Streaming games online is a positive thing for the community

offline version: Streaming games online is a positive thing for the community

gaming has become a multi-billion-dollar entertainment outlet worldwide. As of 2017, video gaming as a whole have produced $108.9 billion. (McDonald, 2017). This paper will look at the effects of streaming games online with the growing community watching these such streams. We will be looking at the positive effects such as the boost in sales from streaming online. The negative effects that companies believe there are such as streaming games online can be impeding on sale of video games because of seeing the game in full online. We will also look at the copyright laws in the most proficient country where this is happening, the USA, where most of the population that plays video games are either watching them online or streaming them online. This paper is going to be a supportive paper because n o matter what companies try to do, people will always try to stream games and companies have to get with the time.



gaming has become a multi-billion-dollar entertainment outlet worldwide. As of 2017, video gaming as a whole have produced $108.9 billion. (McDonald, 2017)As of 2011, websites such as, have provided an outlet that allow for players of video games to produce and present online live streams of gameplay content from video games. In 2016 the most streamed game on the site,, was overwatch by blizzard entertainment and the most watched mobile game of the year was Pokemon Go by Niantic and Gamefreak. (Freitas, 2017)this paper will look at the effects of streaming games online and the community that is involved. Firstly we will be looking at the positive effects of streaming games online, secondly we will look at the negative effects of streaming games online and thirdly we will look at the reason behind why there is a massive community that watch people play games online which was recently proven by the ninja and drake fortnite match on so what could be the negative effects of streaming video game for a community of viewers?


since the early stage of gaming there have been events, such as the Nintendo World Championships which was held for the first time ever in 1995. Since then the term Esports has been the term used to describe competitive events among professional gamers (, 2018). In 2017 alone there were multiple gameing events that are livestreamed on sites such as, such as E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). Getting back to the main topic at hand here, we are talking about the positive effects of say a single person or a group of people streaming games for everyone to watch. People who stream video games to sites such as youtube and are very likely to help sales with the game is if people like the game that is being played. (Foster, 2016)this is also has damaging effects but we will get into that in the next paragraph. The major effect companies who stream video games, such as Nintendo, is to get people interested in the video game and to possible buy the games. Nintendo since 2011(Nintendo, 2011)have been doing a stream of upcoming video games that either hasn’t been announced yet or has been announced to be releasing to give new information. This is used as a way to show off video games to consumers to get pre-orders and sales for upcoming games by making consumers aware that the games are coming out. Nintendo call these streams “Nintendo Directs”. Other companies such as PlayStation and Microsoft haven’t gone in the same path as Nintendo leaving everything to the big gaming convention E3, which can halt sales of games throughout the year. Getting back on point, popular YouTube personalities live stream them selves reacting to the “Nintendo Directs” which also helps support Nintendo and third party developers which are shown in the direct streams.

Twitch as a company has made a twitch stream just for Pokémon where people input commands into the chat and the game will respond with that command.(Bonilla, 2017)this stream has won a guniess world record for the most participation on a stream.

a major benefit of streaming games online as was already stated is the face that it can increase sales of video games. People see the videos and then go out and buy the games to experience the game for themselves but not all companies think the same way, as there was a case with a popular youtube streamer that I will get into in the next paragraph.

there are many negative effects that some companies can see and will only ever see when streaming games online. One of the main ones is that some companies see streaming games online as an attempt to impede on the sales of that game as viewers can see the entire game being played without buying the game. In September last year, the developer of a game known as Firewatch issued a DMCA Takedown of a popular youtube streamer, Pewdiepie, series of videos on the game. (clark, 2018)The developers thought that because Pewdiepie used a racial slur in his video that the game wouldn’t sell due to the fact he has 50 million subs on youtube. companies such as Nintendo like to enforce copyright against videos uploaded to youtube of gameplay which feature their music. I will be talking more in depth about this in the next paragraph.


most the the video game streaming comes from within the USA so let’s take a look at the United States of America copyright laws in regards to streaming games online. In section 109 of the copyright law document, video games come under the limitations on exclusive rights. It states that the music involved in a recording, weather it be used for a video game or not, is not to be used for anything other than commercial use.  (, 2016)this means, like what was stated in the last paragraph about Nintendo, that companies like Nintendo can claim copyright over the sound recording in a video game. The US law also states that a player of a game gets a license to play the game when purchased, but each game license is different depending on the company, and each company is different on what you can and can not share. (Hall, NA)In the United States of America, the use of game images and video are subject to copyrights held by the game’s developer or publisher, in the case of Nintendo copyrighting their music on all Nintendo game videos. What a game developer could do as a measure against it is issue a DMCA takedown of the video, which is what happened for Pewdiepie and his firewatch videos.  (Martemucci & Swerdlow, 2017)


