The Bullshit Roundup: EA’s Star Wars Rushing, Nintendo’s Minecraft Mess, FOX’s Content Theft

Time for another slice of bullshit from the big budget games industry, served steaming for your tasty pleasures.

On today’s edition, Electronic Arts admitted to gimping Star Wars Battlefront, Family Guy did a naughty thing, and Nintendo’s overreaching ContentID policy has seen it seize ad revenue it had absolutely no right to.

Oh what fun. What giddy, giddy fun!

01

Star Wars Battlefront Was Undercooked By Design 

Star Wars Battlefront was a promising game severely held back by a lack of content. While its foundation was rock solid, it was missing key features familiar to fans of the series, most notably a narrative campaign.

At the time, Electronic Arts had its excuses for focusing solely on multiplayer gameplay, with Peter Moore saying barely anybody plays single-player campaigns. It was obvious bullshit, not just because it’s blatantly untrue, but because Peter Moore was saying it.

We all knew it was crap, and EA has just recently confirmed it to be true.

Speaking to investors – typically the only people publishers consider worthy of the truth – EA’s Patrick Soderlund confessed to rushing Battlefront in order to launch alongside Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The game’s relative lack of features was a direct result of this expedited development process.

“We made [the choice] due to time and being able to launch the game side-by-side with the movie that came out to get the strongest possible impact,” he said when discussing the game’s missing campaign.

The lack of content had an impact on the game’s critical reception – Battlefront 2015‘s Metacritic score sits lower than any other release in the series – and Soderlund was forced to spin his way out of it.

“I think the team created a really good game based on the premise that we had,” he claimed. “I would say the game has done very well for us and reached a very different demographic than a traditional EA game.

“So from that perspective, it’s a success. Are we happy with the 75 rating? No. Is that something we’re going to cure going forward? Absolutely.”

The best long-term cure, of course, would be for Electronic Arts to stop being a big pile of wank, but I don’t see that miracle happening anytime soon. Instead, we can take solace from the fact EA’s learned a valuable lesson in sacrificing quality and credibility for a quick cash-in.

It’s a lesson EA seems to keep needing a refresher course in, and I hope one day it’ll actually fucking stick.

02

Nintendo’s Copyright Claiming Minecraft Videos

A Super Mario Mashup Pack for the Wii U version of Minecraft has seen a number of YouTubers hit with copyright claims thanks to Nintendo’s disgusting ContentID practices. This is despite assurances from Minecraft port handler 4J Studios that such a situation would not arise.

Minecraft benefitted immensely from YouTube, and has always been a game could content creators could count upon safely uploading without bullshit copyright claims. Nintendo, being Nintendo, has ruined that goodwill by claiming ownership of videos showing off the Mashup Pack – the DLC’s sound effects undoubtedly triggering ContentID’s automated claim bots.

4J Studios, to its credit, is doing what it can to make good on its word, and promises Nintendo will resolve the issue.

Nevertheless, this is a perfect demonstration of Nintendo’s utterly clueless and overreaching behavior when it comes to YouTube. The company’s overly protective measures are akin to an immune system with allergies, flagrantly overstepping its bounds and disrespecting fair use by seizing the ad revenue of videos containing even a tiny fraction of Nintendo game footage.

Nintendo clearly had to know this would happen and did nothing to stop it, resulting in lost revenue from video uploaders who were promised incident-free Minecraft coverage. As far as I’m concerned, the publisher’s ignorance is tantamount to stealing – it’s claimed ownership over a game it literally does not own, and financially fucked with people it has literally no right to fuck with.

That’s theft.

The fact there’s absolutely no penalty for doing so should be thoroughly galling. Situations like this should at least result in limitations on Nintendo’s ContentID privileges, but instead the company will be free to continue pissing all over fair use and running roughshod over Let’s Players, reviewers, and entertainers alike, with no regard for context or existing copyright law.

And of course, ContentID itself is once again shown to be an imbecilic sledgehammer wielded by vulgar thugs.

At the time of publication, this issue appears to remain unresolved.

