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Dear game devs: YouTubers want your Steam codes

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Mike Rose of industry insider site Gamasutra's "How to Get Your Game Covered by YouTubers" presentation at GDC Europe 2014 held many solid takeaways, but it was the follow-up to the first question he received about paying YouTubers for coverage that held some surprising details.

Rose, who surveyed 141 YouTubers for his presentation data, noted that as someone from the written press it's hard for him to admit the sales spikes that come from written gaming articles don't even compare to those caused by top YouTubers. However, he's not out of a job just yet, as the data shows YouTubers with over 5,000 subscribers found the games they decided to cover from video game press sites.



Another interesting element between traditional press and YouTubers is what will motivate them to give a game coverage. The top three elements for the press are: interesting story, Steam code and free download. For YouTubers: Steam code, free download, link to YouTube video.

Rose's presentation took quite an interesting turn when the floor was opened up to questions, with the first being developer Sebastien Borget of Pixowl, developers of The Sandbox, asking about YouTube payola coverage. Rose admitted having a difficult time answering the question, pointing to his recent work on ethics in the space.

"I mean, when it comes to that kind of topic, it's down to you. You have to decide whether its worth it in the end," said Rose, discussing he's aware of a variety of business models for YouTube coverage, including lump sum payments and revenue share models. "There aren't that many of these kind of stories, so maybe that's a telling thing. Having said that, it's coming out more."

Wanting to know more about the origin of Borget's question, we followed up with him after Rose's presentation. He explained that Pixowl has many different marketing channels, including hiring an agency that scouts YouTubers with subscribers between 500,000 and 5 million for coverage. He will be discussing this during a GDC Europe presentation tomorrow.

Borget said about YouTubers, "We generally see an increase in buzz and downloads around the game and it's long-lasting. Once a video review is there on YouTube, it's there for a long time and will keep driving views and it's great for us."
[Image: Sliwinski, Gamasutra]










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