Come on, Nintendo. I really want to root for you, I do, but when you pull shit like this, it gets very difficult to be in your corner.
For those of you who are unaware, Nintendo has decided that anyone who makes a video using Nintendo games doesn’t deserve all the revenue that the video may generate. They’ve decided that they deserve a substantial cut from those videos and are requiring the maker of the video to either register the video or their entire channel with Nintendo. Nintendo will then take either 40% or 30% of the video’s ad revenue, with the creator receiving the rest. Additionally:
Content creators can only use certain Nintendo approved games.
If a registered channel has non-Nintendo content on it, the revenue from those videos still have these rules applied.
Submitted videos may take three days to be approved by Nintendo.
Revenue from those videos may take up to 2 months to reach the creator.
There is a complete list of rules here.
So why is Nintendo doing this? To me, it seems completely counterintuitive. Sure, on one hand it is a way for Nintendo to make some money, and who can fault them for wanting to make some more money? I can, definitely. Not only is it unfair to the content creators, but it’s definitely not in the best interest of their brand and marketing.
First off, YouTube videos of people playing video games is a wildly popular commodity. There are thousands of channels where people play video games and talk while doing so, and Nintendo making it harder for them to use their games is going to cut down on the amount of people who see their games getting played. That’s free advertisement, guys! And you’re making it harder for people to make those ads for you! Why would you do this? I personally have bought several games because I saw the gameplay on YouTube and thought it looked like a hell of a lot of fun, and it’s hard to believe that Nintendo is so shortsighted not to see that. Or, perhaps they are confident that people will still make content using their properties anyways (which plenty of people probably still will, sadly).
Additionally, why would they only allow certain Nintendo games? Apparently, if I want to make a Wave Race 64 Let’s Play, I’m not allowed to do that! Is it some weird way that they’re trying to keep their crap games off the internet? Not that Wave Race 64 is crap, I actually really liked that game, but it’s not one of their approved games and I can’t think of a good reason why certain games have been omitted!
Then let’s say that I want to review a certain game, and the method I want to use to review said game is to show my gameplay and comment on the good and bad things about what is happening on screen. Is my review, which would normally be protected by Fair Use rules, now something that has to be submitted to Nintendo for approval? If anybody knows how that would play out, please let me know.
Nintendo seems to be working under the presumption that people are coming to these channels just to see their games. While I’m certain that some people are coming for the games, most people are watching these videos for the personalities that are playing the games. And if the game seems cool, then all the better for it, but the voices talking over the game are generally the real draw there.
At the very least, this is a step in the right direction for the company, as in 2013 they demanded that all Nintendo videos be taken off of YouTube. I was surprised that they would demand the removal of all that free advertisement, and disappointed in the company. So this, at the very least, allows the videos to be back online. But it’s still a stifling attitude that the company has taken, needlessly controlling and remarkably greedy. They should be grateful that people want to make these videos and give them all this free advertisement!
When I see people playing the new Mario Kart 8 online and chatting with one another, it seems like the game is a blast! But when Nintendo comes in and demands a cut, it sours the company for me. Nintendo, I know that you’re not the behemoth that you once were in the gaming industry, but it’s not too late to abandon this ridiculous cash grab and allow these fun, funny people to make ads for you, without penalty! Other game makers realize how these videos benefit them, why can’t you see it?
Ah, whatever, Nintendo, go make another fuckin’ DS or something.