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EA and YouTube producers broke FTC rules with Battlefield 4 promotion

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LevelCapGaming, FrankieOnPC, JackFrags, all took money from EA to say good things about BF4, without any disclosure.

Earlier this week it was revealed that EA paid YouTube producers to say good things about Battlefield 4 when it launched, and to hold off any criticism until November 29th — a month after release.

EA paid out $200,000 to these YouTube producers, many of whom have over a million subscribers. While it’s understandable that the YouTube content makers deserve to earn money for their work, they did no disclose that they were paid to say nice things about Battlefield 4.



After the reveal that EA sponsored these videos, the company released a statement where they specifically said that YouTube producers must follow FTC guidelines and disclose that the content is sponsored. But very few, if any of the big-time YouTube producers did that.

The list of big YouTubers who were part of EA’s campaign counts LevelCapGaming, FrankieOnPC, JackFrags, and many others. With millions of subscribers, they were perfect for EA’s sponsorship — all of them posted videos that meet specifically EA’s criteria (“Battlefield 4 launch” in the title, a link to the EA’s official site in description, and more). All of the videos also include exactly the same bit.ly link as EA specifies in the contract. None of the YouTube producers disclosed that they were paid by EA to do this.

LevelCapGaming, FrankieOnPC, JackFrags, and the rest have thereby broken FTC rules and could face serious fines from the government agency. EA could be in trouble as well.

Interestingly, after EA’s deadline on November 29, all of these YouTube producers started criticizing Battlefield 4 and its numerous problems. Up until then, they never said a word about the glitches, just as EA’s contract said.

Here are a few examples of videos that were sponsored by EA, but never disclosed it:

From FrankieOnPC (only says positive things, despite the game being unplayable at that time. He actually even says “I’m not paid to say this” in one of his videos):

From LevelCapGaming (specifically talks about Levolution, which is what EA was trying to push with the paid sponsorship):

From JackFrags, another popular Battlefield 4 YouTube channel:

Each of these three YouTube channels have posted numerous Battlefield 4 launch videos as part of EA’s campaign, and they have accumulated millions of views (and earned thousands of dollars for their creators). A simple “Battlefield 4 launch” search on YouTube reveals a ton of videos from many content producers that meet all of EA’s guidelines (see below). Yet, none of the videos disclose that they are sponsored by EA.

This is just one of the latest PR disasters for EA, one that could cause a lot of trouble not just to EA, but to YouTube content producers as well.

Here’s EA’s full contract that these channels had to comply with:

EA Battlefield 4 contract

And proof that the videos are using exactly the same link as EA provided (via Reddit):

yt-proof

UPDATE: The FTC has responded to this issue (via Polygon), saying that the FTC offers “guidelines”, and that YouTube producers and EA did not break any laws. However, none of the YouTube producers disclosed that their videos were sponsored by EA.

99 COMMENTS & TRACKBACKS

  1. Endy72
    January 24th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    This is so silly, of course they’re not going to come forward and say “I’m paid to tell you that this game is good”, nor would EA want them to say that, nor is it illegal. But if you’re a fan of all of them and watch their shows regularly, they have all frequently (and proudly) spoken of having earned a working relationship with DICE and EA. Stop witchhunting these people. Whoever is digging up this crap and warping it into some Wall Street conspiracy is not only hurting the probably 3 best representatives of the Battlefield community, but they are also damaging a vital channel of player feedback to DICE. We need these guys to keep BF4 alive.

    • Creaks
      January 24th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Oh look, an astroturfer. GOOD hurt the peice of crap non functional game that only sold to millions of people because they were lied and told it was glitch free. GOOD hurt ea. Maybe we can kill the monster before it completely murders dice, like it murdered bullfrog, or westwood, or origin, or pandemic, or pretty much every single studio its ever aquired… And YES, it is, in fact, illegal.

      • scannerbarkly
        January 24th, 2014 at 3:27 pm

        Well, the FTC said its not illegal, so I kind of have to take their word for it. As for the game being advertised as glitch free, yup, EA and DICE are going to do that. It’s like trying to sell a car, you dont sell it by showing the crash test videos.

        Now, I have my issues with people who had access to the game pre launch at organised events and either never noticed or never mentioned glitches and bugs. I dont have an issue with EA paying people to cover marketable aspects of the game like levolution because those people have an audience.

        • phprof
          January 27th, 2014 at 9:37 am

          I agree with you mostly, Scanner, but one has to remember that they were being told the game version they were playing were pre-alpha and pre-beta builds. They expected at these conventions to have some glitches and problems and had no reason to believe that the bigger problems wouldn’t be cleaned up. Jacked mention on the side in one of his videos that there were some glitches but he expected that to be cleaned up for launch. Not to mention few games launch with no problems. However, I will agree that the number of problems is just unacceptable. I won’t be pre-ordering another game until EA proves they can pull their crap together.