now this paper will look at the Australian copyright laws. the Australian copyright law in regards to video games state that you can stop your work from being used in a way that harms your honour or reputation. This is called a right to integrity. (Australian Government, na)live streaming with in Australia is not protected by copyright laws and if you capture a third party copyright material, such as a video game music, this can be an infringement of copyright laws. (Australian copyriught council, 2017)


in conclusion, streaming video games online for an audience to watch is a positive experience for both the streamer and the audience watching. For a $108.9 billion enterprise, gaming has a large following. This means that people are willing to watch someone stream a game online.  Some companies think this Is a great way to market their games by having streamers play them, while others, like the development team behing firewatch, do not. The laws technically in the United States of America that a gaming company can issue a DMCA takedown against streams and videos containing their video games, which is what happened to popular youtube personality Pewdiepie. Within Australia, however, the law states that a video game developer has the right to stop a their work from being used in a way that harms their honour or reputation which is also known as the right to integrity.  This extends to live streaming in Australia, which is not protected by copyright law and as such the third party content, the video game in this case, is still owned by the creator and can issue an infringement notice.






Works Cited

Australian copyriught council. (2017, september na). Video Live-Streaming & Copyright .Retrieved april 2, 2018, from Australian Copyright Council:

Australian Government. (na, na na). Computer Games – legal issues for creative designers.Retrieved april 2, 2018, from Arts Law Center of Australia:

Bonilla, C. (2017, august 11). How Twitch and Streaming Have Changed Video Games for Good. Retrieved april 1, 2018, from make use of:

clark, w. (2018, January 29). How Twitch and Streaming Have Changed Video Games for Good. Retrieved april 1, 2018, from ars technica: (2016, december). copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Tıtle 17 of the United States Code.Retrieved april 2, 2018, from (2018, april 1). esports. Retrieved april 1, 2018, from

Foster, L. B. (2016). Effects of Video Game Streaming on Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors.Retrieved april 1, 2018, from Electronic theses and Dissertations :

Freitas, E. (2017, febuary 16). Presenting the Twitch 2016 Year in Review. Retrieved march 20, 2018, from

Hall, C. (NA, NA NA). Copyright Laws & Video Games .Retrieved april 2, 2018, from legalzoom:

Martemucci, M., & Swerdlow, A. (2017, june 1). Video Game Streaming Brings New Level Of Copyright Issues.Retrieved april 2, 2018, from law 360:

McDonald, E. (2017, april 20). The Global Games Market Will Reach $108.9 Billion in 2017 With Mobile Taking 42%. Retrieved march 20, 2018, from NewZoo:

Nintendo. (2011, october 21). Nintendo Direct 10.21.2011 – Reggie Fils-Aime Presents Nintendo Updates.





6 thoughts on “Streaming games online is a positive thing for the community

  1. Hi Joshua,

    I also touched on in my paper about the huge effect is having on the online gaming space and had not considered it’s power to drive sales but more so it’s power to provide a lifestyle to the streamers in the way of channel subscriptions & ad revenue.

    I agree that Nintendo have taken an interesting approach in terms of promotional content made by fans of their platform, whilst the vast majority of games companies see user-generated content of their games as free promotion – Nintendo see’s it as an infringement of their copyright as they cannot monetize the content and simply ban the videos (USGamer, 2017). This approach by Nintendo has caused heated debate within the games community, with many prominent streamers condemning Nintendo’s actions – however, Nintendo has not relented with the controversial ‘Content Creators Program’.

    I agree with the argument that streamers are infact good for the community, as it benefits lots of parties, from Twitch, to the streamers and to the increasingly-loyal viewers. In comparison, it’s still a very young space so it’s going to be interesting to see how it evolves!


    Kim, M. (2017). Video Creators Under Nintendo Creators Program Can No Longer Stream Live Games. Retrieved from

    1. I, as a youtube channel owner , have been in Nintendo’s “Content Creators Program”. That program basically gives you very little money for how much work you put into your videos of Nintendo gameplay. The reason stated on youtube as to why they copyright your videos is because of the music tracks in the games. Nintendo also have another program called “Nintendo Brand Ambassador” which is where they send you games to review/play on youtube for promotion and they expect you to only be positive when promoting and playing them, don’t know if they copyright those videos though.

      Streamers are doing very well promoting games, look at fortnite. That was once an unknown game but is now the most popular game on the planet in regards to streaming.

