Garry’s Incident Dev “Apologizes” for Taking Down Video Review

Dark Matter’s non-ending wasn’t the only scandal hitting the indie games scene in the past few days, as the developer behind Day One: Garry’s Incident hit TotalBiscuit’s review of the game on YouTube with a copyright violation last week.

Wild Games Studio’s CEO said last week the reason for the takedown was that “We protected our copyright because Total Biscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license.” Nevermind that fair use generally protects commentary such as what TotalBiscuit was providing, TB said that Wild Games had given them access to the game via Steam for the purpose of making the video.

Today, Wild Games acknowledged that last fact, and sort of apologized for the kerfuffle. Here is the statement, given to Kotaku:

We sent TotalBiscuit a Steam key on September 26th, giving him permission to evaluate Day One: Garry’s Incident.

Monetizing wasn’t mentioned in our communications and it was an error on our part to not have clarified the issue.

It was for that particular fact that Wild Games Studio had asked the video’s removal.

After the video was made unavailable, we have taken seriously the reaction from the community concerning freedom of expression.

We strongly believe in the freedom of expression of people and medias and have removed our copyright claim.

Wild Games Studio didn’t intend on preventing anyone from using their right to freedom of expression.

For this reason, Wild Games Studio sincerely apologizes to TotalBiscuit and anyone who felt that their freedom of speech was denied.

Essentially, he’s saying that he retroactively forgot to tell TB not to monetize the video. In any case, the video is back up if you want to watch TB say all sorts of mean things about it.

As is often the case, such a controversy came with claims that the developer was self-promoting in the Metacritic user reviews section.

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19 Comments on Garry’s Incident Dev “Apologizes” for Taking Down Video Review

fethski

On October 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Ah, the classic non-apology apology. Nobody ever sees these for what they are. -_- Seriously why bother if you’re going to do this?

quicktooth

On October 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm

A non-apology eh? Well, consider yourselves to have gained another non-sale. I’m still boycotting your product you censoring b@stards.

Sol

On October 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Yeah…I don’t think they’ve seen the numerous videos on the subject.
Its his job to do reviews/first impressions, its how he makes his living. An evaluation is what he does. You gave him permission to do what he does then take it down for doing what he does.
Theres some form of meta irony here which makes my internal organs bleed from stupidity.

Aedelric

On October 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Nothing to do with freedom of speech, just freedom to make money off others.

Total Biscuit could have re-uploaded the video without monetisation applied to it, did he? Sure not because he does not care about reviews, just making money off people.

AxΣtwin

On October 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Damn Aedelric you said exactly what I cam here to say. TB had 2 major points in his response video and “freedom of speech” was not one of them. One was about how video was unfairly taken taken down while others were allowed to continue to make money off their video of the game. The second was how WildGames was (and I quote) “destroying his livelihood”. So basically, the whole point of the video was money.

While I’m on TB’s side here, I do agree it was a move by WildGames. However let’s call a duck a duck, all TB cared about was the money. If we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, thats pretty much all any of the “professional Youtubers” care about. Sure, they’ll throw words like “censorship” and “freedom of speech” but it always comes back to the same issue; “I’m not making money”. As soon as freedom of speech becomes synonymous with monetary gain/profit the Constitution (or another country’s version of it) as we know it will cease to hold any value over the modern free world.

sep

On October 22, 2013 at 12:28 am

@Aedelric

I doubt you’d feel great when your boss refuses to remunerate you on your payday, for the work you’ve done for the last fortnight. I’d punch him in the face for it. TB did the same.

Aedelric

On October 22, 2013 at 1:30 am

Total Biscuit was not paid by Wild Games Studio and as such not Total Biscuits boss, your analogy is plainly incorrect sep.

Some people may see it but Total Biscuits outburst may harm him more than it does Wild games Studio, developers and publishers will look at his actions and be very critical of the whole situation. I know if I owned a game company I would avoid giving him early access strictly on the bases that he is a PR nightmare and not worth the hassle.

