Tuesday, 05 February 2013 13:00

How to monetize gaming videos legally

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In an effort to help other aspiring video game video editors and to respect the wishes of copyright owners, I have compiled a list of publishers, developers and licensors who allow us to legally monetize videos using footage from their games.

Last Update: January 10, 2014

I make no promises that this information will be current or accurate at the time of your reading--since all listed companies reserve the right to change their policies at any time.

At the bottom of this list you can see an example of the email I use to contact copyright owners. 

[WIP] List of Developers & Publishers Who Grant Permission to use Their Game Footage:

Publisher:  11Bit Studios
Permission: Permission blurb on their website - Scroll to "About This Game" section under Anomoly 2. Keep in mind it does not specifically mention monetization so monetize at your own risk
Source:  http://www.anomaly2game.com/
Game(s):   Available Library

Publisher:  AlwaysGeeky
Permission: Quote from @AlwaysGeeky on Twitter -
" I've said it before but I'll repeat. Anyone who wants to monetize and make Vox content has my full support. Now please, make some Vox content."
Tweet from Always Geeky
Game(s):   Available Library

Publisher:  Atlus
Permission: "
An Atlus rep returned my email to say that they do not grant official permission to use their footage or monetize transformative works. However, they also do not outwardly object to users using their content or monetizing transformative works save for in special cases.
Source:  Email from Atlus Rep
Recommendation: Since this information is not publicly available, email the publisher individually to request permission prior to monetization.
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Activision / Blizzard Entertainment
Permission: "
Note that Blizzard Entertainment's restriction that Productions be limited to "non-commercial" uses also means that you may not license a Production you have created to another company for a fee, or for any other form of compensation, without specific written permission from Blizzard Entertainment to do so. Blizzard Entertainment reserves the right to use its products for all commercial purposes. The only exceptions to this rule are if you participate in partner programs with YouTube, Justin.tv, Blip.tv, Own3d.tv, or Ustream.tv (the Production Websites) whereby a Production Website may pay you for views of a Production if you are accepted into their partner program."
Source:  http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/videopolicy.html
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  The Behemoth
Permission: The Behemoth posts a message in their FAQs stating that Let's Plays are generally ok as long as they follow their guidelines. I've also sent them a request to allow monetization and to post said permission on their website. I'll update this listing once I hear back from them.
Source: http://www.bethblog.com/bethesda-video-policy/
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  The Bethesda Softworks
Permission: Posted on their Blog. They allow monetization while maintaining the right to remove content.
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher:  Black Forest Games
Permission:  Youtube user Chymedes received an email from them stating that they support LPs, Videos and Monetization
Source:  Message from Chymedes via Youtube
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Bohemia Interactive
Permission:  They provide users permission to monetize videos via their website
Source:  http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?133522-User-Monetization-of-BI-s-games-Audio-amp-Video-content%28e-g-Youtube-Partnership-Program%29
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Carbon Games
Permission:  Carbon Games provides monetization permission on their website
Source:   https://carbongames.com/2012/10/Permission-to-Broadcast-AirMech/

Game(s):  Air Mech

Publisher:  CD Projekt Red
Permission:  I asked for permission via email and they responded saying that I could use their video footage for "journalists purposes."
Source: email from one of the publisher's representatives
Recommendation: Monetize at your own risk - As I'm not aware of any legal definition for "journalists purposes" it's hard to know if they explicitly allow or prohibit monetization of videos using their game footage. I have sent a follow-on email for clarification and will update this listing if I hear back from the publisher.
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Codemasters
Permission:  Codemasters Blog allows Monetization 
Source:  http://blog.codemasters.com/codemasters-video-policy/
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher:  Dark Vale Games
Permission:  Dark Vale Games responded to my email request stating that they did not mind me using footage from their game as long as I mentioned them in the video.
Source:  I received permission via email
Recommendation:  Contact the publisher individually prior to monetization since they don't explicitly provide permission online.
Game(s): Forge