  2. Hi Joshua

    Thanks for sharing your paper here. I agree with your argument that there are far more benefits in streaming gameplay for both the players and the manufacturers. It seems unfortunate that some companies appear to be acting somewhat overly protective of their material, possibly to their economic detriment and not recognise the benefit of allowing players to broadcast their gameplay successes online.

    You might find a news article posted this week by Reuters very interesting that reported on the success of the free game Fortnite Battle Royale, which recently set a new record of 3.4 million people playing the game at the same time. The report also highlighted the many live streamers on, some who are reportedly earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per month (Reuters TV, 2018). This example shows how allowing players to stream their games is actually a successful form of free marketing for the manufacturer, as viewers become interested in the game and start playing it themselves.

    Pre-recorded videos of gameplay of many games on YouTube channels tend to be viewed more for tutorial purposes (I’ve used YouTube many times to help me get through difficult sections of games such as Fallout 3 and 4, Borderlands, Mass Effect and even Skyrim). However, live streamed games appear to be more for entertainment, with many viewers choosing to watch favourite players or teams and not only watching on their own, but with others, sharing their reactions and expressions of enjoyment through the gameplay (Sjöblom, & Hamari, 2017).

    It will be interesting to see if more game manufacturers catch on to the proven benefit of allowing players to stream gameplay of their games and subsequently increase the popularity of their product and their income.


    How a free game became a money machine. (2018). Reuters TV.
    Retrieved from:

    Sjöblom, M., & Hamari, J. (2017). Why do people watch others play video games? An empirical study on the motivations of Twitch users. Computers in Human Behavior, 75, 985-996. Retrieved from:

    1. I find as someone who has ran a Youtube channel for a few years, I find that people tend to attend livestreams of people playing video games more and more so they can interact with the player, rather than just comment on a video of a game that has already been recorded. Your point about the pre-recorded gameplay being used for tutorials is a great point. I have in the past watched videos like that for difficult levels in games I have played.

  3. Hi Joshua,

    I have never considered before how streaming may affect gaming companies; I always assumed that it would build hype for the game, convincing people that they need to buy it themselves. When really considering it, though, I’ve come to realise that there are those that only watch the videos. I have actually seen people like this in my personal life. My partner’s siblings are always on their iPads, watching people play games on YouTube. They don’t have a computer, or a console, so they never play the games themselves, and their parents certainly don’t purchase it for them. They love the games, and appreciate the build, but the reality is that the companies are unlikely to benefit from it, so how are the games meant to continue? That’s just one example of a small collection of people, but I’m sure there are many others like this, from all ages.

    People always want to see ‘in-game play’ to make sure that they will be spending their money on something that is worthy of it, but what happens when people are releasing the whole game when streaming it? Think about all the people who game that have the kind of personality where they won’t watch a movie after someone has spoiled the ending – and then think about how they may react to watching streamed videos and neglecting to purchase the game because they feel that they have already played it.

    I admit that I have done this myself. A few years ago, I was interested in a game called “Lucifer”. Basically, it’s a game where you play as the Antichrist, a devil child. I was thoroughly interested in the game play and the story behind this game, and was considering purchasing it. I got into some videos that streamed the game, and then found that I got so deep into them that I decided not to purchase it, and instead just finished the videos. After all, I already knew what was going to happen, so what was the point?

    I think this is largely the line of thinking that these restrictive copyright companies are following – while streaming may increase the hype, there is also a lot of financial suffering that this will produce, probably with more cons than pros.

    Another thing to think about: what about streamers that swear in their videos, make crude comments, or include other questionable material in their videos while playing a game? Some companies may not want their games to be portrayed in that way, or be associated with gamers that look as if they are representing them. It ,may seem unrealistic, but some people will not play games if questionable online personalities are outwardly known to represent them.

    Great stuff, and an interesting discussion. You raised some really great points that I haven’t really considered until now!


    Josephine Gunther

    1. That is what I thought at first as well but ultimately, after actually running a Youtube channel for a few years I have found out that streaming games online does not always gain the company the sales required as people just watch the games being played online. This would attribute for the loss in sales for the company.

      there are games available with multiple endings, for instance the Mass Effect franchise. Some people who watch streamers online who play these types of games want to see other endings or the streamers journey through the game. Whereas games that have a linear story, such as The Legend of Zelda series, just watch it to see the “final boss” or “the ending” of the game. This then brings up a grey area as to whether streaming a linear story game is within the best interest of the company that owns the game.

      Just something else to think about.

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