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Nintendo Makes it Harder for YouTubers to Stream Their Games

by Dylan Siegler

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Nintendo is notorious for being extremely protective over their properties. This has manifested itself in different ways, such as sending out cease and desist letters to creators of fan-games, like Zelda: Breath of the NES and Pokémon Uranium Version. Another way Nintendo has shown this is how it often makes it difficult for YouTube Let’s Players to make videos featuring Nintendo games. Everyone is making a big deal lately over the fact that Campo Santo won’t let PewDiePie make videos of their games anymore, but Nintendo has been limiting who and how people can make Let’s Plays of their games for some time now and recent changes in their policy look to make it more difficult for even the people they’ve allowed to make videos of their games up to this point.

Kotaku explains that in 2015, Nintendo launched the Nintendo Creators Program, which would allow approved YouTube channels to make some money off of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo games, whereas previously all money from ad revenue would go straight to Nintendo. At the time, creators worried over what the approval process for the Program would entail as well as the fact that Nintendo was given control over how much money they could make from their videos. Today (September 29), Nintendo announced a change in the Nintendo Creators Program that doesn’t exactly fix their rough relationship with creators.

An email was sent out today to members of the Nintendo Creators Program that described the change to their policy. Daan Koopman shared the email on Twitter, which you can see to the right of this paragraph. Basically, the email states that members of the Program can no longer livestream videos featuring Nintendo games. If a creator wishes to do a livestream with a Nintendo game, they will have to do so from a channel not approved by the Program. Yes, you read that correctly. Channels NOT approved by the program can continue to livestream videos with Nintendo games, but channels that ARE approved by the program can not livestream videos with Nintendo games.

It’s not entirely clear why Nintendo would do this. Why punish the people who you’ve approved to make content with your properties while giving more leniency to random YouTubers who haven’t been approved? It could be because of how, as previously mentioned, money made from ad revenue for videos featuring Nintendo content by creators not approved by the Program all goes to Nintendo, whereas money made from videos made by approved creators goes partially to the creators, so Nintendo could be hoping that they’ll make more money by restricting some form of videos to only those who can’t make money off those videos. Whatever the reason is for this change, it’s sure to further strain Nintendo’s relationships with creators wanting to make videos with their properties.

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