News Article

Nintendo Claiming Ad Revenue On YouTube User-Generated Gameplay Videos

Posted by Orla Madden

"We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube"

According to various reports from YouTube users, Nintendo is filing content ID claims against user-created "Let's Play" videos, which thereby prevents the user from monetizing their videos with adverts — allowing Nintendo to pocket all of the revenue.

Most videos won't experience this, as Nintendo has said that only clips featuring longer "Nintendo-owned content" will see an advert placed at the beginning, middle or end of the video.

Nintendo has issued a statement after a number of complaints were made on the topic:

As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.

Nintendo has a right to copyright its own material, as is clearly stated in Youtube's Copyright FAQ. But what will be the consequences for those who create these videos and earn their keep from them? Nintendo wants them to continue sharing its products on YouTube, just not profiting from them — but with many doing this kind of thing full-time and putting a lot of energy into their productions, it could result in a drop in "Let's Play" clips — and that is surely only going to mean a dip in interest when it comes to Nintendo content on YouTube.

We'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject. Are you one of the people impacted by this? Have you had a content ID claim made against you? Drop a comment to tell us.


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User Comments (181)



LiamR said:

Nothing wrong with that. It is their content and they are well within their rights to advertise on it.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

I really don't see why they need to profit off of everything they own. It seems a little too greedy to me.



LiamR said:

I would also raise the point that certain users will profit off this as well.



AceSpadeS said:

I don't think anybody should be trying to earn their living just from sharing gameplay videos on Youtube, regardless of my opinion on whether Nintendo should be doing this or not. If you're going to rely on the randomness of the internet to survive, you've made a terrible choice.

Buy anyways, I agree with this. I think more businesses, especially music/game copyright holders, should be looking at Youtube much more carefully. It's amazing the amount of copyrighted content that is shared, or outright pirated, through or because of the service.



Lin1876 said:

It's a bit petty isn't it? I see where Nintendo are coming from as it is their content, but it stinks of Nintendo wanting free money for something they, quite frankly, have nothing to do with. They're well within their rights on this, but it's not exactly good PR to annoy dedicated fans.



antdickens said:

Really interesting, whilst I can completely understand their point of view, I think this kind of clamp down could have a negative impact on the brand and how people see it, you can argue a case on either side for all sorts of videos... it'll be interesting to see where they draw the line.



Shworange said:

It's not a bad idea really. At least they're not putting a stop to them. My son likes to make these. Adding a Nintendo ad to it kind of boosts its legitimacy.



Shworange said:

Additionally, it'll be interesting to see if Sony incorporates this into their "share" feature with the PS4.



Smitherenez said:

Started to notice this three days ago. I am a Let's Player and I play Nintendo's games most of the time. A couple of my videos got tagged by ninty. But just the ones where I didn't do any commentary over the video. I do not earn any money from my videos btw, because it's a hobby and because google doesn't give me acces to adsense. They believe that I will break their rules and such.



Auracle said:

@Lin1876 - I see your point, but on the flip side, how come the person who made the video in the first place gets to profit off of footage and elements that Nintendo created?
This whole thing is understandable, but hopefully isn't too much of a deterrent to those who make the videos. I can't imagine that there are too many people who do this for a living.



stipey said:

Lets Play videos are already such a good source of advertising, it seems a bit petty to take money for them as well. I wonder how many people watch a Let's Play, then go out and buy the game.

The other thing is, the people who DO make money off it aren't making the money because of the game they're playing. The YogsCast guys (I think that's what they're called) who were a huge help towards Minecraft getting so big, are popular because of their personalities and comedy, not just because people like watching them play games.

@Smithereens does that mean my above issue is not an issue? if the appeal of your let's play for viewers is your own commentary, will Nintendo not profit from that? if so, then I guess I'm ok with it...?



Kirbic said:

Making money off Let's Play sounds stupid to me anyway, considering every asset in the video except your voice is someone else's. Nintendo are not only in their rights to do this, but if they don't intend to remove the video, that's more important to me than a portion of, IMO, a silly source of income.



gspro15198 said:

I think it is only fair that nintendo get the advertising revenue from these videos. any artist or creator who had their works uploaded to youtube should be able to profit from them that just because nintendo is a company doesn't exclude them from benefiting financially from their creations.



TingLz said:

Exactly how does Let's Play involve a lot of work? You record yourself playing the game and talking. Is there more?

Also, profiting from this is pretty stupid imo.



darkgamer001 said:

Nintendo doesn't seem to understand that Let's Players are probably doing a better job of marketing than they will ever do. They are effectively steering established LPers as well as up and coming ones to LP (and thus 'market') games from rival companies in the future.
And what most people here don't seem to understand is that a Let's Play takes a lot of dedication, time and effort. But please, continue to enlighten me with your uninformed comments on how it's a lazy way of profiting...



Lin1876 said:

@True_Hero Exactly, there's two sides to this. It would be good if the parties involved could agree to split the revenue somehow.



gspro15198 said:

@darkgamer001 they would have nothing to play if nintendo didn't create the game/hardware in the first place. games require cash to pay the thousands of designers, programmers, artists etc etc so explain to me why nintendo can't profit from something they have created.



Jamouse said:

Well more money to them means better games for us, so I see no problem with this.



Bulbousaur said:

Go and watch Chuggaaconroy's Pokemon Crystal Lets Play. It is so in depth and polished it could of very well have been an official walkthrough. Many of the more successful LPers put hours of editing into a single video.



gspro15198 said:

I know people who don't play the games and have watched a lets play to get the story. It is taking money from nintendo which they would invest back into creating new games and hardware.



darkgamer001 said:

@gspro15198 - they'd play games from rival companies, and that's what Nintendo is (unwillingly I suppose) steering them to.
Nintendo are already profiting from Let's Plays. It's FREE ADVERTISING by the Let's Player. Taking the ad revenue is just plain greedy



JusticeColde said:

Well, there goes my webseries idea.

No gaming tips for anybody, I quit!

