Studio Accused Of Blocking YouTube Vid Over Criticism

Studio Accused Of Blocking YouTube Vid Over Criticism

TotalBiscuit, a YouTube gaming critic, is one of the most popular "personalities" on the service. So when he says a game is rubbish, people notice. So when the company behind that game tries to get his criticism taken offline, more people notice.

Over the weekend, he posted a look at a game called Day One: Garry's Incident. Claiming (and supporting with apparent screengrabs) that he'd been sent the game by its developers specifically for review, he called it, among other things, "horrendous".

Shortly afterwards, Wild Games Studio issued a takedown notice to TotalBiscuit forcing the removal of his critique, their CEO "Stephane" posting on the Steam forums that "We protected our copyright because Total Biscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our licence."

Note that other videos of the game - some even containing equally negative commentary - were never removed from YouTube, nor was our own video look at the game. Understandable, since "Stephane" had previously given the company's blessing to people making YouTube videos of their game.

TotalBiscuit later posted on Reddit that his YouTube channel providers will be pursuing the matter legally on Monday, and summed up his side of the story with "Long story short. Dev sends code, code used to make critique, dev dislikes critique, dev abuses system to censor critique."

They might not bother now. We contacted Wild Games for comment, and were told by "Stephane" that, "after seeing all the negative impact today we decided to withdraw our complaint to YouTube."


    will they never learn?

      Will I never learn not to look at 'one article' on that site when I have work to do

        Lucky for me work blocked that site.

    Yeah, I've been following this. Incredibly stupid move from the developer. Before they had a poorly made game that could have blended in with the other bottom 20% of games out there. Now they have a poorly made game and a track record for illegally filing copyright claims to try to censor criticism.

      I'd have to agree this is the worst move the developers could have made. As it stood, they had a mediocre game that was receiving poor reviews all around, and it was most likely experiencing sub-par sales as a result. Now they've also managed to brand themselves as review censoring douches to top it off.

      Sure they may have had lackluster sales now, but there was always the possibility of picking up a few more during the next steam sale, especially if they were able to drop a few patches on it to clean things up in the interim. As it stands though, I'm pretty sure a lot of people who were vaguely interested will steer clear of this title now on principle, even if it does drop in price.

    I know a lot of people don't like TotalBiscuit. but everyone should be watching that video and paying attention. Devs shouldn't be able to get away with this kind of thing.

      agree, most of the people who actually dismiss TB are usually the ignorant who have absolutely no idea who he is. For a few moments this morning, I saw the comment section over on the original US Kotaku page for this article. Not liking this guy because his opinions are polarizing is fine, but damn the inane level of bloodcurdling hate those Americans had was surprising.

        I like what he does, and all he does is share his honest opinion about things.

          I like him too for his brutally honest opinions, but most importantly I accept the fact that there are aspects of him that clearly don't gel with me personally. Such as being very PC elite sometimes when talking about consoles, though he runs a PC centric games criticism YT channel so, understandable.
          Since he bases his opinions with evidence for why he's cynical about things then I'm all for it.

            Oh absolutely, you don't have to agree with someone one-hundred percent to appreciate what they do.

            He does have his 'PC Master Race' persona but can do good console coverage when he wants to as well, he's covered every major bit of news for basically everything gaming related, even if only in passing. he's not as biased as some people might think him to be.

        I find on some issues he's completely off-base, but that's normal and TB himself isn't typically the problem, his rabid fans are. I'm certainly 100% behind his right to produce negative reviews of media he feels deserves it.

          you're right, anyone who is very opinionated normally can't be 100% objectively correct because you know, it's the guy's opinion. He can't know everything so not every damn thing he says is gospel. Sadly some people (aka his rabid fans) can't see when some of TB's opinions don't apply to every situation in gaming. Same goes for Pewdiepie, not super fan of his content but when serious, he's a rather charming and nice fellow. Can't say the same for his colourful fanbase

            Pewdiepie is actually quite tolerable when he's just being normal, I agree. I wish he would do that all the time, I find the character he plays in his videos supremely irritating.

        'the inane level of bloodcurdling hate those Americans had was surprising.'

        That's usually the one thing I'm never surprised by: humanity in general, and with Americans specifically.

          I don't like generalizing races too much since I don't like racial discrimination, but the trend of seeing the comments of people on American videogame sites are a stark contrast to what I usually see here over in Kotaku AU land

    Probably the same kind of people who try to report comment posts they don't like for violations. ie: Tools.

    Not how you handle this, guys. It's the Internet. Try to keep up. If someone criticizes your shit, you either ignore them or prove them wrong. Someone WILL criticize your shit. Hell, even the best games of the year have scathing reviews. I skimmed an article recently (instead of reading because holy shit did they miss the point/have gossamer-thin skin) which actually called Bioshock Infinite one of the worst games ever.

      Downvote for a well thought out post that I don't want to hear! =P

      Last edited 21/10/13 4:48 pm

    Nothing more glorious than TB on his soapbox. Then to add insult to injury he takes an even higher moral high ground by donating all revenue from this video to help stop this kind of nonsense. Well played!

    Serves him right.

    He takes games way too seriously, the company has every right to defend their property from youtubers who make money off their hard work.