03

FOX Steals Footage Then Fucks Over The Owner

As if YouTube’s copyright messes weren’t gross enough, we move on from Nintendo and onto FOX. Though the issue has now been sorted out, the media empire’s actions were nothing short of shocking.

This week’s episode of Family Guy used game footage from a 2009 YouTube video, seemingly without permission.

The video in question -uploaded by a user named sw1tched – highlights in a glitch in Double Dribble that allows the player to obtain a three-point goal. There’s a case to be made for Family Guy invoking fair use itself for the clip, but there’s absolutely no excuse for FOX’s next move – issuing a copyright takedown strike against the original.

Yep, after merrily using a video it didn’t own, FOX told YouTube it did own the video and exploited the site’s DMCA-like takedown system to have the 2009 upload removed.

Because of course, that’s a very reasonable thing to do.

Bots have been blamed for the untenable takedown strike, but if that’s the case, FOX needs to have a serious cocking think about how fair it is to put DMCA takedowns – something that has a very real impact on a channel and can actually result in somebody losing their livelihood – in the hands of programs with no sense of nuance, restraint, or legality.

I was always under the impression that takedown strikes needed to be manually filed with some actual human oversight, while it was only ContentID that could be handled by robotic claimants. I guess it was silly of me to assume that YouTube would enforce some level of responsibility among its corporate chums, so I’ll take that on the chin as a learning point.

Sw1tched, for their part, is just happy to have the video back and has remained classy throughout the problem.

“Well, after much confusion and Internet buzz around the web it seems I got my video back without even doing anything,” they said in a comment on the video. “I really appreciate that because all I wanted was my video… nothing more.”

At the time of publication, there are no rules that allow sw1tched to instantly remove this week’s Family Guy from circulation unchallenged, even though that’d only be fair.

James Robert Thompson
Guest
James Robert Thompson

If it was a bot at fault fox would be taking YouTube to court for defamation. That’s not happening so they’re clearly lying. A company doesn’t simply roll over when another company steals money in their name.

PassingAtRandom
Guest
PassingAtRandom

So…”SW Battlefront” was “rushed” to take advantage of Ep VII? really? i couldn’t have noticed, i only pointed it out once and again and again and again and people kept on telling me off…

Sam
Guest
Sam

I honestly think, with how demonstrable it is that automated bots are insufficient to effectively handle such matters, that it should be illegal for copyright action to be taken by an automated system. As you thought the situation was Jim, one should be able to put bots out to hunt down potential infringements, but they should then need to be reviewed by an actual bloody human being before deciding whether or not to make the claim. If only there was some repercussion for filing spurious claims, especially a large amount of them, constantly. Then we’d see these companies give a… Read more »

Sperium3000
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Sperium3000

That Fox thing is disgusting, Jesus F. Christ.

Uzuki
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Uzuki

Are you serious Fox? Or should I say writers of Family Guy. This isn’t the first time they’ve stolen a joke/sketch. Granted a few are pretty obvious of pop culture, but there are times when they straight up copy a youtube video without adding anything except maybe a giggity or pointing out that it’s from youtube. Didn’t they supposedly steal a joke AND a sketch from Doug Walker?

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

Because the laws and enforcement of them are long overdue of updating and improved oversight. But then again Donald Trump is going to be on a Presidential ballot soon, so there is quite a lot fucked up with this country right now.

SilentPony
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SilentPony

I wonder when the YouTube bubble will burst. We all know it will.
Problems will keep building, lawsuits, strikes, abuse, drama, stealing, etc… It’ll burst and basically anyone smaller than…Markiplier won’t be able to monetize their videos. Google will just shut off the faucets and that’s that.

Zanten
Guest
Zanten

Aaaah, Fox and using content without permission… anyone remember that whole debacle with Jonathan Coulton’s cover of Baby Got Back and Glee? I can’t remember what was worse, the fact that their theft of his instrumental version was so blatant is even included the ‘Johnny C’s in trouble’ line, or that the response their lawyers gave was that JoCo should be ‘Thankful for the exposure,’ despite the fact that they in no way credited or even mentioned him, simply listing it as a cover of the original Baby Got Back. =P

kirtanloorii
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kirtanloorii

I honestly considered doing something on youtube, but all this content ID crap has me completely and totally deterred.