        • Chris Della Chiesa
          January 27th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

          Scanner love u man only honest one out there besides the boys at bfp

      • H@P
        January 25th, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        Oh look, a Battlefield noob. If you think this is the first Battlefield release that isn’t buggy and unbalanced, you haven’t been paying attention since, say, Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 2, Battlefield: Vietnam, Battlefield 2142, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam, Battlefield 3. I can’t wait for Battlefield 5 when we can all be outraged all over again!

        • phprof
          January 27th, 2014 at 9:40 am

          This is funny. Calling ScannerBarkly a noob. Thanks for the laugh.

          • H@P
            January 28th, 2014 at 10:28 pm

            That was a reply to Creaks, not scannerbarkly. Check indent level.

            DICE is notorious for buggy and unbalanced releases. How long did it take to get the fabled 1.5 patch for Battlefield 2? 3+ years?! Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a way of life.

            And anyone that thinks this is something new and unusual has to be a Battlefield noob, or has a long term memory deficiency.

    • Ars
      January 24th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      True but why not come clean, not talking about if they should or not earn money, but the fact they claimed they were not paid, I think as a community and fans of bf4 and all youtubers, we deserve the truth and honesty about a product we are paying for, being lured into buying if they know the product it’s bugy, glitchy and unfinished and say otherwise it’s called false advertisement and it is illegal!

      • scannerbarkly
        January 24th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

        The problem with talking about bugs is that people dismiss it. On my channel I was talking about bugs in the Beta, and those bugs still existing on release day. I was discussing issues with game balance, stability etc VERY early in the games life. My subs know I am not doing that to knock a game, or a dev, simply expressing issues I have.

        However, there is always some large backlash from the community. A perfect example for me is back in BF3, when Armoured Kill launched. One day 1 of the launch i did a video calling the AC130 OP on Rush and underpowered on Conquest. I was derided on Reddit at the time, told to actually play the DLC, it was new, stop being a noob, get good etc etc.

        A month later the community, almost as a whole, is saying the AC130 is OP on Rush. A lot of the time even if you do talk about bugs and glitches early all you get for it is abuse, then when everyone else decides how right you actually were…well, nobody ever comes back and apologises. lol

        Now, from a business ethics standpoint I have the way I operate on YT, and cannot speak as to how others do. I am a small channel though…if I ever get to be a big channel I would like to think I will operate in a manner similar to how I do now. Cover games I want to, talk honestly about them, enjoy gaming.

    • Funknenet
      January 24th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Shut up fanboy. If you review a product you are required to disclose if you have been compensated (with money or free products) by the company you are reviewing.

      • random_dude
        January 24th, 2014 at 3:46 pm

        @Endy72
        What world do you live in where fraud and lies are “of course” normal. Just to be clear, it’s not just ethically wrong, it ACTUALLY IS ILLEGAL. What do you think the Trade Agencies all over the world, such as the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would do all day long if this stuff was legal?

        I hate to say so, because i really was a big fan, but FRANKIEonPC’s case is by far the worst. He just goes completely overboard with his positive BF4 feedback. It would still be well over the top as of today, and back then the game was in a far worse state than now. To make things even worse, he literally says that he is NOT PAID by EA.

        • scannerbarkly
          January 24th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

          You see, this is where stuff gets weird for me. Frankie, with his cloudy history around possibly hacking in DayZ, and repeated instances of mistreating and effectively trying to bully other youtubers…yet getting paid to do a job is the final straw?

          • ssss
            January 25th, 2014 at 8:41 am

            He said countless times that he doesn’t make any money of YT and that it’s just a hobby for him. And yeah, his mindless fan drones actually believe this bullshit.

          • TriggRNC
            February 6th, 2014 at 5:15 am

            Frankie has the worst fanboys around [Frankboys ?] They pass off the hackusations as “It’s OK because he makes entertaining videos” I mean come on, nobody wonders why he never finds good gear in Dayz while hes recording only when he “Takes a break” hes a hypocrite of the highest order. Watch the sickeningly sychophantic Hutch and Frankie talk trolls video. Its hypocritical because he’s trolling legit DayZ players, and his frankboys himself.
            Lets see how his army of fans dismiss this as no great shake. He regularly gets 1m+ views and has basically recommended them all a buggy unfinished product, for cash.

