Microsoft has released new Game Content Usage Rules for games published by Microsoft Studios. Games such as Halo, Fable, and Age of Empires are under these restrictions, which prohibit content creators from receiving revenue from their creations.
The new rules state content creators cannot receive money in exchange for their work, post it on sites that requires subscription fees to view it, or post it on a page that is used to sell other content or services (even if they have nothing to do with that game or Microsoft). Content can also not be used in an app that is sold any of the numerous app stores.
Microsoft also explicitly stated that content creators may not earn money off advertisements from videos including Vimeo and YouTube, specifically noting YouTube's partner program will not be allowed. Users also cannot post their videos on websites next to advertisements if they are making money off of those advertisements.
Other rules include not being allowed to use the name of a Microsoft game in the titles of their content. "Red vs. Blue." and "Operation Chastity" are examples given as being acceptable, but nothing with “Halo” specifically noted is acceptable.
These rules come just a month before Halo 4's November 6 release date, a franchise which has seen a plethora of content created around it. This includes companies such as Major League Gaming and Rooster Teeth's Red vs Blue. MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovanni took to Twitter this morning to state that the company has usage rights for the upcoming title and games that are run on their professional circuit.
Several professional Halo players and YouTube personalities have also used Twitter to voice their frustration. Tom “Tsquared” Taylor tweeted, “If this is true, it will put a serious damper on all streaming & montage opportunities + console eSports in general.” A Twitter petition with nearly 700 signatures in an hour since being created. GameSpot has reached out to Microsoft for comment.