What is it like to use Lurkit as a content creator and gaming journalist? As TechAcute is not only actively reporting on tech news but also on gaming, we sometimes rely on third-party platforms to connect us with developers and publishers so that we can get more information about upcoming video games and also to apply for review copies for games so that we don’t have to purchase all the titles just to report about them.
While they are certainly not the only platform for this, I wanted to prepare an article for you to better understand what Lurkit, by Lurkware AB, based in Linkoping in Sweden, does. After sharing some details and experiences about Lurkit, we will also briefly introduce some of their competitors. So what is Lurkit, and what do they do? Let’s jump right in.
What does Lurkit offer to publishers and content creators?
Lurkit hosts a platform that allows game developers and publishers to present their upcoming news to game industry journalists, streamers, and influencers. In the marketing copy of their website, they simply refer to this group as “content creators,” which would include anyone who creates content and who considers themselves a content moderator, one would assume.
It appears to be a win-win situation for both parties involved, but of course, Lurkit also needs to make some money as a company, so they charge for services such as clearly defined paid campaigns, but they also provide recurring subscriptions such as organic campaigns and service to provide insight data to their clients.
What does Lurkit offer to content creators?
They present their offering to content creators in a very gamified way by leveraging terms like “quests” in their wording, but at the end of the day, the content creators are the workforce that actually delivers results for the Lurkit campaigns and projects. Most commonly, they would not pay a content creator, which is not unusual in the industry, but they also have a sort of plan to pay content creators if their work is performing well, but it’s not a compensation for work done or hours spent.
How was our experience trying to sign up as a content creator?
We already have good partners to get updates about upcoming games and review keys to test the titles without paying for them as journalists, but we always like to try out new solutions as well, so we tried to sign up at Lurkit and see how that would work. In a nutshell, it wasn’t a good experience, and we ended up with a lot of work for no results at all. Even as journalists, we consider ourselves content creators, so what went wrong? Lurkit is too exclusive for us.
After signing up and creating a profile, we just waited a bit to get our profile fully approved before we could do more tests of how it would go with Lurkit. We didn’t hear back from them in a while but already got their newsletter several times. So when there was a curious newsletter a few days ago, we clicked on the CTA and wanted to partake in the campaign. However, trying to log in, we encountered some issues. There have been errors when trying to log in, but trying to register a new account the error message would simply share that there is already a user registered with our email address. Seeing no way to fix it ourselves, we decided to notify the support chat and ask for help. The chat advised us to send an email to the support team, and we reported our issue.
Some days later, we were notified by the Lurkit support that there was actually no error. We simply got our account suspended without any sort of feedback, but we were still getting the newsletter regardless of that. So our account is not manageable, our data is somewhere out there, but it’s also banned in a way. What happened? We asked the support for their reason why they would decide to suspend our account even before we did anything. After a while, they told us that the TechAcute account was suspended because of our YouTube videos. It’s not like we had too few subscriptions or that we did not have enough gaming videos in the TechAcute channel. The reason was that our type of videos is not permitted on their platform.
Content that is not “engaging” is not permitted
What type might that be? Well, we aren’t streamers or game influencers. We consider ourselves reporters and journalists, so most of the time, we do written reviews of video games and simply use the YouTube footage that we recorded during the tests as a reference to the readers. They are without talking heads, and they have no commentary on it. The “no commentary” gaming videos on YouTube are a niche type of video, but they are also popular, and people frequently specifically use the YouTube search engine to spot “[name of the game] no commentary,” and this is why we do that. Our videos are rather neutral and simply show what the game is like to all who consider buying them. Who judges what is good media and what is not? What are the KPIs and metrics? And why not judge quality based on data? Would a critical review of a bad game also be a problem? I am wondering how they decide this kind of things.
Gabriel Sanchewski, community manager from Lurkit, told us they want only “engaging content when covering games.” We explained to them that we are a news magazine and shared a bit of information about how we cover games, but they had no interest in working with news platforms. Seeing how there was no specification on what “engaging content” means, but hearing that “no commentary” videos would be suspended without notice leads us to believe that all kinds of commentary on the video would be welcome for as long someone is talking over the clip. We found that way of not communicating this properly and excluding us from the platform without notice not as a very inclusive way. We decided not to pursue working with Lurkit further as we also have no interest in working with a platform that does not care about inclusion and a company that specifically decides to keep journalists out of their platform. What about disabled content creators who don’t use their voices to cover games? Are they also considered to be not engaging enough? What about the content creators who are highly creative but too shy or too anxious to record their voice?
If someone lets me know that my application was rejected for a reason like my audience is too small or that they think not enough people are following me on social media, these are specifications that maybe don’t make sense either, but I could understand that. Not giving feedback, still spamming applicants with newsletters, and then having them find out they are not engaging enough is just not a good reason, and it’s not a good style to make partnerships either. I’d maybe expect that from a crypto gaming or NFT game startup but not from a PR and marketing amplification company. Inclusion and communication quality should be key values in 2022 for any company and strategy.
Maybe you’ll do fine but I can’t confirm it
It might be that there are streamers or other content creators that manage to get their profiles approved at Lurkit, and I hope they have a good experience working there if they are sufficiently “engaging,” but as far as the suggestion of payments for content creators go, I would be cautious of how much effort you invest into this partnership as perhaps your good work might suddenly be no longer considered “engaging content” and how quickly their profile could be suddenly suspended without notice. To all game publishers and developers considering working with Lurkit, I only want to say that if they would like to work with us, we are always happy to hear from them directly. If they are in the gaming industry, they are likely to care about inclusion, and if that’s the case, I’d not recommend working with Lurkit based on their policies and “strategy.”
Good alternatives to Lurkit
In case you’re a content creator or game publisher looking for alternatives to Lurkit, I can recommend you to look at Keymailer (Game.Press) and Terminals from Evolve. Perhaps they aren’t perfect either, but in recent years I always had a good experience working together with them, and with their help, we covered a great number of games here on TechAcute. Perhaps there are also others out there, and if that’s you, feel free to reach out to us, but those are all we’ve been working with so far.
YouTube: Lurkit Campaigns – How it works (promotional video)
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Focus Pocus.