Gamasutra was quick to pull the trigger on an article detailing the lack of disclosure from individuals involved with the newly released Early Access game Dead Realm. It’s a game that’s aimed as much at the Five Nights at Freddy’s fans as it is YouTubers who enjoy streaming and sharing videos of horror games.
The issue came into play when some of the publishing staff from 3Blackdot were found to be promoting their game Dead Realm on YouTube without disclosing that they have a financial vestment in the game.
Gamasutra points to the following videos from Tom “Syndicate” Cassell and Adam “SeaNanners” Montoya, noting that – at the time of publishing their article – they do not contain any disclosures about the connection between the YouTubers and the publishing studio that financed the game.
Dead Realm on Steam ► https://bit.ly/1JTVmYd What is Dead Realm? “”Dead Realm is 3BLACKDOT’s first PC Multiplayer game and has been tested throughly to give users the best experience possible. We strongly believe that our game will give users a great experience, but we still welcome and encourage feedback.
If you enjoyed the video them be sure to Subscribe to see more videos from myself! Dead Realm is available now: https://bit.ly/1KCIsAx I hope like the game! Its honestly a blast to play with a group of friends! Make sure you record your first time playing it and post it to YouTube so I can see your guys reactions!
[Update: I was notified that VanossGaming, real name Evan Fong, is the creative director for Dead Realm. His latest video, featured below, does not disclose that he is working on the game or has financial ties to the game.]
Get Dead Realm HERE!: https://bit.ly/1VPoHfB NEW Vanoss Shirts & Merch HERE: https://bit.ly/1SnwqxY Moo Snuckel – https://bit.ly/11rO5IE Nogla – https://bit.ly/13vEfIi Cartoonz – https://bit.ly/1hb64Nw SMii7Y – https://bit.ly/1MrK1Vp Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/VanossGaming Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/VanossGaming Instagram – https://instagram.com/vanossinstagram Please Ignore or flag spam, negative, or hateful comments.
According to the ASA’s revised guidelines and the FTC, the videos are supposed to have disclosures made audibly and visually available to audiences within the video as well as within the description on the YouTube page.
GamerGhazi, to their credit, actually did pick up on the news over on Reddit. Of course, being that this is about corruption in the media the issue didn’t gain much traction on /r/Games since the mods over their actively abet and conspire to hide corruption on Reddit’s /r/Games sub, which was revealed by the ModTalk leaks where words like “corruption” are banned.
Gamasutra attempted to reach out to the YouTubers about the disclosure but didn’t readily receive a reply. Following #GamerGate’s campaign to get the FTC to further look into enforcing disclosures for affiliate links and paid endorsements, the Federal Trade Commission updated their guidelines for disclosure in relation to their investigation into Gawker as part of a #GamerGate operation.
Some of Gamasutra’s readers are interested to know if the FTC will be following through with an investigation into 3Blackdot considering that members of the company are promoting their product on YouTube without disclosure about the financial ties to said product. At the time of the publishing of this article, the FTC has not made any public comments about the issue.
While this is all fine and dandy, Gamasutra has done nothing to address the multiple counts of blacklisting that has occurred within the digital print sector of games journalism, nor have they done anything to address the multiple failures of disclosure that occurred right in the backyard of Gamasutra, which included former managing editor of Gamasutra Leigh Alexander and Gamasutra news editor Kris Ligman. What’s more is that Gamasutra seems to exercise selective journalism when it comes to addressing ethical concerns since they have yet to properly deal with the multiple conflicts of interest brought up by #GamerGate or the financially vested interests between games journalists and the subjects they cover, which has been extensively documented over the past year.
If Gamasutra really wants to address the scandals in the yard of YouTube they should first look to address and apologize for the scandals happening in their own yard first.