Nintendo is looking to profit from YouTube videos containing its game content.
As reported by Go Nintendo, the company will begin running ads on fan-made Nintendo videos, therefore stripping the creators of any revenue.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to ITProPortal's request for comment, but sent the following statement to Go Nintendo:
"As part of our ongoing push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. 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 change specifically targets the "Let's Play" videos, in which gamers often provide little-known tricks or tips to beat a certain level.
The YouTube partnership allows Nintendo to use the Google-owned video site's Content ID, a tool that helps copyright owners find their content across YouTube. If an owner finds that someone is using their content in a video, they have the option of placing an pre-roll advertisement on that video and earning revenue on views rather than just having it yanked for copyright infringement, according to Kotaku.
That doesn't sit quite right with some users, though. Let's Play videographer Zack Scott vented his frustrations on Facebook, saying that, as a Nintendo fan, he has put in his time with the company, waiting in line overnight for a Wii, serving as a 3DS ambassador, and purchasing two Wii U consoles. Scott even counts himself among the earliest Nintendo fans, supporting the company since the original NES console.
"With that said, I think filing claims against LPers [Let's Play-ers] is backwards," he wrote on Facebook. "Video games aren't like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience. ... When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself! Sure, there may be some people who watch games rather than play them, but are those people even gamers?"
Scott listed three reasons why he thinks people watch Let's Play videos: To hear his commentary/review, to learn about the game and how to play certain parts, and to see how he handles and reacts to certain aspects of the game.
"Until [Nintendo's] claims are straightened out, I won't be playing their games," he said. "I won't because it jeopardizes my channel's copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers."
The game maker could use some extra cash, following last year's historic, first-ever financial loss. Nintendo managed to bounce back slightly in the first quarter, earning a net profit of about £47 million. But the upswing had more to do with positive changes in the currency markets than actual product sales.