Microsoft Studios now has a formal policy for YouTube and Twitch "Let's Play" video creators to use when they want to feature the company's titles in their streaming or video clips. In very basic terms, the new rules do allow those creators to make money off of videos based on Microsoft Studios titles, such as the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians for the Xbox One, but with some restrictions.
Here's the big change in the policy: "You may make your Item available on YouTube or Twitch and participate in programs on those sites that allow you to earn revenue from ads displayed in connection with your Item." This applies to all of the games developed and published by Microsoft Studios except for Minecraft, which actually has its own set of rules for Let's Play videos as established by Minecraft developer Mojang.
However, there are a number of restrictions that YouTube and Twitch video makers have to adhere to as well. For example, the video cannot be accessible via a paid subscription service, nor on an paid or subscription-based app. The game's title can't be used the video's title, either. The game itself cannot be modified and then filmed.
Finally, Microsoft won't allow the video to contain anything that it considers to be "objectionable." It states, "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."
Alright, people, get out there and make your Halo and Sunset Overdrive videos. But don't break those rules.
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