Gamers and journalists tend to give EA a lot of flak for their policies and shenanigans, but a recent change to their rules for YouTubers and streamers makes a great deal of sense. In a post on their German site, of all places, they announced new rules to encourage transparency regarding paid coverage of their titles.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t speak German. Fortunately Google Translate does, so click here to see a side-by-side translation. Anyway, the post details how “influencer marketing” (YouTube, streamers, video personalities) has grown rapidly in the span of a few short years, and that it is essential to regulate paid influencer content just like other advertising channels. In their own words, “gamers and viewers must be able to see whether they are independent and editorial content, supported placements of messages or advertising.”
In order to encourage more transparency, EA’s new rules require paid influencers to fully disclose their relationship with the company. They specifically mention content creators who don’t already use their own labeling system, but this could eventually extend to all paid EA influencers in time. To comply, they must watermark and hashtag their content with either “#supportedbyEA” or “#advertisement”.
The #supportedbyEA tag applies if the company invited influencers to events, supplied them with review stock, covered travel expenses, or assisted with content creation in any way. The post assures that this tag applies to content that is entirely independently created, and not influenced by any editorial decisions from EA in the slightest. It’s a different story for #advertisement, which is content that EA has created, or influenced.
All in all, these rules are a smart step by EA to protect their brands and legal standing, especially after high-profile sponsorship disclosure scandals made big news in the last year.