On Monday, as first reported by Gamasutra, Chrono.gg is a daily sales site that offers daily deals for games at a discounted price. For example, the current deal at the time of writing this article is The Banner Saga, which is on sale for 75% off. But sales platforms come and go, but there’s a little bit of a difference here, as the site is putting an emphasis on “influencers”, which include prominent Youtubers and Twitch Streamers. Basically, by promoting the sale via playing the game on Twitch, or tweeting about the sale, the influencers will get a percentage of the sales made on the game.
As indicated via a Gamasutra interview, Chrono.gg CEO Justin Sacks seems to be putting a lot of faith in this new games media. “These influencers has grown to be one of the driving forces behind sales and success for many games. And yet, they typically don’t see a dime of any sales they drive. We wanted to provide a platform that helped both sides.”
But this is coming in a time where there are a lot of questions about proper disclosure of affiliate links, as there has been growing concern about Youtubers not meeting the Federal Trade Commission guidelines, with questions about big Youtubers such as Vanoss, SeaNanners, and TheSyndicateProject have had questions brought up regarding properly disclosing their financial ties to games such as Dead Realm. Sacks was asked by Gamasutra regarding the disclosure guidelines, and Sacks has indicated that he needs to do some research regarding Chrono.gg’s responsibility of disclosure, but indicated that “we’re all about transparency. I always encourage it, even if the sponsored deal/ad has nothing to do with my business.”
There are other sites that do somethings similar to what Chrono.gg in G2A and Kingpin, but they’ve had some issues regarding gray market keys and has gotten a negative reputation in the industry in hurting the developers of the games that they sell. Publishers also have gotten into the mix, as tinyBuild has recently announced a similar program regarding their titles. So it’s nothing new per say, but the daily take hasn’t been seen before, and it’s a site where gamers can get more sales on titles they might have missed.
One thing to note is that unlike the other sites listed such as G2A and Kingpin, all the deals with Chrono.gg are developer direct. So the grey market issue of where the keys come from is gone. This does distinguish the service from the others.
@DragnixMod All looks fine to me. Only thing I'd mention is that we're diff from the gray markets – all our deals are developer-direct
— Justin Sacks (@Justin__Sacks) March 9, 2016
A thanks for Mr. Sacks for reaching out and clarifying.
If done properly, this could be a reasonable program, but like all tools, it has the ability to be abused. This may be a little different from sites like G2A, as the deals are daily and Youtubers may not have the speed to make a video on the game in the proper time, but can link to older games (as it seems to be targetting sales titles) they’ve done footage on. It’s something that will need to be watched, as it could be adding to an already growing problem.