Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nintendo To Split Ad Revenue With Streaming Gamers

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the lowering-the-tax-rate-from-100% dept.

Nintendo 110

An anonymous reader writes "Over the past several years, as computers and networks have improved to handle heavier loads, it's become popular for people to stream video game footage over sites like YouTube and Twitch. Last year, Nintendo aggressively went after the players doing this for their games, hijacking the ad revenue generated through YouTube. It angered the gaming community, and was actively hostile to the people who were Nintendo's biggest fans. Now, Nintendo has partly walked back their position: they've agreed to share some of the advertising profits with the streamer. It's still hostile to the people actively putting Nintendo game playthroughs out there for others to watch, but it's a step in the right direction."

cancel ×

110 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104817)

Nintendo's biggest fans aren't those trying to monetize their experience.

Re:Sorry, but no. (3, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | about 4 months ago | (#47104893)

Nintendo's fans aren't just the ones making the videos. There are also millions and millions of fans watching

Being supportive of the streaming players helps to get more people interested in Nintendo properties. (or whichever game they're playing)

bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104953)

fuck your personal agenda

Re:Sorry, but no. (3, Insightful)

qeveren (318805) | about 4 months ago | (#47105629)

Why would one WANT people to be interested in Nintento's properties, if this is how they're going to treat their fans? The proper course of action here is to say, "Fuck you Nintento," and stop giving them one's business.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47107189)

Since when has Nintendo given a flying fuck about their hardcore fans? They've built an entire sales ideology based on selling to the general market and pretty much ignoring hardcore gamers.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105161)

The video creators have to pay for their expenses somehow. Honestly, Nintendo shouldn't be seeing a dime from people streaming game videos.

Nintendo's behaviour is indicative of a company that considers their games so poor that a video play through would suffice for most gamers. Instead of hijacking content creators' revenue, they should focus on making better games. There's a reason Nintendo is in third place in the console wars.

Re:Sorry, but no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105291)

Content creators? That's a laugh.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105329)

They are the ones who have created the videos and the commentaries so, yes, content creators.

Or do you also believe that someone who takes a picture shouldn't be considered the photographer because the picture has objects that they didn't make in it?

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

Much Video Dan (3668521) | about 4 months ago | (#47105421)

If you photograph something in particular that someone else created (i.e. not nature photos), that other people might want to see, like say, a picture of the Mona Lisa, or a picture of Ben Affleck being Batman behind the scenes of the new Superman movie, you aren't allowed to sell that picture without permission.

You can't make money performing a play that someone else wrote unless you get permission!
You can't project a DVD of a movie onto a big screen and make money from people watching it unless you get permission!
You can't record yourself reading someone else's book and sell the recording or charging companies to put ads on the broadcast, without permission!
You can't show people the full plot and details of a whole video game that you didn't publish without the publisher's permission!

Just because doing that on Youtube has become a trendy thing with it's own cute name (Let's Play!) doesn't mean it's not IP infringement. What Nintendo is doing is saying "We respect our fans and are letting them slide, and even letting them get paid real money making clearly infringing derivative works, we just want a 50% cut of the money because we are the ones who made and published this game which is the basis of the over half (generously) of the video's content. You get as much credit for adding your personal touch to the broadcast/recording, as we do for making the whole game, 50/50 which is more than fair." Also for the record, in the new Mario Kart, Nintendo DOES also allow people to record and edit highlight videos of their races and post them directly to Youtube through a free app. Acting like they are this anti-social bully is completely against their corporate philosophy of gaming being fun and inclusive for everyone.

Re:Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105511)

Apples and oranges. You are talking about media whose sole entertainment value is in the viewing. Video games are about gameplay, something that cannot be experienced by watching someone else play.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 4 months ago | (#47105587)

Also, commentary. Most of the time, the game being played is not what draws me in, but the commentary and comedy that the producer adds to it.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

Much Video Dan (3668521) | about 4 months ago | (#47105861)

It's not just the gameplay - its the art that goes into level design, world design, the music, the writing of dialogue, the plot twists, the comedy gags, the easter eggs... That's a lot of work Nintendo put in, that someone else is making money from. Yes, the commentary and personality of the LPer adds to the experience, that's why Nintendo feels like they deserve some of the revenue. But don't tell me you listen to LPs of games you have no interest in, or you listen to LPs with no video footage of the game. The game is the whole point! Otherwise why not just watch some stand-up comedy.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47105883)

So I've bought a Nintendo game, I find it's retardedly difficult at one point because of shit game design or the sorts, and you're telling me despite having already shelled out for the game itself, I also now have to pay Nintendo (through ad views) to figure out how to get past a certain point too? That no one is allowed to show me?

How much do Nintendo pay you to make such a stupid pro-Nintendo, anti-consumer argument?

Re:Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47106615)

Or you could, you know, figure it out for yourself. If you really need hand-holding, you could read one of the many walkthroughs that people make for any decent game.