Anyway, let's watch as both Sony and Microsoft take advantage of this whole thing and make Nintendo look worse.



Leon_Pryde said:

I think it looks smart at first to clam ad revenue. I mean, It's their stuff. However, it is really bad for PR. You got a group of fans so dedicated that they show their favorite games from Nintendo and then you go say "Hey you know that thing that costs us nothing and we are being advertised by? Yeah. We want to have our cake and eat it too."
And yeah, most Lest Plays are dumb. However some people (like Chuggaaconroy) put tons of work into the videos and make a rather good end result. Also, to my understanding. Reviews are being hit too (which is a biiiiig no no).

At the end of the day, Nintendo can do this, but they really really shouldn't.



Damo said:

@Ark_Sin When a content ID claim is made against a video by a copyright holder, you lose ALL monetization rights. The claimant is then able to monetize your video. You lose ALL profits generated by the video in question.



Haxonberik said:

Kinda greedish, but not really that important for most people. I've seen very few Let's Play for Nintendo games on youtube, apart from Nintendo Land, given they dont have strong online components yet.



K1LLEGAL said:

Yea they remove all monetisation. Part will go to Nintendo and the rest will go to Google. I fear for NintendoCapriSun. Poor guy.



Macarony64 said:

@Damo but is not on all vídeos for exsample a trailer re upload gets id tagget while a lets play with comentary may not.



K1LLEGAL said:

Most of the time it's an automatic thing. Youtube's software will recognise content belonging to a specific third party. Some videos get through this and won't be tagged. It can be luck of the draw. Nintendo was always good with content sharing though so this is a bit of a shame.



Midnight3DS said:

Surprised this wasn't done long ago. Perfectly reasonable move by Nintendo. I imagine others following suit down the line.



Macarony64 said:

@SkywardLink98 You must be new to YouTube lol. This was made to please the game developers that would think is a good idea to remove vídeos like Microsoft, konami and sega did and others.



K1LLEGAL said:

I know people will automatically assume this is a good move by Nintendo. But there are major benefits to allowing content sharing on YouTube. Especially for smaller games (which, admittedly, doesn't apply to many of Nintendo's fraanchises). Just look at Minecraft. It wouldn't have done half as well if not for YouTube.

Also Sega has changed it's mind in regard to content sharing. They were shutting channels down and I had to stop a certain LP because of it. But because of the backlash they changed their mind. Unfortunately a lot of damage was already done.

Edit: Just to add. People now need to be more careful when making a video review of a Nintendo game. We are well within our rights to review products and share said review (at least after the release date) but now content makers need to be careful about the footage and audio they use in the backgroud. Again, bit of a shame.



Mickamott said:

As a die-hard Nintendo fan, I have no problem with this. It is completely fair and understandable, and alright by me.

On another note, how many people produce Let's Play videos for the sole purpose of earning a profit? Don't most people who make these videos love these games and want to share the experience with as many people as possible, because they truly and simply just enjoy the game? I watch the channel WiiJoshFolder and they don't seem like they do this to earn money, they seem to be enjoying the sheer process of making these videos and playing these games. Plus a lot of the popular Youtube-user Nintendo accounts are treated as Nintendo ambassadors, and they get previews and free hardware as a result. For instance BlackNerdComedy got a free Wii U for having such an active Youtube account, and that is essentialy Nintendo paying him $350 for doing what he loves. I'm sure there are many other cases like this one as well.

In this way I believe this to be a just decision for both sides.



SkywardLink98 said:

@Macarony64 No, I'm saying I'm almost ashamed of Nintendo for putting ads on ads. These guys are helping you out, and instead of letting them, you're putting ads up. While it's better than taking the videos down, they should've left it alone. It really is just free advertising.



KingDunsparce said:

Well, darn it. I was considering starting a Let's Play channel. Well, if they only made it so you can't earn profit, I'll probably still do it anyways.



Kirk said:

Nintendo is in such a dire state right now in terms of it's financial reports that it seems it's stooping to really desperate measures to try and eek money out of every little resource it can possibly find just to try and make it's financial reports at the end of the year look better.

I think it would be better off making products that more people are excited by and want to purchase than silly stuff like this that while it might make them a quick buck in the short term will also hurt them in terms of long term fan respect, satisfaction, loyalty and ultimately sales and profit imo.

Stop making half-*ssed updates to your most respected games and franchises, like the new Yoshi's Island game on 3DS for example that imo just looks half-hearted and like it was quickly churned out by a C-Team that's just discovered the Photoshop watercolor filter, and instead make games that are worthy of the Nintendo legacy and will in turn get the universal praise and the high sales you want to help increase your end of year financial reports.

Just a thought.






parall4x said:

I'm not too sore about it; Nintendo isn't the first to exercise its rights to gameplay videos of its products. Anyone who was able to monetize on gameplay videos before recently was doing so on borrowed time which has finally run out. If you truly enjoy making LPs, then nothing will change; if you're in it for the purpose of monetizing the content, I guess this is where we amicably part ways.



Magikarp3 said:

I'm a little divided on this. It's nice that Nintendo is allowing LP's to continue happening to begin with (it's a legal grey area, to say the least), although taking the advertising revenue seems a little odd. I initially thought that Nintendo was going to insert ads for their own games onto LP videos, which would have made a lot more sense, but I'm not sure.

There are LP-ers who make fantastic commentary and put a lot of effort into their videos, and it's a shame that their effort won't get rewarded. On the other hand, LP-ing isn't exactly a legitimate occupation...

Plus, by making an LP the player is making an advertisment for Nintendo's games anyway. I don't really see the logic in making a deterrent for LP's, especially for Nintendo, since they focus more on gameplay than spectacle anyway.



Bulbousaur said:

Did Nintendo have every right to do this? Definitely. Should Nintendo have done this? Definitely not. While the majority of people only do LPs for fun and just gain a bit of money off the side from them, for many of the high profile LPers such as Chuggaaconroy and NintendoCapriSun their dedication to their hobby has earned them the ability to gain a significant amount of money so they can live off it. It may not have been the smartest move from a financial standpoint for them, but Nintendo is essentially making them redundant, simply because of their dedication to them. People care about LPers, and if you take away his ability to make money, people are going to lose trust in you.