Publisher:  Daydalus Studio
Permission:  I received permission to monetize videos for their Platform Hack title on XBLIG on the condition that I mention Daydalus Studio in the review.
Source:  I received permission via a discussion with the publisher on Twitter
Recommendation:  Contact the publisher individually prior to monetization since they don't explicitly provide permission online.
Game(s): Platform Hack

Publisher:  Deep Silver
Permission:  Deep Silver gave me permission to monetize videos using footage from Risen and Risen 2: Dark Waters. I have since reached out to them regarding the rest of their library. I will update this section once I hear back from Deep Silver.
Source:  I received permission from the publisher via email
Recommendation: Contact the publisher individually prior to monetization as they don't explicitly provide permission online.
Games(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Permission: I emailed their "Contact Us" address on their website with a request to publish and monetize videos to which they responded "Go Nuts!" 
Source: I've also seen This Website floating around which is actually pretty genius.
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher: Digital Extremes
Permission:  Their video policy - https://www.warframe.com/videopolicy - Gives us permission to make videos and monetize them
Game(s): Warframe

Publisher:  Double Fine
Permission:  Quote from their FAQ about video monetization - Yes! You may even monetize them if you wish!
Source:  http://www.doublefine.com/about/
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  EA
Permission:  EA advised me through email that they do not give out blanket permission, but they have worked with YouTube directly and generally don't mind fair use of their material even on commercialized YouTube channels. 
Source: Email from EA permissions group
Recommendation: If you choose to monetize, you do so at your own risk. Be sure to read their terms of use and legal notices. Also, before you rush out to monetize all your Madden or other sports games videos, please be aware that the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, etc. probably have some restrictions that would prohibit monetization of those titles. In other words, do your homework before monetizing EA games.
Games(s):   Available Library (I cannot verify that every game on this list is actually copyrighted by EA Games)

Publisher:  Epic Games
Permission: Quote From Website: As an exception to this policy, fans are permitted to monetize web videos (such as YouTube) with advertisements, so long as those videos otherwise meet the requirements of this policy. Also, Epic, in its sole discretion, can terminate and revoke your permission to create Fan Art and Fan Sites at any time, for any or no reason whatsoever.
Source: http://epicgames.com/about/fan-art-policy/
Games:  Available Library

Publisher: Firefly Studios
Permission: Firefly Studios provides explicit permission to monetize Youtube content via their website
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Frictional Games
Permission:  They provide permission somewhat indirectly on their message forums.
Source:  http://www.frictionalgames.com/forum/thread-20089.html
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Permission: I received permission from Focus Home Interactive via email to use their material in video reviews
Source: Online Permission
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher: The Fullbright Company
Permission: Steve Gaynor from Fullbright granted me permission via email and said they'd look into putting the permission on their website
Source: Email from the developer
Recommendation: Since there is no general info about permission posted on their website [yet], I recommend you contact the publisher prior to posting or monetizing content.
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Gaslamp Games
Permission:  Gaslamp typically provides permission to monetize Dungeons of Dredmor footage via email, but they've also commented about it on their forums.
Source:  http://community.gaslampgames.com/threads/youtube-monetization.5578/
Game(s): Dungeons of Dredmor

Publisher:  Grinding Gear Games
Permission:  GGG gives permission to monetize Path of Exile video footage via their website.
Source:  http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/70757
Game(s):  Path of Exile

