When it comes to making YouTube videos, one of the biggest markets right now is Video Games and E-Sports. As a result, there have been more and more videos popping up on YouTube of tutorials, gameplay, hacks, glitches, and more – basically everything revolving around video games. I’m a very big YouTuber, and gaming videos are some of the most popular videos period.
The big question, regarding all these videos, is this: Can you make money off of Video Game videos on YouTube? Can You Monetize Gaming Videos on YouTube?
The answer is a grey area, which I’m going to break up into 3 categories: 1. You created the game 2. You didn’t create the game but you received permission to monetize the video and 3. You didn’t create the game and you didn’t explicitly get permission to monetize the video.
1. You created the game
Starting it off with the most obvious, if you created the game and have the legal rights to everything (visuals, music, etc), you can obviously monetize the game. Especially for video game developers and coders, you can upload as many videos as you want of all the projects you’ve personally created.
2. You didn’t create the game, but they gave permission
Starting to get more realistic, certain companies have given explicit permission that you can monetize videos containing gameplay of their video games. Blizzard, the creator of World of Warcraft (among other games), gives explicit permission in its terms for YouTubers to monetize videos of any of their games. In this case, as you can easily guess, you’re completely okay to monetize videos (do research beforehand to be 100% sure!).
3. You didn’t create create the game and you didn’t receive explicit permission
Now this is the main bulk of this post, and the real question that most of you are probably asking. Most of the gaming videos on YouTube fall into this category, and it’s a bit of a grey area. As time goes on, however, things are becoming a lot more clear as gaming videos become more normal.
First off, YouTube can now detect which video game you’re playing. When you try and monetize the video, you should receive more information about monetizing the video. This changes from video game to video game, and it’s also always changing in terms of what companies allow, so this can make it a bit more clear.
Secondly, under YouTube’s terms, they state that you’re allowed to monetize videos that provide “instructional and/or educational value and is strictly tied to the live action being shown.” They are very strict on this, and here’s essentially what it boils down to.
Assuming you haven’t received permission and YouTube didn’t detect the game, if you post a video of your “Top 5 Sniper Kills,” for example, you can’t monetize it. Especially if the video is only from the game, you’re not really adding anything to the video. However, on the other hand, if you post a walkthrough/tutorial where you’re demonstrating how to get past a certain level, you can absolutely monetize it.
Now if you do want to post a video of you playing online, always make sure to add some type of instructional and/or educational value to the video itself. Having yourself in the corner (like typical Twitch videos) talking about what’s going on, talking about details, etc, can really make the video easier to monetize.
Always ask yourself: Are you adding anything extra to the video (informative and/or educational), or is it just a plain video of the video game?