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Why Do YouTubers and Access Media Shill for Mediocre Games?: A Theory

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Trans-Financial-Man, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Trans-Financial-Man Learned

    Trans-Financial-Man
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    tl/dr: Publishers are emotionally manipulating shill media.


    I've been thinking about this a while. This may come off as obvious to a lot of you who are more hip and with it when it comes to the Access Media circle jerk but a lot of people have a weird confusion or misunderstand why these people shill for mediocre stuff. Here's my theory.

    I have in my time, worked as a game dev back in 1997. I only worked in it for about a year and a half. If you can call occasionally submitting levels made in DoomEd work whilst we smoked Weed and threw paper clips at each other. It was paid so hey ho. For that time I noticed something, our boss was a young guy with his Mum's milk still wet on his face and he had the bright idea to exploit the basement dwelling Morloks of the World Wide Web. If you know your gaming history you'll know id Software and Apogee both did this on BBS services to demo and market their games, That wasn't a new idea. Here's the new idea.

    There were what we would now call Influencers on a lot of BBS boards. People who kept popping up to talk about various aspects of Doom and Quake and all other games. Usually the people other people actually listened to were those who were good at the multiplayer side of things. My boss came up with the idea that these are the people we should jerk off instead of print media. Make them feel valued and like we the devs are friends to these people. Give them a tour of our closet office, take them out to dinner, pay for trips out on the town. Full wine & dine. The boss pitched this idea to me and the one other employee we had. We thought this was the dumbest load of wank ever. Who the fuck would want to listen to some retard on a forum shouting about our game? No one would be interested.

    So that idea got shut down. Six months later we folded because our stupid boss got caught being a state benefits cheat using a self employment loophole. He was not a boy flush with charisma or good ideas but he was enough of a bastard to cotton on to an idea that the Big Publishing Bastards later came up with themselves.

    Look at the likes of Jason Schrier.





    In his interview with Yongyea he is quick to blame the consumer for every bad decision Big Publishing Bastards make. The comments of the video are flush with people confused at how “deluded” Schrier is. But let me tell you, I completely understand why he thinks the way he does. He has been treated like a friend. He's an influencer. Whilst his influence now is on the wane he has had access to all these friendly, upstanding devs. They show him all their “hard work”, maybe they sometimes give him some juicy gossip about work conditions. He sympathises with them. He's been let into the club. Behind the curtain. He's better than those stupid gamers because he knows things they don't. Those publishers and devs tell him everything and they even help him out by taking him to dinner or hanging out at a bar for drinks. Wow, why do gamers hate these guys? They're so nice.

    This is all intentional by Big Publishing Bastards. They have pulled the wool over Schrier's eyes and given him a social contract. You are much less likely to see the negatives and criticise people you see as friends. In fact, you want your friends to do well. You want to support them. So why not use your influence to help them along and reward that hard work they're doing. The fact that you're helping along a faceless Triple AAA company doesn't register because they are showing Journalists like Schrier a mask. Usually represented through a personable PR rep. An illusion of casual personabilty. They like this. Journalists like being let into the club house where all their friends are. You don't want to get excluded do you? You'd end up like those gamers out there.

    Now imagine all that being done to You Tubers. Sad people who's whole identity revolves around brands and validation. A publisher offers a look at the inside. Now you don't need to just be a fan. You can be an influencer. You get free tat. Paid trips to cons, a direct line to communicate with devs. And the publishers are just so awesome. They tell you how they love your content and it makes all the work they do worthwhile. How about exclusive early access to this thing you were looking forward to. We'll even give you a sponsorship deal. Oh don't worry you can still say what you want, but dude we worked so hard on this game. We're a diverse team of many people and by god we just want to do our best. Why don't we discuss this over drinks in the bar.

    Social contract gets signed again. Influencers have "friends" in game dev. If you slag them off they might be forced to lay some friends off, or not make the sequel to that game you really like. But man it's a tough world and publishers are so grateful to you. You awesome dude here's another free shirt. By the way, this game deserves no less than an 8/10 but hey it's your review.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  2. Valky Cipher Manlet

    Valky
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    Because the publishers pay them for literal advertisements. This is why every shit and mediocre product is shilled by anyone.
     
