Nintendo claims ad revenue on user-captured YouTube videos

Thursday, 16th May 2013 05:42 GMT By Brenna Hillier

While generously not slapping Let’s Play creators with takedowns, Nintendo has put in ID claims on clips of its games beyond a certain length – bracketing them with adds and pocketing the revenue.

The news first surfaced via disgruntled Reddit and Facebook posts, but was quickly verified by Nintendo, via a statement to GameFront:

“As part of our on-going 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,” the platform holder 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.

“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.”

YouTube favourites, developers and fans have expressed frustration with the decision. The loss of ad revenue could prove disastrous to Nintendo-focused channels.

Thanks, Destructoid.



  1. Yoshi

    This already happens for things like music so it was going to happen eventually.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Stardog

    Desperate last throws of a soon-to-be software-only company.

    Claiming against official trailers/etc for Nintendo games is fine, but not fan-made video, even if it’s a gameplay recording. Surely the video is owned by the user…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    The content’s owned by Nintendo. I’d expect to see a lot more of this from other companies, to be honest.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. The_Red

    While I agree that this is fully within their rights and not an unfair or wrongful move, I DO believe that this is a mistake.

    Look at games like Binding of Isaac. Ed McMillen has said time and time again that many LP vids on YouTube that played the game for 10s of hours were essential for the game’s success. Those LPers are promoting games for free. Sure, some of them spoil story and other similar stuff but if anything, it’s companies like Sony with Heavy Rains that should be worried about them and not Nintendo, the company with arcade games full of replay value. LPs can do wonders for Marios just like they do for Isaacs and Spelunkies and Day Zs.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Fin

    This just seems pretty petty to me.

    “unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property”

    Errr, I don’t know if you can claim videos of people playing your game are your IP.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. mistermogul

    “we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property.”

    They would be foolish to do that anyway seeing as most footage results in free advertisements for them…

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    Interesting implications for NextGen consoles which will support this sort of upload directly. Presumably the IP holder can be tagged by the upload and all this sort of thing implemented automagically. Useful revenue stream and can help pay for the overheads.

    Have we had any info from Sony on what they support uploads to? The demo’ed Facebook (work of the devil). Will it also support YouTube and some sort of internal PSN system too? I’d prefer to keep it all internal and share with friends. Support the internal console community rather than extend out into other social networks.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    that’s easily fixed by not paying Nintendo to use its footage – by not using its footage. Cover something else, instead.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. sh4dow

    @8: Exactly.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    Didn’t SEGA do the same thing? I remember they deeply regretted that.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. kyrvg

    @10: no, sega actually did go around blocking youtube channels containing anything that had to do with shining force.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    Whats the problem here? This is a move that makes sense. And I agree that the other companies are very likly to follow and do the same thing.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Digital Bamboo

    A corporation behaving like a corporation in a modern media landscape. Nothing surprising here really.

    (@OG Wildly off-topic, but I recall you mentioning that you used to order games from Play-Asia, & I’m currently in my 7th week waiting on an order. Did you ever experience anything like that? Why did you stop using them, if you don’t mind my asking?)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    7 weeks seems like a long time to wait. Have you checked your bank/cc statements to verify the payment was accepted? Do you have a digital copy of the reciept? Contact info?

    I would follow those things up.

    I stoped using Play-Asia when I started buying on Ebay.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Digital Bamboo

    Yep, I have all those things. Apparently, it’s just taking a long-ass time. Thx.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. freedoms_stain

    In order to monetise video game footage you need permission from the rights holder.

    Contrary to the statements of @3 and @12 a lot of companies have a standing policy of open permission, others have established partnership programs (such as through Machinima).

    Producing these videos takes an awful lot of time, effort and skill (you know this Pat or you wouldn’t have hired Sam Clay to do it for you), if the creators can’t monetise their efforts they won’t be able to dedicate those efforts to Nintendo products in the future.

    I wonder who stands to lose more here? The video producers who can move on to covering the products of companies who won’t steal their wage from them, or Nintendo, a company struggling with disappointing hardware sales and declining 3rd party support for their latest console? Nintendo could certainly use some free advertising and they’ve pretty much just killed it.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. SplatteredHouse

    @10 Not really. Sega behaved like complete and utter dicks by taking actions that cost people their channels, literally. They issued copyright strikes against ANYTHING featuring Shining Force.

    Theory is, it’s because the Japanese were rather proud of their latest takes on Shining Force, while the west near-venerates the Genesis style. There was also a situation where the creator took great umbrage to a request/outreach from a fansite, which he took to be an insult and behaved confrontationally…(Where are the details?? :o) here, watch THIS it will tell you ALL:

    This article describes the outcome. The PATHETIC response (lest we forget.) Yes, I was very annoyed by Sega’s behaviour and attitude throughout this. It covers (in my eyes), their entire brand and name with a layer of mud, and, I think that’s a shame because they should never have taken things so far. Attacked their fans to such an absurd length.

    #17 2 years ago

    This is a counter productive move, because people put stuff on YouTube to make money.

    If CoD/FIFA/Minecraft started taking the money that fans would be earning, people would probably stop making videos for them.

    And right now, those 3 games, that let people keep their ad earnings, are the most popular for videos on YouTube.

    I think all that will happen now, is that Nintendo will have an even smaller YouTube presence, and that will also harm it’s image.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. MidlifeAxe

    @4, 18

    Couldn’t agree more!

    This probably isn’t the best thing for them at the moment considering their current position.

    #19 2 years ago

    that is complete bullshit. they are basically claiming that they are allowed to illegally hack your youtube/twitter/facebook take whatever is associated with nintendo, take it away from your posession and post it on their web page. a lawsuit should be filed against nintendo if that is true

    #20 2 years ago

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