This isn't about being Pro-Nintendo, it is about the fact that these companies spend millions of dollars to create these games which people then put up on youtube in their entirety. Small clips are one thing, but the people who decide to play the entire game deserve to get hit with copy infringement. If you want to make a commentary track, go right ahead, but you don't get to stream the game as well.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47107615)

Except it's not that is it? You're making that argument up as Nintendo has even been hitting people who have just done clips, not the full game.

Re: Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107613)

This is about videos of entire playthroughs of games or very large chunks. Those videos showing how to get secrets, easter eggs, or beat difficult parts are not affected.

Re: Sorry, but no. (1)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#47108983)

I wouldn't call 15 minutes a very large chunk, and even then a number of videos shorter than this have also been hit.

Re:Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47113675)

Uhh, no. Only an idiot would play a video game for "art", "music" or "story". These are things much better experienced in other media.

Re:Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47109007)

Video games are about gameplay

Correction, some video games are about gameplay. Perhaps even most, I don't know, but the point is that it isn't all. For example, The Last of Us could easily be watched for the same or better experience vs playing it.

Re:Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47113743)

That that is a shit game and you're better off watching it on YouTube than being ripped off like the poor sucker who made the video.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

Ost99 (101831) | about 4 months ago | (#47106003)

None of this has any relevance, Nintendo is selling software.
Following your logic Adobe should claim ownership to anything produced by Photoshop.

Re:Sorry, but no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47109485)

Following your logic Adobe should claim ownership to anything produced by Photoshop.

Protip: "Following your logic" only works if what you then say is actually a logical progression from what another person said. At best, you have merely listed a "slippery slope".

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

AC-x (735297) | about 4 months ago | (#47106293)

I think you'll find that commercial derivative works, even if unauthorized, are fair use [wikipedia.org] .

The commentary track and the act of actually playing the game is completely original work as the actions taken by the player are not scripted by Nintendo, therefore it's clearly a fair use derivative work as proven by countless legal precedents.

Re:Sorry, but no. (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47107233)

like say, a picture of the Mona Lisa, or a picture of Ben Affleck being Batman behind the scenes of the new Superman movie, you aren't allowed to sell that picture without permission.

You do have a point, but you've picked two really awful examples to illustrate it. The Mona Lisa is public domain and you can absolutely take pictures of celebrities and sell them to the media (as long as they're in public).

Re:Sorry, but no. (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47106579)

next up, Nike hijacking some freerunners channel ads.

Because you know, if you use Nike shoes all profit belongs to them because they own copyright to the shoe logo. makes perfect sense??

fuck no, no it doesn't. Nintendo should just publish their own playthroughs instead of retroactively trying to hijack shit. what's next, they going to claim rights over late '80s movies that show someone playing smb3?

Re:Sorry, but no. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107159)

Nintendo's biggest fans are 8-year-olds whose parents won't let them have a real console and "adults" who still play games meant for children.

Nintendo has fallen far (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47104821)

This is the sort of BS one expects from Sony or MS, but Nintendo never used to attack its own customer base. Sad how the last great player-focused games company has fallen.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104841)

Nintendo has always been very controlling of it's property. This is nothing new.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 4 months ago | (#47105061)

Replace all the Marios used in popular culture with Mickey Mouses and then see who's controlling of property.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#47105699)

Nintendo has been about controlling devs for the benefit of the player, vice versa is new-ish.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 4 months ago | (#47106249)

Nintendo has always been very controlling of it's property.

Oh, really? The games don't belong to Nintendo. That's like saying Photoshop belongs to Intel, Apple or Microsoft just because it runs on Windows or OSX platforms.

Many developers have previously stated their intention to allow YouTube users to upload videos relating to their games, without any kind of charge, express permission or revenue-sharing deal.

The actual owners of the games don't want any revenue, they're just happy to get some free publicity. Nintendo is money-grubbing here, charging money for something it doesn't own. In fact, the person who played the game or uploaded the video should be compensated with ad revenue, not Nintendo.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

aitikin (909209) | about 4 months ago | (#47111407)

Nintendo has always been very controlling of it's property.

Oh, really? The games don't belong to Nintendo. That's like saying Photoshop belongs to Intel, Apple or Microsoft just because it runs on Windows or OSX platforms.

Many developers have previously stated their intention to allow YouTube users to upload videos relating to their games, without any kind of charge, express permission or revenue-sharing deal.

No, this is like saying Photoshop belongs to Adobe. Nintendo owns the rights to all the games that I've heard of them doing this to, therefore, Nintendo being controlling of its property is a fitting statement.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#47104873)

Nintendo's fall began long before this. Personally, I figured the Wii was the last nail in the coffin. The Wii was (IMHO) an attempt by Nintendo to capitalize on the non-hardcore gaming market, including old fogeys like myself. It worked to some extent, but the problem is that non-hardcore gamers don't buy a lot of games. Go figure.

