Gamers condemn a Google Stadia Montreal Creative Director for saying streamers should be paying publishers

Following three days of “Good Stuff” announcements, “Stadia” has begun trending on Twitter following a tweet from a Google Stadia Games & Entertainment Creative Director suggesting that streamers should be paying game studios a percentage of their revenue.

From the first time we ever heard of Stadia, Google’s still young game-streaming service, the ability to easily stream your gameplay onto a service like YouTube Gaming or Twitch has been sold as one of the key focuses and advantages. While direct streaming to YouTube hasn’t launched yet, Stadia has slowly ramped up exclusive features for streamers like Crowd Choice, which polls YouTube stream viewers to decide what happens next.

On Twitter this afternoon, Alex Hutchinson — the Montreal Studio Creative Director of Stadia Games and Entertainment, hired as part of Stadia’s acquisition of Typhoon Studios — tweeted about the current state of game streaming. As it stands, many creators fear the possibility of their content being taken down for copyright reasons based on music.

Taking the idea a step further, Hutchinson suggests that streamers should also fear “streaming games they didn’t pay for as well.” The solution he proposes is that streamers should be paying a percentage of their revenues to each game’s publisher.

Almost immediately, this tweet was picked up on by the broader gaming and streaming communities. By and large, the responses were not positive.

Over the course of a few hours, Hutchinson’s handful of tweets altogether received nearly 10,000 retweets on Twitter, which significantly exceeds the combined total of retweets on @GoogleStadia tweets across the entirety of the three-day “Good Stuff” event — currently under 2,000 retweets. The intense discussion on Twitter has caused “Stadia” to become a trending topic in the United States.

Some members of the streaming community like Dr Disrespect and Gothalion were quick to point to Hutchinson’s position as a “Creative Director for Google Stadia.”

Others shared instances of streaming having a positive impact on sales, such as Among Us, a game from 2018 that exploded in popularity, from hundreds of players to hundreds of thousands.

Games journalist Jason Schreier reminded that individual game studio employees would likely not even see a benefit from such a move, as such developers typically do not receive any royalties from their work.

For Google’s part, a spokesperson gave the following statement, distancing the company from Hutchinson’s comments.

The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.

In a similar vein, Hutchinson’s Twitter bio was updated later in the afternoon to include “all opinions my own.”

Additionally, YouTube’s lead over “Gaming, Commerce, & Immersive,” Ryan Wyatt, shared his own thoughts on the more “symbiotic relationship” that publishers and streamers can and should form.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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