Plus, LPs are essentially advertisements for the games, or series, they are playing. 3,575,190 people watched the first episode of Chugga's Mario Galaxy LP, and a portion of the sales of the game were influenced by that video. Nintendo spent no money in the development of that video, and in the end they gained money from it. LPs are free advertising, simple as that. Removing the ability off making money from Nintendo videos for high profile LPers will make them not play their games, and remove free advertisement fro them.



russellohh said:

I agree with it. My youtube channel shows the various wedding scenes from Fire Emblem- since there are dozens upon dozens of combinations, of which you can only see maybe 1/5 on a single playthrough, I thought my channel was a good idea. I looked at the setting that says "make money off ads?" and clicked No. I understand people who make music videos wanting money, or people who spent months making a fan-made movie based off a game, but all I did was hold a camera and press the A button. If Nintendo wants to make a few bucks of advertising off of that, why not?
I've never seen the LPs as advertising the game- you must be a pretty big fan of Mario Galaxy to seek out a video of some bugger talking about it/playing it/etc. It'd be nice for them to let users get money based on their videos, but Nintendo actually put the hard work into making the game in the first place.



malown said:

If we were talking about a company that doesn't want its movies or even trailers to be uploaded by another person i would be perfectly fine with it, but Let's Plays really do not harm anyone and I believe for a company like Nintendo those videos are pretty important atm...



Smitherenez said:

@stipey I am not entirely sure, but I believe that commentary makes it so that it is legal for you to use gameplay/music/video because of the 'fair use' policy. It could also be the case that Nintendo simply has not encountered my commentary videos yet, because my view count is very low (10-30 views per video, with a few acceptions ). Nintendo is more likely to get high traffic videos claimed first. I will try and ask around and see if fellow LP'ers have something to add.



gavn64 said:

@Lin1876 "nothing to do with" are you serious they made the damn games. That would be like if you wrote the script for a tv show and then i pinched it and recited it verbatum on youtube and made money off of it. Some people might watch these lets play videos and might not buy the game because they have seen everything in it dont you think they should make back some of those lost profits and that aint a question they should. Good on em there totally within there rights to do this.



AceTrainerAndy said:

I am a partnered Youtuber and I only play Nintendo games. I do Let's Plays and the money is very helpful. I don't understand why they are doing this, I basically help them sell games. I have told my 5000+ subscribers how awesome Wii-U is then they do this. I swear if they block my stuff I will never play their games again and I will make sure my subscribers hear about it too and not to support this company. I understand it is their property, but I am basically giving them free advertisements. I make the game look fun so people will go out and buy iot.



Lin1876 said:

@gavn64 Ah, looking back I didn't phrase that well. What I meant is that Nintendo can't claim the credit for the Let's Plays, because it's someone else's work. I think Nintendo are due something, but not everything, from these videos.



Araknie said:

We will really see who does videos because loves Nintendo who doesn't like Nintendo but they wanted to make money with their products anyway.

I don't say it's fair or unfair, it's just how it will turn out.

I am personally fazed by this, Nintendo the most userfriendly company doing this.
I don't even now if i'm in the real world right now.

Really i want to scream out so loud FAAAAAAKE! just because i am afraid it's true, i can't believe this...are they really in so much need of money?



WiisWorld said:

When you sign up for YouTube monetization I'm sure it says that you're not allowed to include any copyrighted material in your videos, so I'm surprised to learn that LPers have been making money from their content.

I think this is a bad move by Nintendo though, it reeks of money-grabbing.



Smitherenez said:

@LzQuacker recording is one part of it. There is also a lot of preparation involved (knowing what to do, how to keep the video interesting commentary wise, creating animations etc.) and mostly there is also a lot of editing that needs to be done too. Making a 20 minute episode can easily take op to an hour (if not more) to edit.



Placlu said:

While yes, it's acceptable for nintendo, sony, anyone to do this. I mean I'm making money off your game, should they do it? Hell no. Look at minecraft. Why does that have ten million sales? because people uploaded them building a house. Without Youtube, minecraft wouldn't be as popular.. and notch recognised this, now days Lpers are suggesting how to change the game.

Now nintendo doesn't really need the advertising, but the thing with the auto content match thing is its terrible. Most of the time its picked up my gameplay as their own. No Nintendo, My gameplay is not yours. It's how I experienced the game.
You let people (re)upload trailers. THEY don't add to them, they are stealing them, they are stealing your money. Me? I brought the game. Brought a 3DS. Brought a $300 way to capture it. To share my experience. I've gotten tonnes of messages "thankyou for recording this, I wasn't sure about the game but it looks awesome!"
While my 4 sales aren't mind blowing, its 4 more sales.

Anyone who says "youtubers shouldn't get paid because its not a real job"
Honestly F*** you. I put countless hours into making sure my videos are high quality and the best I can produce. Simply put, if nintendo support this, I won't support them. To be completely honest, I get more money off niche games than Mario ones. Just my opinion, and since its the internet it's probably wrong.



Araknie said:

@Placlu Here, just as i said before.

If you buy Nintendo games only to make money with them off the Youtube and if you can't you wan't buy Nintendo game...

You are a Youtuber before a Ninty.

Youtube is too much important, they need to release all the monetize poop out the windows and be like before 2008. No networks, no money out of it, you do videos because you want to or you like what you do.



TrueWiiMaster said:

I think it's a stupid decision. They have every right to do it, but that doesn't make it the right thing to do. These are just videos of people playing their games. Besides, they're generally better for Nintendo than not. I've lost count of how many times I've looked at an LP to see how a game plays, figure out where I should go, or just get a feel for the game overall, and if I want to buy it. Any hindrance Nintendo gives these videos only hinders themselves.

