In what’s rapidly turning into a PR disaster, Wild Games Studio, developers of Day One: Garry’s Incident have used a copyright claim to remove a negative critique of their game from YouTube. Gaming reviewer, TotalBiscuit had tested it earlier this month and made his feelings clear about its all round poor quality. His video quickly became the most watched about Day One, attracting 168,000 views in a couple of weeks. The game, the subject of a failed Kickstarter campaign, hasn’t set the gaming world on fire and it appears that in order to stamp out criticism, Wild Games took the TotalBiscuit review video down, citing copyright issues. The UK gamer believes that the action amounted to censorship of his negative review and uploaded a new video in direct response to the take down by YouTube (see below).
Wild Games Studio defended its decision by stating that “we protected our copyright because Total Biscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license.” The gaming reviewer, who has 1.2 million subscribers, responded that the studio had provided access to the game for review and so using copyrighted material for criticism is protected as Fair Use.
UPDATE: Wild Games are believed to have withdrawn their complaint and the original review has just appeared back online.
The incident raises a number of questions regarding user generated content on YouTube and the actions that publishers and developers are willing and able to take regarding copyright infringements. The current system is really very far from satisfactory for all parties concerned and Wild Games are not the first gaming company to take action against YouTubers. Nintendo doesn’t allow YouTube to post content taken from their games without some monetary reward for them.