You know, normally I’m the first person on the defense of MatPat, but hoo boy did he ever mess up this time. He recently played on his livestream channel, an indie game that’s been in development for a while and has just come out with the first chapter. The way they advertised the stream, as well as the tags and description of the stream were misleading at best, and just completely confusing, even if you actually know what’s going on. He tagged Toby Fox, despite that man having literally nothing to do with the game. The devs of the game sent a tweet, explaining why this hurt them.
Hey @MatPatGT I'm pretty disappointed here and so is our community. Your recent #GTLive came across as an Undertale clickbait mashup instead of being about #Heartbound. You never linked to our game and you got our studio name wrong as well. https://t.co/3UHMarlGPt pic.twitter.com/mE3we4H1HH
— Pirate Software @ Minefaire San Diego (@PirateSoftware) January 3, 2019
Mat’s response was… less than stellar. Basically brushing all the blame onto his staff, trying to explain that the thing that happened wasn’t a bad thing in the first place, and then essentially saying “well we do it that way with everything else, so deal with it.”
I’m sorry to hear you’re disappointed in our recent playthrough of Heartbound, but what you see as disrespectful, I would argue is the opposite. Let me explain…
– First, I don’t review the thumbnail, tags, description, etc. prior to livestreams going up any more. That’s handled by two members of our team. However, I trained them, so their decisions are on me.
– That said, their goal is to make livestreams as searchable as possible. And for games with limited searchability, that’s important as it gets them the audience and attention they deserve. It’s the same rationale behind our Deltarune videos being branded as Undertale 2.
Your game is great, and by relating it to something similar that our audience already knows and enjoys, we’re hoping to introduce them to it when they might not have checked it out if left with zero context. That’s the rationale. I hope it makes sense.
– Regarding links, we don’t tend to link back to the games we’re playing — that’s not an intentional slight on you, it’s just rarely something we do for games that aren’t fan-made or free. We’ll talk about having a more standard policy around that.
For a small developer, not being clear about who is making the game, as well as intentionally misleading the audience for “searchability” actually hurts them. Sure it gives more exposure to the game, but it doesn’t give anyone an idea of anything going on about it, and if they’re already following Toby Fox, who is in the tags, they’ll probably figure HE will talk about it on his social media, despite the fact that he actually has nothing to do with it.
Sure, those might be the kinds of business practices that work on YouTube, but those are the exact types of things that people have been criticizing YouTubers for for the last few years. It’s dishonest, and it makes your viewership see you as someone who values money over integrity. Toby Fox himself actually got in the ring and spoke up against what MatPat was saying.
You should link to ANY game you play. Creators need all the help they can get. And think carefully if you're misleading your audience with how you present your videos. You went too far this time.
— tobyfox (@tobyfox) January 4, 2019
It’s just impossible to be okay with what he did this time, and I can’t defend him.