Then again, maybe this is just the first handful of dirt into the grave? After all, what's the last killer title NES had? Call of Duty? Medal of Honor? Grand Theft Auto? Portal? Oh, wait . . . those aren't NES titles. I may be old and out of touch, but the only two killer titles I can remember when I think about NES is Donkey Kong and Mario Brothers.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (2)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47104909)

Nintendo platforms had killer exclusives long after the end of the original NES. One was Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 4 months ago | (#47104921)

Zelda and Pokemon probably both outsell 8 or 9 out of the top ten of the other consoles' exclusives.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47109321)

Call of Duty/Medal of Honor/GTA sell copies.

Zelda / Pokemon / Mario (to a lesser extent) sell systems.

Nintendo isn't interested in competing. They sell almost entirely on their exclusives. That's why development houses hated the Wii. Because they didn't want to entirely rework their games to work with the special controller and the competition game-wise was the company that created the system.

Wii U just happens to be lacking in any tremendous exclusives.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 4 months ago | (#47104949)

but Nintendo never used to attack its own customer base.

Oh really? How many times did I try to play a NES game only to be struck by the blinking blue screen of death...

Turns out, that was Nintendo's poorly implemented DRM screwing me, a loyal young gamer with a 100% legit game collection.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105305)

Get over yourself dipshit.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 4 months ago | (#47109697)

Could have been the shitty card edge connector in the console. They remedied that with the vertical design after the SNES came out but it was too little, too late. And it always puzzled me as to why they made the boneheaded decision to change from the Japanese vertical cart load to the slot mess they made for the rest of the world.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 4 months ago | (#47105191)

Sony is going the exact opposite way, they jsut added an option to disable HDCP on the PS4 just for streaming/capture.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 4 months ago | (#47105547)

On the contrary, Nintendo has a long and ignoble history of doing this sort of thing. They've sued or C&Ded customers in the past just for mentioning their games on a blog, when the customer has been somebody who doesn't fit with their image (their was a stripper a few years ago who got threatened with legal action for saying she "liked Metroid"). They're incredibly protective of everything they see as relating to their franchises and characters (despite the fact that Donkey Kong - the game that started it all - borrows from King Kong's imagery so heavily). They're also pretty lawsuit-happy within the industry, having gone after games whose concepts are too close to their own and even hardware manufacturers for putting out controller d-pads too close to their own.

And player-focussed? Don't make me laugh. They're the only manufacturer still making region-locked consoles. They're the only manufacturer ever, so far as I can tell, to have region locked a hand-held. They basically have a paternalist view of the world where their top brass sits around a table and decides which regions deserve which games (and when some of that reasoning comes out, it often sounds, frankly, borderline racist). They're the only manufacturer to link online purchases to console units rather than accounts, making for endless grief for people whose consoles die. Hell, they even had their own run-in with a Red Ring of Death fiasco (albeit less reported), with the Wii-U's launch firmware update and its habit of bricking consoles.

And this is leaving aside more subjective stuff, like their promise of extensive third party support for the Wii-U which they then failed to guarantee except in a tiny number of cases. Oh, and the speculation they're now themselves fuelling that the next Super Smash Brothers will require Skylanders-style "physical DLC" to access all on-disk content (though they still have time to U-Turn on that one).

And yet, as your post demonstrates, they get away with it. I think part of it is because, being pretty much just a gaming company, they have fewer spheres in which to have scandals. They've never had a CD-rootkit fiasco because they don't distribute music and only make games for their own hardware (though they have long been pioneers of restrictive copy protection in that field). They've never had a Windows 8 fiasco because they don't make operating systems (though one can only imagine how locked down and restrictive a hypothetical Nintendo OS would be). But in the gaming world, their policies have been pure poison for decades.

And oddly, this is the other reason they get away with it - direction of travel. When MS comes out at E3 last year and shows that it wants to be really evil (possibly more evil even than Nintendo) there's an outcry that eventually forces the company to back down. Why? Because it was more restrictive than what MS had done previously. When Sony first entered the market, it basically (probably because it wanted to copy what worked) lifted MS's policies on region locks etc. Since then, it's progressively liberalised them. Nintendo, on the other hand, just carries on being as evil as it has always been, so it only rarely gets noticed (region locking the 3DS got it some bad press, I guess).

In short, don't confuse Nintendo's underdog status (which they've reclaimed again after a brief and terrifying flirtation with success with the Wii) and any nostalgia you may feel for its franchises with any kind of ethics on the part of the company. Within its narrow sphere, it is the most restrictive and anti-consumer of the three console manufacturers.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47106353)

And they also heavily went after fan-games as well. Completely harmless games on a platform they don't even care for. BAM, C&D'd.

I lost a lot of respect for them after they did that a few times. And then all this nonsense as well.

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107449)

You need to look at the game developers for that. Eg: Chrono Trigger Crimson Echoes

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47110225)

Oh hey, look -- it's RogueyWon whining about Nintendo. Surprise surprise!