If anything TB is his own worst enemy.

quicktooth

On October 22, 2013 at 7:24 am

@Aedelric – Not at all. Why should a professional not wish to get paid? No games journalist would accept their bosses refusing to pay them after giving some specific game a positive review- remember the sh!tstorm a while back at Gamespot. A guy gave a negative review and got fired- a clear case of corruption. We NEED honest journalists; if tb thought the game was rubbish, that matters to a lot of people BECAUSE he seems honest. Wild Games Studio wanted to silence that honest opinion. This is a clear case of an evil company engaging in corrupt practises. While you may personally hate tb for his desire to have a means to support himself, no one else does, nor should they. And remember that Wild Games Studio turned about REAL FAST once people called them out on their lies and their attack on tb. It’s really open and shut- tb was screwed by a company, The Internet Got Angry, the company relented. Good people everywhere win!

quicktooth

On October 22, 2013 at 7:26 am

Lol oops; correcting- “….giving some specific game a *negative* review…”.

Aedelric

On October 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

I never said people should not earn money for reviews, not sure where you got that nonsense Quicktooth.

If Total Biscuit has as much integrity as you wishfully hope, he could easily upload the video without monetisation. He does not because he cares about money more than he does about his fans being informed about games. I agree that we do need honest journalists, but Total Biscuit is most definitely not one of them.

Also, the internet did not get Angry, just Total Biscuit and a bunch of his fans. Several million games could not give a damn about TB and his outburst.

AxΣtwin

On October 22, 2013 at 8:57 am

@ quicktooth – I get what you’re saying. However, in his video, it was the money that TB went on and on and on about. I agree with Aedelric, if TB REALLY cared about his freedom of speech being infringed upon, the money side shouldn’t matter. He wouldn’t have spent 10 minutes of a 12 minute video ranting about how WildGames is trying to “destroy his livelihood”.

The REAL question is, if Wild Games had thoroughly read the initial email, and said “yes, you may post a video of our game, but no, you’re not allowed to receive monetary gain from it”, would TB have still posted the video? My guess is, probably not. If that IS the case, then TB has no merit to his WildGames trying to “censor him” because that would mean it’s only about the money, for both sides involved.

SweetPea

On October 22, 2013 at 10:19 am

@Aedelric and Axetwin

Don’t play the saints here. Just imagine how many doctors and policemen would still go to work if you suddenly stopped paying them. Because, they’re doing what they do to help others, right? Money shouldn’t matter then.

AxΣtwin

On October 22, 2013 at 10:28 am

@ SweetPea – Uh….no, not even close. First of all, please do not try to compare a Doctor or a Police Officer to a youtube video game critic. Secondly, I’m saying that if TB is really upset about the loss of income on ONE VIDEO, then just say so and don’t try to badly cover it up with a false “freedom of speech” indignation. That’s the problem I have with his side of things. He’s trying to play it off like he doesn’t care about the money, and he is seriously outraged because he was “censored”.

aedelric

On October 22, 2013 at 11:06 am

You hit the nail on the head AxΣtwin.

Your analogy is wrong SweetPea, so wrong that I do not even know where to start. The one Sep came up with was just as bad, I am not against using a a good metaphor, but it needs to be correct and mirror how things really work.

Youtube gaming personalities are paid by their various partnerships not publishers/developers or their fans (Apart from merchandise). They use other peoples work to gain notoriety through video reviews and lets plays, the only original content they legitimately own is what they say in the audio track.

An accurate analogy is a man standing outside a bookshop reading paragraphs for the bookshops best seller list while the bookshop owner watches on helpless to stop him. Meanwhile some unrelated people pay the same man to wears various shirts advertising other book stores. You are the crowd outside the store. Total Biscuit is the man outside the store who threw a hissy fit because the police asked him to move on.

I think that works better, convoluted I guess but the situation is not so simple that one can wrap it up in a sort tidy metaphor.

I do agree that money should not matter, but as evident it is. TB will not post the video specifically because to him, money matters the most.

fethski

On October 22, 2013 at 11:44 am

Let’s assume for a moment that what Wild Games is saying is true. Then this whole thing is their fault. Total Biscuit makes his living with this videos and the monetization. If you’re going to send review code to one the more popular youtube reviewers how do you not know this? And knowing this about him how do you not bring the monetization issue before hand?