I guess this doesn't affect reviews, though? And the article mentioned videos of a certain length. Could people make their videos shorter as a way out of this?



ramstrong said:

I think Nintendo has made the statement that they will not block your stuff. Your stuff falls under fan made, which is to say, you need to distribute it for free. If you're making money off Nintendo stuff, then you need to license the rights to do it. So, Nintendo is correct with this.
It only happens under certain length. I'm curious at what the cut-off is. I think this is related to review length, which is to say 30 seconds or so. But I don't know the exact length.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Speaking as someone who does a lot of Nintendo LPs (and other videos), I'm all for it. If it's their intellectual property then I feel like they're being more than fair by letting me put together my silly videos in the first place. They never got anything in return for that. If now they decide that what they want in return is a few pennies that don't come out of my pocket OR the viewer's pocket, then I think that's perfectly reasonable.



AceTrainerAndy said:

@Ramstrong I make like 20 minute LP videos with low game audio and a louder commentary. I paid money for the game and now I am advertising it for them. What more could they possibly want? I may be bias on the situation, but I think this is a horrible business move. If they "takeover" my content I will personally make sure my subscribers never buy another Nintendo product so essentially they will lose money. It's up to them, they can be greedy and lose a big fan, or they can let me advertise (for free) for them while I make a small profit on the side.



P-Gamer-C said:

yep and the nintendo brand is not as popular as it once was the wii u is in trouble



gavn64 said:

@AceTrainerAndy @Bulby you have quite the ego dont ye it sounds like you can control your subscribers somehow just patent your mind control technology that will fill the gap in your wallet. I would have cared if ye didnt come across as a such a greedy baby "no money no nintendo waa waa" you would stop buying great nintendo games because of this, games you stated "you made look fun" whatever that means and im sure your subs can make there own minds up you arent there messiah dude.



Wii_Win said:

I don't mind this. Sounds fair, I mean, it's just one advert.
It IS ninty's property.



P-Gamer-C said:

Well they did subscribe so they respect his opinion nintendo should not do this more so in there state as only the most hardcore fans are only buying there wii u and there advertising of the thing is terrible that free advertising can really make a difference thats y cod is as big as it is it was excepted by the community.



AceTrainerAndy said:

@Gavn64 I will just tell my subs what Nintendo did. Then, I would ask them, do they really want to buy products from a company that can be compared to EA in terms of greediness? Most people won't want to. Also, why are people so hostile towards YouTube partners? We work hard and paid a lot of money to get our equipment.



Jaz007 said:

@AceTrainerAndy I don't think your viewers will care are enough to boycott Nintendo and stop playing their games.
Edit: I made typo and forgot to add "care"



JusticeColde said:

I think that there are already enough people for his subs to team up with for a full on boycott.
There is some MAJOR stuff happening in the community over this.



RupeeClock said:

This turn of events makes me wonder if some YouTube content generators can rightfully earn money by producing Let's Plays, but then how should it differ from people producing video game reviews, for example? I wonder indeed.
Still Nintendo are protecting their interests without actually stepping on the fans, which is fair. Heck if they are delivering Nintendo targeted adverts on Nintendo content videos it's not SO bad, right?
By all means they could've gone berserk like SEGA did with Shining Force videos on YouTube recently, but didn't.



Mk_II said:

I couldn't care less to be honest. People who think they can make a living playing video games from their parent's basement should consider a real job. Who watches those awful Let's Play videos anyway?



AceTrainerAndy said:

@Lan Some don't, but I can assure I spend at least 4 hours a week on videos so I can upload every other day. I used to be just like you half of you. I got really jealous whenever I would see somebody with a partnership, then I would come to the conclusion that they didn't work hard for it. Now that I do have one, I understand how hard you have to work just to get your name out there. That is the hardest part. Coming up with good comedic commentary every video is tough too.

@Jaz007 I I wouldn't want a total boycott, just enough of them so that they would realize that they are losing money by doing this.



Lan said:

@Mk_II Well said. Tired of searching for a game having to wade through the hundreds of videos of people screaming unfunny jokes into crappy microphones.



Placlu said:

@Araknie Excuse me but I do youtube not for profit, but for enjoyment. The Money helps buy more games/invest in a capture card for the 3DS.

By "boycotting" nintendo games, I purley mean in a recording sense. The Main reason I GOT a partnership was so my account couldn't just be shut down randomly. I have already been affected by this issue for MONTHS.

Monetising or not, I don't think people realise that if Nintendo says YO thats ours, it's okay though, we will just put ads here for us..
They can at ANY ANY time say LOL JK BYE BYE CHANNEL. cough sega That's the real issue I have. IF Nintendo goes on a tirade there goes my hard work.



ramstrong said:

@AceTrainerAndy why are people so hostile towards YouTube partners? We work hard and paid a lot of money to get our equipment.

Don't know why people think it's okay for them to get paid, but when big companies such as Nintendo who worked hard, invested heavily in their games and related infrastructures, became YouTube partner and want to make money, they suddenly become this greedy corporation. Do you AceTrainerAndy have any idea?

You can tell your subscribers what you want, just make sure you don't libel or your life will even be more miserable than now.

Well said @Placlu



TheAdrock said:

Its Nintendo's right to do this, however I do think its wrong-headed... they ought not penalize gamers who promote their products. More user content of this sort only helps Nintendo. If Nintendo wants to participate in revenue of this sort, then make your own channel and compete with the user content.



Chunky_Droid said:

If you went out and got professional media experience before just recording yourself playing games, then by all means go out and earn money for it, a site, magazine or whatever will hire you. Heck, make a website around your work and earn money from it.

Recording yourself playing a video game and uploading to youtube to earn a living is rubbish.



Araknie said:

@Placlu Wait a second, Nintendo was leaving out monetizations for their first party games since February 2013 and nobody cared until they said that they are doing this for months?

I just realized that.



ramstrong said:

LOL. Yeah, that can happen. But my seat of choice isn't the couch. It's the driver's seat of a big 18 wheeler. Yeah, I work hard. 14 hour days are common. Hardly any time to play.



