YouTuber Angry Joe Swears Off Nintendo Videos After The Company Claimed His Mario Party 10 Take

from the biting-the-hand dept

Nintendo’s never-ending desire to control how YouTubers review its games or do “let’s plays” has been laughable from the start. From the trust-destroying agreement YouTubers had to enter into in order to get access to visual content to the beauracratic nightmare individuals had to wade through just to get a video approved for monetization, the whole thing started off on messy footing. And the biggest issue in all of this: Nintendo still can’t seem to grasp that these YouTubers are giving the company free advertising. Gamers love the kinds of videos these YouTubers produce. They use them to make purchasing decisions, to become interested in new games, and to fuel word-of-mouth advertising that no trumped up ad campaign could ever possibly hope to achieve. Why make any of that more complicated by creating an approval system for the videos? And, more importantly, why take away the incentive for fans to promote your games by demanding a share of their YouTube revenue?

Well, the program that’s a mere few months old has already resulted in the first major YouTuber proclaiming that Nintendo games will no longer be covered. Angry Joe (Joe Vargas) has one hell of an online following in the gaming YouTuber community and, following a spat over his Mario Party 10 video, Nintendo is dead to him.

Joe “Angry Joe” Vargas, who commands nearly two million subscribers on YouTube, has decided to stop covering Nintendo games, following a dispute over a Mario Party 10 video. Angry Joe’s Mario Party 10 video was flagged by YouTube, and while it’s possible for him to keep the video online, he can’t make money off it. It’s easy to imagine why he’s upset.

He tweeted about the decision a few days ago:

That sort of says it all, doesn’t it? Millions of gamers who went to Angry Joe for help in where to spend their gaming dollar will no longer be directed by Joe to Nintendo games via reviews and gameplay footage. For Angry Joe followers, Nintendo might as well not exist. What’s particularly insane about this is that the YouTuber Nintendo affiliate program described above wouldn’t even have applied to this particular video, since some Nintendo games, Mario Party 10 among them, don’t even qualify for coverage under the program. Why Nintendo would seek to piss off a popular YouTuber over a video for a game that wouldn’t have been granted the okay under the affiliate program is beyond me.

Here’s a case where Nintendo has locked up 100% of the ad revenue on Angry Joe’s video, despite the fact that it’s not Nintendo’s copyright-covered content viewers are coming to watch. That’s not only unfair, it’s biting the very hand feeding Nintendo’s coffers and sending the company new customers. This is the first major YouTuber to jump off the Nintendo ship, but it almost certainly won’t be the last.

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Companies: nintendo, youtube

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Comments on “YouTuber Angry Joe Swears Off Nintendo Videos After The Company Claimed His Mario Party 10 Take”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Pure, endless greed

As Angry Joe noted in the video, what makes the action of Nintendo here particularly galling is how utterly greedy it shows Nintendo to be.

It’s not enough that he paid several hundred for the system, $50-70 per game for several games, several hundred for several sets of controllers, no, even after all the money he has given them, they still demand more. Even after all that, they still demand that he pay them for the privilege of advertising their games to the huge numbers of people that watch his videos.

Even other game companies that people (rightly) despise, EA and Ubisoft, seem to have been smart enough to figure out that people making videos of their games is free publicity, which makes it all the worse that a company that so many people love has shown such boneheaded, shortsighted greed.

OldMugwump (profile) says:

Re: Pure, endless greed

Never attribute to greed that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

I strongly suspect Nintendo management has no idea what is going on here. They probably just told their legal department to “protect our rights” and the lawyers go off and do this.

Why? Because they can.

Their reasoning is simple – the law lets us do this, doing it is “protecting our rights”, and we’ve been told to “product our rights”, so do it.

Lawyers are not business people. They don’t think about what’s good for the company or for profits. They just think “if the law lets me screw up other people, I should do so”. Because to a lawyer life is a zero-sum game. And the law lets them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Pure, endless greed

It’s not because they can. It’s because the more things they do, no matter how inane, or counter productive, the more people they can hire and the bigger their empire is.

Corporate Executives know it’s all about building and protecting your empire. The company be damned. It’s one reason why techies and executives have so much trouble communicating.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Pure, endless greed

–Lawyers are not business people. They don’t think about what’s good for the company or for profits.

Humm, if I hired a lawyer to do work for my business and his actions negatively affected my business….well I’d hire another lawyer to sue the idiot lawyer.

A lawyer who ignore whats in the best interest of his client has no business representing anyone.

I’d have no problem with a lawyer pointing out that the requested action is stupid and the client still insisting they follow through with the stupid action. But I would have a problem with a lawyer just blindly doing whatever is asked of him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Pure, endless greed

“if the law lets me screw up other people, I should do so”
Is a bit to the harsh side. It is about setting a precedent to avoid the erosion of the rights. If one person is allowed to do something you cannot go after another doing the same thing and it weakens cases of related types of use too.

