Back To Normal: Nintendo's YouTube Plan Sounds Like A Big Bucket Of Terrible

from the bzzzzt-wrong-again dept

A couple of weeks back, I brought you news that Nintendo had announced they were creating an affiliate program for YouTubers who wanted to use its content. This seemed like it might just be good news, coming on the heels of the gaming company putting the whack on tons of "let's play" videos that covered Nintendo games, because free promotion is something to be squandered, apparently. In that post, however, I noted that there were some serious concerns about how Nintendo would approach this and whether it would attempt to exert some kind of control over video content. It turns out I massively underestimated how badly Nintendo would screw this up. The first quote in the Kotaku post contains only a hint of the problem:

"Think of it as an affiliate program where we will be providing access to executives, information, etcetera, encouraging that group of affiliates to create content on our behalf," Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told me when I asked him for details at E3.
Did you spot the problem? You did, didn't you? Creating an affiliate program that generates extra access to Nintendo executives and all that isn't a bad idea, but focusing on using that access specifically to get "affiliates to create content on our behalf" sounds exactly like the reputation-murdering I had worried about when it comes to the trusted YouTuber names. If you're trading access to become a Nintendo sock-puppet, best of luck keeping your fan base. But it's when the interviewer specifically asked about "let's play" videos that Nintendo showed its true colors.
"When we unveil our affiliate program it'll be clear how different entities can play," Fils-Aime said. "And likely there will be a place for the kinds of examples where you reference, like, look, 'All I want to do is capture some of the content and put it out there,' not add a lot of value. There'll be a role for that. The first thing we needed to do was make sure that the content that's out there was representative of the franchises. These are our lifeblood. These are our children. We needed to make sure that the content there was reflective of what these franchises are. The next step is working with the YouTube community to provide access to information, access to executives, to help them create world-class content, leveraging our franchises."
Note that there is no promise to actually free up all that free advertising for Nintendo in the form of "let's play" videos. All there is are a lot of maybes, might-bes, could-bes, and, oh by the way, we don't think those kind of videos actually have a whole lot of value anyway. Add on top of that a good old-fashioned dose of that Nintendo protectionism and we're right back where we started. Nintendo will allow content it likes and take down content it doesn't feel is "representative." For the YouTube personalities that have built up their reputations as game reviewers and let's-play makers, they shouldn't be touching this affiliate program with a ten-foot pole.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Ima Fish (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 7:47am

    Trying to fit an antiquated system of copyright into a modern ecosystem + Greed = Big Bucket Of Terrible

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ChrisB (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 2:24pm

      Re:

      This is what happens when governments think they can "control" the free market. You get this lovely mess. Where the creator of a cure for cancer gets less protection than a guy who writes a song about it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 7:47am

    Dammit, Reggie

    My body was ready...now it's not

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 8:13am

    So Nintendo is saying that people are allowed to share their experiences with Nintendo products just as long as it reflects Nintendo's image of the product and that they're payed.

    Yeah, no. I don't see many people going for this. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: I have a list of developers that expressly allow monetization of their games. With so many other games out there that have express written permission and state that they love the value Let's Plays add, why would any but the most fanboy of people sign on?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:24am

      Re:

      I got the sense that Nintendo is more concerned with people re-interpreting their content than they are with negative reviews. Nintendo has been getting negative reviews for 30+ years now, and they're still doing fine.

      The irony is that the LPs Nintendo is concerned about are the ones that are most transformative, and thus the least likely to infringe on any actual copyright held by Nintendo. For instance, there's that reinterpretation of Animal Crossing as the Prisoner, or that creepypasta based on Majora's Mask. These are the content that are "least representative" of their franchises, and the ones they probably hate the most.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re:

        I didn't get the feeling it was about reviews, negative or otherwise either. I got the feeling that they are viewing the public as some sort of free advertising generation mechanism. Let people make stuff for free and if we like the image it helps up portray the image we want to put out we will use it. If not, we will toss it aside because it didn't cost us anything to make anyway. They see this as people making something that becomes their property to do with as they see fit.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 8:14am

    Ok, ill bite. What's a nintendo?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 8:16am

    Nintendo can keep their crap.

    Any time I can't get an honest evaluation on if a game actually sucks or is worth the money, none of them are worth buying based on any of it. Just like you can't believe the NSA, you can't believe this either.

    That lack of trust and creditability craters the whole effort and it's ruined from the start.

    I'll stick to computers for gaming. I can modify them, put in addons, do fan mods, change the hardware, and do other things besides just game. It's just not worth the money for a second platform coming in build on the lie of see how good it is when everything is controlled to prevent you from getting the real low down.