Publisher:  Hairbrained Schemes Studio
Permission: I received permission to use footage from Hairbrained Schemes' games via email from one of their co-founders (Mitch G.)
Source:  Email from Hairbrained Schemes co-founder
Recommendation: Be aware that Microsoft does own the Shadowrun IP. However, HS's co-founder let me know that they own the license to Shadowrun Returns and granted me permission for me to use footage. That said, I recommend you reach out to the studio individually just to make sure you have your bases covered.
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Hi Rez Studios
Permission:  Hi Rez Studios granted me permssion to monetize derivative works via email as long as I gave credit to them in my videos.
Source:  Email from Publisher
Recommendation:  Reach out to the publisher via email prior to monetization in order to get permssion in writing until they publish a general statement on their website.
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Insomniac Games 
Permission:  I received permission to publish videos using their content via email
Source:  Email from Publisher
Recommendation:  Reach out to the publisher via email prior to monetization in order to get permssion in writing until they publish a general statement on their website.
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Kalypso Media
Permission: Kalypso Media head of PR responded to my email request to let me know that I was allowed to produce videos using their content and even gave me a YouTube contact form to fill out.
Source: Email from Publisher
Recommendation: Reach out to Kalypso before monetization so that you'll have their permission in writing
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher:  Klei Entertainment
Permission:  On their Don't Starve website they provide guidelines for player creations where they do give permission to monetize your videos with ads via networks like YouTube. I also spoke to them via email and they told me I could apply the rules posted on the Don't Starve site to their entire library.
Source: http://www.dontstarvegame.com/player-creation-guidelines
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Konami
Permission: A rep from Konami told me it was ok to post videos using their game footage and to monetize them as long as it was for review type purposes.
Source: Email from Konami rep.
Recommendation: Email Konami directly prior to monetization since this information is not posted on their website or publicly available
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher:  Mojang
Permission:  Mojang allows monetization contingent upon you adding your own original content to the video (ex: Audio Commentary)
Source: https://account.mojang.com/terms
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Nordic Games
Permission:  Nordic Games gave me permission to monetize videos using footage from ArcaniA Gothic 4 and recommended I contact them on a game-by-game basis for other games as they do not own the license to certain games outright.
Source:  I received permission from the publisher via email
Recommendation:  Contact the publisher individually prior to monetization as they don't explicitly provide permission online.
Game(s):  Available Library 

Publisher:  Paradox Interactive
Permission:  Legal department published a letter granting monetization permissions.
Source:  http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?671169-Monetizing-from-Youtube-videos-containing-Paradox-Interactive-material
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Re-Logic
Permission:  Re-Logic allows YouTubers to monetize videos of Terraria according to the FAQ's on Terraria's site
Source:  http://www.terraria.org/faq.html
Game(s):  Terraria

Publisher:  Red 5 Studios
Permission:  Sites such as Youtube and Twitch.tv offer partner programs that allow you to monetize your content through the addition of advertisements either during the playback or as an overlay. These programs are perfectly acceptable as long as you do not prevent access to the produced content. “Renting” or otherwise limiting viewing to paying customers is prohibited.
Source:  http://www.red5studios.com/company/video-policy/
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Riot Games
Permission:  Publisher permits monetization rights on their website.
Source:  http://www.riotgames.com/legal-jibber-jabber
Game(s):  League of Legends

Publisher:  Robot Entertainment
Permission:  You may upload review and walkthrough ("Let's Play") style videos of Robot Entertainment's games, and may monetize (place ads on/next to) the videos. 
Source:  http://support.robotentertainment.com/customer/portal/articles/341316-i-want-to-make-gameplay-videos-of-one-of-robot-entertainment-s-games-and-i-d-like-to-place-ads-on-these-videos-am-i-allowed-to-do-that
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Robot Loves Kitty 
Permission:  Alix from RLK gave me permission to make and monetize videos via email. They are also working to get the permissions posted to their website, so stay tuned for that. 
Source:  Email from RLK - Permission to be on Website soon
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Robotronic Games
Permission:  "Yes, video creators should be able to benefit from their own work" - Quoted response to the monetization question on their FAQs.
Source:  http://gnomoria.com/?page_id=17
Game(s):  Gnomoria

