The United States Federal Trade Commission has come to a settlement in the Warner Brothers lawsuit that asserted that the studio had paid multiple influential YouTubers to give good reviews about 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, a Lord of the Rings game that took place centuries before the books.
The Warner Brothers lawsuit asserts the claim that Warner Brothers failed to properly disclose that they had paid multiple YouTubers to say positive things about the game, totaling with hundreds or tens of thousands of dollars in “reward.”
In order to be eligible for the reward the YouTubers in question had to be positive about the game, not show any glitches or bugs, and to ask to check out the Shadow of Mordor website to learn more about the game.
PewDiePie, the top-earning YouTuber in the world, is one of the most popular YouTube gamers that were used in the sponsorship program.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was an action game where players take the role of Talion, a Ranger of Gondor, after he and his family are murdered by the Black Hand, a group of evil followers of Sauron.
Brought back to life by the ghost of the elven smith Celebrimbor, Talion must hunt down each of his killers to gain revenge against Sauron for his murdered family.
The game received critical acclaim and provided players with a large, open world and a lot of varied missions, and was in essence a Lord of the Rings version of the Batman Arkham games.
You could upgrade your ghostly abilities, take over orc chieftains to sow chaos in Sauron’s ranks, and more. However, now it seems like Warner Brothers may be paying the price for the game’s success.
The Warner Brothers lawsuit doesn’t require any payment of fines because of the sponsorship debacle, but they will, in the future, have to notify YouTubers that endorse their products that in the future they must inform viewers that the video is a sponsored one in order to prevent consumers from feeling like they were watching an objective review.