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What You Need To Know About YouTube Coverage - In 30 Seconds
by Xavier Sythe on 08/11/14 02:44:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Want more details about certain bullet points, like the reasoning behind them?  Ask me on Twitter, @xaviersythe.  All points in this post have been verified as "fairly accurate" by multiple YouTubers with 50K+ subscribers.

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What are some common mistakes developers make when contacting YouTubers?

  • Spamming YouTubers due to high subscriber count

  • Contacting YouTube networks, like Polaris, Machinima, etc.

  • Neglecting to research the YouTuber they are contacting

  • Neglecting to watch the YouTuber's content

  • Granting "exclusives" to certain YouTubers

  • Requiring more than 10 seconds to begin downloading their game

  • Requiring YouTubers to respond to/contact them for a press code

  • Expecting YouTubers to play their game

  • Offering to pay YouTubers to play their game

What do YouTubers have in common with indie devs?

  • They are independent content creators with passionate audiences, opinions, who know what content they want to produce

  • They have very little free time

  • They work extremely hard

  • They love what they do

  • They are concerned about a content platform with too much influence (YouTube/Google and Steam/Valve respectively)

    • They hate people who threaten their livelihood on said platform (Copyright/ContentID trolls and Early Access scams respectively)

  • They love games

  • They want their content to be unique, to easily differentiate from the competition (generalization)

  • They create experiences for their audiences

  • They want to interact with their audiences (generalization)

  • There are genres of games that they play, and genres that they don't play

    • Expecting YouTubers who play FPS games to play your retro RPG is like expecting Blizzard to produce a Japanese dating sim

 When is your game doomed to get little to no coverage?

  • Your game advertises local co-op as "MULTIPLAYER"

  • Common recording software doesn't work with your game

  • Your game is hyper-niche, mediocre, or it resembles a clone

  • Your game doesn't have enough content

  • Your game is the same for every playthrough

  • Your game is just a movie (and not made by Telltale)

  • Your game is an MMO

  • Your game SFX/music volumes can't be changed (Didn't Nuclear Throne suffer from this at one point?)

  • You licensed copyrighted music to use in your game

  • Your game is matched by Youtube's Content ID system

  • Your game doesn't have sufficient settings (different YouTubers with different PCs need to be able to customize settings to record well)

  • Your game's advertising is misleading/deceptive

  • Your game sucks, but not in a humourous or unique way (Yes, Goat Simulator sucks, but in an amusing way)

So, assuming you've followed these instructions, how do you actually contact YouTubers?  Email them, or contact them via their favorite social network -- if you've done your research, you'll know which ones they use the most.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, this is just the first of my series of posts about gaining YouTube coverage for your game!  Follow me on Twitter to get notified of future posts! And please, leave me feedback about this post!  I'm trying to avoid writing large blocks of text, in hopes that more people can read a shorter article.


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Comments


sean lindskog
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Good list.

Ole Helland
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I find most of these points valid and useful. But I'd wager that if you, as an independent game developer, actually manage to make an okay MMO, chances for getting it covered could be quite easy? Now, actually setting out to make one is almost doomed from the beginning, but that doesn't mean that it could get coverage if you get it done.

Also, I feel like "Your game is just a movie" is a bit vague. Are we talking about games with little interactivity, or games that focus heavily on story? Telltale Games had to start somewhere, and don't forget Gone Home.

Otherwise, I think you have some very good points on being precautious to who you contact and what to think about in the game (such as the copyrighted music)!

Marvin Papin
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"(and not made by Telltale)" :)

Kyle Waring
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Keywords: do your research.

Invest the time!

Great advice

Lucas Zanenga
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Right on the mark. Very fast and good read.


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