The Daily Grind: Should MMO companies host influencer programs?

    
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Today’s Daily Grind topic comes to us by way of commenter Rndomuser, who thought it would be fun to riff on Ashes of Creation’s new “content creator program” and others like them.

“This program is not really something new and plenty of other game developers have similar programs,” he wrote. “On one side, the content creators will get extra benefits simply by covering the game in their videos even if no one will use their referral links, and this may attract more people in game which is beneficial both for developer and other players who like seeing more players in game. On the other hand, this will definitely influence the content creators to cover the game in more positive way because they will always fear that they will be removed from program if they will criticize the game too much so this program will decrease the amount of criticism towards the game and developers.”

I’ve never been a big fan of these programs, honestly; they solicit free or low-paid marketing work from gamers, and they flood social media with content biased in favor of the company, thereby compromising the creator. I don’t love that they train the companies to treat journalists as influencers either, something that always results in a rude awakening (for them) when we won’t toe their line like an influencer under their thumb might. But as Rndomuser notes, more than one great streamer and artist has managed to pivot an influencer position into something much bigger in the industry, and that’s definitely a good thing.

Should MMO companies host influencer programs? Are they a net positive for the genre?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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