Re:Nintendo has fallen far (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47107247)

Sad how the last great player-focused games company has fallen.

Oh bullshit. Nintendo has always been notoriously litigious about their IP and have never given a fuck about their hardcore fans.

I'm not Nintendo, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104827)

I don't see a valid career of acting like a douchebag making terrible rape jokes while playing a video game.over the internet is a choice of thorough longevity.

Re:I'm not Nintendo, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105023)

Who gives a shit what you think? Nobody. Kill yourself.

Re:I'm not Nintendo, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105229)

Hello Pew Die Pie.

#slightlylessofadickmove (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104831)

n/t

What are the technical details to do this? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 4 months ago | (#47104845)

I assume we can't just Open Broadcast Software stream NES emulator roms, right?

Is there some specific hardware/software used to interface with television to computer?

I'd like to know because I could see myself streaming some old school games. I'm quite good and still have rapid reflexes. I could probably whip up some color commentary too. I might not stream Nintendo games and go for a console with more pure profit available. I was just wondering the specifics of how you do this.

first you become a jew (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104863)

then you become a jew

first you become a jew (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104885)

Then Hitler comes to power...

Classic Nintendo consoles' video is nonstandard (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47104865)

The NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64 consoles generally output a nonstandard 240p (NTSC) or 288p (PAL) composite video signal.* The timing doesn't match the official spec but is well within the tolerance of 1980s CRT SDTVs. Some DVD recorders and some USB video capture devices can handle the nonstandard timing; others can't. GameCube and Wii should work with anything. I don't own a Wii U yet.

* One Super NES game and a handful of N64 games are in 480i.

Re:Classic Nintendo consoles' video is nonstandard (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 4 months ago | (#47104887)

Thanks, so I should look into a USB capture device that handles NES. Got it. Would anyone be able to tell if I used a NES emulator with ROMs for games I have?

NTSC artifacts (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47104943)

The NES PPU takes shortcuts [nesdev.com] that produce characteristic artifacts in the composite signal. Some games, such as Blaster Master, rely on these artifacts to create more apparent colors than are actually there. Some emulators, such as Nestopia, have an NTSC filter [slack.net] that emulates these artifacts; others don't. Not emulating the artifacts makes your game look like it's being played on a PlayChoice or an emulator.

It's not an infringement to run homebrew games like Thwaite [pineight.com] in an emulator. Nor is it an infringement to back up your own cartridges using a cart reader like this [infiniteneslives.com] for the purpose of playing them in an emulator, so long as you do not distribute the dumps. (Assuming US law, 17 USC 117(a)(1).) But by the logic of the ruling in UMG v. MP3.com, it is an infringement to download a commercial game's ROM image through the Internet even if you own an authentic cartridge.

Re:NTSC artifacts (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 4 months ago | (#47105045)

That is really good information to know. You guys informed me. I'm working on a video game now and will be finished in a few weeks that I've been working on for 5 years. I've been making video games for the majority of the last 22 years, and it is no where near as fun as actually playing them. If my next video game also turns out to be unprofitable, I might hang up my hat on making video games in the short run. Playing video games makes you feel like you're experiencing life. Making video games makes it feel like you're delaying life until the game is out.

Back in the day before China came on the scene, I used to make about 8-100$/hr selling virtual goods in Asheron's Call. And back in Warcraft3, I used to write pro level articles for Warcraftstrategy for 35$/article. So I'm finding in my experience that I make more money playing video games than I do actually making them... It doesn't make sense. Anyway, it will be nice to see how well www.throneandcrown.com [throneandcrown.com] does. It'll come out on Kongregate.com first.

Re:NTSC artifacts (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47105133)

That is really good information to know.

Glad to be helpful.

I'm working on a video game now and will be finished in a few weeks

I too develop video games in my spare time; I have video of a work in progress [youtube.com] .

But watch out for a few Slashdot regulars who feel that if a video game isn't developed by "the industry" (a well-known game company) or by "industry alumni" (people who have worked for a well-known game company for several years), it's almost certain to be unfun. And until very recently, Nintendo used having a dedicated office as a proxy for whether or not a developer is serious, which is why Robert Pelloni's home-based business couldn't get a DS devkit for his RPG Bob's Game. Nintendo has since loosened up on this requirement in response to the less closed Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and OUYA market; it now treats any lockable room as an office according to warioworld.com.

Playing video games makes you feel like you're experiencing life. Making video games makes it feel like you're delaying life until the game is out.

To me, making video games makes it feel like I'm creating life.

Anyway, I just thought of a major clarifications I need to make regarding what I wrote above. Virtual Console is Nintendo's official emulator on Wii, and it produces the same PlayChoice-looking RGB output as most PC-based emulators. So no, people won't really be able to tell that you're using an emulator if you do it right. A couple of the bigger problems I see are the following:

Pixel aspect ratio
The PPU in the NES or Super NES produces a picture with an 8:7 pixel aspect ratio, which means pixels are slightly wider than they are tall.
Overscan
The NES picture is 240 lines tall. But some NES emulators crop off the top and bottom 8 scanlines because they're typically invisible, and a lot of games have scrolling artifacts in that area.

