Streamers crucify Google Stadia director for saying they should pay devs

Alex Hutchinson/Google

[UPDATE October 22, 2020, 8PM ET]: A Google spokesperson has clarified that Hutchinson’s opinions “do not reflect those of Stadia.”

“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,” they told 9to5google.

Original story follows…

Google Stadia’s Alex Hutchinson said recently that he believes streamers should have to pay a “license” fee to developers and publishers in order to show their games on streams, which has caused quite a bit of backlash from the community.

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In response to what appears to be the numerous DMCA takedowns that Twitch creators have been hit with over the past few days for playing music on their streams, one of the heads behind Google Stadia has taken to Twitter to voice his opinion about broadcasters and their rights to play music and games for their audiences.

Alex Hutchinson, who is the creative director behind Stadia, says that content creators should have to pay for a license in order to show off other people’s content during livestreams, comparing the platform to other types of businesses who have to do the same thing.

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Hutchinson continued that he believes creators of the content – in this case, the developers and the publishers – should be paid every time someone else uses the product for their monetary gain, similar to how artists get paid when people play their music over services like Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

The community response to his take has been quite severe, with most people tending to agree that it would be a step too far to make streamers pay for a license just to play games for their viewers. The tweets even went viral, drawing attention from major internet personalities who poked fun at the ridiculous sentiment.

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While most responded in a humorous way, some got a bit more serious with their criticism, like British YouTuber DanDTM.

It’s easy to see why personalities would react this way. Like DanDTM pointed out, streaming games can, at times, act as free advertisements, especially if that title has a small player count or is in the infant stage of its life.

These types of livestreams can help alert players to a new game that sweeping the market right now, with some people making their purchasing decisions based on what their favorite creator is playing. Of course, that argument could still be applied to music, movies, TV shows, etc., but it’s still an interesting point, nonetheless.

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Given the fact that all of the other aforementioned entertainment products are licensed, it’ll be interesting to see if the same gets eventually applied to games, like Hutchinson seemingly hopes it does. Right now, however, it’s just another hot take.

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