Nintendo Nixes Live Streams For Its Own Creators Program For Some Reason

from the nintendon't dept

In 2014, following nearly a full year of waging an intellectual property war on YouTubers doing "let's play" videos with its games, Nintendo unleashed upon the world what would eventually become its "Creators Program". Through the program, YouTubers would be allowed to put videos including Nintendo IP on their channels in exchange for revenue sharing between the creator and Nintendo itself. For a company like Nintendo, which had built a reputation for exerting strict control in this arena, it felt like a huge step forward. It took only a few months before the whole thing began devolving into a bureaucratic mess, with: language in the affiliate agreement clearly geared towards garnering positive coverage from YouTubers; a mishandling of the influx of interest in the program by creators themselves; and a strange whitelist and blacklist of what games could be covered, which hurt channels with extensive back catalogs of content that might need to be deleted. Some high profile YouTubers swore off covering Nintendo games in revolt, while everyone else was left wondering why this had to be handled so badly.

It doesn't seem to be getting any better. For some reason, in the past few days, Nintendo suddenly nixed live-streams from channels affiliated with the Creators Program.

As of today, YouTubers who are also registered members of the Nintendo Creators Program are no longer allowed to broadcast content on YouTube Live. Nintendo gives partners two options: they can broadcast content on YouTube Live from a channel that isn't registered to the program, or they can cancel their channel's registration to the program, and instead register their videos to the program separately. The changes were announced in an email sent to content creators yesterday evening, although Nintendo didn't officially publish the changes to the program until today.

Some Twitter users have posted the contents of the email, which announces that changes have been made as to how the Nintendo Creators Program will handle revenue generated from live streams. It adds that live streaming falls “outside the scope” of the program.

If that sounds like a confusing mess to you, you aren't alone. YouTubers themselves, who actually have to navigate these waters as professionals, have expressed reactions ranging from outrage to disappointment to downright confusion. Some are calling the move stupid. Others are pointing out that any random person not in the Creators Program is able to live-stream Nintendo games, yet officially sanctioned creators cannot. Most reactions amount to pointing out that this doesn't make any sense. Even those covering the story, such as Kotaku, seem to be at a complete loss.

It's uncertain as to why Nintendo introduced this policy. It's also unclear if Nintendo has similar rules for those live streaming Nintendo-copyrighted content on other sites such as Twitch. Representatives for Nintendo did not respond by press time.

When the two chief reactions to a policy shift from those affected by it amount to anger and confusion as to why the shift was even necessary, that's not a good look. With Nintendo staring blankly at requests for clarification from the press, both YouTubers and the public are left to speculate as they please. Though it seems most are content to rage at Nintendo for this decision.

Filed Under: let's play, permission, video games, video streams
Companies: nintendo


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Oct 2017 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    Problems with that theory:
    1. Cursing is more acceptable in Japanese culture. You can find children's shows with cursing.
    2. The American branch of Nintendo is usually the more IP aggressive branch compared to the Japanese branch.

    Other than that and the possible legal problems regarding cloning, you seem to have some points.

    On a side note: Nintendo of Japan seems to have a general thing with not paying attention to problems in the west. That was part of the reason behind the backlash regarding Tomodachi Life. LGBT rights in Japan is nowhere near mainstream compared to the US, which had a supreme court case regarding rights to marriage.

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