            Screw Frankie, screw him right in the ear

    • SketchyGalore
      January 25th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      I’m not so sure about the other two, but EA paying LevelcapGaming to promote their game? About freakin’ time something like that happened! People seem to think that every YouTube channel in existence has the responsibility to be a review channel. Levelcap is one that has in-depth analysis of various aspects of the game itself; those videos are for people who already play the game who want to know if gun A is better than gun B. There’s no way to make videos like that in a way that doesn’t support the game they’re talking about, even if they say something negative about one aspect of the game. So I’d rather see something like EA forking over money for the free advertising they get through Youtube every single day just by its very existence, than the more common tactic of companies crying copyright violation on everything that people make.
      If this was an article about, say, GameSpot getting a similar contract for something actually published as a “review”, then yes, that’s messed up. As it is though, the only “foul” here is the lack of disclosure, which no one involved has the legal responsibility to do in the same way you don’t open a magazine and see the phrase “We received money for this” at the bottom of every page with an advertisement. I’d be VERY surprised if this didn’t happen all the time without anyone knowing about it.

    • spider
      January 25th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      …and how much were you paid to make that comment? Nothing? But how can we believe you?… See how it all falls down

    • Truth
      January 27th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      No, that is completely wrong. We don’t need these guys to keep BF4 alive, I am not even sure we need to keep BF4 alive either.

      The truth is that all these sellouts should have started their videos with a THREE second intro “this video sponsored through ronku” and they would have been in the clear but nope. They sold out to EA while still trying to appear authentic to the community. Everyone should stop watching their channels, they deserve to go broke and spend time in jail.

  2. Viking2121
    January 24th, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    At the time of these videos, the game was super buggy, I wonder how may times that guy cursed at the game from crashing and the SLI flicker problem on his GTX690, lol. What a great game this is lol.

  3. Ars
    January 24th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I don’t understand why they would not disclose they were being sponsored and paid, I’m ok with the fact, but being lied at and portraying “I’m legit and not paid to say this” kind of sucks, I think they owe the community big time, we are not dumb,I hope they learn a lesson for pulling our leg and thinking they can get away with it, truth bites!

  4. whyareyousodan
    January 24th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Polygon ran an article on this with an actual response from the FTC Essentially it boils down to this: YES the broke the guidelines but NO it is now legally enforceable nor are there any monetary penalties.

    It would probably be best to amend the article to reflect what the FTC themselves had said relating to this exact issue.

    On the actual topic though, yeah it’s all in pretty bad taste regardless of the lack of punishment. One thing to consider though is that these specific youtubers make were almost guaranteed to be overly positive towards the game regardless of a paid promotion. This is the core content of their youtube careers after all, they’ve all since done glitch exposing videos or explanations of mechanics that need to be balanced, all with the perspective that the greater issue (bugs/breaks etc) would be fixed by the people actually responsible for the games creation.

    If I had this much sway in the wider BF community, I wouldn’t want to turn off swathes of people from playing the game because I personally want to play the game with a large community. I would assume that game breaking bugs would be fixed as soon as possible by DICE and that in a few short months it wouldn’t matter. None of us realized DICE would take this long or continue to make things worse with buggy patches. But that’s hindsight for you.

    • whyareyousodan
      January 24th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Damn Dan, could you mess up the formatting of that link anymore? (yes, this is me commenting on my own comment. I can’t see an edit button anywhere).

    • Creaks
      January 24th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Well, of course the guidelines are not legally enforcable, they themselves arent the laws. They are guides for companies to follow so they dont break the law.

      You cant take legal action for the guidelines AND the broken law, that would lead to possible double jeopordy.

      When the guideline is broken an investigation may take place, at which point it is determined whether or not the infraction actually broke the law.

      But no, its not the guidelines that are enforcable, nor has any fines. That would be the actual law… Which they pretty clearly broke. Why do you think you always see that little text at the bottom of commercials that state those natural looking people talking about the product are in fact paid actors?

      • ipvgaming
        January 24th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

        ^ What Creaks said.

        That Polygon article needs to stop being held up as some kind of exculpatory evidence, because it is not.

        It’s misrepresentative quotes mixed with downplay verbiage.

  5. wuyy
    January 24th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    why do u care if they paid some youtube guys saying good things about the game?

    • dontcare
      January 24th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      here is this 1000 dollar PC that does not work properly, i am sorry warranty is off because it has been used

      HAVE A NICE DAY SIR

    • Creaks
      January 24th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Thats not whats happening here. That would just plain be advertising. Whats going on here is very different.

      Some people are upset to find out that what they had been lead to believe were honest opinions, were actually paid for advertisements… Because the fact they were being paid to advertise was not disclosed. This is called stealth or decietful advertising, and is illegal because you cant tell the difference between an honest material and a company advertising.