To compensate for these, pad your emulator's video to 280x240 or 560x480 pixels and then resize it to 640x480. For the gritty details, see Overscan and aspect ratio [nesdev.com] , Myths [nesdev.com] , and Mirroring [nesdev.com] .

Re:NTSC artifacts (1)

odie5533 (989896) | about 4 months ago | (#47107491)

UMG v. MP3.com says it is illegal for them to provide a service of offering the "space shifted" files to consumers; it doesn't say it's necessarily illegal for the consumer to download copies of the songs they'd purchased.

Streaming and lets play (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47104859)

Gaming videos and streams are huge right now. Just immense. There are dozens of streamers and youtubers that have better ratings than many television shows. One obvious example is VanossGaming. One guy that makes funny game videos on youtube with seven million subscribers. No one would have expected these videos to be so popular a handful of years ago. The sheer volume of free advertising these people give out is an incredible opportunity.

Really Nintendo should be sponsoring these people, not taking away from them. It just shows how stuck in the past Nintendo is. When that cultural inertia dies down, so will Nintendo. They will be relegated to the same realm as Sega and Neo Geo. Some quaint thing that is looked on with nostalgia and disappointment for their refusal to use their vast opportunities.

Nintendo should care the least (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 4 months ago | (#47105029)

Many games I see are really just movies with some interaction pulled from a 1st person shooter engine. They have something to loose by people seeing the videos because you've already played the game a millions times with a different story and/or look. If I see somebody play it, I don't need to play the game because while it might be good what makes it good isn't really the game mechanics itself; which hardly change...

Nintendo on the other hand, they have the same story, same look, few movies. It's all about the game play experience. Mario has been quite creative with the elements and the well paced and rewarding level designs despite it being just another Mario game with the same basic mechanics of the others. Seeing it isn't giving away anything-- experiencing it is the whole point. Nintendo therefore, should be the least concerned about this.

The challenges of the levels ARE the game with Nintendo. It is like getting good at a sport and wanting to play the sport; not new outfit on the same old opponent who has new story about why we are having a rematch (which is what the other games do.)

I get more new experiences from PLAYING Nintendo so I buy them; just as other people who play ...say tennis, still play tennis even though "everything" is the same. One should expect this from a 100+ year old game card company. Think of all the games of poker and solitaire that continue to be played... Then think that Nintendo's goals may have been to create digital versions of those card games you keep playing - except they can charge you each new poker game you play. Not sure I'm being clear on this, but I think there is a different perspective behind them which is what differentiates them (which will likely fade away if they don't actively maintain it.)

Re:Streaming and lets play (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47108963)

It just shows how stuck in the past Nintendo is.

This is a company that still thinks of online gaming as a passing fad that they need only embrace in the most half-hearted way possible.

screw that (3, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#47104935)

output of a game being played != a copy of the game.

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105059)

Devils advocate:
Would it be OK for someone to stream a movie as long as they talk during parts of it?

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105107)

MST3K Did have to pay for movie rights..... Of course that was why they picked crappy movies... the rights were cheap.

Re:screw that (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#47106059)

Yes.

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107937)

Idiot.

Re:screw that (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47105303)

output of a game being played != a copy of the game.

Its clearly a derivative work; and when published to the internet with ad revenue attched to it, then it becomes a commercial 'for profit' derivative work.

Its a no-brainer that Nintendo has all kinds of rights over not only the gameplay videos but any profits from them.

It's the same as someone buying a book, and then publishing ad-supported audio of them reading it.

Nintendo allowing the gameplay videos and sharing the ad revenue to the creators of the videos really is about as reasonable an outcome as it gets.

To be completely honest, its more lenient by far than the law requires.

Re:screw that (3, Insightful)

LeRaldo (983244) | about 4 months ago | (#47105429)

It's not as reasonable as it gets. Plenty of other companies are ecstatic with the free publicity of gameplay videos and do not attempt to take any of the ad revenue. That's why it was seen as ridiculous that Nintendo took the stance that it did.

Re:screw that (1)

Brulath (2765381) | about 4 months ago | (#47105649)

I don't know about you, but I play a few games for the story – sometimes in spite of gameplay I don't enjoy. If I'm curious about the storyline in a game but not really interested in the gameplay, perhaps watching someone else play and skipping through the combat part I can see the story and skip paying for the game. I'm not saying their stories are particularly good, by the way, I'm just noting that if I'm somehow invested it can be more efficient to watch someone else play whilst doing something else during the sometimes pointless combat interludes than playing myself.

I don't get the full experience that way, there's nothing gained from exploring or having control, but I'm still consuming content created by a company in an abbreviated format. In that scenario, perhaps it's right that the company gets the majority or all of the money from advertising attached to those videos.

