My Youtube “Copyright Notices” tab will become a little lighter tonight thanks to Nintendo’s new policy on sharing video and images of Nintendo games online. Previously, if you were to post any videos of you playing Nintendo’s first-party games on YouTube, you would get a notification that all of your advertising revenue would be going straight to Nintendo, in a way that looks like this:
But now, due to Nintendo’s new policy, a major sea-change is approaching that will affect the YouTube gaming spaces in interesting ways. In their blog post titled: “Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms”, Nintendo is dropping their Nintendo “Creators” program in favor of an approach that allows anybody to “monetize your videos and channels using the monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo…. We encourage you to create videos that include your creative input and commentary.” So anybody interested in sharing gameplay of Nintendo games new and old are now free to do so without Nintendo’s lawyers breathing down your neck!
There are, of course, caveats to this that say that they will continue to defend their games from things like people leaking gameplay footage from games before their release date, footage that comes from “pirated” Nintendo games, and among other things this will probably apply to gameplay footage used for the express purpose of uploading the games’ soundtracks. This is especially interesting the week before their biggest release of the year, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Over the last three days, Nintendo has brought the hammer down on many YouTube channels posting the game’s soundtrack through leaked copies of the game, permanently banning them from posting on YouTube’s platform.
I’m really surprised Nintendo made this decision, I never thought I’d see the day you could freely monetize Nintendo let’s plays. I wonder why they made the change?
— Chip Cheezum (@ChipCheezum) November 29, 2018
Previously, Nintendo had a program for content creators that you could apply for if you were above a certain level of popularity, where select people were allowed to monetize clips of their Nintendo gameplay under a similar set of rules, but now they are opening that ability to anybody. This new set of guidelines is out of character for Nintendo, who rarely loosen their ironfisted grip on controlling who gets to make things from Nintendo’s games, but it makes sense due to the Nintendo Switch’s simple video and image sharing capabilities now causing more video footage of their games being made then they are able to control.
What interests me the most is that these changes will undoubtedly cause a large increase of players sharing gameplay from Nintendo games in ways that could sustain them financially, as opposed to only a select few being able to make money while playing Nintendo games. Those few that were in the original creators program, folks like PeanutButterGamer and TheJWittz, may also take a hit from increasing competition over the coming months, so we’ll see how that shakes out. Personally, I’m so excited for this news and have been waiting for them to change their archaic stance on policing games footage for years. I’ve spent hours upon hours of time fighting with YouTube to allow me to monetize my creative work, that this feels like hundreds of pounds has been lifted off my shoulders and the shoulders of so many people who just want to share their favorite games with friends and the public at large.
Anyways, I’m off to go “appeal the rejected copyright disputes of a 50+ part Let’s Play series” as the kids would say these days, so I’ll talk to you later!