Recently, Nintendo has been receiving a lot of criticism for their new policy regarding Youtube videos. The new policy dictates that any user sharing videos featuring Nintendo games must pay Nintendo a cut of the advertising royalties generated from Youtube views. Users must also include a disclaimer that says they have received permission from Nintendo and are apart of the new “Nintendo Creators Program.”
The general reaction of gamers seems to be one of genuine contempt, confusion and disappointment. Nintendo is a company that’s been making poor decisions from a PR standpoint for quite a while that are out of touch with what many gamers want. The Gamecube had practically no online functionality, the Wii wasn’t HD and the Wii U doesn’t come close to what the PS4 or X1 can achieve graphically… so this decision doesn’t exactly come as a shock to many, but still is creating a lot of “WTF are they thinking?” responses. KindaFunny had an interesting roundtable discussion on the subject.
If you don’t have time to watch the 45 minute video, Colin Moriarty was especially bewildered by the way Nintendo is alienating the Youtube community. After all, doesn’t Youtube provide an excellent outlet for Nintendo games to be advertised, for absolutely free? Why would a company choose to piss off an entire community that clearly likes Nintendo enough for them to make videos featuring their games? Well, the answer of course boils down to money, and Nintendo feels as if it is missing out on a huge opportunity. Amazon recently purchased Twitch for about 1 Billion. There IS an expanding market to capitalize on, so on one hand, it’s hard to blame Nintendo for wanting its “fair share.”
Even so, they’re still making a mistake. The developers at Mojang (Minecraft) are going about it the right way. They are encouraging the Mincraft community to share content which perpetuates its life cycle and appreciate the free advertising. Nintendo’s policy is going to take more credibility from a Nintendo that is already a shadow of its former self. Multi-console/PC gamers will likely choose to not make videos for Nintendo games. Of course many will continue to do so, and Nintendo will surely make some money, but for the long haul, I think their image and brand will suffer.
Music artists have had similar reactions in regard to their music being available for free, but people take their demands as if they are on the whole more reasonable than Nintendo’s. And that actually makes sense, because many music listeners are satisfied after hearing a song on Youtube and never purchasing the album or single from iTunes. A video of a game creates more interest in purchasing a legal copy, because to really experience a game, it must be played, not simply watched.