Mark (profile) says:

Re: Re: Pure, endless greed

As I said in the comments on another article about this the problem seems to be Japan.

By all accounts Nintendo America understands Youtube and Social Media and how they can be beneficial. It’s Nintendo Japan that is being all draconian about this.

Let’s look at another example that also involves Angry Joe.

Capcom USA sent him a press package to promote the most recent Street Fighter release. He made a video about it that included clips from the promotional video provided to him by Capcom. It was slapped with a takedown notice by Capcom Japan.

With these sort of incidents it always seems to trace back to the offices of the Japanese game publishers.

Perhaps it’s a cultural thing I don’t understand but there are many examples of Japanese companies being somewhat hostile to the internet.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Pure, endless greed

Brilliant. Worse than the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, they are in fact actively hostile to each other, with the fans and customers caught in the middle.

Hopefully he told them that he’d be giving a pass to any similar offers unless they could reign in their trigger happy colleagues in the future.

Haley says:

Re: Pure, endless greed

Except he didn’t pay a single cent for that Wii U. He said himself that his subscribers bought that Wii U for him. And then when his video gets claimed, even though the video is still playable, he decided to throw an enormous bitchfit because he can’t profit off of it. He expects to make money off of other people’s work with absolutely ZERO investment on his part. What an entitled asshole.

Watchit (profile) says:

Re: Can someone please explain...

They probably do. But, the way Youtube works is the copyright holder, or rather anyone who claims to have copyrighted material in a video is given the benefit of the doubt. Regardless of fair use, or if they even have the copyright they claim, or even if the copyright they claim to have has anything to do with the video, anyone can send a copyright claim like nintendo did.

anony says:

Re: Re: Can someone please explain...

If only all of these content creators could take one week to boycott all of youtube, take down all of their content they previously put up on youtube and let youtube lose all the income they had.
Maybe this will not be a lot of money , maybe it will, but no matter how much it is youtube should take note that they are easily replaced if all content creators for games decide to support a third party website and point all consumers to this website.

Eventually it could actually be a situation where youtube was losing millions of viewers a day to a third party website who had fair use as their main discipline and protected consumers and content creators.

I just dot understand how Youtube can go after content creators as they are more tha coverd under fair use here.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Can someone please explain...

“if all content creators for games decide to support a third party website and point all consumers to this website”

What makes you think that the new website will be immune from the legal attacks and other pressures that forced YouTube to put ContentID and their DMCA processes in place to begin with, let alone the constant stream of demands for content to be taken down outside of these systems?

“I just dot understand how Youtube can go after content creators as they are more tha coverd under fair use here.”

Oh, you don’t actually understand the issues and are just assuming that YouTube are the ones attacking content creators here? Never mind, carry on with your fictional version of events…

(Hint: Nintendo are the ones attacking here, not YouTube. That’s why Joe is boycotting Nintendo, not Google)

kog999 says:

Re: Can someone please explain...

“How these types of videos do not fall under fair use?”

Perhaps they do. All you need to do to find out is hire a lawyer, pay them a crazy amount of money, take time off work to go to court, defend you case, wait possibly several years for a finial non-appealable judgement, pay more money in court costs and fees, dedicate all your free time to the case any maybe you can get the video rules fair use. or maybe not and your be counter-sued for copyright infringement. All so you can post a free video online. easy right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Can someone please explain...

Fair use is a test against four factors:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

It’s points 3 and 4 that are most likely to weigh against the fan making the video. A Let’s Play is likely to cover most of the playable parts of a game, especially if it’s very linear. As a result, it’s a much more reasonable argument that a viewer could “get the whole experience” of the game by watching the Let’s Play instead of by buying and playing the game. (I don’t buy that, myself—I’ve even bought games because of having seen them in LPs—but I’m not the one making fair use rulings)

Points 1 and 2 don’t counterbalance that much. Getting ad revenue for the videos even seems to make it worse, although I would hope a reasonable judge would realize that that revenue is earned not on the basis of playing a specific game but on the viewers wanting to experience more of the player’s personality.

Absent a ruling, we may never know whether it passes the test, but it’s not a given.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Can someone please explain...

As a result, it’s a much more reasonable argument that a viewer could “get the whole experience” of the game by watching the Let’s Play instead of by buying and playing the game. (I don’t buy that, myself—I’ve even bought games because of having seen them in LPs—but I’m not the one making fair use rulings)

I don’t think even judges are that dumb for the most part*. You only need the vaguest understanding of what a video game is to know that watching a video of one is not a substitute.

* there could be county judges somewhere that are but mostly

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Can someone please explain...