An example: I find Diablo 3 a little dull now, but the cinematic for the expansion had me curious about Malthael (their cinematic trailers are often enough to invoke curiosity – I play Starcraft only to see how that story plays out, regardless of what I think of the gameplay). Watch a few videos and curiosity sated, no game purchased. Blizzard should probably get the ad revenue for the videos, as they didn't really add anything different to what all players experience.

It does get a bit hairier when there's significant commentary, skill, or other creativity involved.

Re:screw that (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 4 months ago | (#47105991)

It's not as reasonable as it gets. Plenty of other companies are ecstatic with the free publicity of gameplay videos and do not attempt to take any of the ad revenue. That's why it was seen as ridiculous that Nintendo took the stance that it did.

By modern standards Nintendo is an odd duck. Some of the things they do is outright antiquated (and I don't mean just videos) and some of the other things they do are weird. With that said, Nintendo markets differently and their customer base is wider than just "core gamers", so what works for the latter isn't necessarily the right move for Nintendo.

Since starting with Nintendo Directs, Nintendo has started doing a lot of low-key publicity on their own. The Directs are chock-full of gameplay footage (especially near launch time) and Nintendo frequently posts additional gameplay videos. Furthermore Nintendo seeds the press with review copies of games weeks in advance, and lets those reviews be published well before a game actually launches. This means that those reviewers have also put out their gameplay videos well in advance, and have had plenty of time to put them together.

This is massively different from how many other publishers handle promotions, as Nintendo is far more "open" than most publishers. Take the just-launched Watch Dogs for example: not only did Ubisoft primarily focus on cinematic trailers, but they gave reviewers a relatively short amount of time to work on their reviews and didn't allow reviews to be published until after the game shipped. I'd prefer not to be cynical, but when Ubisoft says that it's their most pre-ordered game yet, it's not a big leap to suspect that they are withholding information because it would hurt sales. Which makes reviews and gameplay videos all the more important, as this information isn't otherwise being volunteered in a timely manner.

The point of this being that while the "free publicity" angle can definitely help companies and buyers, the games that benefit the most are the games where the publisher is "closed" and withhold information, followed by indie games where they just outright lack promotion. Nintendo doesn't fall in to either of these categories; they have plenty of promotion and they demonstrate gameplay in a relatively transparent and open manner. Which is not to say that Nintendo should discourage these videos, but it's hard to imagine they gain much from them.

Re:screw that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105593)

It's none of those things. You're a retard. Kill yourself.

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47111841)

Spoken like a true stream-for-money slacker..

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105893)

I wonder if any restaurant has tried suing a foodie over a cellphone photo of their meal. I know people have tried to assert trademark rights to the appearance of their buildings against photographers.

At any rate, going after customers who are publicly advertising your product without charge to an audience likely to buy it might be one of the stupidest business strategies I've heard of. Perhaps not a standout when looking at the behavior of the large game console companies over the last two generations of machines, but imagine an indie developer blowing their stack over their game being positively featured to tens or hundreds of thousands of gamers. Ponderous.

Re:screw that (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47106109)

At any rate, going after customers who are publicly advertising your product without charge to an audience likely to buy it might be one of the stupidest business strategies I've heard of.

An audience likely to buy it? Or an audience that already bought it? Seriously. How many people watche game playthroughs of games they don't own. I don't even watch them for most games unless I've already more or less mastered it, and just want to fine tune some skill or other, or maybe see just how to get some secret/easter egg thing.

I'd say the majority of people watching game videos have already got the game. Especially for Nintendo games.

But hell, even 'esports' -- I'd say the VAST majority either already have the game or are only interested in watching other people play it... the number that are sitting there 'thinking of buying it' is nearly zero.

Maybe they aren't stupid after all, and the ad revenue they are taking far exceeds the extra sales they'd get by not taking some of the ad revenue.

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107047)

How many people watche game playthroughs of games they don't own. I don't even watch them for most games unless I've already more or less mastered it, and just want to fine tune some skill or other, or maybe see just how to get some secret/easter egg thing.

Well, since streaming gamers include more than just 100% playthroughs, I'd say lots of people. People who want the feel for a game definitely want a playthrough of all sorts, be they speed runs, 100% detailed runs, simply playing runs, or people trying to be funny (Clueless Gamer). Trailers most often suck for any idea on what a game is like. Reviews often don't include enough gameplay or are biased enough in their interpretation that one can't necessarily be sure of things. And, like you say, people who own the games may use them so their existence is a reason for a potential owner of a game to be an actual owner of a game.

Maybe they aren't stupid after all, and the ad revenue they are taking far exceeds the extra sales they'd get by not taking some of the ad revenue.

