No, friendos, streamers should not be paying games studios for licenses

Popcorn appropriately.

Did you miss the debate last night? The debate over whether we should all be paying game companies extra for the pleasure of streaming their games, I mean.

Yesterday, Alex Hutchinson, a former Ubisoft Montreal developer who currently builds games for Google Stadia, kicked it all off with a steaming hot take. “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,” Hutchinson tweeted. “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.”

The Ratio was strong and swift, as Hutchinson was roundly criticized for being out of touch with the market, with eliding the differences between music and interactive games, and with having the audacity to expect unpaid streamer marketers to pay for the privilege (sound familiar?). And let’s just say that snark for Google and Stadia in particular was spicy. One of my favorite replies came in the comments of Kotaku:

When Hutchinson followed it up by arguing 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,” no less than Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier pointed out that game developers wouldn’t see a dime anyway because of the abusive way the games market is built – that the whole argument was disingenuous.

Incidentally, Google made a statement saying Hutchinson’s take doesn’t “reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.” Which probably makes no difference anyway since you’re not gonna stop using YouTube or Google – or start using Stadia.

Source: Twitter. Cheers, Connor!
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