Poll: Is Forcing a Revenue Split With Let’s Players in Nintendo’s Best Interest?

Last year, Nintendo pissed off a good chunk of the internet by smacking a bunch of YouTube Let's Play videos with copyright claims, seeking to suck up all the ad revenue generated by videos of fans playing its games.

In the face of angry fans, something a company struggling to sell its new console really doesn't need, Nintendo backed off.

Well, a year later, Nintendo has returned with a softer approach.  Instead of claiming the video and taking all of your ad revenue, the big N is willing to talk with you about possibly giving you permission to split with it some of the money generated by the video you created, using a game you already paid Nintendo for.

Goodness, am I letting my personal opinion slip in here?  I'm such a naughty boy!

What do you think, lovely readers?  Is going forward with a revenue split program in Nintendo's best interest right now or could it suffer a blow back that would outweigh any extra income it might earn off of LPers?  Vote in the poll and let us know!

This Friday at 5p PST, EZK, myself and maybe a guest or two will reveal the results and discuss this topic in full on a special live stream of Super Podcast Action Committee celebrating our 100th episode!

Stay tuned to for more details as we continue to fly by the seat of our pants!

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Matthew Wilson says:

    I was talking about Nintendo. if they let a youtuber cover their stuff, they the the equivalent to millions in free advertising when you add it up.

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I am going to stick we 'we simply do not know'.  The impact of LPs on first party titles is a huge question mark, there is a lot of mythology around 'free advertising', but that is about as shaky as 'any press is good press', it is a mantra people have latched onto but its assumed positive effect is just that, an assumption.  It is not even a safe assumption since there is an inherent bias in it, it provides a reason for why other people should support something we benefit from.

    That does not mean it is wrong, but it does mean we should be careful in examining it, esp since it is also one of the arguments used for why piracy is in studio's best interests.

    One other thing to consider though, control is not an issue without impact.  When you control the marketing of a product, you control the presentation, the coordination, what gets highlighted, what gets glossed over, what themes get attention and tie ins to larger branding.  This is not a little thing when we are talking first party stuff with a coordinated marketing department and long term plans.   LPs on the other hand, it is not even in their best interest to increase sales, their goal is eyeballs (and fun), so their presentation does not even have to be positive much less coordinated.   Again, good for us since we want to know about games (and let us face it, the social element of 'what is hot' does influence us), but not necessarily good for Nintendo since what they want is to sell games.

    I think people tend to forget that all the parties here have different (if often compatible) interests, and we can not safely say that things which satisfy OUR interests are in Nintendo's best interest, esp since we, as 'gamers', are kinda in the minority when it comes to the mass market.

  3. 0
    Sora-Chan says:

    Advertising for TV and advertising on Youtube are two different beasts. Generally, Youtubers make cents to like a dollar per thousand ad views, or something along those lines. Not every view is an Ad View, due to things like AdBlock. Also, skipping ads also do not count towards the ad view count. So Youtubers (and websites in general that run ads) make very little money in advertisement, usually only enough to help pay bills, and rarely do they replace a full time job.

    And this is all before calculating how many channels are part of multi-channel groups like Machinima, where they can/likely get screwed over on the ad revenue returns.

    Basically, what I'm getting at, is your numbers are incorrect. It would be absolutely wonderful if it were true, but that isn't how things actually work.

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  4. 0
    Matthew Wilson says:

    I went to FSU for my Bachelors and Masters. Tallahassee is one of the cheapest media markets in the country, even there running a ad on a show seen by 20k viewers is still $40k. Using those numbers a youtuber that makes a video that gets 100k viewers save them $200k. Given those numbers does it even make sense to give up free advertising that a youtuber provides?

  5. 0
    prh99 says:

    It might generate some money, but it is certainly not going to generate any good will (quite the opposite in fact). As others have pointed out, what makes popular let’s plays popular is not Nintendo’s IP but the personality and presentation of the LP. If it was, every shmuck with a capture device and a YouTube channel could expect thousands of views and tens of thousands of subscribers.

  6. 0
    Matthew Wilson says:

    !. because youtube videos are free advertising for them.

    2. youtubes do not make as much as you think. 100k views is only around $100 US.

    3. if those youtubers do not make those videos they lose out on a huge group of customers that will not see/hear about their stuff any other way.

    4. youtubers will just cover games from companies that do no charge them (about 90% of devs allow it for free.).  

  7. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    An excellent point of discussion and likely something we'll get into on the podcast but that's not the question being asked.

    Do you think this move is in Nintendo's best interest?  Why or why not?

    Also, off topic but I'm still interested in your answer to my question regarding this statement you made in the Shout box:

    "Somewhere, Bob Chipman is probably ranting that it's 'those hacks at Cinema Sins' who are doing this and not real critics like himself."

    Doing what?


    Andrew Eisen

  8. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    So? They're not saying "you can't monetize our stuff" or "you're not allowed to make videos of our stuff", they're saying "we want expressed written consent and a licensing fee". Why is this such a problem?

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