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Should Streamers Be Paying Video Game Developers?

On Oct 22 this year, Alex Hutchinson, a game director and designer for video games, posted a tweet defending designers and publishers. He said that those who stream on Twitch, YouTube, and other platforms should pay creators in order to stream content.

The tweet from Hutchinson read, “... streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream... buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.”

Streaming on different platforms has grown exponentially in the past few years starting in the 2010s. The early era of live streaming video games kicked off through YouTube and only grew higher from there. In 2015, the platform Twitch started becoming more popular and by 2017, the live streaming service skyrocketed.

Big streamers nowadays such as Ninja and Pokimane; both influential gamers, are two of the many streamers on Twitch that earn a large amount of money from playing video games. On Twitch, these successful people would be known as Twitch Partners. Twitch Partners get many perks including extra emotes, 60 days of past broadcast storage, financial support, and the ability to have subscribers. These perks allow more revenue and followers for the streamers which in turn motivates them to create more content for their fanbase.

While this is a good thing, the argument over having these streamers play video games without paying the game developers still stands. If these streamers are making money off of these games the developers made, they should be able to pay a small percentage of their profits to the developers.

However, there are still many obvious reasons why streamers do not need to pay developers and publishers. There is a clear reason why no one has stopped Twitch and YouTube streamers from going live playing video games. These streamers bring to the table profit for these video games because of their fanbases. When playing these video games, they get people interested in the game they are playing. A large amount of people enjoy these streamed gameplays, whether they are watching widely known streamers or not.

Among Us, a game that was not widely known since this year, was streamed by famous streamers, making the game one of the most popular mobile games today. It is important to make these games accessible for anyone to play or stream. With video game streamers playing these games to their audiences, they make people more interested in what they’re playing. If these streamers are already making people interested in buying these video games, then there should be no reason why they need to stop streaming these games without paying developers and publishers.


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