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EA paid YouTube producers to promote Battlefield 4

Producers got $10 per 1,000 views if they talked nice about Battlefield 4.

We’ve seen a lot of Battlefield 4 videos on YouTube from popular video producers, showing gameplay, tips, and more. Now it’s been revealed that EA not only paid some of them to promote Battlefield 4 during launch, but specifically forbid them from taking negatively about the game, such as mentioning any glitches they might find.

According to a contract that was leaked by one of the video producers, EA’s program, called “Ronku”, paid YouTube producers up to $10 per 1,000 views if the videos included Battlefield 4 footage and talked about the new Levolution feature.

However, as mentioned before, the contract specifically states to YouTube producers: “Do no make videos that focuses on glitches in the game”. Which must have been hard when the game launched, because it was full of glitches and bugs.

EA released a statement confirming that they paid YouTube producers to post Battlefield 4 footage and talk favorably about the game. An EA spokesperson added that “The program requires that participants comply with FTC guidelines and identify when content is sponsored”.

The revelation comes just days after it was revealed that Microsoft has paid Machinima YouTube partners to post Xbox One gameplay footage. As with EA, Microsoft specifically said that it was not allowed to say anything bad about the Xbox One.

You can find a screenshot of EA’s Battlefield 4 YouTube contract below:

EA Battlefield 4 contract

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  1. krokro
    January 22nd, 2014 at 9:44 am

    What a surprise, money is everywhere.

  2. 0x1c
    January 22nd, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Shoking news! /sarcasm

    • EDuardo
      January 25th, 2014 at 11:25 am

      It is shocking for me, EA is now so full of shit

  3. Arariel
    January 22nd, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Most of us guessed something like this was going on. I know for a fact now that LevelCap is one of those greedy assholes. Makes me wonder who else from his “group” (XFactor, Matimi0, Jack, etc) are greedy cunts.

    • Random Person
      January 22nd, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      That is a very good question. I’d bet XFactor and Matimi0 were also paid. Not so sure about Jack, but could be a possibility… so sad.

    • camps
      January 22nd, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Are they really greedy?. I don’t know what their personal jobs are, but they’re on youtube to make money. I would probably do the same thing if it means I make more money, you would as well.

      Not a fan of Xfactor though, he seems to act like he’s a god in BF, Matimio I don’t know much besides hearing his names in lvlcap vids

      That’s why when a person makes videos just for a certain game (give or take couple other videos) and gets lots of hits, majority of the time they’re getting extra money

      • Arariel
        January 22nd, 2014 at 5:52 pm

        “you would as well.”

        No I would not. I’d never give positive reviews for something that is garbage. I may like money just as everyone else, but I would never succumb to greed.

        • Mr. Anonymous
          January 23rd, 2014 at 5:38 pm

          “I would never succumb to greed”, said the person who had previously stated, “I may like to make money just like everyone else…”

          Why is it so bad for them to make a little extra money? Is it unfair? If it is unfair, doesn’t that make you jealous? And if you are jealous, doesn’t that make YOU greedy?

          LevelCap makes his videos for money anyways… so how is it that he is only just now becoming a “greedy bastard”?

          • Connor
            February 1st, 2014 at 3:01 am

            Its bad because they mislead us into buying a broken game.

  4. Where there's a lot of Money, there's a lot of Corruption.
    January 22nd, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Speechless, really.

    It reveals how desperate DICE was to promote Battlefield 4 and how cognizant they were of the game’s serious problems.

    I pity the people that signed this contract; they truly did sign away their souls for the proverbial ‘thirty pieces of silver’.

    • Thedefenda1
      January 22nd, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      It was EA that was desperate not dice, dice has just been pushed around.

    • Chron
      January 22nd, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      It’s not DICE that deals with the promotion or marketing – that’s EA’s side of things. EA evidently knew about the issues with the game, but their contract with DICE will state that DICE employees can’t say anything negative about any game published by EA and that anything they personally view as being a problem should be discussed in an upbeat and productive manner, rather than calling it out for what it is and actually making it seem like they’re actually concerned.