They almost certainly do fall under fair use. However, Youtube is entitled to decide for themselves whether or not to keep this up, provided it does not infringe on copyright. So, there is no penalty for taking it down when it is fair use, but huge legal liability to keeping it up if it’s not. Thus, even though it is almost certainly fair use, the fact there is a small chance it is not is enough to make giving the benefit of the doubt to Nintendo the logical response, given the current legal framework.

dstruct2k says:

Re: Can someone please explain...

They do. YouTubers need to ask a lawyer a few things instead of just saying “omg I give up”. Nintendo doesn’t have the legal rights to take down this video, even if YouTube has mistakenly granted them the ability to do so. Nintendo specifically signs away their rights to Mario Party 10 videos in the mentioned agreement.

Nintendo’s action here is not just insane, it’s unlawful.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Any largesse Nintendo accumulated by giving the North American videogame market a jumpstart has long since been exhausted. I was willing to put up with their doucheyness (for lack of a better term) while it also resulted in great games and gaming hardware. But now that they seemingly don’t know how to do a single thing other than spew out the same three or four franchises every year and their hardware is a never-ending cavalcade of gimmick-ridden poorly made garbage I’ve moved on to greener pastures.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yeah. I mean, you can just make any old game you want on a PC, and there’s no games industry to speak of on that platform. Nintendo’s implementation of DRM on all of their consoles dating back to the NES sure showed everyone how futile an open software platform can be.

Yup. No games on PCs. Or any software at all, on any platforms except publisher-controlled, DRM-laden, proprietary console hardware.

That’s definitely how things are, and how they have been ever since Nintendo saved the world of software development…

Ven says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

IIRC, Nintendo saved us all from the great video game crash by coming up with the thrilling idea of not letting random people make games for your consoles without you knowing about it.

I own a copy of 10-Yard Fight. Anything Nintendo did to save or revitalize the home video game industry it had little to do with quality control. The stepped into a void left by companies that pursued short term profits over long term viability. It’s sad to see that Nintendo may be on the other side now.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“the fact stands that Angry Joe BARELY discusses Nintendo anyway”

In a sense, that actually makes this worse for Nintendo, especially if the comments elsewhere about him deliberately trying to branch out are true.

By that, I mean that a channel devoted to Nintendo fans might be essentially seen as preaching to the choir and not gain significant extra sales/revenue for the company (I still think they’d be wrong, but bear with me).

However, if the channel is 90% Xbox and PC games, with the occasional Nintendo product showcased here and there, that’s additional exposure to people who wouldn’t normally consider the Nintendo product. Some of whom might see the games and decide to impulse buy a console or game they hadn’t previous considered.

Companies like Nintendo spend millions trying to work out how to advertise to these kinds of markets effectively, but here they are rejecting those who do it for them for free.

“Why doesn’t anyone do journalism anymore?”

What constitutes journalism in your mind? Do you usually visit opinion blogs for your investigative journalism?

RD says:

This is the result

This is the result of your “ownership culture” where every scrap of anything created by anybody MUST be “owned” and MUST be monetized and “protected” at all costs.

Protectionist policies that only serve huge, entrenched corporations must be repealed and content given back to the public, as it SHOULD have been.

Anonymous Coward says:

Check out the “Pokemon Shuffle” game that is free to play on the 3DS for a sign of things to come. It’s basically a slot machine for kids fueled by in-app purchases. Nintendo is going to make a bunch of money launching apps like that on cell phones, but it’s going to destroy their brand long term. Did their management change? Or have they just decided to cash in their chips? I am sad to see them slip into greed mode. They used to have the highest quality video games around.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I don’t know what alternate universe you’ve been living in for the past five years, but Nintendo is a shadow of its former self. Are they still profitable? Probably. Would I buy another Nintendo-branded hardware product ever again? Not a chance in hell. After the Wii I’d had quite enough.

I’m pretty sure this latest move shows they’re the next Sega.

Anon (profile) says:

I had a video not using monetization on youtube using a track from Nine Inch Nails – The Slip (2008) which to this day on their site says “the slip is licensed under a creative commons attribution non-commercial share alike license.”. I had them in the credits, links to their site, about all you could ask.. Got a notice just like that. Disputed the notice with info including the quote of the licence from their site, they responded still saying I was breaking copyright, without giving any details of how.. Anyway I just stripped the Audio and cut the credits short where it mentioned them and stopped buying their music.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes and no. Google certainly shoulders a great deal of the blame, and their terrible customer service certainly doesn’t help matters, but they also have a rather large gun pointed at their heads on the matter. Copyright law is such a gigantic freakin’ mess, that they basically had to do something unless they wanted to be mired in legal fights for years to come.