      Thats bad, but it gets worse, as this steps into the territory of fradulant advertising.

      EA Knew the game was a buggy, glitchy, non functional mess, they told the youtubers such, then told them to hide it, to edit out the game breaking glitches, and make it appear as if the game worked 100% glitch free, and forced them to keep quiet about until after people had already bought the first shipment of games. People were lied to, and tricked into buiying a faulty product, that the company knew was faulty. EA has in fact, already been subjected to legal action over this.

      • Nicholas Argus
        January 25th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

        Look up Peter Popoff. TV Evangelicist. He sells “miracle water” that will cure diseases and magically somehow it will grant you thousands of dollars into your bank account and divinely written checks in the mail appear miraculously through the grace of God! Oh holy religion Jesus yes!

  6. whyareyousodan
    January 24th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    LevelCap seems clean in all of this. Yes he got paid by the promotion, but 4 days after release of the game he posted a video called “BF4 Launch Woes” detailing his terrible experience with server crashes and bad “netcode”. Seems like he wasn’t biased at all by any of this. Got paid, held his integrity and reported on the issues.

    • Arariel
      January 24th, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Doesn’t matter if he put up a video saying the problems. He’s still a greedy bitch who lied to all of his subscribers.

    • Mocire
      January 27th, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Do you remember the video he did when he received a free gaming pc from Origin?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9reBA6R-HeY&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLDDB0338DD4B9EEFD

      • Priyan
        January 28th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

        And your point is? OMG GUYS LVL has a sponsor!

    • TriggRNC
      February 11th, 2014 at 10:28 am

      The main point is he released that video ‘4 days after’ sounds to me like a video he planned to release BEFORE release

  7. Tn0rr1s
    January 24th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    It doesn’t bother me at all that they got paid for endorsing it. What pisses me off is how disingenuous and fake they came across in promoting this half-ass/pushed through the door version of battlefield (especially around a time when the reality of it all was WAY different). Just unsubscribed from the ones listed here and hopefully others will follow.

    • Tn0rr1s
      January 24th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Moral of the story…disclose the f—— endorsement!

  8. kfj
    January 24th, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Frankie doesn’t get money from youtube, so a bit inaccurate

    • scannerbarkly
      January 24th, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      What makes you say that?

    • Miau Frito
      January 24th, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      He most certainly does, what makes you think he doesn’t?

    • Anonymous
      January 25th, 2014 at 6:14 am

      He does, he stated several times that he has a job outside of youtube though.

    • ssss
      January 25th, 2014 at 6:49 am

      You’re a perfect example of a brainwashed Frankie fanboy.

    • kfj
      January 25th, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      In one of his videos he explained the only ads are for his partner to pay licensing fees, thats why ads are quite rare in his videos

    • Sn00b
      January 26th, 2014 at 4:13 am

      He is a partner at Machinima. YouTubes biggest scamming gaming network together with TGN.
      On the stats he should earn about €7.1K – €85.4K (ESTIMATED MONTHLY EARNINGS)
      All made possible by born with a silly voice and rent a hax

      • MathTeacher
        January 27th, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        Your math is so wrong that is shameful. You sure you dont work for the FED or the USA Treasury? What i find amazing is how everyone is jealous of what they earn, yet love the FREE entertainment that youtube grants them!

        Dont like the FREE entertainment, Dont watch it!

  9. matt
    January 24th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I’m shocked but people there trying to make a living off what they do plus there still awesome youtubers so I personally say long as they don’t get in deep trouble there fine. Give them all a chance.

  10. Lokhff
    January 24th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    It. Bugs me cos we where to to believe these where their honest thoughts on the game… When I decide on a game I want to buy I look at reviews on YouTube instead of review sites such as Ign etc cos of the whole money thing….

  11. Chron
    January 24th, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I’ve been following both Jack and Frankie from the start primarily because not only did I like their BF3 videos, but also the other content they cover.

    I knew in the back of my mind that they were being paid for it (it’s a common industry practice — not to mention saying “I’m not being paid to say this” instantly makes me go “Like hell you’re not!”) and I’m disappointed that they have broken the rules, but in the end I didn’t really expect them not to have been paid for it.

    I don’t watch those guys to be sold on a game. I’d decided the moment there were hints of an announcement that I was going to be buying BF4 – having played the series since BF2, it was pretty much a given I’d be in for this. Levolution wasn’t a big selling point for me, I’m more interested in the feel of the weapons and the maps than I am with gimmicks.

    Unfortunately, we all bought into the hype. I blame EA for the farce overall, but these broadcasters have to take some of the blame too – even though it didn’t affect me, I’m sure there’s quite a number who purchased based on the strength of the points made in the videos.

