Oh Dear, Nintendo To Claim Ad Revenue For User-Created YouTube Videos
Nintendo, today you have lost my respect.
To all gamers, the corporates just love you and care about you so much hey? Let’s defend them more.
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I hope you realised the above was dripping with sarcasm.
Let’s get to the story today. According to news reports, Nintendo is now going to claim advertising revenue from user-created YouTube videos that feature the company’s games.
Nintendo isn’t going to do what other music publishers and film studios are doing, as in demanding the content be blocked, instead they’re going to do something more soulless. That is, it wants to place ads surrounding videos that feature Nintendo games, such as Let’s Plays and analysis videos. The revenue from these ads will go to Nintendo, and not the video’s creators.
That about Nintendo grabbing revenue has gotten disapproval from YouTube channel owner and Nintendo fan Zack Scott, who hit out at the policy in a recent update to his Facebook page.
“I think filing claims against LPers is backwards. Video games aren’t like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience,” Scott said.
“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?”
Nintendo responded to the policy, providing a statement to GameFront.
“As part of our ongoing push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database,” Nintendo said.
“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,” the statement goes on. “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’s actions do work within YouTube’s policy guidelines, which states that “just because you purchased content doesn’t mean that you own the rights to upload it to YouTube.” However, YouTube users like Pewdiepie who live off Let’s Play videos or similar content are now being acted against.
There are a few reasons why I think this is absolute bullshit. I know I’m going to get people telling me that it’s within Nintendo’s rights, and it’s legal, and yes it is. But few consider genuine damn ethics and conduct in any of these cases. They’ll defend the corporate anyway. Who the hell knows why.
Firstly, I believe Zack Scott is one hundred percent correct. Many who watch Let’s Plays will go on to try the game for themselves. When you’ve got YouTubers like Markiplier, Pewdiepie and Yammimash, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and video views (in Pewdiepie’s case millions) per day, this acts as free viral marketing for your game, with you doing absolutely nothing to get it. There is no disadvantage to Nintendo here. In fact they should want their games featured. It can lead to positive results with regards to game interest and even sales due to exposure and promotion.
Hell, Let’s Players are an important part of the reason indie gaming has grown so substantially in such short time, and those small developers can now get great exposure. Case in point is Surgeon Simulator 2013, one of my favourite indie games, and the combination of Let’s Plays and YouTube promotion videos from fans has skyrocketed the developers, Bossa Studios, into global fame and got their game incalculable exposure. Again, Bossa Studios had to do nothing other than watch.
My own Let’s Play videos of the game collectively have over fifteen thousand views. And eGamer’s YouTube channel is still in its infancy. It’s barely even left the ground, alive for a little over a month.
Furthermore, for those who just watch the Let’s Plays and don’t play the games or those who don’t own a Nintendo console, well you’re not exactly losing anything to them are you? They’d never have bought Nintendo products. But even there, there is the small chance that they’ll tell people they know who do own a Nintendo console to perhaps look at a game they liked that they saw. While this probably isn’t a frequent occurrence I’m just trying to highlight that Let’s Play promotion has very little chance to cause any kind of harm to Nintendo. In fact, it can only benefit as far as I can see.
Oh, and it’s not just Let’s Plays. Content like Speed Runs, casual videos, walkthroughs and all the rest.
The third reason is that, even though this might not have that big an effect, it’s about public perception, and people like me have contempt towards Nintendo for this, because it’s utterly senseless. I’m pretty sure popular Let’s Players and Nintendo-centered channels will just shake their head and not even feature Nintendo games from now on. This only hurts Nintendo. I can’t see the logic here.
Talk about a PR blunder. All they’re doing is pissing a lot of people off. You can argue that it’s within their rights, it’s their property, they’re not ruining anyone’s lives, they’re just adding their own ads, but that doesn’t change that it’s just unwanted, illogical and spitting in the face of free advertisers.
This hurts Nintendo’s reputation. But what hurts me, is that people will defend them just because Nintendo can do this. Always saying “yes sir” to the corporate, each day making one more concession.
And even if you want to argue that it’s alright for Nintendo to do this, please tell me how exactly is it a clever move that will benefit them more than it does hurt them?