Publisher:  Romino Games
Permission:  The Awesomenauts website says they allow permission for video editors to monetize videos using Awesomenauts footage.
Source:  http://www.awesomenauts.com/old_01.html
Game(s):  Awesomenauts

Publisher:  Runic Games
Permission:  Runic Games gave me permission to monetize videos using their games.
Source:  I received permission from the publisher via email
Recommendation:  Contact the publisher individually prior to monetization as they don't explicitly provide permission online.
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Signal Studios
Signal Studios provides permission to upload and monetize videos on their message forms.
Source:  http://www.signalstudios.net/forums/#/discussion/204/video-policy/p1

Game(s):  http://www.signalstudios.net/games

Publisher:  Sony Online Entertainment (SoE)
Permission:  "You can monetize your videos through "partner programs" on sites like Twitch and YouTube."
Source:  https://www.soe.com/player-direct
Recommendation: Keep in mind that this is not Sony Computer Entertainment or Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCE or SCEA). So, tread carefully if you attempt to monetize their work as SoE does not imply blanket permission across the organization
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Subsoap
Permission:  Special permission is granted to those who wish to monetize video "Let's Plays" on YouTube (or other video portals including streaming services such as TwitchTV) through ads (example: if they are a YouTube partner).
Source:  http://www.subsoap.com/company/terms/#youtube
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Subset Games
Permission:  Subset Games gives explicit permission to monetize footage of their FTL game on YouTube via their website.
Source:  http://www.ftlgame.com/?p=388
Game(s):  Faster Than Light (FTL)

Publisher:  Supergiant Games
Permission: Provided on website listed below
Source:  http://supergiantgames.com/index.php/2013/07/policy-on-lets-play-videos/
Game(s): Available Library 

Publisher:  TaleWorlds Entertainment
Permission:  TaleWorlds 'amended' their EULA via their message forums to grant monetization permssion.
Source:  hhttp://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?topic=226904.0
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Team 17
Permission: A fellow Youtube user reached out to them via email and Team 17 responded stating monetization was ok as long as it was only placing ads on the videos
Source: Message from YouTube user SoiramTrotyl - Also our friend Harold AKA DreadWingKnight spoke to Team 17 and got them to post this permission for the public to have access to (Thanks Harold!)
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Team Chucklefish
Permission:  Team Chucklefish provides permission to monetize YouTube videos on the FAQ pages of two of their Starbound and Stardew Valley Games. Wanderlust grants permission to make videos, but not for monetization. Treasure Adventure World does not grant any permissions.
Source:  http://playstarbound.com/faq & http://stardewvalley.net/faq
Recommendation:  Contact the publisher individually prior to monetizing videos from Wanderlust or Treasure Adventure World (once it drops).

Game(s):  Starbound, Stardew Valley

Publisher:  The Indie Stones
Permission:  The Indie Stones give permission via their message forums to use footage from their Project Zomboid game.
Source:  http://www.theindiestone.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=10594
Game(s):  Project Zomboid

Publisher: Tom Happ
Permission: Tom gave permission to make videos and ads on his message forum
Source: http://www.axiomverge.com/discussion/post/1777297?currentPage=2
Game(s): Axiom Verge

Publisher: TopWare Interactive
Permission:  TopWare granted me permission to use and monetize their game footage via email
Source: Email from the developer/publisher
Recommendation: I recommend that you contact TopWare individually before publishing just to get permission in writing.
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Trion Worlds
Permission:  Trion Worlds permits YouTube video monetization with restrictions. See Source for details.
Source:  http://trionworlds.com/en/legal/terms-of-use
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Tripwire Interactive
Permission:  Tripwire Interactive permits video monetization with restrictions. See Source for details.
Source:  http://www.tripwireinteractive.com/policies/
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Ubisoft
Permission: Ubisoft responded to my request to monetize via Facebook message. They granted permission and even encouraged video uploads granted that our videos follow certain guidelines. They did not specifically address monetization in the message, but they certainly did not prohibit it. 
Source: Ubisoft Provide Permission On Their Forums
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher:  Valorware
Permission:  Valorware gave me permission to monetize videos using footage from their Android RPG titled 9th Dawn.
Source:  I received permission from the publisher via a conversation on YouTube
Recommendation:  Contact the publisher individually prior to monetization as they don't explicitly provide permission online.
Game(s):  9th Dawn

