Nintendo has long been known to have a love/hate relationship with the YouTube Let’s Play community, but a recent announcement could open up some users of the service to profit sharing with the company.
“…for those who wish to use the material more proactively, we are preparing an affiliate program in which a portion of the advertising profit is given to the creator. Details about this affiliate program will be announced in the future,” a representative for Nintendo wrote to Gamasutra in regards to queries related to a pair of tweets the company had released.
Nintendo’s announcement to Gamasutra corresponded with a press release to several other outlets concerning the company’s plans to alter the way their YouTube ad revenue streams work. Under this new system those who qualify for Nintendo’s “affiliate program” will be eligible to receive a portion of all advertising income brought in on their videos — after Nintendo and YouTube owners Google, of course.
Reactions to Nintendo’s previous endeavors into controlling and monetizing user-made video content focusing on their products has been mixed, and it is doubtful that this announcement will see much better reception. The company keeps tight control of videos featuring their games, insisting on advertising placement or even video removal in the past. While all this is within their rights as copyright holders of the base material, many YouTubers feel that the company’s actions have been made in bad faith and hurt their fanbase.
With the growing focus of social media in gaming, from consoles to online features of the games themselves, Nintendo’s plans for many seem like a perfect example of the old adage “two steps forward, one step back.” With YouTube integration in their latest Mario Kart title already, Nintendo is making the effort to support social functions in their consoles to a degree they’ve failed to reach in the past. Despite this, Nintendo’s continued desire to police the use of their intellectual property to such a great degree past that of its competitors continues to divide users’ feelings concerning the company and its dedication to its fans.
“Proactive users” interested in taking part in Nintendo’s proposed affiliate program will have to wait for future announcements for more details on how to go about qualifying. Likewise, the specific nature of the profit split has yet to be clarified either, leaving interested parties with plenty more questions to be answered about what exactly Nintendo’s plans will involve, and how they will affect content uploaders in the long run.