ImaLemming
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ImaLemming

Did Jim forget about Microsoft refusing offers for the Fable IP? He was asked about it on Ask.fm and said “there’s no way that won’t make it in.”

A Roast Beef Sandwich
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A Roast Beef Sandwich

Fuck YouTube. Until they fix their fucking shit I will be using AdBlock exclusively

kunuri
Guest

Ninty fans will defend this

Polishfury5000
Guest
Polishfury5000

You’d think EA would have put in maps and assets from Episode 7 if they wanted to release SWBF so close to it. Otherwise, why bother? It’s Star Wars, and Star Wars will always sell regardless of the time of year. Especially a game that’s a long awaited sequel to a series wanted by many.

They were given a license to print money, but only made small bills.

La Chica Incognita
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La Chica Incognita

Sw1tched should issue a takedown notice on Fox for using his content…which isn’t how real life works because normal human beings aren’t allowed the same privileges and power that large faceless corporations that are legally treated like human beings have.

It’s kind of ironic I just watched that episode today and thought “hey they’re referencing old NES games that the overwhelming majority of their audience won’t get at all, that’s actually kind of cool”…then I read this. Fuck you Fox.

RedWolf
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RedWolf

And that’s another reason for me to utterly despise Family Guy and everything it represents.

Leon the Brave
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Leon the Brave

Funny that companies say we steal from them and so want tighter control over everything they own, but THEY are the ones taking content off the Internet without consent.

Hypocrites.

Appretaur
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Appretaur

“Minecraft benefitted immensely from YouTube, and has always
been a game could content creators could count upon safely uploading
without bullshit copyright claims”?

“The video in question -uploaded by a user named sw1tched – highlights in a glitch in Double Dribble”?

Between the extra nonsensical uses of “could” and “in”, and the misspelling of “benefited”, I wonder if we’re seeing Dysterlinga at play. 😉

samuel roy
Guest
samuel roy

In paragraph 18, you used the conjunction “it’s” when you should’ve used the possessive “its”, and in paragraph 15, you had a little mess up on the first line. In paragraph 25, in the first sentence, you used the word “in” in a grammatically incorrect fashion, and in the last paragraph, you failed to capitalize the username “Sw1tched”. But fine work, I absolutely agree with you.

Aria DiMezzo
Guest

By far, the most egregious one is Fox. When I read about it earlier today, I honestly couldn’t believe it. They stole a video from Youtube, used it without permission in a show, and then DMCA’d the video they stole on the grounds that their stealing it superseded the initial guy’s ownership of the video. Wow. The Minecraft/Nintendo shit is stunning, too, but I don’t think it’s quite as egregious as Fox’s bullshit. But it’s all bad. Then again, I argue that *all* intellectual property is bad, as it necessarily supersedes actual property rights. I also argue that the game… Read more »

HoddTodd
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HoddTodd

Aren’t those three big corporations just the nicest, most trustworthy and fair ones out there? (^:

whiskytangofoxtrot
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whiskytangofoxtrot

Fuck Nintendo.

diamond
Guest
diamond

I watched that Family Guy episode and was wondering where that footage came from, don’t think it should be taken out of circulation though. There was another episode of FG that featured a clip from one of the Modern Warfare games(I think it was the second one), I wonder if that was taken from a Youtube video as well?

Imp Emissary
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Imp Emissary

Dang. Guess it shouldn’t surprise me that the biggest bit of bullcrap came from old “Bullshit Mountain”. xp

Well, at least they can’t do this on purpose to steal add revenue (Unless Youtube somehow messed up the changes they said they were making. ;p)

The Reckonist
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The Reckonist

I tweeted you the Fox bullshit very early this morning. Therefore, I request accreditation!

Logan Graham
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Logan Graham

Wow. Nice job Fox.

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