If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Nintendo targets user YouTube videos

Nintendo claims monetisation rights on Let's Play videos, YouTubers respond

Nintendo has targeted fan-made YouTube videos featuring its content in an attempt to prevent their creators from earning any revenue.

That's the claim of Zack Scott, who is one of many YouTube users whose "Let's Play" videos have been issued with a "content ID match" claim by Nintendo. A "content ID match" claim is not as serious as an outright copyright infringement claim, but it does give Nintendo all monetisation rights on the videos, as well as power to block the content.

Nintendo issued a statement to Gamefront that indicates it has no plans to block content, only to use the videos as a platform for advertising. "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 statement read.

However, with YouTube an increasingly legitimate way to make money, Nintendo's hard-line stance on its users' ability to do so could act as a strong deterrent. In a tweet, the indie developer Mike Bithell suggested that, without user-generated YouTube videos, his debut game Thomas Was Alone, would not have found an audience.

In a post on his Facebook page, Scott called Nintendo's stance "backwards," and emphasised that his videos are personal creations, popular due to his efforts and perspective rather than the game in particular.

"Video games aren't like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience. When I see a film that someone else is also watching, I don't need to see it again. When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself.

"Since I started my gaming channel, I've played a lot of games. I love Nintendo, so I've included their games in my line-up. But until their claims are straightened out, I won't be playing their games. I won't because it jeopardizes my channel's copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers."

Related topics
Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.