Placlu said:

@Araknie Nobody cared till the big guys complained. Now its a major issue.
Been affecting for at least 3 months now



Midnight3DS said:


Paid reviewers with subjective opinions leave a bad taste in my mouth, too. Essentially, making a living, or partly, with no basis aside from another party's properties, and hard work.

The handful of actually talented LPers may be able to monetize from their actual talent, with their own original material. But getting up a brand new LP first gets hits because of the video game, the actual substance. Someone else's hard work and property.



AJTsuki said:

I don't get this argument...

Nintendo invests millions of dollars, countless hours and the hard work of dozens of creative game designers to create a game for its fans. Then some guy with nothing better to do than record himself playing the game and making funny voices comes along. This guy wants to get paid for playing games and making funny voices so he puts the video on YouTube.

Nintendo says sorry but that's our game and you can't profit from it because, you know, we invested millions of dollars, countless hours and the hard work of dozens of creative game designers to make it while you just sat in your bedroom, alone, making funny voices playing our game.

The guy, and all his YouTube loving friends who also love the idea that they too can make money recording themselves in their pajamas making funny voices, get all mad that the big, bad corporation is stealing from them, arguing that spoiling the entire game for potential players is some form of brilliant marketing strategy and sitting in one's bedroom making funny voices is an artform requiring deep skill and hard work.

Although Nintendo has every right to demand the videos be removed from YouTube, they have instead accepted their existence, even encouraged these groundbreaking mini-masterpieces, with one caveat, that they retain the right to profit from their own intellectual property.

...I don't get this argument.



Placlu said:

@Araknie All I know is that people will re-upload all the trailers and announcements and news and not get punished. Cruel world.



mingzu said:

I think it is sad that Nintendo is doing something like this, because the Nintendo Let's players are some of the most enthusiastic Nintendo fans out there. If you read Nintendos statement I have hopes that they will do something to help Let's players to earn money in the future. Maybe we will hear something about this topic in the Nintendo direct tomorrow.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

I wouldn't bother with a boycott. The gaming community in general is notorious for being all bark and no bite. A boycott could fail for a multitude of different reasons and even when "successful" could still be written off. In the case of strong IPs, it would just mean the impact was not noticeable. In the case of niche titles, the games would just be written off as being too niche (and another game would never appear again).

Even a petition or many letters would have a better likelihood of actually succeeding since at least they can be considered tangible and would get the point across.



Bigmac1910 said:

I think this a bad move from Nintendo, they will get even less exposure now, and the Wii U is already struggling. It will be interesting to see how the sales will do after this.



DerpSandwich said:

Normally I would say no big deal, but in light of the recent announcement that the PS4 would allow for easy video sharing, I think this was a bad move.



AJTsuki said:

@theadrock13 These "Gamers" are not promoting Nintendo's products. That's a false argument. They are improperly benefiting from the games, following their own personal agenda, and then using the "we're promoting the game" argument to defend their improper use of Nintendo's IP.

Spoiling gameplay and revealing secrets is not promotion. There is no "editorial control" here. It's just some dude with a lot of time on his hands who wants to get a lot of hits on YouTube. I say he should be happy with his hits and be glad that Nintendo is not demanding the removal of all these videos.

@P-Gamer-C How is this about the fans? The people who make these videos are not fans, they are opportunists. If they were fans, then the loss of a monetization opportunity wouldn't be an issue.

@DerpSandwich Not the same! PS4 video sharing has many constraints, including length of video. This is about YouTubers publishing extended looks, if not entire gameplay. Nintendo has already confirmed that they are not chasing short videos, only the long ones seeking to monetize.



retro_player_22 said:


Well they do own the IP and the people who made those IP needs those money as well. You could say you might do the same too if someone do a playthrough of one of your games and used your music on it, you can't block them but you sure could throw ads in there so you too could earn some share of the cash which you had full rights to.



TheAdrock said:

@AJTsuki Any exposure of Nintendo products is promotion. A potential customer searches YouTube to watch the gameplay, if the video looks fun he might buy it. Promo.

Nintendo doesn't lose gaming or console revenue because of the existence of a video of a guy playing their game. And the guy making the video doesn't make revenue unless he gets a boat load of hits, which is his incentive to make many videos with quality commentary, so as to attract viewers, which is only more promo for Nintendo. This is elementary economics.

As I said above, Nintendo has the right to do as they are, I just think they are wrong-headed because by "taxing" the content-creator they will get less of it, which is less promo, and can only hurt Nintendo.



Yosh said:

It is their content, if you made something, and everyone showed it off completely, then made money off of it wouldn't be greedy then huh



P-Gamer-C said:

Oh no your against making money to if nintendo gets more limelight how can it not be anything but good the wii u came out 6 months ago and its already almost died never has that happened before if it wasent for guys like review tec flipflopper usa and shokia i would have forgot about the damn thing already new leadership is needed at nintendo



Midnight3DS said:

I'm sure Nintendo didn't come up with this idea sitting on a toilet. They weigh the plus/minus, and it's impact. Massive legal muscle at the ready, and new Metroid, Mario, and Zelda blockbusters that everyone wants, at hand.

Nes and Super Nintendo didn't need a single LP to fly off shelves. How they market and promote themselves is their concern.



AJTsuki said:

@theadrock13 Not at all. There's nothing elementary about it. These are people improperly using content without permission, far beyond the laws of "fair use".

Why would I go buy a narrative driven game if some YouTuber spoils the story for me? Or what if the guy trashes the game, only highlighting the bad stuff? Like I said above, no "editorial control". Magazines and journalism-based websites are at least held to a standard. These people are not. Sure, they can make their videos anyway. They are just not allowed to profit from it.