    Truth be told, the only other video of TB I had seen was the one where he ranted about used games and used cars being an unfair comparison (not going further as this is not the place and even I know when to hold my tongue).

    But when I saw the video it reminded me an incident early on back when the current generation was starting out.

    If I recall correctly (and my apologies in advance if my memory is more way off than one of the Jackson family), there was quite an uproar over some the antagonistic practices of Eidos, especially around the upcoming Tomb Raider Underworld game.

    It came to light that Eidos tried to bribe some game review sites into giving the game higher scores. True, such practices had been happening for years. What brought attention to the matter though was when the bribing failed Eidos tried to gag review sites via the courts so the reviews would not be released until around a week or two after the game had hit the market.

    I must be getting old now. I remember a million years ago, YouTube was about sharing videos and people listened to critiques and called them a discussion.

    I'm not defending the game or the teams actions, but the problem with this video is that it paints them as intentional bad guys. Villains who set out from day one to assault free speech and try and sell you a lemon. That's probably not the case.
    When you're dealing with indy and extremely low budget development you're going to run into teams that aren't equipped to handle the tasks thrown at them. Sometimes that's the nuts and bolts of actually building the game, others it's marketing and dealing with the public, some just fail miserably at distribution, others it's just running an office with more than one person in it. Usually it's varying degrees of all of the above.
    You will get bad responses like this simply because you're dealing with someone running a business out their spare room.
    They're going to make mistakes. If they make a shit game they're going to try and sell it, not because they want to rip you off but because they're left holding the ball. If this goes down the tubes it's not lay off some faceless workers or offset it with other income, it's go broke and hopefully find work elsewhere. That's no reason to buy their crappy game but it's a good reason to cut them some slack and not hold them up for the entire internet to vent their frustrations upon.

    I do agree with most of this video, but I find it hard to stomach watching a little business get crucified as though it were Microsoft or Nintendo. Yes, they were in the wrong and they started it, and the flaws in this system really need attention, but it feels like an undo level of rage is being focused at them.

      It's sort of a double-standard when one side is held to a particular responsibility but the other isn't and almost never is. It's funny how we have reviewers of film, music and games who tout the advantages of mature discussion yet fling out insults and assumptions all throughout their reviews.

      It doesn't take any special kind of game development experience to understand that trying to wield authority to stifle criticism is going to blow up in your face. This is something I think any moderately perceptive person would have learned from observation alone.

      Honestly, I think the response they're getting is proportional to the mistake they made. This is something that seriously undermines consumer trust and it's not something a casual reversal can repair.

      Last edited 21/10/13 8:19 pm

        Honestly, I think the response they're getting is proportional to the mistake they made. This is something that seriously undermines consumer trust and it's not something a casual reversal can repair.

        One mistake. It's easy to say it's common sense not to do this, it was obviously going to blow up in their faces, but everyone makes mistakes especially under pressure.
        If you were in their shoes, a shitty product launching to poor reviews and your company's future circling the drain, you would probably have a momentary lapse in judgement or two. You may not do something as stupid as this but I'd forgive you for making a dumb and desperate mistake*.
        Their train of thought almost certainly wasn't "haha, fuck consumer trust, lets screw these people and make freedom of speech our bitch". It's more likely that it was "holy crap, this review is going to kill our product... what the hell can we do".

        They're not the people who created this system, they're not the people pushing this system on YouTube users and they're not the big players who routinely abuse the system. Yet they're receiving backlash from a million people who never even knew they existed before this video (a lot of whom are simply outraged because a smart sounding 'celebrity' told them to be). Everything that should be aimed at YouTube and companies that routinely abuse the system is being vented on them.

        I don't disagree with what he's saying, this is ridiculously important stuff, it's just this doesn't seem at all productive. It's mob justice. They'll go out of business, we'll forget about it because the battle against them was won, and nothing will have been resolved. We're pretty much hanging these nobodies because it feels satisfying to see anybody hang for this and the people who deserve it are all untouchable.

        *Forgive in the sense that I wouldn't let you get away with it and I would let you know you screwed up, I'd even make you pay, but I wouldn't hold it against you with this level of rage.

        Last edited 21/10/13 9:54 pm

          Did you watch the video? They were also clearly faking positive reviews on metacritic, as well as other things.

          This is part of a pattern.

          The same reason we put robbers in the gaol for 'deterrence,' this company will be driven to bankruptcy for deterrence.

      Also note that their abuse of the takedown system threatens the reviewer's own business; 3 such strikes and he is out, out of his livelihood.

    They (the developers) have shot themselves in the feet, hands, and numerous other places, and deservedly so.
    All I can say is, suck it up.

    Wait didn't he close down his reddit account?

    Are we protected by the same critique and review laws as in the US?

      Off the top of my head, unless it's politics and government related, no. I'm unsure how it all plays out on the internet though...

      That said, I may entirely be wrong and there may be laws separate from our political free speech.

      Last edited 21/10/13 11:09 pm

      Yes Australia has similar laws, it would come under Fair Dealing which is very similar to the Fair Use rules in the USA.

      It allows the fair use of copyrighted material when doing,
      * Review or criticism
      * Research or study
      * News reporting
      * Judicial proceedings or professional legal advice
      * parody or satire

    Just waiting for Yahtzee (Zero Punctuation) to review this dribble of a game so we can all sit back and laugh at what was.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now