    Thank you but no thanks. I'll not be a customer now nor in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 8:21am

      Re:

      I've always been both a console gamer and a PC gamer, but I had a realization the other day when I realized how much I hated Watch Dogs: if there were sports titles on the PC that match the quality of the console games, I'd probably sell my PS4 immediately and never buy a console again....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 8:40am

    Bye Bye Nintendo

    I shall forever more not give you any of my money. If I feel a need to play any of your games... there will always be 'other' methods... after all you are getting all the money you need from these 'new' revenue streams right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DreadWingKnight (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 8:46am

    Nintendo needs to take the Blizzard/Valve approach to let's play style gameplay videos if they want any respect in regards to this.

    I'm not doing ANY Nintendo titles on my channel until and unless they do.

    Same goes for any other company.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 8:50am

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the possible sale of twitch to youtube

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:03am

    You missed pointing out the worst part...

    "affiliates to create content on our behalf" (read: FOR US)

    The reason they feel like they can take down content that they don't like and keep the content they do is that they feel as if THEY own it not the user who creates it. If they we're paying employees to make this content, then they would own it. But they aren't even hiring people, they are just trying to take the content people make for free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy2020 (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:04am

    Why does Reggie have a job?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:43am

    Blame Google

    The real problem here is Google. If YouTube had more reasonable DMCA policies (like, you know, actually restoring content upon receiving a counter-notice), and a saner approach to fair use (stand behind your users against frivolous takedowns in the first place), companies like Nintendo wouldn't be able to get away with this bullshit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:53am

      Re: Blame Google

      That really isn't Google's fault. It's the DMCA itself. There are provisions in the DMCA that state that safe harbors are maintained by taking it down expeditiously but nothing about how to handle counterclaims so putting it back up based on a counterclaim can be a legally risky move if they aren't sure.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re: Blame Google

        Actually, the DMCA stipulates that if the copyright holder doesn't bring a lawsuit within 14 days of the ISP notifying them of a counter notice, the ISP is free to restore the content and retain the DMCA's safe harbor protections.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ChrisB (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 2:23pm

      Re: Blame Google

      It is ridiculous to blame google. Blame the ridiculous US government for killing innovation on the net, and its spies for bullying companies and removing all trust.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 2:38pm

        Re: Re: Blame Google

        No, it's not. Google could do a lot better at handling DMCA takedown requests than it currently does. They once acknowledged the problem and promised to do better, but I don't think they ever followed through.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2014 @ 12:26am

          Re: Re: Re: Blame Google

          The problem that they now have is that they are being flooded with requests by the MAFIAA, who I suspect are trying to force Google into providing them with a direct means of blocking links and sites.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jun 2014 @ 11:45am

    Yes, but...

    "It turns out I massively underestimated how badly Nintendo would screw this up."

    I think you're also underestimating the stupidity of gamers, which is massive.

    Supporting exhibit A: EA is still in business.

    To be sure, some gamers will be put off by this -- at least for a while. But the rest will ignore it or forget about it, stop caring or never care, and Nintendo will go right on making money off all of them. I'm sure they've calculated this move and that they believe that what they'll gain by it outweighs what they'll lose. They're probably right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Jun 2014 @ 12:24pm

      Re: Yes, but...

      I've noted this before when it came up, but it bears repeating: this isn't a gamer thing, it's a brainless walking wallets thing.

      Are there gamers that will buy any new game, as long as it's got something 'new' and 'shiny' in it, no matter how horrible the company putting it out treats their customers? Absolutely.

      However, the same thing goes for music, film, computers... pretty much every industry out there is filled with idiots who don't care how the company they're buying from treats them, as long as they can have the newest piece of crap.

      You can point out to them just how much utter contempt the company they're giving money to holds them in, and it might work for a while... right up until the next shiny turd is dangled in front of their face and they absolutely have to get it.

      Again, it's not a gamer problem, it's a brainless walking wallet problem, so to focus on gamers is missing the forest for the trees.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    d9x, 18 Jun 2014 @ 12:25pm

    sad sad Nintendo

    Nintendo doesn't seem to understand that these fan created videos are free advertising and get people to bbuy games. They still throw up road blocks and take money from the people doing the work to make the videos. They are backwards and stupid and are ruining a perfect opportunity to get their games some MUCH needed exposure

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Enlightend, 23 Jun 2014 @ 6:32am

    Did he just ....

    Did that asshole just go "do it for the children" on us?

    What the actual fuck Nintendo.


    Trying to be different is nice and all, except when you are the only one that's being a complete goddamn asshole about everything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
New And For A Limited Time
New Gear By Techdirt: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.