Nintendo lays advert claim to Let's Play videos

Company signs up for YouTube's content ID match system

If you plan to post a Let's Play video of a Nintendo game, remember this: Nintendo gotsta get paid. A GameFront report with Nintendo response reveals that videos which exceed a certain length could be bookended by advertisements from the company.

The "content ID match " process allows for much worse: it could automatically block videos on a regional or worldwide basis. That's not what Nintendo's going for, according to its statement:

"As part of our ongoing 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."

It does mean, however, that the videos no longer produce ad revenue for their creators. Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell argues that Nintendo is shooting itself in the foot.

"A new media for talking about games has emerged, which comprises an audience far in excess of existing channels," Bithell wrote on his Develop blog. "This media is talking about your stuff a lot. Why curb it? Why dissuade those taking part in talking about how much they love you? Would you charge a celebrity for tweeting about how much they liked your game? Would you demand ad revenue from a game site for running a review?"

He says sales of his game increased eightfold from launch day when it was featured by YouTube personality TotalBiscuit. Would TotalBiscuit have made the video--and jumpstarted Thomas Was Alone's sales--if he wouldn't receive its ad revenue?

Of course, Bithell isn't a giant corporation with its own marketing department. Do you think Nintendo was right to clamp down on its intellectual property, or is it a shortsighted move?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

One of GR+'s news crew, Connor also writes features from time to time and does a lil' streamin'-streamin' on the side. Chrom is his husband and nothing will ever come between them.
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