There's as many reasons why an extended video will work against sales, as there is reasons it might promote sales. That's the point, and the problem, and the reason Nintendo, like any responsible company, needs to manage their IP.



theblackdragon said:

Doesn't bother me at all — kinda makes sense if you think about it. If what you're doing is showing off long stretches of straight gameplay, something another person would have to shell out for an actual game in order to see, you may as well see some ads for the company who puts out said game(s) along with it. At least then the ads will be relevant to what you're watching, lol~

It could also be prompted by the sheer number of people hopping on to the 'Let's Play' train nowadays. if they allow people to use their content unprotested now and then try to take someone else to court for doing something similar on a much larger scale, there's probably a chance they'd lose due to having allowed it for so long without a problem.



DerpSandwich said:

@AJTsuki I know it's not the exact same thing, but a lot of people aren't going to make that distinction. It's a PR issue more than anything. Really I can see both sides of the argument, though.



AVahne said:

Honestly, I'm pretty sure Microsoft already did something far worse than this.



P-Gamer-C said:

Spoiling the game lol grasping at straws to damage control nintendo's next big mistake everyone knows bad publicity or good publicity is still giving attention something nintendo needs



Ryno said:

A YouTube video playthrough may actually "promote" sometimes sure but it also detracts from some sales as well.



Mattiator said:

@Ryno Yes. Especially in the case of linear, story driven games, an LP will most definately drive off sales. Because why bother paying for the game when I can just watch it like a movie?



P-Gamer-C said:

When no one is talking about nintendo and there games and our silent then is the time to worry and with this latest screw job that is a real possibility



Bigmac1910 said:


I don't think it detracts, people who watch through all those hours probably never would have bought it in the first place.



P-Gamer-C said:

Dont forget most of those casuals that boosted the original wii are gone so its back to gamecube levels [it sold around 20 mil that was the hardcore fanbase almost completly at full output ] so to get more people to buy there product's they need the youtube community plus no e3 to compinsate just nintendo directs its an echo chamber in there only there fans listen to that.



Trikeboy said:

I have considered doing a Let's Play for Pokemon doing a Team Rocket Challenge. I don't plan to make any money off of it, it is purely for fun. Under the new conditions, that should be fine right?



Wowfunhappy said:

Honestly? If I was a game dev, I wouldn't want people making Let's Play videos of my games, & would probably take legal steps to stop them.

It DOES spoil the game. There won't be any more surprises (or some but less, depending on how many videos you watch).

If it's competitive multiplayer, or randomly-generated (like Minecraft), that's a different story. But how many Nintendo games are like that?



P-Gamer-C said:

No amount of damage control will change the fact that nintendo made the wrong choice they have a console thats drowning and they do this still no games going into month 7



Midnight3DS said:


Nah, you'll be fine doing it for free. Worse scenario in the world, you hear about it from Youtube. There is generally no beef with LP's at this point, as long as it's at, or post street date release.



P-Gamer-C said:

Man that e3 would help the wii u show those awsome games i hope are coming but the reason they arent doing it is they believe when sony and soft show there games and real next gen tec they are going to get crushed by them i feel like i dont understand them anymore iwata needs to go



russellohh said:

I've owned a 3DS since launch day, and a Wii U since launch month. Maybe 45 games installed on my 3DS harddrive, and I can honestly say I'd never even heard of Let's Play until today.



SCAR said:

This doesn't mean anything for most of us. It could mean alot of things, but I understand why they did this.



AJTsuki said:

I have no idea why anyone would think this is a PR nightmare. Who really cares? Do parents who buy games for their kids care? No. Do hardcore Nintendo fans who avoid spoilers at all costs care? No. Do the nostalgia driven Mario, Zelda, Kirby fans care? No. These people are going to buy Nintendo anyway. All these people will line up to buy Super Smash Bros U, regardless of how Nintendo chooses to defend their IP. And I bet they'll all be joined by the people whining about this issue. The WiiU has problems for a whole set of other reasons. This is not, and will never be, one of them.



TingLz said:

@everyone: well if these LPers are truly dedicated, then they will continue with the videos. They volunteered their time and effort for this, and most likely did not do it for the money. Why should they be compensated for their time and effort if they did not do it for the money?

I honestly see no harm if the videos are able to continue.



Doctor_Opossum said:

This doesn't seem like a big deal to me. If anything, it is quite fair to both parties - the people posting the videos get to show off their moves and use Nintendo's content without legal issues and Nintendo gets some profit out of thier properties.



FritzFrapp said:

I've thought of a small loophole that could be a nice little earner for us Europeans, Damo. Only upload 60Hz videos. That way NoE could only claim five sixths of any content ID.
That'll teach 'em!



DrRandle said:

Let's Play videos as Advertising is the same thing as Pirating as Advertising. I'm honestly surprised nobody's tried to sue these people yet for publicly displaying their entire game. If you tried to put The Avengers on a Youtube video, your account would be blown out of the water. People are making money off of showing an entire copyrighted product. That is against copyright laws, pure and simple. The fact that Nintendo's trying to make a little money off of this is easily the -best- thing they could do to step into this situation, and letting it continue unchecked isn't an option. People need to understand what legality is involved here, and that Nintendo is doing the nicest thing they could be in this situation.



Pokefanmum82 said:

nintendo has every right to do this. and you all have no right to complain. just be thankful they aren't yanking all these videos down. IF you are doing it for the money, then you are just greedy. The games are Nintendo's property and not yours. They have every right to do this.



Yanchamaru said:

If you want to get rid of Youtube advertisements, use AdBlock in Google Chrome. No ads are displayed in the videos.



Grackler said:

@AceTrainerAndy By saying you will bad-mouth Ninty products if they don't let you make money of let's playing, doesn't that somewhat imply that the actual quality of the product and games doesn't matter to you? Should they have trusted your advice to "buy a WiiU" in the first place? Can you not accept that people might like and want to play on something you aren't making money off? I can understand your frustration, but it sounds like you are throwing your actual opinion out of the window and letting the money talk for you here.



