Creating video commentary about playing video games, commonly known as “Let’s Play,” has become a lucrative online trend.
Making money from the videos relies on many factors, including views. A typical exchange rate of 1,300 YouTube views nets a Let’s Player about $3.
The most popular Let’s Player, PewDiePie, has more than 35 million subscribers and makes an estimated $4 million a year from his YouTube channel.
Developers have taken notice of the trend’s impact on the video game industry, and have split into two camps.
The first camp encourages people to make videos about their games, because they see it as free publicity.
The Playstation 4 even has a “share” button on the controller, to allow people without recording equipment to make video commentaries.
The other camp is not happy about gamers making money by talking over their games.
Nintendo, unfortunately, adopted strict policies. The company even filed suit to seize profits from Let’s Players, claiming the money belonged to Nintendo.
The company has recently attempted to make deals with Let’s Players, but negotiations are slow.
Even without monetized profit, some argue that potential players will refuse to purchase the game after watching a Let’s Play because they’ve vicariously seen what the game has to offer.
I personally have purchased several games I never would have otherwise, had it not been for online videos showing me how entertaining the game could be.
I’ve been making my own Let’s Play videos with a co-host for a year, and have no doubt that the process is a positive experience for everyone involved.
Look at Minecraft, which got popular because of people making videos about it. It’s now one of the biggest games since Super Mario.
Let’s Players get paid, developers make more sales, everyone wins.
Fruechtenicht and his co-host make up the Let’s Play duo Coffee Table Zeroes on YouTube.