Anthem, Bioware’s online cooperative action-RPG, released on February 22nd 2019. Reviews are now being published, but not all have good things to say about it. YouTuber Gggmanlives, who is a part of EA’s Game Changers community partnership program, was sponsored by EA to review Anthem. After posting a negative review of the game, the reviewer claimed that EA not only forced him to take the video down, but also blacklisted him from Game Changers.
At first, everyone believed that the take down was because of the negative review. The situation quickly escalated, but has EA finally responded and is denying the accusations.
I'm blacklisted by EA now and had to delete it.
— Gggmanlives (@Ggdograa) February 22, 2019
When the rumor first started earlier today, the community quickly became very upset. EA’s Lee Williams tried to clear up the air by responding to accusations. He clarified that the video was taken down because some “conditions on disclosure on sponsored weren’t met”. Furthermore, he stated that Gggmanlives isn’t, and never was blacklisted from Game Changers. As Williams didn’t disclose exactly what was the issue, people didn’t believe that to be the real reason behind the take down.
“I basically wasn’t allowed to say anything negative about the game if I also had the watermark in because the watermark means EA endorses it and shares it through the Game Changers network or something,” Gggmanlives told VG247. “I really don’t know what it all means.”
A few hours into the controversy, EA finally broke silence and cleared up the air regarding the forced take down. In their statement to Variety, they confirmed that the review was taken down as it failed to meet the disclosure guidelines.
“Our GameChangers program is not designed to pay for review content,” EA says. “We don’t believe in that. In this case, the conditions for disclosure for this specific video were not met – which is something we adhere very strictly to – so we asked for it to be taken down and corrected. We’ve not asked for the content of the video to be changed, or ‘blacklisted’ the creator.”
It is now clear that the EA watermarks in the video were the reason for the review being taken down. As the ordeal hopefully comes to a close, the original video has been re-uploaded without the the watermarks.