The Relationship Between Developers and LPers

Recently Notch has tweeted about what happened with him and the Yogscast guys, which basically involved them apparently being assholes at MineCon. Now Notch might (though I really doubt it) be embellishing the truth, but even if he was, this would be an interesting topic anyways. So while on Twitter I could mostly just make a series of curt, 140 character tweets, here I can go into more details. Anyways…

The tweet from Notch that stood out to me was this…

And they claim they’re the reason minecraft is big and that we should thank them more than anyone else in the community. They’re total dicks

Now, I find this particularly interesting, because I got a lot of attention for I Wanna Be the Guy due to Lets Players Ultra J Man and Cloud…. but are they the reason IWBTG succeeded?

No, they’re not. Not exactly, anyways. If you make something good that’s spreading with word of mouth, and the game is fit for LPs, of course someone is going to LP it. A great new, unknown game creates potential opportunities for LPers and in turn, they create the necessary buzz for your work. I benefited from J Man and Cloud and I’m pretty sure they benefited from my work. It was Win Win. If they didn’t do it, someone else would have gotten the notoriety instead. If I didn’t make IWBTG, well, their are plenty of other games to play. It’s not always an even exchange, but at the end of the day, no one is beholden to anyone — this is a symbiotic relationship.

Yogscast has over a million youtube subscribers and they have ads. Clearly they’re doing well for themselves. But I refuse to believe they brought over a million views to Minecraft. Surely a lot of their success has to do with having minecraft to play…. but making videos while having over a million subscribers certainly creates positive buzz, even if every single one of those subscribers owned the game. Notch seems to understand this (or at least isn’t a dick) and Yogscast doesn’t.

So basically, if you’re a game maker, be happy if you get wonderful, funny and talented people LPing your game, and LPers, just be happy that games are being made that you can use to display your talents (be they gaming skills of comedy)! No one entity is the king of this ecosystem and acting otherwise is just being a dick.

Edit: Makaris has a good summery of the events that transpired after Yogscast had a chance to respond. Notch was probably just mostly talking out of his ass. I recommend clicking on the comments section.

5 thoughts on “The Relationship Between Developers and LPers

  1. I’ma make this blog famous because I am doing an LC on it: A Let’s Comment.

    Feel free to send me a little bit of the fat stacks of cash that you will make after your blog blows up

  2. Indeed, Cloud’s IWBTG LP was the first time I heard of him or your game. Then one day I looked at the URL of the IWBTG site and thought “so this isn’t it’s own site? What lies beneath ‘/iwbtg/’?” It was then I found this place. So yeah, LPs can benefit everyone involved.

  3. Feel I outta comment on this one.

    I wouldn’t have bought Minecraft is the yogscast didn’t make it seem so fun. Since then I’ve been following the yogscast and, later, Totalbiscuit and find them both to be an awesome source of information/entertainment. Notch doesn’t owe minecrafts success to the yogscast… moreso, he owe’s it to the gestalt community at large, of which the modders and yogscast form a significant force in. Minecraft really doesn’t have much staying power after you’ve finished the (too short) ‘tech tree’ of wood-stone-iron-diamond and messed around in a bit in creative. Without that community support and word of mouth, minecraft wouldn’t be much.

    So with that out of the way, these are the series of events that have so far unfolded.

    TLDR: Notch had bad info and/or lied and is being a manbaby. Yogcast are being gentlemen but have had their reputations tarnished, which sucks for their business (as well as general harrasment /DDOS’s).

    ***
    – Yogscast are awesome.

    – Notch invites them to entertain crowds and put on a panel at his convention to kill an hour.

    – Yogscast accepts. Request compensation for travel expenses, just for Simon and Lewis. Everyone else will pay their own way.

    – Notch: “No. I guess I can give you two hotel rooms, though.”

    – Yogscast accepts this, reluctantly, out of their love for the Minecraft community. They spend thousands of dollars to attend Minecon at their own expense.

    – Yogscast crew arrives at convention, does a bunch of interviews with Notch and Mojang staffers. They also show their recorded footage to Mojang staffers, who give the thumbs-up.

    – Notch sells the rights to the Yogscast’s performance to IGN for a profit without informing them.

    – Yogscast signs autographs and Minecraft merch for 6 hours straight. By all accounts this was friendly and amazing for everyone involved.

    – Mojang staffmembers swear on stage during Cobalt. No one notices.

    – Yogscast sets up their hour long show at Minecon, showing off quite a bit of the game from the community’s side. Yogscast worships at the feet of the modders, the map makers, the server hosters, the players. Yogscast plays down their own importance, says they would be nothing without everyone else. Their footage, which Mojang approved, said “Fuck” and “Shit” several times.

    – Notch loses his shit. Goes on an insane twitter tirade against Yogscast. Blames them for even asking for compensation before attending as if they have offended his honor, accuses them of swearing at children and threatening to vandalize their things, accuses them of being islands of ego with no regard for anyone but themselves, accuses them of insulting everyone. It goes on and on. http://media.minecraftforum.net/con…/11/mojyog2.png

    – The Yogscast are at this point boarding a 24 hour flight and cannot respond to any of this. Funny how that works out.

    – The Yogscast website and forum are immediately put under an endless DDoS. Notch’s fans harass the Yogscast at every available opportunity. One of them shows up at the airport to scream abuse at them when they finally do get off the plane. They say that they will discuss the matter when they aren’t jetlagged.

    – Notch tweets to show off the cool new $5,000 watch he just bought, which while unrelated, is probably not appropriate to do when you have just admitted that you didn’t pay the travel expenses of any entertainer or guest speaker attending your convention.

    – The Yogscast release a statement explaining what actually happened. They offer an olive branch for Notch to accept, claiming that he was probably just tired. http://www.reddit.com/r/Minecraft/c…hs_twitterings/

    – Notch shits on this olive branch, responds to this with “Fair enough.” He tweets that he is sorry for airing it publicly.

    – The community, realizing that Notch is actually just a jackass in a suit, turns on him.

    – Notch whines about being downvoted and says he meant “Fair enough” in a good way. Everyone realizes at this point he has no tact whatsoever and is incapable of admitting wrongdoing or apologizing for libelous remarks.

    – Notch immediately retreats to @MojangTeam, announces that the Yogscast are hard to work with, again apologizes for airing it publicly. Does not seem to understand that people don’t want an apology for mentioning it publicly, they want him to denounce all his claims, apologize for each claim and tell his fans to cease their abuse of the Yogscast team. He does none of this.

    – As people get even pissier, Notch goes back on @Notch and outright says “I was being a dick! Sorry, Yogscast!” This is yet another non-apology, because it does not insinuate anything he said was false.

    – A fan tweets Notch “But they swore at children!” because Notch said they did. Notch further shows that he isn’t sorry for tweeting libelous remarks by agreeing that they did, indeed, swear at children – but he was mean about it.

    ^ The events thus far.

  4. Yeah I had a feeling things were going to turn out in a weird way which is why I focused more on the general ideas of LPers and game interactions. Minecraft owns it’s success to the gestalt community, but at the same time such a community exists because of the nature of minecraft (though the whole deal about it not having much to offer after awhile is something I oh-to-agree with).

    I was meaning to put a note on this blog post now that more game out, so now I’m just going to point people to your comment.

  5. To prove Kayin’s original post:

    I’ve heard of MineCraft. Before the controversies, I had never heard of Yogscast.

    Also, due to the seemingly-immature nature of both Notch and the Yogscast crew as pointed out in Makaris’ post, I now have no interest in checking out either one’s product. So airing their dirty laundry did them both a disservice.

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