Video content has been booming in the gaming community recently, with let’s players, reviewers, streamers and comedians turning to sites such as YouTube and Twitch to reach their fans. Of course, because of the informal nature that both of these platforms encourage, issues with private endorsements have arisen in recent years. In an attempt to push back against that issue, EA is requiring any content sponsored by the company to be disclosed explicitly, according to an official post by EA on their German site.
Originally covered on NeoGAF with translated information provided by user w3bba, the post notes that any user collaborating with EA for producing content must disclose their relationship with the publisher. Multimedia content producers can also use two new PNG labels created by the company to disclose their connection to EA. They read “Supported by EA” and “Advertisement,” both with the EA logo attached.
Disclosure comes in two forms. Content creators that receive some form of support from EA, such as press invitations or payment for travel, must include a “Supported by EA” watermark or “#supportedbyEA” hashtag. Meanwhile, content with EA’s direct influence is labeled as an advertisement and must be reported with the “Advertisement” watermark or “#advertisement” hashtag. This includes Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posts.
EA insists these disclosure terms reinforce their “Players First” motto, supporting transparency by allowing viewers to easily distinguish conflicts of interest at play. The watermark files are also easily available from EA on the post, giving content creators an approachable way to start disclosing their connections if they haven’t already. Analyst Daniel Ahmad pointed out that EA’s move takes a stand against the access gap in which “social media influencers” are given faster opportunities to play the latest releases before initial release hype cools off.
Great work by EA to be more transparent on sponsored content
Especially in this day and age when social media influencers have early access https://t.co/AemcStypwF
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) November 16, 2016
EA’s move towards explicit disclosure may cause a ripple effect in the industry, too. With press, publisher and developer relations remaining a hot button issue throughout the gaming community, EA’s move towards transparency may encourage other publishers to follow the company’s lead by creating their own ethics policies. Time will tell as German YouTubers, Twitch streamers and Twitter advertisers take their first steps towards disclosing their connections to EA.