In a period in time where Youtuber Pewdiepie succeeds into destroying a small-time developer fully, shovelware-studio Digital Homicide files a lawsuit against Youtuber Jim Sterling. The allogations include defamation, slander and lible. Digital Homicide and Jim Sterling have a less than gentlemanly relationship and their conversations to and fro are filled with deep-grounded animosity towards eachother.
For those that don't follow the Youtuber in candyland powerfantasy that's going on, the facts are as follows. Some time ago, Jim Sterling ripped apart one of the early releases by Digital Homicide, which resulted in Digital Homicide posting a revenge-video ripping apart Jim Sterling. Ever since then, Jim Sterling's videos on Digital Homicide have become very personal, at times petty and most of the time the result of not being able to let go. Each time Digital Homicide releases something, it doesn't take three hours before Jim Sterling releases a video ripping on the the title released and questioning the integrety of the people behind Digital Homicide.
Yes, by all standards, even shovelware-standards, Digital Homicide is not very good at what they do. A studio that releases eightteen games inside a year is not in any way doing QA. Yet, there's a market for these games that Digital Homicide creates. They sit in a niche that has enough demand to be at least profitable. They're not developing triple A and they themselves are the first to admit that. Most of their games are not more expensive than S0.80.
Seemingly, Jim Sterling is on a personal crusade against Digital Homicide. He rants and raves unchecked and it isn't unreasonable to assert that he's endangering the livelyhood of a studio that's serving a niche.
Free from Jim Sterling or Digital Homicide, it's a good thing that a lawsuit against a Youtuber is filed. I've stated a few times before that the youtubing business needs regulation, specifically because youtubers fail time and time again to police themselves. The youtubing business needs a good look over and it surely needs regulating. A code of conduct, a convenant on what youtubers can and can't do.
There's no freedom of speech or the press here. Firstly because youtubers are at best amateur-press, secondly because they're singular individuals that only can legitimize themselves by the amount of subscribers they can sport. They're not voices of authority, they are not people with experience on the other side of the fence. They're people who played games and discovered that they can earn money with their webcams. A youtuber's entire worth is in entertainment and not in any way in trustworthy information. Yet, they wield a power that's so destructive that it endangers the livelyhood of developers who have no means to defend themselves against a Youtuber who can set his fanbase to attack their target of the moment.
However, I don't hold big expectations of the lawsuit as it quite probably will be settled out of court, if Digital Homicide even has the financial fortitude to even let it get that far. It would be interesting to see the lawsuit go before court however. It could be the first step towards youtuber regulation. And that's something that's sourly needed, because the power-balance is in favor of the youtuber. If that power can be redistributed so that small-time developers at least can have some protection, then maybe the next lawsuit against a youtuber can be backed by bigger names in the industry, eventually leading to a Youtuber code of conduct.
I'm aware that it is a pipedream. It will be some time yet before more studios take youtubers to court. For now, especially for the established studios, youtubers still aid in sales. As long as youtubers still mean profit to a large section of the industry, regulation will still be a ways off.