Nintendo Restricts Livestreaming of Their Games on YouTube for Partners

Games News Nintendo
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Nintendo Restricts Livestreaming of Their Games on YouTube for Partners

With the relative novelty of “Let’s Plays,” walkthroughs, livestreams and other online gaming content, game developers and publishers have had different reactions to content creators. Nintendo has taken their own approach with their Nintendo Creators Program on YouTube, allowing the game company and YouTubers to share revenue made from the videos and advertisements. The House of Mario, however, recently updated the fine print, disallowing livestreaming to their YouTube Partners.

The update, which can be found on their online guide to the program, reads:

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. If you plan to broadcast content on YouTube Live, you have a couple of options. First, you can broadcast content on YouTube Live from a channel that is not registered to the Nintendo Creators Program. Or, you can cancel your channel’s registration to the Nintendo Creators Program and instead, register your videos containing Nintendo’s IP to the program separately. Videos which had previously been registered through your channel would need to be reregistered individually.

In short, content creators can register either individual videos or their entire channel to their program; however, as of now, entire channels registered to the program can no longer live-broadcast content related to Nintendo games. This will be true regardless of whether creators want to monetize these streams or not. Creators will have the option of either only registering individual videos, or streaming from channels not associated with the program.

Either way, it seems like an unnecessary restriction in a program that players and content creators have already criticized. This comes shortly after an announcement regarding the YouTube Partners program (via Polygon) that channels must be part of the program to advertise any crowdfunding websites (i.e., Patreon). A requirement for joining YouTube’s partner program is a channel view count of 10,000, which effectively makes it harder for smaller channels to fund their content.

Content creation on YouTube based on other companies’ videogames is still a wild frontier, and the gaming community is frustrated by the added restrictions. There is little legal precedent for any of these scenarios, so they could all go one way or another. A defining moment recently was Campo Santo’s decision to utilize DMCA against PewDiePie after the YouTuber uttered a racial slur on a livestream—while his behavior and language were abhorrent, some content creators worry that that incident may lead to other larger game companies to abuse fair use law.

One day, the role of Let’s Plays and whatnot will be solidified, hopefully for the best on both the sides of the creators and the developers—but it is quite clear that we just aren’t there yet.