The monetization Let’s Play videos on YouTube is one of the burning issues of today: several companies have taken different positions. For example, Nintendo actively discourages use of their games for this while Riot Games embraces the exposure. Today, Microsoft Studios made its position public. It seems that Microsoft will allow Let’s Players and Twitch streamers to monetize on their games, provided they meet certain rules. The actual rules can be found here.
While Microsoft does have some games available on Steam, what’s interesting about this development isn’t the direct affects, but the potential ramifications it can have on the future of the Steam community. As Steam continues to have more and more features added to make it friendlier to content creation, having separate rules for each publisher can lead to a logistical nightmare of research. Having to check each game first before playing it on a subscription or ad supported channel will lead to many games getting ignored.
Microsoft certainly isn’t wrong to set in stone their own policy, and it is reasonable in general. My personal hope is that an industry standard can eventually be reached that is fair to the content creators while keeping the game makers from having to worry about their name being attached to vile trash.