Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Rampant Games’ Official Stance on “Let’s Play” Videos

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 13, 2013

I thought I’d done something official about this already, but if I did, consider this a reiteration of my stance on Let’s Play videos:

I love ’em. Please go ahead and make a Let’s Play video of Frayed Knights – or my ancient game Void War, if you really want to… Just make sure appropriate copyright and IP notices are given, and provide a link to this website so that people can actually find and purchase the game. And of course you cannot redistribute the game itself. The game is mine.

I’m totally fine with you making a “Let’s Play” video that goes into depth showing the game… Even if you monetize it. Awesome for you! Enjoy! Profit! Have fun!

From a ruthless capitalist perspective, I believe it is a win / win. I get free advertising, and hopefully gain more customers through the publicity of your LP video than I might lose because they’ve now “seen the whole game.” I don’t have a problem with other people making money (legally) with my game… I do it all the time through affiliate sales, anyway. I love it!

From a philosophical perspective, I feel like games are meant to be enjoyed. I think there’s a certain level at which you, a creator, have to be willing to share. Where do you draw the line between a magazine or website that reviews your game (and makes money from visitors) and one that goes through an extensive Let’s Play (and makes money from visitors)? For me, personally, I can’t draw the line. Maybe others can, but I cannot. I can only wish more people were willing to make such an effort. And I think the companies that are hijacking revenue streams on LP videos… well, while technically it may be within their rights as IP owners, it just seems to be a jerk move. I don’t want to be that jerk.

So have at it. I just hope I can create more games worthy of Let’s Play videos. Have fun.

Filed Under: Rampant Games - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Maklak said,

    I agree, but I’m trying to see why big companies would hate let’s plays. I think part of the problem is that games are often so linear that you might as well watch a let’s play to get your enjoyment out of them.

    Then some of those claims are pretty absurd. Some videos were banned because they contain a game intro which has some copyrighted music playing through the radio. Or a mod has some copyrighted soundtrack. Short of disabling sound or skipping some scenes or maybe even just ranting on front of the monitor without showing any actual footage, these can’t be helped.

    Plus youtube profited from those copyrighted videos, so if let’s players are guilty, youtube should be as well.

  • OttoMoBiehl said,

    I think the whole YouTube fiasco is interesting. I think Google’s Content ID bot is being played as I’ve heard a lot of the copyright claims are from people/groups/etc. who don’t even own the IP. I think there is going to be some big name YouTubers leaving YouTube over this fiasco. I know Mark from Classic Game Room (a channel I really enjoy) is leaving.

    I like your stance on this Jay and it’s one of the many reasons why I like to support you and buy your games. (I haven’t bought void wars as it’s not really my thing) And I’m looking forward to buying FK 2!

  • N.A. Jones said,

    “From a philosophical perspective, I feel like games are meant to be enjoyed.” This is an important point and I think on some level, games are best when that enjoyment is shared.

    Whether it’s board games, tabletop role-play games, or participating in a message board about games, it seems fundamental (with a few exceptions) that games are a social medium, even when they are a single player experience.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I just heard that CDBaby is using ContentID to shut down videos *FROM THEIR CLIENTS*, the actual musicians and copyright holders. That is just screwed up.

  • Maklak said,

    I know there are some other sites where you can upload videos. Is there a suitable replacement for youtube? Granted, they may get eventually sued and closed for not implementing content id and there may be no browser plugins to skip their advertisments, plus the amount of servers required means it would have to be done by a big for-profit company, but a controversy like this is surely a chance for other sites.

  • kevin0xf said,

    They don’t seem to realize that there are more good games than any one person can play now. I have bought a lot of games that I either didn’t know about or was not excited about until I watched a let’s play. I also have bought games I would not have otherwise, because I needed to know the story, and I was not about to buy 5 games to catch-up for the one I was interested in playing. Sure, I probably could have read it in a wiki somewhere, but actually seeing the game play and improvements of the previous versions lead to a purchase of the new one.

    Of course the companies choosing to lose business is not a big deal, someone else will get my money. The real shame is the damage it causes to innocent people such as the Hugo awards livestream being pulled last year due to copyright infringement. Neil Gaiman got a Hugo for his episode of Doctor Who, and the copyright bots flagged them for showing a clip before Gaiman’s acceptance speech.


  • kevin0xf said,

    On a side note, what is the difference between a “Let’s Play” and Twitch, which all the big publishers seem to be embracing?