US copyright law, as it stands now, is pretty much entirely weighted on the side of copyright owners(or those who claim to be ones), with essentially no real rights on the side of the public, and both sides know it(absolutely no punishment for even the most obviously bogus DMCA claims, Fair Use theoretically exists, but anyone can sue, and the odds of getting your money back after that happens are all but non-existent, making Fair Use a very expensive ‘right’ to exercise, and so on).

Now, Google could have fought back(and in the long term they probably would have been better off doing so), arguing for stronger protections for those posting on their services, in this case YT, and doing just as much as the law demanded, and no more(‘You want something taken down? File a DMCA claim, otherwise, tough’), but this would have lead to years upon years of lawsuits, because maximalists are never satisfied with what they have, and will always demand more. Rather than deal with that, they folded, and decided to throw the maximalists a bone, ContentID, in hopes that it would appease them, if only for a bit(and make no mistake, it won’t, not for long).

So while Google certainly is partially to blame, an equally large chunk of that blame can be laid at the feet of the insane laws they were faced with, and decided would be too much trouble to fight back against.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It depends on what you mean by “hero”. There are people who I admire greatly. I would call them my “heroes”. However, that doesn’t mean that I think they’re always right. If I don’t agree with them, then I won’t defend their position just because I admire them.

The flip side of that coin is that there are people that I find incredibly objectionable who have taken up positions that I agree with. I will defend their position when I agree with it, even though I dislike them.

I don’t have to like or dislike someone in order to agree or disagree with them.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Perhaps if everyone who did Nintendo lets play’s took them down, it would solve the problem.

Nintendo might end up noticing the drop in their sales and in the mad dash of corporate drones they might finally look down from the tower and notice the peasants aren’t buying their games because no one knows if they are any good. Nintendo will wonder why and then maybe notice they slit their own wrists by launching attacks on reviewers who promoted their games at no cost to them. That the ZOMG IP Protection charge has protected their IP so well no one is seeing it anymore.

It is these tone deaf charges from above without any consideration or allowances for what is actually good for the business.

The powers granted by YouTube to corporations are well in excess of what the law requires, and merely serve as deterrents to 1000’s of meritless lawsuits trying to make corporations wishes law. They are the big kid on the block, but so rarely is there a story where they stand up for those who are in the right rather than default to corporations are always right without even looking at it.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Greedy ?

The funny thing is a while back I had actually been considering turning to them as my gaming platform of choice. Due to Sony and Microsoft’s actions, I’d decided to avoid them in the future, so no PS4 or XBone, leaving me looking into maybe having Nintendo’s systems make up for the slack. Boy am I glad I never followed through on that though, the more I learn about the company, the more it becomes clear they are just as bad as the other two in how they treat their customers, and are actually worse in some areas.

Oh well, more money for books and music I suppose.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Or idiotic, pick one

‘Thousands of dollars’? Yeah, I rather doubt the profits he’d make from a video covering one of their products would even be enough to cover the money he spent buying the system.

He’s already spend hundreds(I think he estimated close to $900 for just the Wii-U related stuff) on them, and then they have the gall to charge him for providing free advertising? Something companies spend piles of money creating and trying to get to as many people as possible, and something he was doing for free.

They’re either greedy, incredibly stupid, or both, take your pick.

And hey, while we’re at it, in some of his previous videos he’s talked about how work intensive it is for him to create his reviews, and it is not an easy or short process. And yet, at the end of all that work, here comes Nintendo to claim all of the revenue from it, as though simply showing their product is enough to earn them all the money from his work.

You want to get angry that he was making money from ‘Nintendo’s content’, well where’s your anger at them taking all the money from his work, his content, hmm?

anony says:

Re: Greedy ?

When i purchase a musical instrument i can sell the content i create with it, this is exactly the same thing, no difference at all, everyone one has the right to do with their purchases as they wish unless it is a big business who are covered by copyright laws and patent laws. An individual has more rights under first sale laws than any other institution.

The law is very clear on purchasing rights and that once you purchase something you have the right to do as you will with it, that means reselling and giving it away to someone or lending it to them or even hacking it, the law is very clear on this and ensures that big business cannot take advantage of these laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

how much of a movie could I show on youtube with commentary? let’s say we should the whole thing, but I talk over parts of it. is that fair use?

what percentage of the movie do I have to make commentary on?

does my commentary even have to be about the movie? could I, instead, talk about the weather?

the idea that you can show these extending video game clips and it somehow be different is odd. this isn’t even machinanima, which at least has a significant creative portion involved.

Somerandomguy says:

Pure, endless greed

Nintendo is on a downhill slide. This sorta tactics and impossible to find Amiibos, that some how eBay scalpers get large crates of. Then sell them for big bucks. Underpowered hardware, Crazy game gimmicks that don’t work for the better. All this leaves a terrible taste, and ultimately runs fans off.

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