An interesting article from Gamasutra explores whether traditional games journalism is slowly being damaged by the advent of the YouTube video game personality. The article, "Is YouTube killing the traditional games press?" goes directly to game developers to ask them if having their videogames played or highlighted by a popular YouTube personality has had an actual impact on sales. For the most part, the majority of those queried about the topic said that being noticed by a popular YouTuber has been really good for business.
One thing that even YouTubers admit though, is that traditional AAA publishers haven't quite gotten a handle on the situation and still rely heavily on traditional media outlets to promote their games.
"I may differ from most YouTube commenters talking about an issue like this," says popular YouTuber Jesse Cox. "I think much of the 'importance' of YouTubers in the gaming world is perpetuated by YouTubers wanting to be important in the gaming world."
Cox goes on to say that most AAA publishers – for the time being, at least – do not care about YouTubers.
"You can get invites, and yes, you will be shown around booths, but you will never have the access that traditional media has," he says, referring to events like E3. "Because the people in charge of these companies still respond to them far more than they will ever respond to you."
Still, publishers like EA have created internal programs to get their games in the hands of popular YouTubers and to work more closely with them because they see the space as a new promotional vehicle that often isn't really about reviewing games at all – but about playing them and having fun.
You can check out the feature here. The real take-away is that indies and smaller studios get a lot more mileage out of getting their games in the hands of YouTubers than AAA publishers. But when guys like Pew Die Pie are making millions of dollars it's hard for anyone who makes a video game to ignore their huge influence on this generation of gamers.