Bad Press: The Curious Case Of Anthem And Stream Bans

For today’s bad press, I’m going to single out a certain Youtuber who goes by The Quartering even though he isn’t the only offender here.

In case you haven’t been paying attention to Youtube drama news over the past couple of days, an incident occurred last week after a user began streaming alpha footage of Anthem, the upcoming game by Electronic Arts. Anthem is still under a nondisclosure agreement, meaning anyone playing it is not allowed to talk about it or show it to the general public. These NDAs are very common in the gaming industry both for official testers and members of the press. I am personally under at least one NDA at any given time, usually in regards to timed press releases.

In this specific case, a number of Twitch users clipped a stream in which the user is booted from Anthem only to find that not only has EA revoked his copy of Anthem, but that his entire library is just gone. More interesting, it didn’t seem that the user’s account was banned, but just that his library was emptied by EA.

Cue the outrage, dial up the EA hate squad, and tell my wife I won’t be coming home for dinner. An unknown user has posted video of an unverified story with unfounded accusations and generally no real evidence to back up the claim. When has anyone ever lied on the internet? Why wouldn’t it make sense for EA to just wipe an account with no warning or notification, instead of simply banning the player? Did anyone receive confirmation that the guy even owned any games on the account? Did anyone follow up with the streamer? Did anyone follow up with Electronic Arts? Did anyone do any critical thinking or investigation whatsoever?

But the pesky concept of facts and evidence didn’t stop Youtube channels like The Quartering and the internet’s dramasphere from jumping on the drama with an overblown and arguably reckless disregard for the truth, with the headline “EA STEALS Players Entire Collection Over Anthem Alpha Stream!” What games did the user lose? I’m sure Jeremy can’t tell you and hasn’t performed any actual research outside of reading an article he found online. He even reads in the video that it is possible that Anthem was the sole item in the user’s library but continues regardless with the baseless accusation that EA STOLE from him.

I’m singling out The Quartering mostly because of Jeremy’s consistent advertisement of an Indiegogo campaign for Exclusively Games, a service that he is launching in order to get the politics out of games and focus on the games journalism. The campaign claims to be tired of “the same BS Hot Takes from our existing options in terms of video game news,” and yet here’s Jeremy. Making BS Hot Takes, putting out conclusive headlines with no real evidence. Imagine if he had, say, checked the user’s stream and was able to find a clip where it showed prior to entering the game that there were no games in the user’s account?

None of this changes the fact that EA would be within their rights to ban the user’s account for violating the nondisclosure agreement, and that an account ban would be the least of the person’s worries depending on the terms of the contract. But hey, everyone hates EA right now. Why bother putting in the basic amount of research or verifying the facts when few people are going to come to their defense?

Is this the kind of integrity that $68 grand buys?

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