      You can blame DICE for the state of the game, but pin the blame for this news on EA. In all honesty you could also probably blame EA for rushing the game to market which is what’s really allowed the issues to remain for so long. They pushed it out months too early just because of Ghosts and the problems have remained. It’s been unfixed for so long that even long-term veterans of the franchise such as myself have given up on it — I actually did the test-range netcode test after the latest patch and alas the issues with hit detection still remain, and we’re still waiting on the explosives fix that’s been hinted at (not to mention the repeatedly delayed Mantle update).

      Blame EA for everything except actual in-game issues.

    • Obvious
      January 22nd, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Not Dice but Ea, they handle marketing and it specifically says EA paid the ytubers not DICE.

      • Where there's a lot of Money, there's a lot of Corruption.
        January 22nd, 2014 at 5:40 pm

        Oh sorry, mixed up the names.

  5. Rich
    January 22nd, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Right when you think AE couldnt sink any Lower you hear something like this. What a bunch of low life pimps. This entire charade is going to hurt them terribly.

  6. Bop
    January 22nd, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    In other news – water is wet.

    Anyone surprised by this revelation must never have heard of paid reviews before. Loads of sites and magazines (not just for gaming are up to it). Most large websites and printed media have lucrative advertising deals that may be in jeopardy if they upset the wrong people etc.

  7. BL
    January 22nd, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Should have put that money towards releasing a less glitchy game to start with.

  8. Gazzagunner
    January 22nd, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    “Which must have been hard when the game launched, because it was full of glitches and bugs.” WAS? Still is! I played a game last night and in the 1 session had 3 separate incidents of the 0% health bug, the bug where you lose free look in a vehicle, the bug that disables the night vision sight (turns it back to a normal 2x sight), as well as the appalling netcode issues. I shot half a clip into a guy just feet away and most of the hits failed to register.
    I want to love this game but it sucks. EA/DICE really screwed up this time.

  9. yavork
    January 22nd, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    If this is just a video-game, makes me wonder about the political games and governments.

    • krokro
      January 24th, 2014 at 2:56 am

      Your profil picture seems appropriate 🙂

    • Connor
      February 1st, 2014 at 3:02 am

      Video games are the largest money making media now.

  10. Not a big deal...
    January 22nd, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Just by doing a search of “BF4 Launch” on youtube and sorting by views it looks like Frankie, Jackfrags, and LevelCapGaming all had videos that match the description of the “Assignment” almost to the letter. I’m sure there are a few others.

    I enjoy each of their channels and I was buying the game regardless of their videos, so it’s really no big deal to me. I’m glad for them if they did get paid. They have great channels and their loyalty to the franchise paid off a bit.

    It does kind of explain the timing of how EVERY streamer/youtuber seemed to come out with a bug/glitch complaint video after the Nov. 29th “Assignment End”. They were obligated to stay positive until that point. When they weren’t, they decided to tell the truth about the issues in the game.

    • Frankie is a Liar
      January 22nd, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Went back and watched one of Frankie’s videos with Battlefield 4 Launch in the title. He is ranting and raving about how great the game is and then goes on to say “I’m not saying this because I’m being paid to promote it”. BS Frankie, you sold your soul to the devil.

      • Manitoba Marmot
        January 28th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        So if someone told you they’d give you $15,000 dollars to endorse a franchise you already care about, you’d honestly say no? You’d have to be crazy to say no.

        • Frankie is a Liar
          February 1st, 2014 at 6:53 am

          I think you are missing the point here. It’s not about endorsing something you care about. It’s blatantly lying to the people that follow them and help them get paid every week. I would refuse to sell my integrity for a few measly dollars, but that is me. I guess other people would be willing to whore themselves out for such a small amount.

    • krokro
      January 24th, 2014 at 2:59 am

      The thing is : They are paid to not being objective.
      Understand : Shut your mouth about the reality and take the money.

      Seems legit for many of us, because we all love money. But this is terrible.

  11. Gaddafi
    January 22nd, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    What a disaster!!

  12. ScreamFace
    January 22nd, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    The really insidious part of this is then when game studios go after people for using in game footage on youtube.

    The way the system is set up, it can be quite hard at times for people to then claim legitimate fair use.

    I don’t know if EA has done this with BF4 but it does go on with developers.