TingLz said:

@Bulby Several problems. One, he is using indie developers as an example, which Nintendo is not. Two, Nintendo does NOT need these videos for marketing. Three, Nintendo games sell because of the brand itself. Four, this is no job nor contract; if the LPers are living off this money, tough! No one promised them money upon the release of their videos, so they shouldn't rely on it.



ayylmao22422 said:

I'm sorry, but anyone who says they have every right is a fanboy who doesn't want to admit that they screwed up, big time. While they legally do have the right to do this, it is just a massive screw up and will give them bad press until they admit they were wrong and stop doing this.

Yes, I am a Nintendo fanboy myself and it was hard to say it, but Nintendo, you screwed up.



Jukilum said:

To the people saying that making a Let's Play is hard work—having read all of the comments here so far I have seen nothing that convinces me of that. An hour or so editing a video after playing the game is not a signifigant amount of time. That is nothing compared to the amount of time it takes to create an original video from scratch let alone editing one.



ayylmao22422 said:

Not to mention some people actually LIVE off of YouTube and do mostly Nintendo videos, like ZackScottGames and MCgamer (though I'll admit that MC mostly gets his views from Minecraft).

It is just a major d*** move. Nintendo isn't desperate enough to need money from people who actually commentate over their videos, and sometimes live. Already alot of YouTubers have boycotted Nintendo.



ayylmao22422 said:

More ranting:

It'd be great if someone could give one good reason why Nintendo would want/need to do this. Just because they can doesn't make it right.



Midnight3DS said:

^ Just because someone can profit off another party's IP doesn't make it right.

They're lucky they can do it for fun.



Chomposaur said:

somewhere in the world Chuggaconroy is sitting in a corner crying because he has to get a real job



Rapadash6 said:

This is fair. These people were always violating the YouTube terms of service which clearly states that users cannot monetize copyrighted content without consent from the rights holder(s). Nintendo finally cracking down on this should've been expected for anyone who actually read the terms, but alas, it's clear many didn't, and boohoo for them. There are plenty of Let's Players out there who do it for fun, not profit, so it's not likely that they'll all just go away.

In the end, Nintendo isn't taking down the videos, which we've seen other companies do, so they are being pretty reasonable here. What's unreasonable is users profiting off of copyrighted material, and getting upset when they are called out on it. If they had read the terms, they should've known better and if they didn't, that's their problem, not Nintendo's or YouTube's.



DESS-M-8 said:

@The_Joker So if you go to work for ten hours one day and only get paid for nine, is that ok by you?

Totally different context, but exactly the same situation.



DESS-M-8 said:

@blackjim people making a living off YouTube is parasitic in itself, it's a free social media site. Get a real job, run your own site.

If you put on a high school production of anything, even though it's only at school, the school must pay the royalties to perform a version of it. Shows such as guys and dolls are cheap, doing the lion king costs £1000's if not £10,000's. Doing that show and not paying is the same principal as this pathetic YouTube whining argument, Nintendo has every right and were right to do what they did.

Making money off somebody else's intellectual property is morally wrong, ethically wrong an ultimately and most importantly legally wrong.



Rapadash6 said:

@blackjim: Actually you don't, at least not in the way that most LPs use it. What's specified in the terms as missuse is exactly what an LP is: long, unaltered footage of video game material. It couldn't be anymore black and white than that. Please don't reply with "yes you can" again, because just saying something a bunch of times, which you've been doing on here for a while it seems, doesn't make it true. Read YouTubes terms of service agreement if you don't want to believe me.



ayylmao22422 said:

@DESS-M-8 Look at it this way: YouTubers are entertainers, essentially comedians. So does make comedians immoral and illegal?


YouTube networks, like Machinma, are how you monetize gaming videos. They get permission from the developers, and then grant them to your channel. You say unaltered footage- gaming videos have commentary almost all the time. And most developers, like Mojang, say that you can upload their content to YouTube. I've yet to see a video game that doesn't, besides Nintendo and a few small others.



TheKachoMan said:

It only goes to legitimize your video. Nintendo is saying you have official Nintendo content. Can anyone knock this theory?



Midnight3DS said:


Not quite so, because Nintendo does not support, and frowns upon emulators. Many LPers use emulators, and that's a whole nother kettle of fish. Some LPers not only profit off the IP, but by useing pirated software as well.



Rapadash6 said:

@blackjim: Again, read the TOS and get back to me. Networks, and all its contributors, on YouTube still have to abide by the same rules, but if they have a standing agreement with the copyright holders (being in a "network" doesn't predicate this, btw) then there shouldn't be an issue. The action Nintendo is taking here doesn't affect those users, but those who use the material haphazardly to make a quick buck, which again is in clear violation of YouTubes rules. Also, having a running commentary isn't a loophole, as the footage used can still infringe on the TOS.



ayylmao22422 said:

@Rapadash6 The TOS clearly says you need permission, networks give you permission. If what you saying is true, gaming videos wouldn't exist. And apparently somebody who wants to have fun uploading nintendo games is "making a quick buck"?

I'm tired of arguing, this has nothing to do with the topic, and I won't be replying to whatever witty reply you can conjur up.



TingLz said:

@blackjim: What's there to argue about? Those LPers clearly violated the rules, and Nintendo's stopping it. As I said in the earlier post, this is NOT a job nor contract. Just because they live off Youtube does not mean that they are entitled to any money they get.



ayylmao22422 said:


Nintendo is quite literally being a big bully, because as I said just because they can do it doesn't make it right. Commentators who make money are part of networks making videos under the Fair Use policy, just like every single other person who makes gaming videos.

If making videos of video games was against the TOS, gaming videos would not exist.

As I said to Rap, I don't want to argue. This has become the epitome of immature internet arguments. Bye.



TingLz said:

@blackjim Nope. There is no "Fair use" if you're profiting from it. You are literally using copyrighted material to make money, which is against the ToS. You missed my point entirely.

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "immature" since most of us are using actual facts. But if you wish to leave the argument, I have no problem with that.



