Microsoft Studios Announces New Monetization Rules

Published: January 9, 2015 9:58 PM /


microsoft studios rules

The topic of monetization of live streaming and let's plays - that is, being paid to generate this type of content - has been a topic of contention for some years now. Numerous companies have come out and said they authorize this type of content to be made from their intellectual property; while others remain ambivalent or against it.

Microsoft Studios has now joined many other companies in implementing a formal policy on this issue. While they are in favor of allowing monetization to occur, they do have some clear rules in order to protect their intellectual property.

One of the major points is that videos cannot be sold, which limits monetization to Twitch/Hitbox streams and Youtube/Blip/etc. They cannot be part of a subscription service, paid site or bought as a stand-alone product and these videos are not even to appear on the same page as something else being sold; make sure to remove that t-shirt sale from your stream!

Another rule is that players cannot use game assets except as they appear in-game. If someone has hacked a game for the files and uses them in any paid endeavor, this violates their rules. All content also confers Microsoft Studios a "royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license" to it. Essentially anything created using any Microsoft Studios IP is theirs for the taking; they do not require permission from the creator nor do they need to compensate for the content.

Another rule that seems to be rather vague is that Microsoft is prohibiting "offensive content" made with their products. Specifically the rules state:

You can't use Game Content to create an Item (defined as machinima, videos, and other derivative creations) that is pornographic, lewd, obscene, vulgar, discriminatory (on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.), illegal, hate speech, promoting violence, drug use or any illegal activity, promoting crimes against humanity, genocide or torture, or is otherwise objectionable. Whether an Item is "objectionable" is up to us, but you can expect us to be concerned if a significant number of people in the game’s community or the public at large report the content as offensive.
While most of their library is covered under the new rules, Minecraft is the exception with its own set of rules. These separate rules can be viewed over on Mojang's website.


What do you think of Microsoft Studios' new rules? What about the vague "offensive content" rule? Tell us what you think below!


Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? e-mail us at [email protected] or join us on Discord!