As the games industry continues to evolve, the ethics of those providing coverage are being scrutinised like never before.
The dawn of the YouTuber in particular has raised some serious ethical and moral questions, and rumours that developers are paying for coverage, while YouTubers are demanding it, continue to gain traction and weight.
The question, however, remains largely unanswered: are YouTubers really taking payments in exchange for coverage, and is the ethical landscape of games journalism really changing, for better or for worse?
Pay to play
In an attempt to shed more light on the subject, Gamasutra's Mike Rose asked 325 developers whether they've ever actually paid to have their game covered by a specific personality.
The results show that, right now, the overwhelming majority of developers have not paid for coverage, with only 5 out of the 325 admitting to paying a flat fee, and 7 admitting to offering a slice of revenue.
So, while the industry might not currently be as ethically dubious as people imagine, the next question, which asked whether a developer has considered paying a YouTuber, shows that the pay to play coverage system will likely take hold at some point.
When asked if they'd thought about offering monetary incentives in exchange for coverage, 19.1 percent of developers revealed they'd seriously considered offering a flat fee, while 11.6 percent had thought about giving up a share of their revenue in exchange for exposure.
If these results really are a sign of things to come, we should expect to see more developers paying for YouTube coverage, and, one would hope, more YouTubers taking steps to become transparent about the payment they're receiving.
To see the full article, and explore Mike's in-depth research, you can head on over to Gamasutra by following this link.