People Make Games
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2018—present
Subscribers497 thousand[1]
Total views33.1 million[1]

Last updated: 9 January 2024

People Make Games (PMG) is a British investigative video game journalism YouTube channel. The channel focuses on the developers and people who make video games. People Make Games has reported on topics such as video game crunch,[2][3] outsourcing,[4] and worker exploitation.

History

The group was created by the couple[5] Chris Bratt and Anni Sayers in 2018, who were previously both journalists working for Eurogamer. Sayers creates the graphics. Quintin Smith, a journalist from Rock Paper Shotgun, joined in 2020.[6] The channel is viewer-funded with Patreon;[7] in June 2022, the Patreon made US$17,409 per month.[6] Additional funding comes from Loading Bar, a chain of bars in London and Brighton.[8]

Notable reports

Roblox

Further information: Roblox § Alleged exploitative practices towards children

In a video published in August 2021, Smith accused Roblox's parent company, Roblox Corporation, of exploiting the platform's young game developers.[9][10] Smith argues the revenue split is significantly less favourable toward developers than other video game marketplaces,[11][12][13] and players are incentivized to keep all ingame currency, which Smith likened to scrip, on Roblox by having high minimum withdrawal amounts and low exchange rates.[14][15] In a followup video released in December 2021 titled "Roblox Pressured Us to Delete Our Video. So We Dug Deeper.", he further accused the platform of having child safety issues[16][17][18] and criticized its "collectibles stock market" by likening it to gambling.[19]

Annapurna Interactive

In March 2022, the channel reported on three video game studios publishing under Annapurna Interactive — Mountains, Fullbright, and Funomena. In all three cases, employees reportedly reached out to Annapurna Interactive, addressing concerns regarding abuse and a toxic work environment being created by the studio founders. In hopes of getting Annapurna Interactive to mediate, employees stated that the publisher was siding mostly with the founders in question. According to one former studio employee, representatives of Annapurna Interactive had been quoted responding that "without strong personalities, games don't get made." Bratt described these incidents as part of a greater pattern of auteur culture that can be found across the independent film and video game industry.[20][21] Following the video, Robin Hunicke, one of the heads of Funomena, issued a Twitter apology, before stating to staff alongside Funomena co-founder Martin Middleton that there would be layoffs at Funomena and that the studio would likely close due to the video and its impact on the studio's ability to secure outside funding.[22]

VRChat and the Metaverse

In their video titled "Making Sense of VRChat, the "Metaverse" People Actually Like" released May 2022, PMG praised VRChat's ability to provide a social space for transgender and disabled people as well as furries, while criticising the approach of Meta Platforms to virtual reality,[23] and its "sexless, Zuckerbergian, brand-friendly presentation".[24]

CS:GO skin gambling

In November 2022, PMG reported on skin gambling in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and argued that Valve generally avoided taking action on gambling websites using their game, thus "facilitating unregulated gambling by children".[25]

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Category Result Ref.
2022 New York Game Awards Best Games Journalism Nominated [26]
2023 Nominated [27]
MCV/Develop Awards Media Brand of the Year Won [28]
The Game Awards Content Creator of the Year Nominated

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "About PeopleMakeGames". YouTube.
  2. ^ Video Game Developers Outsource 'Crunch' Time (Radio broadcast). WBUR. March 24, 2021. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  3. ^ Bashir, Dale (March 8, 2021). "Malaysian CGI Art Studio Lemon Sky Denies Allegations Staff Undergo Crunch Without Pay". IGN Southeast Asia. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Bonthuys, Darryn (March 8, 2021). "New People Make Games Video Examines How Big Publishers Exploit Outside Labor". GameSpot. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  5. ^ Bratt, Chris (December 1, 2023). "Some of the people who make People Make Games are also making a person". Patreon. People Make Games. Retrieved December 1, 2023. ...we've been in a relationship for nearly seven years now.
  6. ^ a b Grayson, Nathan (June 7, 2022). "Meet the YouTubers exposing the dark side of making video games". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  7. ^ Good, Owen S. (January 19, 2019). "They found the Queen's golden Wii!". Polygon. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  8. ^ Bratt, Chris [@chrisbratt] (September 5, 2022). "Thanks, as ever, to @LoadingBar for supporting the show. They've got three different bars and I'm sure you'll have a nice time visiting any of them, but only the Brighton one has such photogenic seagulls" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (August 20, 2021). "Roblox 'exploiting' young game developers, new investigation reports". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  10. ^ Carpenter, Nicole (November 24, 2021). "Roblox sues banned 'cybermob leader' for terrorizing the platform, its developers". Polygon. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  11. ^ Dealessandri, Marie (November 25, 2021). "Roblox 101: Adopt Me developer's tips on finding success". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  12. ^ Rousseau, Jeffrey (August 20, 2021). "Roblox business model criticized as exploiting children". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  13. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecilia (August 19, 2021). "On Roblox, Kids Learn It's Hard to Earn Money Making Games". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  14. ^ Hilliard, Wesley (March 19, 2021). "What is Roblox? Everything you need to know about the latest craze". AppleInsider.com. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  15. ^ Cuevas, Zackery; Mogan, Rachel (October 9, 2021). "Is it worth paying for a Roblox Premium membership?". Android Central. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  16. ^ Alexander, Cristina (December 13, 2021). "People Make Games reports Roblox is riddled with child abuse". Gamepur. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  17. ^ Hoffman, William (December 16, 2021). "Roblox (RBLX) stock down 18% amid user safety concerns". Capital.com. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  18. ^ Campbell, Kyle (December 15, 2021). "Roblox is facing accusations of being unsafe for children". For The Win. USA Today. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  19. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (December 13, 2021). "Roblox criticized for lack of safeguards for kids, stock-market-like collectibles". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  20. ^ Bratt, Chris (March 18, 2022). Investigating Three Indie Superstars Accused of Emotional Abuse. People Make Games. Retrieved March 19, 2022 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ Chalk, Andy (March 18, 2022). "Two reports paint a troubling picture of workplace abuses at acclaimed indie studios". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  22. ^ Grayson, Nathan (June 7, 2022). "Meet the YouTubers exposing the dark side of making video games". Washington Post. Retrieved June 19, 2022.
  23. ^ Cross, Katherine Alejandra. "It's Not Too Late to Save the Metaverse". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  24. ^ Colp, Tyler (August 2, 2022). "The VRChat documentary gets VR right, but already feels old". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  25. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (November 11, 2022). "Gaming's gambling problem is out of hand | This Week in Business". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  26. ^ Ankers-Range, Adele (February 2, 2022). "New York Game Awards 2022 Winners Announced". IGN.
  27. ^ "Awards! Here Are The Nominees For The Best Journalism Stories Of The Year!". New York Game Critics Circle. January 10, 2023.
  28. ^ Shoemaker, Richie (May 12, 2023). "Congratulations to the 2023 MCV/DEVELOP Award winners!". MCV/Develop.