Nintendo is a company that’s over 100 years old and even though they are known today for games and technology, they still make decisions that seem ancient and disconnected from the landscape they inhabit.
The Nintendo Creator’s Program was one of these weird decisions. Instead of viewing content creators across YouTube as free promotion and an asset to the brand, Nintendo took the position that these enthusiasts were using Nintendo music and video content to make money that Nintendo it’s self deserved. Nintendo was happy to flag videos from YouTube for removal such as reviews and speedruns for a while but the Creator’s Program was Nintendo showing “support” to video makers by creating a revenue share option that would allow Nintendo approved creators to create Nintendo approved videos… Yeah it was a mess.
Many YouTube personalities decided to just step away from Nintendo content all together as creating a video just to have it denied was a costly waste of time and resources that no other gaming company demanded.
It seems Nintendo has finally given up the ghost on being a content controller.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) November 29, 2018
You could instantly hear the cheers of Nintendo fans and content creators across the net. Nintendo will now step back and allow content to be created as other corporations do as long as it complies with the new guidelines they have set and shared.
This is a great step for Nintendo and will pay out in spades as they can once again reap the free promotion of the YouTube fan base.
Here’s the Nintendo guidelines in full:
Nintendo Game Content Guidelines
We are humbled every day by your loyalty and passion for Nintendo’s games, characters and worlds, and respect that you want to be able to express yourself creatively by sharing your own original videos and images using content from our games.
As long as you follow some basic rules, we will not object to your use of gameplay footage and/or screenshots captured from games for which Nintendo owns the copyright (“Nintendo Game Content”) in the content you create for appropriate video and image sharing sites. To help guide you, we prepared the following guidelines:
- You may monetize your videos and channels using the monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo. Other forms of monetization of our intellectual property for commercial purposes are not permitted.
- We encourage you to create videos that include your creative input and commentary. Videos and images that contain mere copies of Nintendo Game Content without creative input or commentary are not permitted. You may, however, post gameplay videos and screenshots using Nintendo system features, such as the Capture Button on Nintendo Switch, without additional input or commentary.
- You are only permitted to use Nintendo Game Content that has been officially released, or from promotional materials officially released by Nintendo (such as product trailers or Nintendo Directs).
- If you want to use the intellectual property of a third party, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary third-party permissions.
- You are not permitted to imply or state that your videos are officially affiliated with or sponsored by Nintendo.
- We reserve the right to remove any content that we believe is unlawful, infringing, inappropriate, or not in line with these Guidelines.
Please understand that we will not be able to respond to individual inquiries regarding these Guidelines. Also, we may update these Guidelines from time to time, so please refer to the latest version before sharing your content.
Frequently Asked Questions: Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms
- Q1:What types of content are acceptable under the Guidelines? What types of content are not acceptable?
- A1:We encourage you to use Nintendo Game Content in videos and images that feature your creative input and commentary. For example, Let’s Play videos and video game reviews are within the scope of the Guidelines.
However, you may not simply upload or livestream an existing Nintendo video, gameplay footage without your own creative input, or a copy of content created by someone else. For example, mere copies of Nintendo promotional trailers, tournaments, music soundtracks, gameplay sequences, and art collections are outside the scope of the Guidelines.
- Q2:Do the Guidelines only cover video uploads, or can I livestream my videos as well?
- A2:Yes, the Guidelines cover both uploads and livestreams.
- Q3:What do you mean by “appropriate video and image sharing websites”?
- A3:We generally accept most commonly used video and image sharing platforms such as, but not limited to, YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram. However, we reserve the right to remove any content that we believe is unlawful, infringing, inappropriate, or not in line with the Guidelines.
- Q4:What exactly are the “monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo” as referred to in the Guidelines?
- A4:Currently, the “monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo” include the following*:
- Facebook -Facebook Game Streamer, Facebook Level Up Program;
- Niconico Douga/Niconico Live- Niconico Creators Program, Niconico Channel;
- OPENREC.tv – OPENREC Creators Program;
- Twitch – Twitch Affiliate Program and Twitch Partner Program;
- Twitter – Amplify Publisher Program; and
- YouTube – YouTube Partner Program.
*Subject to be updated
- Q5:Can I sell content that I create and upload or livestream on a sharing platform if it includes Nintendo Game Content?
- A5:No, you may not sell any videos, music, or images that you created using Nintendo Game Content.
- Q6:Can I create, upload, and livestream content that is based on other Nintendo intellectual property, outside of gameplay footage and screenshots (such as, fan art)?
- A6:The Guidelines only cover the sharing of Nintendo Game Content on appropriate video and image sharing sites. Any other use of Nintendo’s intellectual property and creation of content outside of this scope is subject to the relevant laws of the applicable jurisdiction. Nintendo cannot provide legal advice to you, so we encourage you to seek your own legal counsel if you have any questions about whether your particular proposed use is permitted.
- Q7:What if I record someone playing an unreleased game at a public event, such as a gaming expo?
- A7:Please keep in mind that most public events have filming guidelines, and you are responsible for following those guidelines. If you are unsure, please check with on-site staff before uploading or livestreaming your video. We also reserve the right to remove any content that we believe is unlawful, infringing, inappropriate, or not in line with the Guidelines.
- Q8:I am planning to host a gaming tournament using Nintendo video games, and upload or livestream a video of that tournament on the applicable video and image sharing sites. Are these activities subject to the Guidelines?
- A8:Uploading and livestreaming Nintendo Game Content from a Nintendo-authorized or licensed tournament is within the scope of and subject to the Guidelines. However, hosting a tournament is a separate activity that is outside the scope of the Guidelines.
- Q9:Under the Guidelines, can corporate entities upload or livestream videos and screenshots using Nintendo Game Content?
- A9:The Guidelines are only applicable to individual consumers using Nintendo Game Content.
- Q10:Will there be cases where Nintendo will remove content from sharing platforms?
- A10:Yes, we reserve the right to remove any content that we believe is unlawful, infringing, inappropriate, or not in line with the Guidelines. In some cases, Nintendo may take down videos on behalf of our third-party partners.
- Q11:What do you mean by content that is “unlawful, infringing, or inappropriate”?
- A11:Examples of unlawful, infringing, or inappropriate content include, but are not limited to, content that incorporates Nintendo intellectual property and:
- Violates applicable laws;
- Infringes the intellectual property rights of Nintendo; and/or
- Features pirated Nintendo software.