  12. Scott
    January 24th, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I find this isn’t really a big deal, many big channels are paid ”hush money” or are paid to endorce the game. Now some 45 year old virgins find out and start crying that they have been betrayed. If you brought this game solely because of these youtubers recommendations, you’re an idiot. And to be honest, the people crying about feeling betrayed would probably accept that 200k of cash, nearly all of us would, its human nature.

    • juzey
      January 24th, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      jep! ^
      |

    • Anonymous
      January 25th, 2014 at 6:22 am

      Another well said statement! It’s good to know some one else looks on this sensibly.

    • Jack
      January 25th, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Church yo

  13. stevo
    January 24th, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    This is very simple: it’s wrong to pretend you’re giving an unbiased opinion of a game when you’re actually on the payroll of the firm making it. I’ve unsubscribed from all of them.

    • Anonymous
      January 25th, 2014 at 6:28 am

      You think they’ll care? No they will not. One subscriber unsubscribing them will not make any difference. Just posting that on here makes you look childish because no one else does either. No doubt you’ll go back to watching them sooner or later.

    • Oz Man
      January 28th, 2014 at 4:59 am

      Then I’m sorry but you are being a gullible fool. This article asserts a great many things but it provides no evidence to back up those assertions. Watch the three videos that the Youtubers submitted to these assignments and see if they are even offering opinions in them. Also, and just as importantly, look at the other videos that they released at the same time and see if they are critical of the game. This article states that JackFrags and LevelCap were paid to “say good things about Battlefield 4 when it launched, and to hold off any criticism until November 29th”. A five minute search of JackFrags’ and LevelCap’s YouTube channels shows that they both put out videos before this date that specifically highlighted bugs and issues. I’m sorry, but the article grossly misrepresents the terms of the Ronku assignment and you are doing yourself a disservice if you blindly believe it.

  14. Philip
    January 25th, 2014 at 4:23 am

    I might also add, that even if EA hadn’t paid them, they would mostly be talking positive about the game anyway.

    Why?

    Because a large (for some, at least) part of their income comes straight from YouTube, and Battlefield. If no one plays Battlefield, no one wants to watch Battlefield. Of course they’re gonna talk nice about it.

    Besides, their views would drop if they kept whining and bitching about the game – no one wants to hear that. Just look at this site! It got criticized the second it started semi-regularly posting negative things about BF4.

    • PC2K
      January 25th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Philip, thats probably true, but the issue here is that these specific videos were built to meet the requirements EA set in order for them to be financially rewarded. That makes it a paid advertisement. Had they said the exact same things without intentionally inserting things to meet EAs requirements, then fair enough.
      What we got in the end was videos pushing an EA agenda, which denied these ‘independent producers’ the ability to be independent and report the truth, just the positives, because these ‘producers’ favored financial gains over providing the service their viewers expected and were led to believe they were getting – honest reporting. At the end of the day, what was released was no more than an EA trailer, we all know a game or film trailer emphasises everything good about it to sell itself, but people view ‘independently’ made videos as just that, independent, not paid for advertisements, which is what this has become.

      Whether its in the name of entertainment or meaningful reporting, if its financially motivated at the request of the beneficiary (EA) then not disclaiming it is dishonest, and illegal. Your using your time and audience to sell your services and someone elses message, not your own full and honest opinion, your advertising and expecting to be paid for it.

  15. Anonymous
    January 25th, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Well said.

  16. Jocious
    January 25th, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Why does this bother everyone? Yes they got paid to talk positively about a product, that’s marketing 101. And LevelCap and others have a right to benefit from their YouTube channels popularity, it’s like professional athletes endorsing McDonalds, terrible food but they tell people to eat it.

    • Priyan
      January 28th, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      They weren’t paid to talk positively on BF 4. They were paid to make videos that highlighted a games features. They could still make whatever they wanted to.

  17. Daryn
    January 25th, 2014 at 10:52 am

    This is a solid lesson on how to lose all credibility. Regardless of whether or not this is illegal, all of them will lose subscribers. I won’t even bother watching their videos because of this alone. It proves that they are not trustworthy when it comes to providing an accurate account of a game’s positive AND negative aspects. Fortunately for me, I have enough foresight to never buy anything solely based on what some person on YouTube says. That would just be asinine. I love Battlefield but I’ve been avoiding this game like the plague because all I hear is that it’s buggy. The fact that EA is whoring it out doesn’t help either.

    I remember the days when EA was good. Now they’re just marketing assholes that don’t have any passion about the quality of the content they peddle.

