Attempting to become a main player in the YouTube game is hard. It’s about as challenging as challenging as becoming a respected actress without flopping your boobs out of your shirt, or a respected producer without diddling kids. Well, one YouTuber named Suggestive Gaming found themselves on the wrong side of plagiarism when the much larger outlet, GameRanx, ended up lifting their footage wholesale for one of their own videos without crediting Suggestive Gaming.
The entire event unfolded thanks to a post on Reddit from user jorapi that garnered more than 14 thousand upvotes (and of course was removed from /r/gaming due to the mods being corrupt). Suggestive Gaming, home to just 7 thousand subscribers, detailed how their God of War video that was published on July 14th, 2017, and was ripped off of for GameRanx’s video.
The video in question that GameRanx put together was published on January 6th, 2018 and broadcast to their 3.9 million subscribers. It was half the amount of time as Suggestive Gaming’s video, and featured content that was edited together by Suggestive Gaming. When the Reddit thread appeared, GameRanx lead producer, Jake Baldino, claimed that they never saw Suggestive Gaming’s video, writing in a post…
“Hey there! Lead producer of the Gameranx channel here. As such, I take full responsibility for everything we make, and I can confidently tell you we’ve never seen your video.”
Baldino’s bloviating wasn’t enough to convince Redditors. Users quickly pointed out that the way some of the scenes transition between the two videos are identical, especially since how Suggestive Gaming edited the cutscenes together. The smaller YouTube channel featured transitions from one scene into the next that were not originally sequenced that way in the actual God of War games. YouTuber Looc put together a demonstration to show how the GameRanx video used the footage directly from Suggestive Gaming for their own content.
As proof began to mount up and the internet rage machine getting into full pitchfork overdrive, Baldino offered a retraction on his previous statements, fessing up to evidence that was presented, writing…
“This looks like you are correct, and now I need to admit I was wrong and that this slipped by under my watch. It looks like on of our editors ripped your cutscenes and while I stand by the rest of our script/content, that is still unacceptable.”
That wasn’t all, though. GameRanx also removed their God of War video and took to Twitter to offer a formal apology that wasn’t buried in downvotes and ego-humbling criticisms. The tweet states “We need to apologize”, and was published on January 7th, 2018.
We need to apologize. pic.twitter.com/rH6bEctSTr
— gameranx (@gameranx) January 7, 2018
For those of you who can’t read the message, it states…
“As you probably know, it has come to light that we used other creators’ footage (from both [Suggestive Gaming] and PeanutButterGamer) in parts of our videos. One of our editors got lazy, and it slipped by. That is no excuse – we realize this is a grave mistake and completely unacceptable. The blame is not on one, it’s on all of us as a whole.
“We are also looking at our process and investigating other videos that this editor has done in the past, but the damage is already done. We genuinely apologize to the creators and viewers we pissed off, and moving forward to 2018 this will not happen again.
“Thank you for holding us accountable.”
The apology was obviously received with some open arms on Twitter, since the social network fosters safe space engagements. The Reddit community was a lot more enraged and honest about the deflection tactics that were originally used to underplay and wash away the problem. However, as Gabe Newell once said…
“One of the things we learned pretty early on is ‘Don’t ever, ever try to lie to the internet – because they will catch you.’”
Truer words have never been spoken in today’s digital age.