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Earlier this week, we shared some stats showing the great start Spirittea is off to. Spirittea, the rural life sim inspired by Studio Ghibli classic Spirited Away, has already attracted over 150,000 players and reached $1 million in revenue during its first month, making it profitable on day one. Development costs have now essentially been made back three times over, and plans to heavily expand the game in future months and years are secured.

You’d think these numbers would be cause for celebration, and they indeed are. They also appear to be an occasion for the game’s publisher, No More Robots, to take to X and share some comments on social media influencers that quite a few gamers disagree with.

Mike Rose, the founder of publisher No More Robots, put together a long thread on X about the launch of Spirittea. Most of the thread was related to the game’s reception and sales so far, but things eventually shift to a discussion of coverage from influencers, specifically on YouTube. Rose mentions that there appears to be very little coverage for Spirttea on YouTube, but it’s not for a lack of trying.

Rose goes on to reveal that No More Robots reached out to YouTubers for coverage, but they all wanted to be paid. Rose wasn’t comfortable paying these influencers to create videos, and you can read his full comments on the matter below.

A hugely noticeable thing that happened during this launch, was that we got absolutely zero YouTube coverage at all. Go search Spirittea on YouTube, and you’ll see there’s just a couple of big videos. Nearly every YouTuber who got back to us, wanted money to make a video.

Now look, I get it – that’s just how this works now. YouTubers want you to pay them to cover your games. Alright, sure. But I just don’t want to do that. It feels weird and icky and disingenuous, and I just can’t do it. So I guess our games won’t get covered on YouTube anymore!

Of course, the fact that we still managed a $1m launch without any influencer support makes me think “what could we have achieved if I did pay some people”. So maybe I’ll be forced to it in the future. But God, I just really don’t want to. It’s so f@#%ing eugh.

[Mike Rose, No More Robots]

Many people were quick to fire back at Rose on X by saying that a lot of work goes into creating videos for games, and those content creators deserve to be paid for their time. As far as we can see, Rose is yet to reply to the backlash or share further thoughts on the matter. If he does offer up another round of comments, we’ll make sure to check back in.

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Comments (4)

Most Upvoted

jumpmanfr

Well, I agree content creators deserve to be paid, but rather by their viewers.
As soon as they get paid by the publisher, the video becomes an advertisement, not a genuine hands-on discovery of the game.

jumpmanfr

3M ago

Well, I agree content creators deserve to be paid, but rather by their viewers.
As soon as they get paid by the publisher, the video becomes an advertisement, not a genuine hands-on discovery of the game.


enthropy

3M ago

@jumpmanfr

They are getting greedy too. Greed surely is a human trait!


enthropy

3M ago

Good thing you posted this and gave the game another sale. Inspired by Spirited Away was enough fpr me to check it out =D


contra12

3M ago

@jumpmanfr, that’s why disclosure is both important and legally required. The problem comes in when developers/publishers expect content creators to do work for them for free. If a dev/pub wants to send a creator a game key and allow them to do an honest review (and ONLY if they feel like it and are under no obligation to), that’s fine, but what happens is they ask to send a game key in exchange for a favorable review. Lots of devs/pubs do it and it’s pretty shady. If game devs/pubs are demanding a favorable review, that IS advertising and the creator should be paid to make the ad (the video review, etc) and they are required to disclose.