Likely right. It's little different than radio and tv shows which can see actual sales as a much smaller, extra revenue stream than the standard advertising revenue. At least two major differences are that (1) games are a fundamentally different medium which most good games are never able to be replicated* by video recordings and (2) the approach Nintendo took to try to get a cut was done so badly (first cutting off people and then trying to get an ad cut) and there's enough competitors that don't try the same approach that most people are much less sympathetic to the conceptual idea of it whether or not it's not too unreasonable; Nintendo is really good at burning bridges.

*If your game is very linear, very FMV heavy, and/or just doesn't leave much room for choice, then yea, it's "cinematic" but then it's also not a good game. It might have a "wow" factor to it and Nintendo director/producers seem to have put a focus on that above any common sense--reminds me of Apple--, but it's not the way to make a good game.

On the other side of things, we have Starcraft, League of Legends, etc where tournament or even regular online play is much more entertaining for a lot of people who are relatively bad players than to ever play the game themselves--although personally I don't think I get much out of such games unless I've played them at least a little. So, yea, that's something more towards your argument of more money from ads. But then, again this is the sort of thing that game companies actually try to setup and not seemingly reluctantly give into. They have sponsors--aka advertisers--lining up and everyone tends to be happy to see this all in action. There's no need to pull out copyright infringement charges or induce any sort of bad will with gamers or viewers. In short, I'd say 99% of this is just that Nintendo shot themselves in the foot with their behavior more than people are actually adverse to the general idea of Nintendo getting a cut.

Re:screw that (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 4 months ago | (#47106395)

Its clearly a derivative work; and when published to the internet with ad revenue attched to it, then it becomes a commercial 'for profit' derivative work.

So, should Adobe get a cut of the profit you made from selling your photo just because you used Photoshop to create it? Should MS get a cut because your app is generated (derived) by the Visual Studio compiler/linker? Of course, not.

Trademarks and copyrights for third-party games and characters are owned by the companies that market or license those products.

According to their copyright page [nintendo.com] , Nintendo does not own the copyright to these games, so how can they demand ad-revenue?

Re:screw that (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47108205)

So, should Adobe get a cut of the profit you made from selling your photo just because you used Photoshop to create it?

Editing a photo with photoshop creates a derivative work of the original photo, not a derivative work of photoshop.

Should MS get a cut because your app is generated (derived) by the Visual Studio compiler/linker?

Look up what derivative works are in the context of copyright law. You clearly have no idea.

According to their copyright page, Nintendo does not own the copyright to these games, so how can they demand ad-revenue?

Are they demanding ad revenue from non-Nintendo (ie 3rd party) games? That would require are more interesting legal theory if true.

Re:screw that (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 4 months ago | (#47109159)

Should MS get a cut because your app is generated (derived) by the Visual Studio compiler/linker?

Look up what derivative works are in the context of copyright law. You clearly have no idea.

Every time you use a loop, call a function or declare a variable etc., the compiler replaces that with its own copyrighted machine code that you did not write.
Your executable is a patchwork of copyrighted code from the compiler.

Are they demanding ad revenue from non-Nintendo (ie 3rd party) games? That would require are more interesting legal theory if true.

Apparently, yes. From TFA [develop-online.net] :

Many developers have previously stated their intention to allow YouTube users to upload videos relating to their games, without any kind of charge, express permission or revenue-sharing deal.

Re:screw that (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47112525)

Every time you use a loop, call a function or declare a variable etc., the compiler replaces that with its own copyrighted machine code that you did not write.
Your executable is a patchwork of copyrighted code from the compiler.

Its not "replaced" its transformed. The output is a derivative work of the input source code, transformed by an algorithm. The algorithm is not 'creative', and retains no copyright over the output.

Now, having said that I suppose some dirtbag compiler maker could require you to sign an license agreement that assigns them (some) copyright over the output, but that would be due to your license agreement, not due to copyright law.

Apparently, yes. From TFA:

Yeah, I'm not sure what legal theory Nintendo would be using there. But it sounded to me more like simple over-reaching and over-zealousness with the 'claims' than there being any actual legal argument to support them; especially as the copyright claims you referred to in your quote were being made by INDmusic and TuneCore rather than Nintendo itself.

Re:screw that (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 months ago | (#47109475)

Editing a photo with photoshop creates a derivative work of the original photo, not a derivative work of photoshop.

And creating a gameplay video does not create a derivative work of the game.
Can you play it? No

A derivative work would be an unofficial fan-sequel, or a modified rip. Back in the day some Japanese-only games were ripped and re-encoded with english text by fans, *THAT* would be a derivative work.

Might as well have Oscar-Meier sue you for taking a video of your kids eating hot-dogs.

Re:screw that (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47112843)

And creating a gameplay video does not create a derivative work of the game.

Look up what a derivative work is. Then come back.

Recording just the audio of you playing the game and releasing that as a song is a derivative work. Do you really think adding the video somehow makes it less a derivative work?

Even just SAMPLING the audio from the game and including it in an otherwise original new rap song technically requires getting the rights.

