That means any time someone uploads a walkthrough or “let’s play” video — a popular format where players demo the first 10 to 30 minutes of a game — Nintendo will be able to collect royalties on it.
“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,” said a Nintendo statement to GameFront. “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 will accomplish this by using YouTube’s Content Match ID system, which allows publishers, television networks or record labels to identify if content being used in a video is something from their products. Those entities can then monetize those videos.
Minecraft creator Markus Persson, better known as Notch, commented on Twitter Thursday that he was offered the same options by YouTube, meaning it’s something more publishers could consider.
YouTube creator Zack Scott has gained a huge following for his Let’s Play videos, with more than 81 million views on his gaming-focused YouTube channel. He posted a lengthy response on his Facebook page to Nintendo’s decision. Scott calls himself a serious Nintendo fan, and his YouTube videos of Nintendo games do well. His video for the recently released 3DS title Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon has nearly 400,000 views.
“I think filing claims against LPers is backwards. Video games aren’t like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience. When I see a film that someone else is also watching, I don’t need to see it again. When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself! Sure, there may be some people who watch games rather than play them, but are those people even gamers?”
Scott goes on to say that gamers watch his videos, and others like him, to get insight on how to beat a game or for his specific commentary. Scott said he will ultimately choose no longer to feature Nintendo games on his channel for fear of reprisal in the future, and to protest for the vibrant “Let’s Play” community.
How do you think Nintendo should handle videos of its products on YouTube? Share your thoughts in the comments below.