Nintendo Targets Let’s Play Videos on YouTube

Nintendo has decided to target "Let's Play" videos on YouTube with "content ID match" claims, according to multiple reports this morning. By making these claims it allows Nintendo to either block content or monetize the video. This is not sitting well with Let's Play video makers like Zack Scott whose videos have been targeted by Nintendo.

In a Facebook post Scott says that Nintendo's actions against YouTube Let's Play video makers is "backwards," and that the videos he makes are his own personal creations made popular by his hard work, perspective, and talents.

"Video games aren't like movies or TV," writes Scott on Facebook. "Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience. 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."

"Since I started my gaming channel, I've played a lot of games. I love Nintendo, so I've included their games in my line-up. But until their claims are straightened out, I won't be playing their games. I won't because it jeopardizes my channel's copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers."

Indie game developer Mike Bithell agrees. In a tweet responding to the news about Scott, Bithell says that his game, Thomas Was Alone, would not have found an audience if it weren't for Let's Play makers like Scott.

Meanwhile, Nintendo tried to downplay its YouTube activities to publication Gamefront. In a statement to the web site, a rep. told the web site that it had no plans to block content and that it loved its fans:

"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," the statement read.

But it sure sounds like they are trying to take away the right to monetize it in any way… While these Let's Play videos do contain video from Nintendo games they also contain the hard work and considerable talents of the people making the videos. Will Nintendo at least be splitting the profits with these individuals to compensate them for their work?

Source: GII


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  1. 0
    Kincyr says:

    it seems that a lot of people are ignoring the fact that a lot of LPs have been done on emulators.

    despite that, Nintendo chose not to block Let's Play videos that might have been emulated, which cut into their profits when they were downloaded

  2. 0
    Kincyr says:

    Nintendo made their money off the game when the Let's Player bought it

    not always. many LPs of games from the late 20th century are of pirated emulations

  3. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Nintendo made their money off the game when the Let's Player bought it, and in cases a Let's Player bringing attention to the game brings the developer even more money because, well, the game got exposure. I know of many people who release indie games on Gamejolt who are grateful every time a Let's Player gives their title exposure.

    Part of me is thinking this might partly be their legal department having a "Shoot first don't bother with questions" attitude and Nintendo is trying to cover it up.

    And honestly, in my opinion, with Earthbound to be released on Virtual Console, a lot of people are going to want to make Let's Plays for it.

    Hell, I love Let's Plays. I get to see parts of SCP Containment Breach I don't get to see because I either loose my nerve or that damn 173 gets me.


    In any case, Nintendo made their money off the game and will likely make more money when people want to buy it. Honestly, happens all the time with me. Saints Row 2, Just Cause 2, GTA4, Oblivion, a lot of these games, after I saw a hilarious Let's Play I went and got it.

  4. 0
    Sleaker says:

    With Nintendo's logic, they should be going after game magazine profits saying that magazines which publish reviews using their games, and including screenshots of their games are their work, and they should gain all profits gained from the use of them.  I see little difference between a LP, magazine review, and video review.

  5. 0
    Sam-LibrarIan Witt says:

    Yeah, I think they are really shooting themselves in the foot with this move. Add this to the mounting worry about Wii U support and they are only making things worse. Nintendo, I like you, but what are you doing?!

  6. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Will Nintendo at least be splitting the profits with these individuals to compensate them for their work?

    Sadly, that is not how Content ID works. Nintendo gets to keep all the money it makes from the hard work of others.

    I do not like this move from Nintendo. These videos are not their creations in full. They are fair use creations of fans and Nintendo has no right to claim 100% of the proceeds from them. I do not believe that Nintendo has any right to any part of the proceeds. The Let's Players are the ones who created the videos, added commentary, criticism, critiquing and instruction on top of them. The Let' Players are the ones who chose the video segments, which order, which actions the character took etc. Not Nintendo. Nintendo did nothing but provide a canvas for them to work with. Nothing else. That canvas is worth nothing more than the cost of the game to the Let's Player.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

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