    • Oz Man
      January 28th, 2014 at 4:50 am

      OK, let’s use JackFrags as an example. In which of the three videos that he submitted to this Ronku assignment do you think he deliberately altered his comments to meet the stated requirements of the assignment?

      Let me guess, you don’t know which videos he submitted, nor have you watched them and yet you are willing to just assume that he has done so. FYI, Jack put out a video that demonstrated one of the most significant, game-breaking bugs in BF4 and the DICE developers fixed the bug because of his video. And before you ask, yes he released this video before the Nov 29 date that this article talks about.

      So many people are ignorant of the facts and yet they are willing to make baseless, inaccurate and defamatory comments. Such a shame.

  18. Mman007
    January 25th, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Who f—ing cares? I mean honestly it’s not like they broke the law or anything. JK welcome to the real world bud, false advertisement is ILLEGAL! There is a lot of $ up for grabs now because EA, DICE, and these Youtubers all broke the law and there are consequences for it. But who f—ing cares? Its not like we, the gaming community, who are directly affected by this shiz are going to get compensated by EA and DICE, YES DICE who allowed the game to go out half-baked, for their ILLEGAL market practice. NO! We get to sit back idle while all these rich 1% stock holders get to rake in the cash over this f–kup! Do you think they will give us just compensation for this shiz? Nope! And I have absolutely no problem watching these Youtubers go down the crapper. They broke the law and again, there are consequences. But enough ranting I am only telling everyone who ACTUALLY CARES what they already f—ing know! Have a nice day sir!

  19. Sam
    January 25th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Now I must say that I pre ordered Bf4 way before I saw their reviews on the game. However, I know how bad people who bought the game based on JF, Frankie, and LVL reviews feel. I bought MOH for 604 because JF said its a good game….. I think they were paid to promote MOH as well

  20. ScreamFace
    January 25th, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    This will definitely hurt EA in the law suits against them misleading investors.

    Also this is misleading and deceptive conduct which would breach many countries consumer laws.

  21. firestarter111
    January 26th, 2014 at 12:07 am

    I can remeber when frankieonpcin1080p was telling that MOH warfighter ist the best fps he was playing in a long time. On release day. OK.

  22. Truth
    January 26th, 2014 at 5:55 am

    LOOK AT LEVELCAP levolution video at the end of his description there is SPONSORED BY EA ROURK. oh my god this is a fact a proof, go see it for yourself Thank you levelcap

  23. you_go_we_go
    January 26th, 2014 at 6:32 am

    I think the problem, especially with the people defending the behavior, is not just the money. It’s about integrity.

  24. Creaks
    January 26th, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Wow the Astroturfers came out in force on this one.

  25. Advanced3
    January 26th, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Get used to it kids, this is what money does to people.

  26. squalloser
    January 26th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    funny how the threads mentioning this are getting locked.

  27. bobby
    January 27th, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Ummm Frankie has said a lot of bad things about bf4…

  28. Jimmy
    January 27th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    This is so silly .

  29. Michael
    January 27th, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Nerds, go outside and eat a dumb-bell.

  30. Rawker
    January 28th, 2014 at 12:34 am

    There’s always two sides to the story:

    Jackfrags responds:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=311tmt063hw

    • Bernard
      February 3rd, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Did you watch his video? He said that the only thing that he regrets is not having full disclosure. So basically he doesn’t care about the part in the contract that says “do not make a video that focuses on lag and glitches in the game”. Sure he mentions it in his previous videos but he does not focus on it at all. It is the same as a car salesman telling you that the car that you are buying has some small problems but in reality the transmission needs to be replaced. Sure what he said was true but he purposely omitted key details that we should have known up front. He was not lying but he was misleading.

  31. Kai Uwe
    January 28th, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Well, i am pretty sure the author of this article is sponsored by Activision…. or isn’t he? Or is he a she? Who knows? But some of the facts are just wrong, nothing illegal happend, thats for sure :).

    From my point of view, every single YouTuber you are accusing, posted a lot of criticism about the game. Did you guys even watched the videos? I really think the average internet user just loves the witchhunting game.

  32. SomeGuySayingStuff
    January 28th, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Okay, so a lot of you guys actually believe this stuff stated above. the person who wrote this gave HIS opinion and lots of people actually saw and thought it was the thruth. But WHY DONT YOU GUYS GIVE THESE YOUTUBERS A CHANCE TO EXPLAIN???
    watch this video from jacksfrags
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=311tmt063hw
    in this video he explains what has been going on and there were no bad intentions. and ask yourselves this question: if you could earn some extra money out of this, wouldn’t you do it? Some of you might say yes but i don’t think that would actually be the case.