AceTrainerAndy said:

I get kind of frustrated when people say YT partners don't work hard. The hard work is at the beginning. Getting your name out there is extremely difficult. I struggled with that for like a year then success finally payed off because I was persistent and maybe had a few lucky tags. I also think people are taking my comments too literally. I guarantee if I sold my Wii-U and never bought a Nintendo game again they would actually lose money from me never buying their products again. I just want to show them that they would actually lose money from this. I make money from YT, but not NEARLY enough to live on comfortably. There are some people who live off of that and that is their only option like Chugga and NCS. I can name a couple times where I saw one of them playing a game and the very next day I went and bought it. I understand they have not been doing well and need a little extra cash but seriously, this is not the right answer to their problems. To be honest, half of my YT check goes to buying their games. tl;dr Nintendo will lose money on this decision. I will be very pissed at them.



GamerZack87 said:

Waitwaitwaitwaitwait...back up...hold the can actually earn money by posting videos on YouTube?!



Epicnessofme99 said:

I understand people who make lets plays usually take time to edit them but just because you buy something doesn't mean you own the rights to upload a video on it, especially media-wise. I'm sure many people will either quit doing lets plays of Nintendo games or only do them occasionally with a mixture of Sony and Microsoft games in order to continue gaining revenue.



ReshiramZekrom said:

This basically explains everything from a YouTuber's point of view. It's really true.



DrOzaki said:

This was and is gunna happen eventually. Lets Plays have always been a bit of a touchy subject, and this is Nintendos way of handling it. Oh and I love how so many Youtubers are posting rant videos on how Nintendos flagging videos for copyright, when the article here clearly says they are encouraging people to upload content.



thatoneguy4419 said:

I'm kinda appalled that Nintendo would do this. Lets Players do make money off Nintendo's games, but Nintendo is already making a lot of money off of their games already. Some famous LPers do put a lot of effort and time into their videos, so taking away their hard earned cash does seem a little harsh. There's nothing wrong with just making money off of videos like some of you think. College is not for everybody, and I'm sure they made videos in the first place, because they really love doing it, and not to only make money. I understand Nintendo's viewpoint, but taking their money doesn't seem quite right.



P-Gamer-C said:

I have been saying this the whole time and the timing made the situation even worse with the drowning wii u nintendo seems to be doing this stuff on perpose there lack of drive to target and make those third party titles happen the slow weird cpu that no one likes and the figure it out yourself approach iwata needs to go now before its to late



LordGeovanni said:

Sooo.... I am DEEPLY confused. If I have a video on Youtube, and it has an ad, Youtube gets the ad money, right? So Nintendo says that Youtube needs to share the ad money with Nintendo and Youtube says that that is ok with their end due to their Terms and Conditions.

So, where is the problem? It is not like the "Let's Play"ers have an issue. It is just that their movie will be benefiting Nintendo a little...



Henmii said:

Nintendo is sooo extremely greedy nowadays! This won't increase their popularity, that's for sure!!

However, I guess youtube uploaders can avoid it easily by changing the title! So no more "let's play", but "longplay" or "playthrough", to give 2 examples!

But what am I complaining: Youtube is dying anyway!
Google buying Youtube was the first nail!
And offering pay-channels is the second one!!



ShanaUnite said:

Because making money off something you enjoy doing is bad right? This seems like a silly move. Theyre advertisements for nintendo games. This seems like a silly move to get more money Also making enjoyable videos is harder than it seems. Youre really not going to get alot of views without good commentary most of the time.



Trikeboy said:

There is a big difference when it comes to inde developers and a company like Nintendo. For example, I only found out about Thomas Was Alone thanks to it going up on Playstation Plus. I had no idea the game existed before that. A Let's Play for that kind of game would be helpful. On the other hand, a popular Let's Play is Pokemon. Hands up who has heard of Pokemon? Pretty much everyone. We all know that a new Pokemon game is getting released in October too. Nintendo will advertise the game through ads on TV and in magazines and other things.



TheKachoMan said:

GameCenter CX in Japan has to secure the rights or permission to use a game for their broadcast. Why shouldn't you have to on YouTube?



VelvetInkwell said:

at the same time, why does Nintendo feel that they can use LPers original content and likenesses to make their profit as well? If a LPer speaks, has a custom intro or outro, or does a facecam. Can Nintendo turn around and say "You cannot profit off of our content, but we can profit off of yours"?

Also to all of you stating that LP is not a real job. It is not your place to tell anyone what a real job is or not. A real job is simply something you make money from doing. The way it is done matters not.

It is ok for Nintendo to make profit off of "not a real job" but not the one that spends hours editing, learning the game, crating their own custom content, and providing entertaining commentary? Geez, how ever does Rifftrax EVER make money if it is not a real job?

Also, by Nintendo wanting to do these ads to collect the revenue, they are themselves proving that the LP market must be a lucrative one.



lob407 said:

@gavn64 "good on them"?? How is less nintendo game content on youtube good? Nintendo are being stupid, petty and short-sighted. They don't seem to have a clue about the social aspect of gaming. Popular letsplayers are the best advertising nintendo could ask for, and they have taken away the incentive for these guys to continue making great, good quality content.

Only thing this will achieve is all the best game content on youtube will be xbox, playstation and pc.



lob407 said:

@TheKachoMan "GameCenter CX in Japan has to secure the rights or permission to use a game for their broadcast. Why shouldn't you have to on YouTube?"

What is it with people asking for more restrictions? Hey look in Japan they shoot people for posting content, why shouldn't we do that?



Objection said:

This will make Nintendo a quick buck and then in the longterm (if you can even call it that) will backfire. Already, many LPers I know have stopped doing LPs or even the same amount of coverage of Nintendo (whether its opinion, reviews, etc) because they don't want Nintendo taking their ad revenue.

Is Nintendo within their legal right to do this? 95% yes. But the few bucks they get off of this is going to cost them a lot of free publicity.



TheKachoMan said:

Older Nintendo games on GameCube, Wii, or Wii U is via emulation. This can be recorded as easily as on the PC with a few hundred dollars of equipment.
I love Nintendo but don't back them always... I feel if I buy a digital game from Nintendo I should be able to play them on any system I have registered with them.

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