I often hear video game journalists murmur about how YouTubers are gradually becoming more in line with the video game press with every passing day. After hearing a talk from Ryan "Northernlion" Letourneau at GDC this week, I think we may already be there.
Letourneau, a prominent YouTuber with over 280,000 subscribers and over 100 million views on his videos, was explaining to his audience how exactly you can best go about getting your game covered by the YouTube crowd.
And as Letourneau listed the various angles you should consider attacking, much of his talk echoed back to my own from GDC Europe last year on how to get in contact with the video game press
. It would appear that getting in touch with both YouTubers and the game press is nearly the very same thing in 2014.
When firing an email to YouTubers, for example, Letourneau says that you should always just send a game code in that very first email. "Don't do interest checks," he noted. "Just send the game straight over."
Other email advice: "Be brief. Explain your game's 'value'. Make information convenient." Again, also necessary elements when contacting the game press.
"AAA companies are starting to wise up, and have realized YouTubers aren't going anywhere. That doesn't mean if you're indie you can't compete, but you should know your competition."
And he added that if you haven't heard back after a few days, ping again via email -- they may have just missed the first one. If that fails, trying sending a message via Twitter.
"Don't be afraid to go on Twitter and ping them a couple of times," he notes. "But don't be belligerent or overly aggressive."
Oh, and don't bother with messaging through YouTube -- no-one reads those, says Letourneau.
The YouTuber recommended visiting the "Big List of YouTubers"
and just contacting every single one. "There's 100,000s of people doing this," he noted. "It's not like trying to find a needle in the haystack - it's like trying to find strands of straw that want to talk to you."
And if, after all this, you still get no response, don't feel downhearted about it. Letourneau added that it could simply be that the person isn't interested in your game right now, or that it's too early in development and/or has bugs. Try again later down the line.
Of course, it's easier said that done. Since Valve opened the floodgates on Greenlight, YouTubers have been finding it way harder to cover all the games that appear on Steam -- plus, AAA studios are finally getting in on the act.
"AAA companies are starting to wise up, and have realized YouTubers aren't going anywhere," says Letourneau. "They've really started opening up and sending copies to people who are asking for them."
"That doesn't mean if you're indie you can't compete, but you should know your competition," he adds. "It's easier to get people to play Titanfall
over indie games, as some indie games can be a trickier sell."