YouTube Bans Indie Dev’s Trailer Account As ‘Commercially Deceptive’

Whomever at YouTube banned Crosse Studios’ account might want to reconsider that action. Inexplicably, the entire collection of trailers for the independent sports video game developer was taken out of commission yesterday, on the grounds that the videos violate YouTube’s policy against “scams, spam and commercially deceptive content”.

Well, NLL 11 (above) is an actual video game. Its Xbox Live Marketplace page is here. Crosse Studios has published three other lacrosse games on Xbox Live Indie Games, one of which earned a sports game of the year nod from Kotaku. The lacrosse series games are also among the highest-rated indie games by Xbox Live users.

Perhaps most importantly, NLL 11 is the second video game produced under licence by the National Lacrosse League, which likely has sales and promotional expectations for this product, served by the trailers hosted on YouTube. Crosse Studios had accumulated more than half a million views of its videos.

Carlo Sunseri, Crosse Studios’ chief, has been unable to get any answers on the takedown, other than an officious form email.

The email suggests that someone flagged the content. Crosse Studios has been involved in a scrape with another indie developer, who accused Crosse of encouraging lacrosse fans to create bogus Xbox Live accounts to manipulate the ratings of games on the Indie channel. Sunseri publicly considered taking legal action. As this controversy boiled, Xbox Live altered its ratings policy.

Sunseri told Kotaku that the situation has cooled down since April, but figured that his videos might have been flagged repeatedly as a retaliatory gesture, which YouTube has only now gotten around to addressing.

“It could be possible that someone got mad and started flagging that video,” Sunseri said, “but I can’t think of why anyone would do that. I really don’t think that’s linked.”

Regardless, he’d like to get the account restored. “It’s a killer for someone like me,” he said. “I don’t have that strong of a marketing budget and all the videos I’ve put out are nowhere to be found now.”

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