I'm just going to respond to random bits and pieces.
There's no shame in having an incomplete catalog, or a catalog that is built up in fits and starts. Namco Bandai's ambitions aside, I don't think a single person should be held responsible for assembling a complete set of DLC.
Three years to complete a catalog for All for One would
You didn't mention anything about the hosting issues, but I imagine after what happened with Youtube, it's gotten worse. I haven't gone link-hopping for Imas videos in a long time, but I figure Sony Columbia has laid waste to them by now.
Speaking of Youtube, I assume you have usage statistics for videos like you do for requests. Do you find yourself creating videos that only a single person watches? Is the effort justified?
Have you considered trying a streaming site like Twitch? The quality would take a huge hit, the site is shaky at best, and I'm a little confused as to whether Twitch content is saved or vanishes into the ether, but gathering people with similar interests together is more efficient than serving up content one person at a time. Basically, I'm proposing moving from an individual request system to a take-it-or-leave-it model where content is uploaded based on what you feel like doing instead of catering to a fractured base. I've been getting into streaming and Let's Plays as of late, and a common factor is that people don't force themselves to follow a strict schedule or stick to the same thing all the time, so they don't burn out.
I'm speaking of course as someone who doesn't look for specific content in Imas. I have no eye or ear for aesthetics so I watch whatever I stumble across. So I am sometimes confused by the specificity of requests.
For compendium building reasons, you get weird things happening if you start building them peacemeal, and things can get complicated because of it.
You can normally guess the number a particular item is, if you know what the others in the set was. NBGI have been (fairly) good in im@s 2 to bundle accessories. In im@s L4U, the numbers get stupidly variant, to say the least.
It gets confusing (even if we move to a 90%+ automatic system, there'll have to be people to maintain the integrity of the code and allocate new ones) when you're doing checks on the code, and say Hd-29 is the Vampire Girl head accessory, but Lg-41 is the leg accessory of the same costume. You don't want to be in a position where you'll be constantly scanning code, hoping that you didn't forget an accessory.
Doesn't sound like a big thing, but when you're trying to ensure that when people are talking about something in the same language (which what the compendium actually IS - an ability for its users to go 'I want this' and the fillers to go 'You want this' and they always match) you want to make sure its as consistent as you can make it.
If nothing else, if I DO reshuffle them back into their spots later, people will go 'Wait, why did the code numbers shift?' and then we get confused people (who usually complain how they didn't get what they want)
For Youtube statistics, you normally see between 300-500 people watching a video over its lifetime. At peak, I had 1000 per video, and I DO have one particular video that cleared 35000 people accounted for (Apparently it went to 4chan).
Since I don't own NBGI's material, NBGI probably was paid 4 dollars for the ads (ads are paid at a 1 dollar per thousand, and usually 20% of all watches have an ad delivered to them due to adblock/selection etc.) for that video, and has probably made a couple of hundred dollars over the history of the service. It's chump change to a corporation that big, of course.
Yes, request fillers don't make money from any ads that display. It's probably better than banning them outright, so it's part of the deal.
Surprisingly, the hosting part isn't really a problem. Sony hasn't actually been interfering all that much with it - A few recent DMCA counter-notices I issued forced Youtube to acknowledge that the videos are NBGI's primary property and were produced USING that property, not Sony's, and subsequently, fall under NBGI's content ID umbrella instead. It's not reliable, of course, but I have had words with Youtube's legal team before.
You'd be surprised how easy it is to get the files around regardless.
The real problem of using twitch.tv and other streaming services to provide stuff like this is to do with the quality of the playback.
I'll try and give the cliff notes version, only because most people don't want to know the technical side:
- A user's upload is generally a fraction of their download. Basically odds are you can download about 10x faster than you can upload barring certain circumstances. Depending where you are in the world, this number can go up to as high as 35x.
So as an example, I have a connection of 12mbps down/1.4mbps up. In Australia, it's considered absurdly good for the type of service I'm on, which is the best service Telstra will provision at the moment. If I want to improve it further, I will have to pay about 4x what I do now to increase those numbers by x2. What do I pay right now? 100 AU a MONTH.
(If you want me to move to fibre, the cheapest way for me to do that is to spend 400k and buy a house. No, I'm not kidding. Telstra WILL flog you with the installation costs end to end if you even SUGGEST you will pay for fibre installation, and since that includes backend equipment, that's only a couple of mill.)
Given an 'on demand' stream like twitch, you'll be able to encode and send at (say) 1.2 mbps up.
What's your average youtube video encoded at? Between 3-5 mbps.
So essentially, given absolutely nothing else, someone doing it properly (sending video far better to youtube so that the loss on reencoding is minimal) can take all the time in the world, and ensure that youtube video (or any other video service) will look as good as the service it's hosted on will allow it.
There's a whole bunch of other factors too (namely, how long it gets to encode, how it handles gradients and other things) but usually on a good day even if the video encode was at the exact same (Namely, we went 1.2 mbps for the video and compared it to the stream) it'd probably look significantly worse.
There's a few scenarios I can name which will make that twitch stream straight up unwatchable.
There's also other considerations, usually to do with if you want to use the video to make another video, even though I keep telling people to NOT use youtube video to make their videos with.
But what can you do? They're starting out, so they'll get better... eventually.
They're usually the times when precision is key though. Your average requester isn't always that picky, although from the stories I've heard, sometimes I'm not convinced.
As for the One for All first catalog joke, I just did the calculations.
If I assumed that I would be donated 30 dollars over 2 years, and that the game will discount DLC 2 years after release, the math goes that we'd be able to get about 50 dollars (about 7000 yen) to pay for the discounted catalog 1 in 3 years, assuming their history holds in regards with DLC.
And there's one ruined joke...