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Nintendo rule on live-streams highlights contentious relationship with YouTube

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As the company behind Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, and several other classic franchises, Nintendo is one of the most beloved names in gaming. However, it’s also one of the most frustrating for members of the YouTube community who make their living via creating video game content. Gamasutra has reported that the company has announced that members of the Nintendo Creators Program will no longer be allowed to live-stream Nintendo games on their YouTube channels.

The updated rules state that “Live streaming on YouTube falls outside the scope of the Nintendo Creators Program. You cannot broadcast content on YouTube Live from the account you have registered to the Nintendo Creators Program.”

The updated rules offer a couple of options for those who wish to live-stream Nintendo games. The first is to simply broadcast the stream on a channel that is not registered with the Creators Program. The second is to simply cancel your channel’s membership with the Creators Program and register Nintendo videos individually.

Unfortunately, both of these options mean that the live-streamed content will earn less money than videos registered with the Creators Program. Currently, videos which are registered with the Creators Program are allowed to keep 70 percent of the ad revenue earned. Videos which are not registered as part of the program will only be allowed to keep 60 percent of the ad revenue.

This development is just the latest in the company’s contentious relationship with the YouTube community. While most video game companies simply allow YouTubers to keep all of the ad revenue they make, viewing let’s plays and live-streams as free advertising, the company used to take 100 percent of all ad revenue earned from videos using their IPs or simply requested YouTube remove the videos entirely.

The Creators program was Nintendo’s attempt to form a compromise between themselves and the YouTube community, but it has received a mixed response. While most YouTubers acknowledge that the company is well within their legal rights to impose restrictions on the use of their IPs, they contend that Nintendo is losing out on the publicity that YouTube can bring. Beyond that, there were concerns that the Japanese gaming giant would try to influence the tone of content created on YouTube.

Eric Brackett
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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