This week, Nintendo announced its latest attempt to fix its flagging relationship with YouTube by revealing the Creators Program, an initiative which will allow YouTubers to upload Nintendo-related content and still earn revenue.
Previously, Nintendo has been very heavy-handed with YouTube channels which feature Nintendo games, even going as far as to file copyright claims against them. The Creators Program allows YouTube users to monetize their video content, but the catch is that Nintendo takes a cut of any cash generated - ranging from 30 to 40 percent.
While some would argue that the Creators Program is a step in the right direction for the Japanese giant, seasoned YouTube stars have reacted angrily. PewDiePie - arguably one of the most famous faces on YouTube right now - has perhaps been the most scathing (if you're going to click the source link be aware that it contains bad language):
What they are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTubers. What better way to sell/market a game, than from watching someone else (that you like) playing it and enjoying themselves?
If I played a Nintendo game on my channel most likely most of the views/ad revenue would come from the fact that my viewers are subscribed to me. Not necessarily because they want to watch a Nintendo game in particular.
When there's just so many games out there to play. Nintendo games just went to the bottom of that list.
Fellow YouTuber Zack Scott shared the same opinion:
I've never dealt with a game company that didn't want the exposure that video creators bring to their games. This week, Evolve and Dying Light, two of the biggest games right now, are being heavily pushed in the YouTube and Twitch communities.
Large companies like Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Rovio, and others allow gameplay monetization. Countless indie developers are vocal about allowing it too. Taking it further, EA even has the Ronku program that pays YouTubers extra as an incentive to cover their games.
Due to the openness of other developers, I find Nintendo's approach odd. When comparing other developers' policies, I see no appeal for established YouTubers. This program further drives a wedge between video creators and game developers.
I cringed when I heard about certain YouTubers demanding a percentage of game sales revenue in exchange for coverage. I feared that developers would adopt the same sentiment and demand a percentage of video ad revenue. With Nintendo's latest move, that time has come.
I encourage all video creators and video game developers to really consider the impact if everyone adopted Nintendo's model. Do we want game coverage to be based upon who pays the most or perhaps takes the smallest cut? The biggest YouTubers and developers can benefit from a model like that, but it'll be at the expense of the smallest.
What do you think of this reaction? Should YouTubers like PewDiePie be allowed to use Nintendo games without having to pony up any cash, or is Nintendo right to try and protect its copyright, and should other companies be doing the same? YouTube coverage is vital in promoting games these days, so do you think that companies like EA and Ubisoft are simply overlooking potential infringements in order to ensure that that maximum amount of hype is generated?
As ever, share your feelings by posting a comment below.