  13. simonj
    January 22nd, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I am a die hard fan of the battlefield series but as of yesterday I have gone back to bf3 because of the terrible problems in BF4.I am 40 years old and have been gaming for a long time and its a passion of mine but this game is absolutely terrible.EA directors who released this garbage should be fired.I will not ever buy their rubbish again.Lets hope that there is a new amazing shooter coming out soon.BF4 was the biggest flop in the history of gaming.Maybe have to go back to bf2BC where i had alot of fun.
    RIP BF4

  14. Ryan Pigula
    January 23rd, 2014 at 5:44 am

    The problem is not the YouTubers getting paid, people need to get off that. They are going to make the content no matter what and they are going to be compensated for it. Obviously the issue is EA telling them to ignore the bugs they encounter. Doing a little research, Frankie made 3 videos that followed the guidelines to a T, and each got 500k. That’s 1.5 million views and at $10 CPM, thats $15,000. Call me greedy but if all I had to do was make 20 minutes of the game highlighting levolution and I could make 15k, I’d do it in a minute. That is a LOT of hush money for something I would have been playing regardless of the bugs and issues.

  15. Cressweed
    January 23rd, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Why is this even a news story? This happens with 90% of products. It’s called Marketing and Advertising. Everybody does this.

    • No Biggie...
      January 23rd, 2014 at 11:37 am

      I think the reason it’s a story is because of the general outrage about the state of the game. Do Youtubers have anything to do with the issue? No. The game has become quite easy to bash because of DICE’s inability to fix the glaring issues in the game, or implement a patch without seemingly causing more issues.

      I can imagine that some people may feel their trust was violated because these Youtubers may not have been upfront about the promotional nature of their videos and being compensated for them. In my opinion, they weren’t doing any harm to anyone.

      BF4central is becoming almost a smear website for the game they’re covering. Granted it may not be their intention, positive news about the game is sparse, but running a “story” like this just seems futile and counter-productive.

  16. Nex
    January 23rd, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Well just about every game and game company does this so it’s not surprising and who cares if they are. It’s not like all the bugs weren’t hard to notice or find out.

    • Legitninja
      January 23rd, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Truly, every industry does this. They want to promote their product they run a BUSINESS, the point of a business is to get MONEY!

      EA is a major company with studios EVERYWHERE, they need MONEY, to support those studios to make GAMES for people to play.

      They also need to pay taxes and bills for all of their companies and studios around the world. They run on money (quite literally)

      This is just how business works people, so shut up, This IS NOT an isolate incident it happens for movies, clothes, TVs etc. every other industry out there does this.

      Honestly the gaming community needs to stop acting like children whenever a company does something that will make them more profitable.

      Regardless, the game is in a semi-playable state right now. So just suck it up and play Battlefield, or go play another game until it’s fixed. No one is forcing you to play the game stop acting like children.

      • Time to Split
        January 24th, 2014 at 5:19 am

        EA loves people like you.

        There is a nasty word in business called deceptive trade practices. You may choose to support companies that use this tactic but I don’t. I understand that a business needs to make money, but they don’t have to use bad business tactics to accomplish that. I choose to support a business that doesn’t try to deceive their customers. You say people are children for not condoning this type of activity, I say you are a fool for supporting it.

  17. DickieGunn
    January 24th, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I don’t understand the rage about this.

    As long as the YouTube posters marked it as EA sponsored, then its on the consumer to realize that the video is going to be bias. It’s basically a commissioned piece of art paid for by EA.

    Obvious, is obvious. It’s time to start paying attention to what’s being put in front of your face.

    Now, if they didn’t clear mark the sponsorship,…well then that’s a different matter entirely!

  18. Manitoba Marmot
    January 28th, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Can you really blame the Youtubers? The way the economy is, if I could get paid +$15,000 just to endorse a video game, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Why? Because money is hard to come by. Don’t hate LevelCap and others, they’re just people trying to earn a dollar. Hate EA for forcing DICE to shove BF4 out the door before it was ready.

  19. Manitoba Marmot
    January 28th, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    By the way fellas, LevelCap is constantly talking about the bugs and glitches in the game, pressuring who ever might be listening to fix the problems. He’s actually a pretty good guy, cut him some slack.

  20. ML
    February 10th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    i think you have to take info from reviews with a pinch of salt
    especially if they are partner Ytubers always try before you buy if they recommend a product no matter what it is

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