Xbox Changes Rules on Videos and Streaming of its Game Content (Updated)
Xbox's Major Nelson posted an update concerning the company's new Game Content Usage Rules. The new guidelines set by the Big M were definitely heavy on the jargon and technicalities, leaving most people with questions about what they can and can't do when it comes to their video game-related videos.
Here's what Major Nelson had to say about the rules:
We’ve heard the feedback and will be updating the language in the policy to provide some more examples and clarification of this clause with the revised version below:
In addition, your Items may not use the name of the Microsoft Game in their title to give the impression that Microsoft is the source of the Item, or authorized or endorsed the Item. Items that make referential use of our titles are fine, for example, “Let’s Play Forza Motorsport 5” or “Tips and Strategies for Halo 5.” Using the Game title to tag your Item on social media is fine. We also don’t object to “Red vs. Blue” or “Operation Chastity”. But we may object to “Halo: Covenant Strike,” for example, if it could be confused as something Microsoft produced or licensed, or if it could be mistaken as an official part of the Game. We just want to make sure consumers don’t get confused.
So giving your Halo 5: Guardians video review the title of 'Halo 5: Guardians Review' is perfectly acceptable, whew.
Microsoft has ruled out some big changes in regards to the online and monetizing policies concerning videos and streams featuring its video game content.
The Big M has issued a massive set of rules and guidelines in regards to making gameplay footage, screenshots, music and other content consisting of Xbox's games and putting it up online for the world to see, whether it be on YouTube, Twitch or other kinds of video broadcast websites. Just as long as you follow the rules, you are basically good to go when it comes to putting your own game-related content online. Unfortunately, these rules have gotten fairly elaborate and can confuse a lot of people who don't read the fine print. In particular, you must now put the following notice/disclaimer somewhere when sharing Xbox-related content with others in a public forum (note: you must have a working link to Xbox's Game Content Usage Rules website):.
[Name of the Microsoft Game] © Microsoft Corporation. [The title of your Item] was created under Microsoft's "Game Content Usage Rules" using assets from [Name of the Microsoft Game], and it is not endorsed by or affiliated with Microsoft.
You will likely have to put this disclaimer somewhere in the description part of your videos. While you're able to throw your content up on Twitch and YouTube and make ad-based revenue from those platforms, users are fully prohibited from selling their game-related content. This means if you sell videos of you in your underwear playing Xbox and what not or have a subscription-based website for that kind of thing, you can't do it anymore.
- Except as described here, you can't sell or otherwise earn any compensation from your Item, including through advertisements in the Item. This means you can't charge money in exchange for your Item, post it on a site that requires subscription or other fees to view the Item, or post it on a page you use to sell other items or services(even if they have nothing to do with Game Content or Microsoft). You also can't use Game Content in an app that you sell in an app store.
Microsoft is no longer allowing players to hack its games to access content that is locked away in the game's files or hidden somewhere in the disc that was not included in the final version of the game. This also includes on-disc DLC content that was locked away and required a download to unlock, such as Capcom's tendencies for having day one DLC hidden on the disc for players to buy later. This likely means goodbye to modding and hacking Microsoft Studios games on PC.
- You can't reverse engineer our games to access the assets or otherwise do things that the games don't normally permit in order to create your Items.
Of course, the usual disclaimers are in play, such as no pr0n, obscene, racist, hateful, violent or illegal activity (duh). While Microsoft has the final say on what is acceptable content, if the masses complain to Xbox, they'll likely put your content under the magnifying glass.
- You can't use Game Content to create an Item that is pornographic, lewd, obscene, vulgar, discriminatory (on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), illegal, hate speech, promoting violence, drug use or any illegal activity, promoting crimes against humanity, genocide or torture, or is otherwise objectionable. Whether an Item is "objectionable" is up to us, but you can expect us to be concerned if a significant number of people in the game’s community or the public at large report the content as offensive. If you see an Item or content that you consider objectionable, we recommend that you first report it to the online service where it is hosted, as it may violate that service’s policy too. But you can also report it to us here and we’ll see what we can do.
One of the last big rules Xbox mentioned are in regards to using its trademarked logos and names. Looks like you won't be able to use video game titles in your own content. We're honestly not sure how video reviews will be affected by the following rules:
- You can't use any of Microsoft's trademarked logos or names except in the ways described in the pages linked from www.microsoft.com/trademarks.
- In addition, your Items may not use the name of the Microsoft Game in their title. For example, we don't object to "Red vs. Blue". We don't object to "Operation Chastity". But we do object to "Halo [insert the title of your Item here]". We want to make sure consumers don't get confused.
Make sure you check Microsoft's Game Content Usage Rules website for other details (such as the use of video game music and audio segments). Please note that the blocky world of Minecraft, despite being owned by the Big M, has its own set of rules concerning these same topics. You can check out these rules on Mojang's official website.