YouTubers required to be positive in return for Shadow of Mordor review code, report claims

Persuading viewers to purchase” and putting FCC disclosures at the bottom of the video description are among the many requirements asked of YouTubers who wanted to review Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

That’s according to a new video from Jim Sterling in which he reveals a long list of demands made by Warner Bros’ PR firm that were being asked of video reviewers.

Stipulations for access to pre-release PC code for the game allegedly stated that YouTubers must:

  • Maximise awareness for the game during the ‘week of vengeance’
  • Persuade viewers to purchase game
  • Not show bugs or glitches that may exist
  • Discuss the story
  • Include discussion of the Nemesis system – this really should take up the bulk of the focus, such as how different the orcs are, how vivid their personalises are” etc.

Also stipulated was that standard FCC disclosure should be contained within the body of the description after the links and call to action (placing it after ‘show more’ button)

Videos will have a strong verbal call to action, a clickable link in the description box for the viewer to go to the game’s website to learn about the game to learn how to register and play the game,” the agreement added. Twitch stream videos will have five calls to action. Videos will be of sufficient length to feature gameplay and build excitement.

Videos will promote positive sentiment about the game”

Reviewers were also told that they must not mention LOTR or Hobbit movies, characters or books” and, most worryingly of all, that the company has final approval on the YouTube video at least 48 hours before any video goes live”.

Sterling also says that Warner allowed sponsored Mordor videos to go up but content ID’d videos from those not signed up to the agreement.

MCV has contacted Warner for comment.

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