All this for a bunch of pixels…
Well, first of all, let me apologize for being absent for the last couple of months. Between personal issues, more personal issues and hey, guess what, even more personal issues, I haven’t been in a position to really offer much on the gaming review front. I’d intended to review Mass Effect: Andromeda, but that didn’t come to pass as a result of the previous sentence.
In a nutshell; while pretty, it’s buggy, glitchy and a ton of memes have been made about it already. If you’re a fan of the franchise – get it. If not, then you’re not missing much.
So let’s get to the reason as to why I’m actually writing something today: A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Oboi…’dis gonna be good.
Yeah…anyway, shut up.
On May 18th, a well known YouTuber and Wargaming (which will be henceforth referred to as WG. WGEU and WGNA respectively from here on out) Community Contributor for the European Union, SirFoch posted a 1:46 long video laden with expletives and generally calling out WG over releasing a product for World of Tanks that not only requires you to use premium ammunition to destroy the vehicle in the video, but armed it with a weapon so poor that you need to use premium ammo to destroy other tanks on the battlefield. In the use of a steady old but good cliche; “They got you coming and going.”
Now, as far as my opinion goes with the Chrysler K GF (GF standing for Grand Finals, a WG event)? It’s…pretty broken. Probably more so than myself. Not impossible to use, but, it’s pretty close to P2W for a lot of people. At least it’s not as bad as the Löwe…
Holy…you actually were helpful for once?
Don’t get used to it.
Anyway. WGEU contacted Foch to have him remove his content, and he refused to do so. At which point, Zoltan “Ph3lan” Sipos, a community manager for WGEU contacted Foch over Discord and essentially said, “We don’t like what you said, so remove it or be hit with a Copyright infringement complaint.”
Well. The thing is here, is that Foch’s material on YouTube is majorly made up of World of Tanks content – this would mean any money he earns/earned from YouTube would be lost. He’s got a lot of videos, be told.
So he did what he had to do. He removed it.
However, he did take screenshots of the conversation. I won’t post them as they do have some profanity in them, but the link is back there.
It’s not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you (to a degree) and not expect the hand to strike back. It’s the hamfistedness of it all. This alone is not a good image to be putting out.
But wait – there’s more!
Not to be forgotten in this is another well known Twitch streamer and YouTuber, Circonflexes.
Now, while having nothing to do with the tank mentioned above, and nowhere nearly as profane as Foch’s diatribe, he made a major faux pas in referring to a developer’s family. To quote from Kotaku (as I can’t find the actual transcript and I can’t type to speech to save my life):
“Circonflexes was also extremely critical of Wargaming this week, calling Highway, one of the game’s maps, awful and poorly designed during a Twitch stream. He likened the maps development process to one of the designer’s children drawing on a napkin with crayons, having their nose wiped with it, and then the result being presented to the rest of the company to create.”
While it was made in jest, Wargaming didn’t see it that way. The difference in Circon’s case is that he did take it down on request and was kept on as a community contributor. Foch, however has not been, and most likely never will be reinstated. And he really doesn’t care. I can’t really say as I blame him, to be honest.
I’ve been playing World of Tanks for coming up on three years, and I’ve noticed what is referred to as, “Power Creep,” in the gaming world. New content is added. Older content can’t perform as well, so the old content is up-scaled, but sometimes too much. And it can’t be rolled back, because then you get a bunch of people wanting refunds on premium content.
It’s the proverbial slippery slope. and WG is skidding around quite a bit lately. While this latest addition isn’t impossible to take out, it can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Oooo! Ooo! But then WGNA weighed in – supposedly. There’s no indication of who actually said this, however as Kotaku isn’t saying who made the statement:
“We are more than willing to give members of our community second chances, but there is a level of toxicity and/or offensive language that is unacceptable. We regret having to go to such extreme measures in SirFoch’s case, but we also don’t consider those measures to be censorship because we weren’t trying to silence SirFoch’s opinion, we were simply seeking to curb the extremely profane language of a member of our contributor program. SirFoch’s latest claim that we’re somehow prohibiting him from making future videos involving our games is completely false – he’s more than welcome to make more Wargaming-related videos. If those videos continue to include hate speech and homophobic slurs, we’ll take the necessary and appropriate action.”
Here’s the thing; at no point during Foch’s entire explosive rant did he ever use “hate speech and homophobic slurs.”
This concerns me. Because I do stream WG’s material, if I say anything disparaging about what I’m playing, that opens me up to potential legal action?
That’s what this looks like to me.
And this has a lot of other contributors concerned as well. So much so that “The Mighty Jingles” hung up his goggles.
Jingles. One of the most prolific YouTubers playing WG’s games. Five hundred fifty-seven thousand plus viewers, most of whom just watch his World of Tanks videos. Which means a lot of people will probably unsubscribe from his channel. Which also means a lot of revenue lost for him.
That took some guts. And I think WG is going to feel a pinch as well – they bring him in to a lot of Wargaming events. He’s got a lot of fans.
Cool! So that means we won’t be streaming WG content for awhile?
I’ll play it, but I sure as hell won’t be streaming it.
Anyway, that’s all from me. Until next time;
Thanks for stopping by.
UPDATE 05/23/17: This was released this morning on the World of Tanks EU site (for those of you not wanting to hit another link, it’s posted below):
We have further reviewed the incident of last Friday involving SirFoch and his “Chrysler K GF rant” video, and know we could have handled the situation a lot better. We strongly support our players’, including our Community Contributors’, right to speak critically about us and our games. We acted too quickly and over the line when we threatened to have YouTube remove SirFoch’s video through a copyright infringement complaint and we are apologizing for that.
We’re committed to doing a better job on this front. We’re going to improve the way we communicate with our Community and our Community Contributors, and as part of that effort we will work with them on more detailed, specific guidelines to help ensure incidents like this don’t happen again.
Our official position is that Wargaming will not take copyright action against opinions based on our publicly released content.
Over the weekend we released a statement to some media outlets regarding the content of SirFoch’s video that inferred that SirFoch’s videos contained hate speech and homophobia. While we would obviously not want such content to be associated with any of our games – this video clearly did not. We apologize for this statement, and we don’t stand behind those claims.
We love our players and our contributors – and we appreciate their honesty and commitment – we are committed to using this incident to grow and improve.
Jointly signed by
Product Director World of Tanks
General Manager Europe
General Manager North America
World of Tanks Publishing Director
Great. So this means we’re going to be streaming WG content again?
Yep. Starting this evening, it’s back to the “Hunt for the Bismarck” grind.
I hate you so much right now…
I’m sure. Anyway, thanks for stopping back in, I’ll see you folks out there on my Twitch channel if you choose to stop in.
Ken (or "Börken" as his gaming friends refer to him) spends his time reading books at a speed several words over the posted speed limit, makes things explode virtually (and sometimes literally), and is always busy raising a 7 year old Princess who's quite capable of rescuing herself, thank you very much.