View Full Version : Negative reactions from artists about the BG&E 2 HITRECORD deal

06-13-2018, 10:13 PM
Joseph Gordon-Levitt made a tweet to promote the HITRECORD deal (https://twitter.com/hitRECordJoe/status/1006881633604161536) but as you can see, the reactions are very negative. The replies are worth a read, but in summary what HITRECORD is doing is criticized for being "spec work". In other words, artists are asked to work on content without being sure if they'll even get paid. HITRECORD will apparently be the ones choosing which art is used and forwarded to Ubisoft, and artists will only receive a (yet to be determined) amount of money for their contribution.

Of course, the fact that this is a company with deep pockets such as Ubisoft doing this makes things worse, as Ubisoft is clearly capable of paying their artists and doesn't actually need to use this strategy. HITRECORD has set $50.000 aside to pay artists for the work on the game, but it's entirely unclear how much, if anything, an artist will be paid for their work. I understand the idea behind this was to involve the community and I noticed a lot of people have submitted work already, but I have to wonder how much of this is just not going to be used? Artist T B Skyen made a video about this on his YouTube channel, and he's not happy (warning: lots of swearing):


Joseph has now tweeted that he's reading the feedback and will write a proper response (https://twitter.com/hitRECordJoe/status/1006981907068751872), but judging from the replied to this new tweet I don't imagine he'll manage to sway opinions. While I don't think HITRECORD and Ubisoft are genuinely trying to exploit artists here, I hope they take a good look at all the criticism and review what they're doing here.

This is a video from HITRECORD (https://hitrecord.org/records/3509110) where they explain more about how the monetization works. Joseph also tweeted this article earlier, in an attempt to explain the monetization process: https://mashable.com/2018/06/12/joseph-gordon-levitt-ubisoft-monetization-beyond-good-and-evil.amp

06-14-2018, 01:23 AM
I can understand why this wasn't received well. Freelance artists need to protect the way they work and this alternative could contribute negatively to the industry (no negotiations, doing work without a guarantee of pay, etc). I even think unpaid art tests are shady. That said, like this guy said in this video (before he has a meltdown), this might be for fans who just want their work in the game. Maybe they aren't freelancers. People should contribute if they want - it sounds like a cool opportunity.

Personally, If I were Ubisoft, I wouldn't have gotten involved in this. Bad publicity is bad publicity and now we won't be able to bring up BG&E2 without people making comments about fans working on the game.

06-14-2018, 09:09 AM
I've been debating with them all day... They're really mean. My perspective as a hopeful creator is completely different. Got to a point where they thought I was being paid to promote it. I take that as a compliment. I feel I'm speaking for hopefuls like me from around the world. People who create or are looking to create, giving those who don't know where to start a place to play and contribute to a universe; or at least maybe find incidentally collaborators via HitRec. I've noticed it's mostly illustrators who don't get it and their white knights with rally torches. As a musician, I love this. As an aspiring voice actor with a mic, I love this. What doesn't get used, I'll use for something else, or I've just added to digital pollution. They salty about a cattle call.

I wish this whole project all the best.

Tussling with the horde was fun. I got bored when the trolls showed up. (https://twitter.com/hitRECordJoe/status/1006981907068751872)

06-15-2018, 06:40 AM
It's sketchy, and most creatives who participate will indeed work for nothing (because their entries aren't chosen to be in the final game) ... on a multi million dollar project... well. It reminds me of a similar idea that went snafu.


At the very heart of it, creatives are called to work on a project, and most of them won't be paid. This is a hugely problematic setup, as much as I love Gordon-Levitt, and it sadly is about the worst time to introduce a concept like that. The work of the artists Ubisoft employs may be rejected as well, but they're still getting paid for it. The work they're getting offered through this program offers them the way better deal.

It was an idea of a much smaller scale in Dreamfall Chapters (though of course no money was offered to the "winners" of RTG's contest), and they still got totally clobbered for it. For Ubisoft to pull off roughly the same thing and NOT get kicked in the groin, that would be downright unfair. :cool:

On the whole, well, I still believe it should be a personal choice of the individual whether to participate. Back then, we (the RTG community) were floored when the contest was cancelled. But yes of course I can understand the industry professionals. This is their turf, and it threatens their turf and the payment of their work.

This is a great idea! But it probably just doesn't work this way.

Yeah i'm super disappointed with this approach too. My problem is not the money. I wrote on almost every post on old BGE forums when they asked questions, i used to read other's feedback too. Now that all is just gone.They hid all the content.(If i want too see my old posts now, then what?) Seems sketchy. Now there is this THIRD PARTY who wants our artworks?! Wait, so what about the people who have been giving feedback(in terms of writing) for over a year? No acknowledgment and now they switched to drawings and sound(Literally no post for writers). So they expect us to do everything i guess or they just really want whatever they can get from wherever possible. Then i visit HITrecord and i am getting small small clues to the game's storyline through the videos put up there. I mean some of the fans don't even the know the good number of details they revealed in some of these HITRECORD videos. Now here are the rules mentioned before posting on HITRECORD. NOTE: Following these guidelines will ensure that your art can be remixed and built on by other artists, and "ultimately used as assets in the game" And what are the guidelines---->A)Please work in the RGB colorspace(WTF is that?) B)Please leave your type layers editable — don’t outline them (in Illustrator) or rasterize them (in Photoshop)(SO I GUESS MY HAND DRAWINGS WONT WORK? Ohkay) C)We need a minimum of 4096 pixels(WHY REALLY?)
I thought the whole idea was to give opportunities to people who are not quite well verse with such things? "Inclusion of diversity is a very important theme" "ALSO but we're giving out money so don't panic".

I was so excited when i first saw BGE2 trailer. As an Indian, it excited me that someone is making a game on our culture and gods. I visited bgegmae almost every other day. Before the HITRECORD; for me there was a direction, by giving small small clues you could create your own ideas and go further with the theme. Now they poured out so much information so randomly in so scattered out videos(not on E3 but on a THIRD PARTY WEBSITE) i don't even know what are they thinking of. I don't mind that they are asking us to make board signs and geoglyph puzzles(It's actually pretty cool) but i don't think they are thinking of the same space monkeys who were giving out their ideas on original bgegame.com. I can (hand)draw and i already have some characters and ideologies drawn before the HITRECORD thing happened, I was just waiting for another post on bgegame but when i saw THAT, it made me so disappointed. I can still upload pictures of my drawings up there but no way im doing this now. IT ALL SEEMED SKETCHY and further when i read about the HITRECORD image on few other forums and the money things, i understood what is happening. I still have faith in Ancel, there might come few posts about writing and drawing together for some ideas but for now i have lost interest and i am more sad than mad to say this.

11-11-2018, 03:53 AM
Most people are paranoid creatures, instead of just waiting to see how it plays out, they lash out and start thinking of the worst case scenario right off the bat. I personally think it's an amazing thing that they're involving the community, and rather unexpected, there's a lot of untapped talent out there, and this could really be a good excuse for them to start creating.