Publisher:  Valve
Permission:  You are free to monetize your videos via the YouTube partner program and similar programs on other video sharing sites.
Source:  http://www.valvesoftware.com/videopolicy.html
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Permission: Warner Bros. responded to my email request to let me know that using there material was ok. I contacted their PR department with contacts I received on Gamespress. The general privacy agreement at Gamespress prevents me from giving out individual emails, so please be advised that I cannot give them to you. 
Source: Email from publisher PR representitive
Recommendation: Contact Warner Bros. Prior to monetization since they do not grant a blanket license online. I also want to stress caution when dealing with WB because a few other people have reported that they've received a different answer from the one I received from their PR department. One message I saw that another creator received from WB's Privacy department stated that you could not monetize and that videos need be under 5 minutes in length. I can verify that none of my WB owned videos have received an ID Claims or strikes. But, bottom line: BE CAREFUL.
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Wulven Studios
Permission:  Wulven Studios gives permission to monetize videos for their Shadow Era title via the Shadow Era's website FAQs.
Source:  http://www.shadowera.com/faq.php
Game(s):  Shadow Era


Publishers, Developers & Studios that Prohibit Monetization:

Publisher:  Bungie

Restriction:Unless otherwise specified, the Bungie Services, Bungie Mobile Apps and Software are for your personal and non-commercial use. You may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any information, software, products or services obtained from the Bungie Services, Bungie Mobile Apps or Software.
Source:Bungie Website

Publisher:  Capcom
Restriction:  "Fan projects and artwork are all welcomed! As long as there is no money changing hands or personal financial gain, you should be fine."
Source:  http://www.capcom-unity.com/ask_capcom/go/thread/view/7371/29133541/ask-capcom-faq---release-dates-ip-statuses-events-more&post_num=2#519974985

Publisher: GungHo Online Entertainment (GameArts, Acquire, Gravity)

Restriction: A GungHo Rep responded to my email stating that it was ok to make videos but not to monetize them
Source: Email from GungHo rep
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Kemco
Kemco responded to my email request for permission stating that they do not presently grant official permission to use their footage. The message went on to say that this policy may change and that they do not "particularly prohibit fans' activities" as long as they are done with common sense, are non-profitable and don't spoil their brand. I did respond to ask if 'non-profitable' meant YouTube partner ad revenue, specifically, but I've not heard back at this point.
Source:  Email from the publisher in response to my request to monetize
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher:  Microsoft Game Studios (343i)
Restriction:  Quote taken straight from their site - "But enrolling in the Youtube partner program (or other similar programs), where you are entering into an agreement to get paid, is not allowed."
Source:  http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/developer/rules
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher: Natsume
Restriction: Natsume does not allow their footage to be monetized
Source: Email from a Natsume rep
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher:  Naughty Dog
Restriction: I received an email from a Naughtydog rep to let me know that they do not grant permission to use their footage.
Source: Email from the publisher/developer
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Nintendo
Restriction:  Quote taken straight from their site - "We do not have adequate staffing to review the thousands of requests we receive for permission to use Nintendo properties. Therefore, our general policy is to decline all such requests, no exceptions."
Source:  http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/webform/
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher: NIS America
Restriction:  NISA's PR team responded to my request to let me know that they do allow independent content creators to use their footage, but not to monetize it. They were extremely helpful and very timely with their response.
Source: Email from the publisher
Game(s): Available Library