  33. NAME
    January 28th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Well now that it is all cleared up that nothing was illegal and no one was getting payed to say good stuff about bf4 i bet all you that criticized them feel pretty stupid:)

  34. Creaks
    January 28th, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Ah, and Ive been censored. Judging by the ‘edit’ referring to the bogus pr story that was actually proven erroneous before it was published with our very first responses, and the oh so timely closing tactics from the astro turfers, this story has been controlled by ea. Not surprised looking at the name of the site. 1.8 Billion dollars goes a long way. Too bad EA uses it for this kind of ‘marketing’ instead of putting it towards quality releases. I havent bought an EA game in over 2 decades. Since the studio murders began. Sooner or later people are going to stop buying broken games EA. It wont last forever.

    And for those of you who keep buying EA no matter what they do. The death of DICE and battlefield is on your hands. EA will kill it, just like they killed Origin and Ultima, WestWood and command and conquer, Bullfrog, Pandemic, Maxis, Criterion, bioware, And most recently, Dead Space. And you helped them.

  35. Endy72
    February 3rd, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Wow I bet all you witchhunting bandwagoners feel real wise now. Morons. Do you have any idea how many videos these guys have put out deliberating their frustrations with this game? They share our negative experience and openly discuss it. This CRAZY DEAL consisted of the HEINOUS crimes of putting some words in a title and a link in the description. They didn’t have to say anything they didn’t want to, nor did they.

    This article is misleading, false, and should be taken down. Whoever wrote it should be ashamed, not only for misleading a great community, but for intentionally and ignorantly attempting to hurt these people’s careers.

    Go ahead and delete this comment, moderators. Soak up whatever residual spite you can incite in the ignorant.

  36. Bernard
    February 3rd, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I do agree with this article. I mean FRANKIE’s video is rediculous. However, Levelcap made a video called BF4: Tweaks and Balances-Wanted and Needed. It was released on Nov.13 and he goes over a lot of the problems. However, the only problems that he goes over are the balancing of the vehicles and not the major issues such as netcode issues. I am just throwing that out there. Obviously, it is kinda hard to make a ruling on a specific channel.

  37. Andreas
    February 3rd, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Whoever posted this article needs to get a life.

    • TriggRNC
      February 6th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Awww did someone expose your hero ?

  38. Unanymous
    February 3rd, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    To everyone that’s defending these youtubers and/or calling it “witch-hunt”:

    There is one aspect you cannot argue against. Hiding the fact that you are being paid may not be ILLEGAL. But it IS unethical by most standards. The least they could have done is announce after the deadline “Hey guys, I didn’t tell you I was being paid so I can get money from EA. I’m sorry but I needed the money. But now that the deadline is over, I will fully disclose.”

    And in Frankie’s case, he didn’t just hide the fact. HE LIED!

    So WTF do you people not get? I love their videos too. But get some perspective on things people!

    • Bernard
      February 4th, 2014 at 8:06 am

      I agree that I think that Frankie lied but I have a hard time believeing that about lvlcap. It is not because I am not a fanboy of his. I actually find his voice annoying even though he does have some good information in them. I do not think that he took part in it because he has a video released on Nov. 2 called BF4 Launch Woes: Netcode Must Change. He goes into great depth saying how bad the netcode is and how much lag people get etc. That is why I do not believe that he took part in it.

  39. Legitninja
    February 4th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Technically there was no contract signed, so they weren’t “paid” to MAKE the videos, they were paid for submitting launch videos about the game. They could have talked about the bugs and glitches but it couldn’t have been the main focus of the video.

    They had to follow guidelines for the Ronku assignment. Which wasn’t forced on them. They weren’t paid to say anything nice about the game. The video was technically only supposed to be about levolution. But, some youtubers wanted tot alk about the game as well.

    Whenever something like this happens people are up in arms because they think that people sell out when they don’t. They just want to make a little extra money from their videos. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    No, it didn’t break the law because there was no contract and EA didn’t say they couldn’t say anything about the Ronku assignment

    • CUZFRANKIESEZSOINNIT
      February 6th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      And you know this how ? Seems like someones paraphrasing his internet idols new video

  40. TriggRNC
    February 6th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Frankie seems to have the same affliction my ex girlfriend had. She would say random things that begin with “But im not doing it because…” which means 99% of the time she was doing it because.

    Its a tick many people have and you dont need a Richard Hawkins brain to spot it either [see frankies debug monitor shenanigans]

    • TriggRNC
      February 6th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Stephen Hawkings, Stephen frickin Hawkins

  41. TriggRNC
    February 7th, 2014 at 1:41 am

    So Jackfrags makes a video and suddenly its case closed ? I’ve just seen a comment on that video that makes a lot of sense, I’ll quote it


    Someone makes a 30 minute “Look I’m innocent video” and spends time looking through agreements and old videos and it begs the question why ? Maybe the lady doth protesteth a little TOO much.