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  3. Trans-Financial-Man Learned

    Trans-Financial-Man
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    It is not cost effective to pay wholesale for every shill opinion. It does happen but not as often as you think. It is much easier and much less illegal in countries with laws against bribing media to go the wine and dine route or just fill out a convention centre with fans who are so greatful to be noticed for their dedication with an all expenses paid trip to Blizzcon.
     
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  4. HeroMarine Irenaeus

    HeroMarine
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    I was paid $200 by Obsidian to shill for PoE at the Codex back in the day.
     
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  5. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    impossible, youtubers are full of integrity
     
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  6. Trans-Financial-Man Learned

    Trans-Financial-Man
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    From what I've been told, there is an honest to god going rate for bought opinions. It fluctuates and I don't have the exact number, but part of the reason publishers are distancing themselves from traditional media platforms and magazine style websites is that the publishers feel the platforms are asking too much for an 8/10 review and are charging more for advertising space too.
     
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  7. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    This is exactly what happened to Infinitron and why he is so defensive towards Pillars.

    In a (possibly desperate) effort to boost sales prior to Dumpsterfire release, someone from Obsidian emotionally manipulated Codex staff to help them convince people the original Pillars was a "cult" RPG or some horseshit (when in fact it was a mediocrity ridden with bizarre systems). Some sweet words, a few keys. So they found some idiot to re-review the original Pillars review (which was fairly realistic) and publish it as some kind of a "cult RPG retrospective" (a cum-gargling Iliad) with grades through the roof (think 11/10). Hilarious shit. That turd of an article was pinned for like 6 months.

    TLDR you're right, you just forgot to say most shills aren't aware they're being manipulated. Usually they have bad taste and/or low consumer standards which act as a barrier.
     
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  8. Trans-Financial-Man Learned

    Trans-Financial-Man
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    Actually, Infinitron's conduct was one of the things that got my old man almonds activated. I could tell what was going on. I've been mulling over this opinion for a while but never said anything. I knew saying it would cause certain upstanding members of the Kult to get assmad.
     
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  9. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    I was there. You can have my testimony for 1500 brofists.
     
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  10. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    TL;DR but the answer is "the masses like games I think are mediocre."
     
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  11. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    Pieces fall into place. If Obsidian sent me letters and goodies by post, mistaking me for an influencer, I can only imagine how much candy they threw at everyone else.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Neanderthal Arcane

    Neanderthal
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    I'd rather not thanks.
     
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  13. Wyatt_Derp Educated

    Wyatt_Derp
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    Moral relativism sounds like fun and games until you see stuff like this. With media shilling, paid reviews and payoff/bribery wackiness going on, you see the flip side of the 'how is wrong if you never get caught?' coin.

    Paying people to tell me that the handful of cow dung I just ate is actually a delicious cheese enchilada isn't going to make the cow dung burger taste any better. And if you go around lying to enough people long enough, eventually it will get to the point where no one will trust anything you say. This is around the time you start hearing people use terms like 'Karma's a bitch.'
     
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  14. Pika-Cthulhu Arcane

    Pika-Cthulhu
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    Some people have different tastes, some people have different morals, some people have malleable integrity.

    They do it because it works. The marketing (christ, its not enough of a word to describe these people, they are specialists in human psychology and how to get people to buy shit, its what they do, to simply reduce them to 'marketing' removes the potentially horrifying aspect of the profession. They spend gobs of money on research in how to manipulate buying patterns and create trends, they have access to enough data to know what buttons to push for what specific demographic, they arent some schlubb in a suit and ponytailfauxhawk, they are masterful manipulators ready to bend you over the table and beg for an assfucking and have you think you were the one who came up with the idea, ahem) The marketing groups know how best to push product, the most cost effective and time critical ways to get word out, and humans are social animals, enough of them are braindead cattleavid consumers who have been trained into accepting pre-order games, so the marketing people know who to drop a few lines and swag to for maximum return on investment in hype sales.

