If you’ve ever Googled a new game in search of guides or information, you’ve probably seen one website that has persisted at the top of search results: Fextralife. For those unaware, Fextralife is a Wiki page that focuses on delivering guides and walkthroughs about the latest games. Additionally, they showcase the latest games on the popular streaming platform Twitch and receive an average viewership of 20,000 to 30,000 people.
However, they recently came under fire from both the gaming and streaming communities as they are being accused of not only faking their viewership but also creating insubstantial guides as a ploy to get more viewers, ad revenue, and more. Here’s what you need to know about the Fextralife controversy.
For quite some time now, Fextralife has taken a lot of flak for creating guide pages that either have wrong information or have details that are outright missing. Despite these unhelpful instructions, this website always snakes its way to the top of the search engine whenever a new game comes out. However, that is only the tip of the controversial iceberg.
Recently, they got into some hot water in the BG3Builds (Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds) subreddit forum. Fextralife was accused of mass downvoting other people who would make comments that were either negative towards Fextralife or that promoted community wikis that served as a (far superior) alternative to Fextralife’s wiki with the use of bots. This, of course, was not allowed and resulted in them getting banned from the subreddit. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time Fextralife has done this, nor would it be the last.
However, it appears that they are unable to avoid controversy, as another issue appears to be how they conduct their streams and manipulate their view count by embedding their streams on their problematic wiki page. When Fextralife isn’t making people read their half-baked guides, they are using them as fake audiences in their streams. Normally, an average streamer with some sort of following (ranging from 50 to 300 viewers) will have a very active chat that zips by so fast you wouldn’t even have time to read it.
But when you decide to tune in to Fextralife’s +30k viewer stream, you’ll notice this isn’t the case, as the chat is dead quiet. This was something popular Twitch streamer Asmongold pointed out and shared his thoughts about on Saturday, 26th August. Not only that, their Twitch page has also sponsored content and ads, which many people, including Asmongold, view as fraudulent.
“Yeah, it’s a disgrace. I mean, it is. But, listen. You know, I wonder if Roccat knows that they’re [Fextralife] view-botting. Because if you look at this stream, right? Like, this is a person that has… 32,000 viewers. Let’s see how many chatters we have. Oh, it doesn’t even say. I’m not able to check.” – Asmongold
Asmongold stated that the reason Fextralife was able to have such a bloated viewer count to begin with is because of their wiki page, as when an unsuspecting viewer checks their guide, there is an embedded video in the corner, making the passerby a part of a large “audience”. Despite all this, Asmongold went out of his way to also accuse Twitch of letting this practise happen. He doubled down on it by saying that Twitch will not resolve this issue at all as the company benefits from these numbers, no matter how fake they may be.
“Twitch doesn’t give a f**k.’ Yeah! And, that’s the thing. Like, how are we getting mad at them? They’re just playing the game. They’re not breaking any rules. Really. They’re not breaking any rules. They’re not doing anything wrong. So really, it’s on Twitch.” – Asmongold
Since the controversy, Fextralife has released an official statement addressing the issues on Reddit and Twitch, both of which they vehemently deny. However, their response was quite ridiculous, as they went out of their way to say that they didn’t know that Reddit bots are a thing, something that everyone agrees is a lie.
At the end of the day, this is an unfortunate story where those in power will let shady acts slide as long as they stand to benefit from them. However, the best way to counter this would be to simply ignore the website altogether to stop their major source of revenue and support smaller, more genuine streamers.