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Nintendo completes controversial YouTube revenue sharing program

Oh, Mario, this thing that you so proudly represent no longer exists, dude.
Zoom / Oh, Mario, this thing that you so proudly represent no longer exists, dude.

For nearly three years, creators who wanted to make money on videos that included footage from Nintendo games had to go through excessive approval and content requirements for the Nintendo Creators program, which also gave Nintendo a 30 percent reduction in any advertising revenue. Nintendo announced today that it will end this program at the end of the year in favor of a new set of “ground rules” for video creators. If these rules are followed, Nintendo now says: “We will not object to your use of videos and / or screenshots taken in games for which Nintendo owns the copyright.”

The manuals, as written, encourage creators to use Nintendo content in videos with “which include your creative materials and comments”. Direct, unedited Nintendo videos with video without such additional content are “not allowed,” says Nintendo, unless they are shared through “system functions, such as the capture button on a Nintendo switch.”

This is a requirement that can affect the popular YouTube longplays genre that captures hours of direct gameplay for countless games.

In addition, Nintendo claims that video creators can only monetize these videos through a number of official affiliate programs on several platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Twitch and Facebook. Other forms of monetization, such as third-party advertisements or approval schemes, are not allowed in accordance with the guidelines.

Nintendo also states that it reserves the right to remove content that includes unreleased games (as we saw in the recent, widespread Smash Bros. Ultimate leakage) or that “features of pirated Nintendo software”. This latter guide may be of interest to accelerators and other retro-game enthusiasts who often use flash carts full of ROM files to stream their games.

“We appreciate and support the continued support of content creators and thank them for their dedication to helping us create smiles.”

While it's nice to see Nintendo loosening its iron grip on how its games are being shared online, the new recommendations are still much more stringent than some of its competitors. For example, Microsoft’s rules for Xbox video content are less strict regarding video content rules and monetization methods.

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