    Tinfoil hat territory now, as to which influencer is most popular I couldnt say, that would require investigating the hidden algorithms to see if particular voices were being boosted/suppressed by the helpful hand of the marketing/advertising groups, but if you get one you want to help boost them, buying views and clicks to signal boost them shouldnt be too much of an investment for a company with enough resources to dump dosh into a marketing budget, you should be able to help prop them up, even have each workstation log into their stream to help boost their numbers to inflate their status, the shill gets more prominence and the company gets a loyal mouthpiece.

    Old media dying is an entertaining sight to behold, but the new media that replaces it will be even more hideous and contemptible with the latest tween shithead sensation being pumped out then dumped in a months time when they flame out, like the music industry, with less sex but a whole lot of people getting fucked.
     
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  15. Mark Richard Arcane

    Mark Richard
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    I never held any illusions about Youtubers. They're just as susceptible to the scummy side of publisher-influencer relationships, and a dream come true for publishers looking to bypass the decades-old infrastructure of the games press by wielding the influence of charismatic superfans. Still, at least individuals are easier to hold accountable for the stuff they get wrong. The negative feedback, the unsubs, the downvotes, etc. It all lands directly on them. There's a focus to that which seems preferable to the blame being dispersed between a company, and thus no one takes the responsibility.
     
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  16. thesecret1 Educated

    thesecret1
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    It's not just hobnobbing, it's also that if you shit on someone's beloved game, he is going to be really assblasted. Much more than if you praise something he dislikes (besides, it's not like the majority of your viewers will actually play the game you shill to them). Remember the shitstorm when a few Youtubers did NOT like Uncharted 4? They got quickly mobbed into submission. Being critical of shit thus becomes dangerous if your career relies on having enough people suck your ass, especially if the game is from some big publisher that typically has a band of drones ready to deploy due to brand recognition and all that stupid shit. At the end of the day, dispensing deserved criticism just doesn't work as a bussiness model on YT and similar places.


    They usually convince themselves that they aren't doing anything wrong and are just helping companies to shine and inform people about a great new product and other bullshit. Most marketers are some degree of insane.
     
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  17. Tehdagah Arcane

    Tehdagah
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    Journalists don't need to shill for mediocre games since gamers already do it.
     
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  18. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I have almost no correspondence with game developers outside of public posts on this forum.

    The only exception to this is when I used to chat regularly with Brother None from inXile on Steam back around 2012-2015. Was he trying to cultivate me as an "influencer"? Maybe. But we know how that ended.
     
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  19. MajorMace Learned

    MajorMace
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    In case of doubt, blame Infinitron.
     
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  20. Lyric Suite Converting to Islam

    Lyric Suite
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    There's a simpler explanation. If you are in the business of "reporting" about games, and all games are shit, what do you do? If you don't pretend the gaming industry is the same as it has ever been, there's no point for you to exist anymore.
     
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  21. sputtering fart balloon Educated

    sputtering fart balloon
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    Absolutely this, the sad reality is Sturgeon's Law means games are 90% shit but if you spend your entire career saying "Yep, it's shit." people will hate you because they like thing. Look at movie critic Armond White, most of his reviews are negative and people hate him for it. When he ruined Black Panther's 100% RT score people damn near rioted.
     
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  22. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    :what:

    Why did they think that?
    Was it related to you calling Adam Heine a cuck?

    You know, in this particular case it's even worse if those are your actual opinions and honest behavior.
    Better just go with the shill angle, true or not.
     
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  23. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    Yeah, they were like "holy shit, better get that typewriter from the storeroom and start working on that thank you letter to Bester. He exposed TToN for a shit that it is two years before it's even released."

    It's a shame more people don't recognize this.
     
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  24. luj1 You're all shills

    luj1
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    Skillfully hidden
     
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  25. drgames Learned

    drgames
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    One must be really desperate for shilling a game at rpgcodex.
     
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