Google has moved to distance itself from comments made by Stadia Games and Entertainment Montreal’s Alex Hutchinson after he caused a pretty major stir online. This controversy comes after DMCA threats put many streamers on edge over the future of their channels. Twitch channels have been dealing with lots of issues and this is just another bit of nonsense that people don’t need. His comments on Twitter were born of his own opinions within the games industry, but boy were they viewed as out of touch.
The original outburst and controversy spread like wildfire online after Hutchinson posted on Twitter that streamers 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.”
He continued in a follow-up tweet; “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.”
The senior director has worked on games like Assassin’s Creed 3, Far Cry 4, and most recently Journey to the Savage Planet. One would think that an experienced person in the industry would understand the value of word of mouth for good games. I guess not. The response to this whole thing was pretty predictable.
Google has given a statement to 9to5Google saying “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.” The wider internet was much less diplomatic. The roasting and jokes via Twitter were all pretty harsh, and pointed out the need to rely on streamers, YouTube and other platforms to promote games.
Admittedly, the effect of sales of video games from these sources is low, but the impact of streaming to make games more popular can’t be ignored. The battle royale genre exploded in large part thanks to YouTube and Twitch. Various games such as Among Us and Fall Guys are absolutely positively affected by the popularity of online video. Millions of gamers have jumped into these games because of streamers and the like.
Up until the controversy of his statements broke, he listed “Creative Director at Google Stadia” on his Twitter profile. The conclusion drawn by many was that Hutchinson was behind the whole project, this is not true. Alex Hutchinson works for Stadia Games and Entertainment Montreal. This studio was bought by Google and brought into the fold to make games for Stadia.
Hutchinson would later clarify his job position, likely at the motivation of this outburst and prompting from colleagues. He also went about doubling down, and seemingly missing the point and reiterating his original statement, saying “Amazing to me 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.”