Stadia Creative Director: Streamers Should Pay Devs for Games They Stream

Alex Hutchinson Streamers pay

Alex Hutchinson, creative director of the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, has caused an uproar online for stating that video game streamers should pay the game’s publishers and developers for doing so.

In tweets posted on October 22nd, Hutchinson stated his belief that streamers were violating copyright law for streaming games “they didn’t pay for.” He stated that the streamers should pay developers and publishers for a licence to stream their games.

“Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn’t pay for should be more worried by the fact that they’re streaming games they didn’t pay for as well. It’s all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it.

The real truth is the streamers should be paying the developers and publishers of the games they stream. They should be buying a license like any real business and paying for the content they use.”


“Most of the time playing the game just helpsl [sic] the streamer. People tune in to watch their ‘show’ which is built on content they didn’t pay for. If their show requires game content, then a percentage of their revenue should go to the game they used.”

Hutchinson’s comments come after Twitch deleted “thousands” of videos and clips from the archives of streamers, due to licenced music being played.

After his comments, many replied to Hutchinson. Various points included fair use laws, how many publishers and developers were happy for the “free advertising,” and how some studios did pay for streamers to stream their game.

In reply to that last point, Hutchinson tweeted  “That’s a marketing spend, and to be honest it would work a lot better if they weren’t allowing any random person to stream the same content for free.” In reply to another user, he agreed that it was akin to the streamer “working for free.”

The replies and discussion continued, with Hutchinson steadfast in his opinion. You can find a selection of his tweets and replies [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] below.

“They’re not promoting the game. They’re running a business. It may also sometimes promote the game, but that’s not their business.”

“How is this anti consumer? It’s just pro developer. You should read a bit deeper.”

“Each game is unique and the path to a sale changes all the time. I’m not saying stop streaming, or stop youtube, I’m saying that if someone is essentially running a variety channel using your content then you should be supported as a creator if they make money.”

“That’s not how it works. Streamers are essentially a value added business, but unlike in other industries where you need to pay for it before adding your spin to resell it, they are not paying for it.”

[In reply to a user comparing Hutchinson mentioning Uncharted character Nathan Drake’s name on his Twitter profile to a Streamer promoting a game via streaming] “Not even remotely the same, but I wish you the best. May your streams gather strength and never be taken down because you broke laws you don’t understand.”

One user, Adrian Chmielarz, praised Hutchinson from not shying away to offer an opinion online. However, he continues to explain how publishers ignore any copyright issues for exposure of their game.

Explaining that streaming may work best for PvP games (as shorter story-driven games can show everything they have to offer via streaming), Chmielarz concluded that no sane publisher or indie developer would prevent streaming- losing out on new customers and gaining less money in any legal action.

“I’ve summoned the internet hoardes,” Hutchinson replied. Chimielarz then tweeted “Admit it. You’re bored and lust after some drama because of the quarantine and work from home and all that jazz, and thus decided to stick your dick into the hornet’s nest.” Hutchinson replied “I thought it was just bees but it might be murder hornets.”

A later tweet showed that Hutchinson was still amazed that “people are upset at someone saying that the creators of content should be allowed to make some of the money from other people using their content for profit.”

While attempting to remain jovial (Anyway, gonna hop online and stream some Fall Guys. Who’s up for it?) some irritation began to show, as Hutchinson lashed out at gaming news outet Giant Bomb.

“Oh you’re fine,” Hutchinson tweeted to a user, “it’s the other random trolls that popped up when the douchebag from Giant Bomb appeared.” When another Twitter user asked “speaking of things people don’t want to pay for, how’s Stadia going[?]“, Hutchinson responded “Better than Giant Bomb from what I can tell.”

A Google spokesperson issued a statement to 9to5Google, stating “The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.” 9to5Google also report that Hutchinson’s Twitter bio later updated to include “all opinions my own.”

It should be noted the Google Stadia has a Click to Play feature. As previously reported,  Stadia Pro subscribers can click a special hyperlink, and they can jump into a game in “seconds.” The example given was in the description of YouTube videos of someone streaming the game, as well as Twitter.

This is not the first time Hutchinson’s opinion has caused discussion. During an interview with CVG (reported by, Hutchinson stated games journalists had “subtle racism” to give Japanese developed games undeserved praise for their story over western games.

“I think there’s a subtle racism in the business, especially on the journalists’ side, where Japanese developers are forgiven for doing what they do. I think it’s condescending to do this. Just think about how many Japanese games are released where their stories are literally gibberish. Literally gibberish. There’s no way you could write it with a straight face, and the journalists say ‘oh it is brilliant’.

Then Gears of War comes out and apparently it’s the worst written narrative in a game ever. I’ll take Gears of War over Bayonetta any time. It’s patronising to say, ‘oh those Japanese stories, they don’t really mean what they’re doing’.”

Hutchinson had been the creative director on Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 4, and Journey to the Savage Planet.

Image: Twitter



Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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