SweetPea

On October 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

@Axetwin
Yes, this is just one video and TB made a pretty big deal about it. But you know that three of these will get his channel banned, so he can’t just let it slide without a word either.
About the censorship. Even if you’re right and TB only cares about the money, the video got removed because of the negative criticism. That’s censorship. To decide whether this is the reason for his outrage or just the loss of money is another matter.

@Aedelric
It might not have been a good analogy, but you get what I mean. TB wanting to get paid doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about the reviews, only the money (which is what you said in your first post).

Why didn’t he uploaded the video again then? Well, probably because he doesn’t want to lose his youtube channel. As far as I know he got the general copyright violation message from youtube, without a word about monetization. That’s just something one of the developers came up with later, isn’t it?
If monetization really was Wild Games Studio’s problem, then they could have just claimed the income for themselves, as (I think) Sega did not long ago. Instead, they deleted the video altogether because clearly, that was their intention.

quicktooth

On October 23, 2013 at 3:54 am

@aedelric @AxΣtwin –

Sorry if I’m belaboring the point here; feel free to move along if you like; but I have to say I think you’re both missing the point. It is the case that video games are a medium, and it is the case that reviews of video games are a different medium, for a different purpose. Let’s Plays are the same; no interactivity = no game. Commentary and analysis = no game. Total Biscuit is well within his rights to get paid for his reviews, just like anyone else in journalism (the writers of Game Front, for example!). Let’s Plays are a grey area (the minecraft videos among others), but I for one buy almost ALL my games from the advertisement of Let’s Plays. I hope that explains how YouTube can be legitemately used to make money in the sorts of ways Total Biscuit is famous for.

Now to the idea that what he did in reviewing a game is like a person reading extracts from a book in public, for pay. That would be giving the EXACT content of the for-pay entertainment, a blatant crime. But this is not what a review does, nor a let’s play (though those come close). A review tells you wether a thing is worthwhile and why- that the game in question was NOT worth while is obviously a monetary loss for the people who made it; a negative review may cost them sales. But Total Biscuit did not REPRODUCE THEIR GAME and distribute it! He offerred *comment* on it. A Let’s Play is still legal to do as well, as the game is essentially about the activity of playing it; you cannot be playing by just watching it (though of course you will spoil the story).

As with every other case of journalists getting censored by those with vested interests, it is wrong to muzzle journalists. We need news, we don’t need advertising disguised as news (or no news at all). So we need people like Total Biscuit. This should all be obvious. What you think of Total Biscuit himself however is another matter…

… which is basically that you both hate him because his source of income is important to him. He needs to eat too, guys. If he’s legally able to do so because he’s a journalist, good for him. If he can do so with Let’s Plays, good for him (just ask James and Zac and Mitch from Gamefront! Comment on this, guys!). If he cannot, that’s a criminal offense and a good deal more important and dire then not liking him, or wether he is money grubbing. The company in question should have filed formal charges if that’s what was warrented- AND IT WAS NOT which they unilaterally validated by AGREEING that it was Total Biscuit’s free speech and warrented use (under fair use laws and for journalistic purposes) of their game that was violated. He was RIGHT. The game company in question AGREES. Total Biscuit’s style isn’t to my tastes, but love him or hate him he deserves to be able to do his legal job!

“I did not speak out when they came for the Muslims, because I was not a Muslim. I did not speak out when they came for the journalists, because I was not a journalist. Now they have come for me, and there is no one left to speak for me”. Remember that. (Wish I could remember where that quote comes from…)

Aedelric

On October 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

Apologising for verbally attacking at the start of a post, is sure sign that the post should not be read.

I have no idea what the rest of your post was because I did stop right after that first sentence Quicktooth. Though judging by the quantity of text you seem passionate. I doubt it contains any real startling revelation since your last few posts.

I do suggest one thing, learn to let go, not everyone has the same opinions as you. Just because you are on Total Biscuits side does not mean every other opinion is wrong.

;)

quicktooth

On October 24, 2013 at 6:13 am

@Aedelric – Thanks for the advice. I see that rational conversation and mutual interest in meaningful things is not something you want (please note- “belaboring the point” is not a verbal attack- it’s waffling on. Some don’t like that. “Attacks” include saying things like “lol you suck noob”). I will stop trying to talk to you.