    One more point, were the videos where you say ‘bad things’ about the game uploaded to Ronco or telstar or whatever that crappy site is ? ? I believe that is an important question to ask. If they weren’t then what you said is pretty much irrelevant”

    All I will say in their defence is that when there is two opposite views usually the truth is somewhere betwitx the two

  42. Damion
    February 10th, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I already assumed EA was paying them to help push the BF4 agenda. I don’t fault them for this nor do I fault them for pushing a faulty game. I do fault the editor of this article for being a prick.

  43. Thadeus Thomas
    February 11th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    well let me say that I am a huge fan of bf… I love the game but as much as I do, I expect a certain quality at the time of purchase. I mean we’re talking money here. Honestly, bf4 looked like crap when “we” ( the gamers) first played it.. The game was incomplete and therefore, not ready to be sold..
    On another level, If these youtubers get paid or not for making these videos, thats their business.. What would you do?? If the game was as good as they said it was in their videos, then all would have been well right? right?

  44. James
    February 20th, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Face it, the game is crap. EA was voted worst company for a reason folks. They are! EA has destroyed all that was good with BF. BFBC2 was awesome. BF3 had lots of issues. BF4 is the straw that broke the camels back for me. It’s now February 2014 and the game is still a mess. Sorry, I love BF, but this is my last purchase of an EA game, ever.

  45. Jon
    April 20th, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Pretty late in here, was just trying to find out why Jackfrags and Frankie had seemed to have a fall out, then got reading the comments.
    TBH I dont care what they’ve done. If they’ve broken a law then they should be fined fair enough. But I watch the youtube channels for entertainment values not as a review. I’ve had all the BF titles since 1942 and also downloaded mods to keep them fresh for LAN nights. The only thing that I have bought based on a review or recommendation is a new monitor that can do 144hz and I am happy I did. I understand if you have gone out and spend your hard earned on a game that wasnt ready at release that you’d be mad, but come on, look at all the other sources that are telling you it’s a broken game and needs patching, it says it on the EA, Origin and Battlelog support forums that the rumours are true. I dont get how you can be mad at someone for simply leaving out the bad points when those bad points are all over the internet with huge numbers of people registering their issues. I suppose its feeling like you cant trust them and that they got $200k for it? Again I don’t really see their channels as useful for reviews. If they broke a law they will be punished and finally would you have not done the same for that kind of money for a 20 minute youtube video?

  46. Miau Frito
    January 24th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    “Low paid” is definitely not the description of someone who has a youtube account with hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers, and uploads videos as frequently as they do

  47. Jaggie
    January 24th, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Do you know how much they make? Or are you just assuming its high? Because as far as I know, they aren’t allowed to disclose the salary they get from being a Youtube partner.

  48. Philip
    January 25th, 2014 at 4:15 am

    A YouTube’er makes anything from $0.5 – $2.5 (can be higher, but extremely rare) per 1000 views.

    Let’s say $2 then.
    Now, obviously some of the huge players are doing well. LevelCap, for instance, gets over 7 million views per month, meaning at least 7k, but probably closer to 10-15k a month.
    But someone smaller, say, matimi0, only makes between 2.5k-5k a month. Keep in mind, he uploads a video once a day – that’s usually around 5 hours work time or so. So around 35 hours a week, for 2.5k-5k a month “salary”. At most 31 dollars per hour, at minimum around 15 dollars per hour.
    That is, of course, after 2 years “on the job”.

    Yes, some YouTubers make tons of money. But most don’t. You spend a LOT of time on it, and many don’t make that much money.

  49. Jaggie
    January 24th, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    I’m not trying to be rude or condescending, I’m genuinely curious as to how you know. I’m thinking of getting into YT video production and would love to see some of the potential monetary gain.

  50. misko
    January 26th, 2014 at 4:21 am

    $0.5 – $2.5 (can be higher, but extremely rare)

    LOLwut? Must be part of Machinima or TGN.
    Ohh look at me. I’m partnered with Machinima. I’m so cool now.
    Not caring that other networks you can get paid 5 times better, but he bro. I’m with Machinima. That what it is all about, right?
    Well, let me insure you that if you want to join Machinima or TGN. DONT!
    They are 10000% scammers! In for the money. Care less and pay less.

  51. Sorry about that
    January 28th, 2014 at 6:50 am

    little bit too much swearing :/ sorry

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