Publisher:  Rockstar Games 
Permission:  Quote from their site - Generally Take-Two Interactive does not object to fans using materials for non-commercial uses in a manner which does not intentionally spoil the plot for others. After further review, Take-Two and Rockstar have stated that they do not allow monetization of their video footage. For more information, see the comment section below for a copy and pasted email from one of our commenters. Technically, Take Two/Rockstar does not prohibit monetization using Youtube's partner program. But I won't list companies in the "allow" section unless they've told me or posted such permissions explicitly.
Source:  http://support.rockstargames.com/entries/21427003-Policy-on-posting-copyrighted-Rockstar-Games-material
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: Sega
Restriction: Sega's PR team responed to my email request stating that they could not grant me a license for YouTube content
Source: Email from Sega PR
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher: SNK
Restriction: A rep from SNK responded to my email request to let me know that they do not give license to independent editors to produce derivative works using their copyrighted materia.
Source: Email from SNK rep
Game(s):Available Library

Publisher:  Square Enix
Restriction:  Technically, they do not explicitly prohibit use, but they did email to let me know that they do not grant individual permission to use their work..
Source:  Email from Square Enix Public Relations
Game(s): Hard to capture the entire library since they do not own all the games they publish (Infinite Undiscovery, for example)

Publisher: Take-Two Interactive 
Restriction: According to Alan Andrew Taylor (a commenter you can reference below this article), Take-Two issued him the same permission via email to use video footage that Rockstar Games uses (posted above). After further review, Take-Two and Rockstar have stated that they do not allow monetization of their video footage. For more information, see the comment section below for a copy and pasted email from one of our commenters.
Source:  Alan stated below that he received permission via email after contacting T2 Support.
Game(s):  Available Library

Publisher: TecmoKoei
Restriction: A TecmoKoei representative responded to my request to monetize stating that they do allow people to make video reviews and other similar works, but that they do not typically allow us to monetize these videos
Source: Email from TecmoKoei rep
Games(s): Available Library

Publisher:  TellTale Games
Restriction:  While Telltale does allow fan-made videos using their footage, they do not allow users to monetize videos using their work
Source:  They addressed this issue on their message forums. (scroll down to the last post from MattP)
Game(s):  Available Library

I have reached out to and am awaiting a response from the following publishers:

Agetec - Sent email March 14; No response as of 6 June. No plans to send further emails
Crytek - No Response as of March 17
D3 Games - Reached out 19 December 2013
Gameloft - No Response as of March 17
Namco Bandai  - After 4 follow-up emails, I'm throwing in the towel. If they do eventually respond, I'll update you (NR 6 June)
Phosphor Games - Reached out 20 December 2013
Quantic Dream - Request sent 6 May; As of 6 June, no response. No plans to send further follow-ups
Rebellion - Original message sent in March. No response as of 6 June. No plans to send further follow-ups
Remedy Games  -  No Response as of March 17; no solid contacts
Sony Computer Entertainment America - No Response after 2 months of follow-ups. No plans to send further emails

The Email I use to Contact Publishers & Developers:

Hi Folks.

My name is B. Chambers and I produce gaming video content for AlloySeven and other sites like VentureBeat, GameSkinny and RPGWatch.

I would like to know if [Insert Publisher Name] would allow me to produce transformative works (Reviews, Let's Plays, etc.) using video footage from games you own the copyrights to? 

Further, does [Insert Publisher Name] allow editors to take advantage of YouTube's Partner Program that places ads on the videos we make?

I hope this message finds you doing well and thanks in advance for your response.


Special shoutout to all of the publishers who've taken time to engage with me individually on this issue. We aim to respect your rights to the games you and your developers work hard to create.

Another special shoutout to TheMotleyBrit from Yogscast who originally compiled a good amount of the information you see here. 

Read 45150 times Last modified on Monday, 13 October 2014 14:32
B. Chambers

Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. 
Co-Founder AlloySeven.com - Writer - Gamer - Gym Rat - Musician - WebDeveloper -- @TheSecondLetter