Nintendo, despite its partnership with Twitch, has decided against offering the streaming service in Wii U because “streaming 30 minutes of gameplay” isn’t fun.
Speaking with Polygon at E3 2014 this week, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said the addition of a streaming service on Wii U mist adhere to the company’s core philosophy: it has to be fun.
“We don’t think streaming 30 minutes of gameplay by itself is a lot of fun,” Fils-Aime said, adding that the exclusion is not a dig, per se, at Twitch.
“We’re looking to do a lot of great things with Twitch,” he continued. The Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 that we’re executing through Twitch is doing fantastic numbers. Just purely streaming gameplay, what we’ve got to think through is, so what’s fun about that? From a consumer standpoint, what’s fun about it?”
Mario Kart 8 allows for content sharing through YouTube thanks to the addition of Mario Kart TV. It allows players to view replays of their races and create a highlight reel and upload it to the video service.
Fils-Aime suggested Nintendo is of the opinion Mario Kart TV is a better alternative, because “its a highlight of the race,” he said, which is much different than “watching Joe Blow’s 30 minute stream, which may or may not have something that’s interesting.”
“You can make some choices as to what parts are going to be shared,” he said. “We think that makes it interesting, and obviously, the meme of the Luigi death stare is wonderful when that comes out of that type of experience.
“But in the end we’ve got to make sure that it’s fun.”
This is an odd stance, really, because many, many gamers feel Twitch is indeed fun. All you have to do is Google viewer numbers for Twitch as proof. Nintendo has always been, understandably, overly protective of its intellectual properties as last year’s YouTube debacle proved.
Polygon, which had the same line of thinking, asked if the Twitch decision was linked to the aforementioned controversy.
“The Twitch conversation is a completely different conversation,” said Fils-Aime. “We want to do stuff that’s going to be fun and going to be watchable.
“Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 is fun and watchable. Thats the stuff we would like to continue doing with an entity like Twitch.”
He went on to say the new content monetization program for YouTube users posting Let’s Play footage of Nintendo games “is a different animal.”
Still, it makes you wonder.