Fish is just money hungry. He isn't doing the commentary, so why should a "Large" portion, or any portion for that matter of the ad revenue go to him?

It's free exposure. Obviously not enough for Phil's taste though.

soandsoz1588d ago (Edited 1588d ago )

"They're putting in effort, but they're still using someone else's copyrighted material, their intellectual property to make money."

I fail to see how that is any different than someone creating a 'how-to-play-this-song' ; video for guitar, piano, drums etc. Let alone, some 'Joe' reviewing movies or music, or creating tutorials on how to use a given piece of software.

It leaves the consumer feeling like the developer is way too greedy if you ask me. It's difficult to defend his words/actions IMO

richierich1588d ago

I thought Phil Fish got washed up

SpiralTear1588d ago

He did, but he came back on Twitter just so he could say this stuff, then removed his profile again.

fenome1588d ago

He washed up, but I guess he hasn't beached himself yet..

Sy_Wolf1588d ago

Why won't he just go away? He has to be somewhere on the autism scale...