Can you play it? No

Irrelevant.

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47110385)

This is a terrible analogy and you should be embarrassed for thinking otherwise.

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107185)

Unsure if it has been tried in court, but it seems like a likely case where the fair use defense would apply.

Even though video games are copyrighted, it is now a widely accepted practice on YouTube to post walkthroughs and tutorials ("let's plays"). Both the player's original commentary and the fact that their gameplay creates a unique subjective experience with the game make the use transformative. As long as you include your own original commentary about the game and don't just post straight raw footage from the game, it is likely fair use. It is possible that even un-commented gameplay is still fair use, though this is less certain.[http://fairusetube.org/guide-to-youtube-removals/3-deciding-if-video-is-fair-use]

Re:screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107413)

It's the same as someone buying a book, and then publishing ad-supported audio of them reading it.

It is more like someone buying a hammer, then selling a video on how they chose to use that hammer.

Re:screw that (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 months ago | (#47109187)

It's the same as someone buying a book, and then publishing ad-supported audio of them reading it.

Reading a book requires no special skill (beyond the ability to read). Also, listening to an audiobook may remove the reason for somebody to purchase/read a book, but watching a game "walkthrough" doesn't remove the incentive to purchase the game (unless it sucks).

If I record a video of myself and buddies playing a game of Monopoly or some kids demonstrating a hula-hoop technique, should Hasbro or the Hoop manufacturer be able to issue a takedown for my video and then take ownership?

is about as reasonable an outcome as it gets

No, a reasonable outcome is that people say f*** you to Nintendo. For a company that's already struggling to sell their current-gen games/consoles this is another good case of them putting a gun to their foot and pulling the trigger.

Re:screw that (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47112701)

Reading a book requires no special skill (beyond the ability to read).

Says someone who has no appreciation for a good audiobook. A good 'reader' provides lots of value add.

Also, listening to an audiobook may remove the reason for somebody to purchase/read a book, but watching a game "walkthrough" doesn't remove the incentive to purchase the game (unless it sucks).

That really makes no difference to copyright law. But even if it did, I think most people watching game walkthroughs already have the game; so they aren't motivated to buy it anyway.

If I record a video of myself and buddies playing a game of Monopoly

And you are publishing it online for ad revenue? Do you not live in the real world? The one where TV shows have fake brands for everything, because they know they don't have the rights to use real brands copyrights and trademarks.

Of course you can't do that. If you made a TV show or movie, and wanted to have a scene with your characters playing monopoly (actual monopoly, rather than just a generic board game that's similar to monopoly) then you know you damned well need to clear that with Hasbro. Either pay them, or get them to pay you if you can convince them its worthwhile product placement... but under no circumstances can you just use the monopoly trademarks without permission.

What makes you think loading a video to youtube to collect ad revenue is somehow different?

Re:screw that (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | about 4 months ago | (#47109807)

What about a written account of a playthough that's published and sold for money? Is that a "derivative work" that's commercialised?

This is the problem with copyright and its continual land-grab of ownership. It has no real-world boundaries and exponentially expands with the greed of a creator being one of its few limiting factors.

Re:screw that (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47112931)

What about a written account of a playthough that's published and sold for money? Is that a "derivative work" that's commercialised?

Probably not. What 'major copy-protected elements of the original' does that contain?

I suppose if it were a dialog heavy adventure game, and you reproduced the entire dialog transcript of your playthrough then at that point yes, it would be derivative.

Bottom line, is if you are looking to create an original work, without risk of it being derivative to commercialize it, don't create it entirely within someone elses copy-protected "universe" or sample someone elses copy protected universe in a recognizable way without permission up front. Its not rocket science.

what, nintendo's still around? (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 4 months ago | (#47104993)

thought that boat anchor they released, like 3 years ago sent them the way of sega

Re:what, nintendo's still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105347)

The only company that's released consoles appropriate for use as a boat anchor is Microsoft.

Re:what, nintendo's still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47106089)

Much Video Dan has pretty much been a sockpuppet for nintendo I think.......

Re:what, nintendo's still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47106861)

Well, you're all kinds of dickface master pc fuckhead today... aren't you?

Nintendo still in business making games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47105069)

I haven't played a Nintendo game since early 1990s. I buy all my games through Steam and play only PC games. If I do see a Nintendo game on Steam I'll pass on it due to Nintendo's reaction to players making walk through videos.

I'm too busy in real life and have no desire to get stuck for hours on a game. After a reasonable amount of time (depending on how fun the game is) I like having the option of a walk through, if I want one.

Re: Nintendo still in business making games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47107847)

I don't think anyone has gotten stuck in a Nintendo game since the 90s. They have severely dumbed it down over the years.

What a biased summary. (1)

Much Video Dan (3668521) | about 4 months ago | (#47105367)

The way it's phrased makes Nintendo out to be some evil corp attacking it's poor defenseless fans. It's the total opposite! If you make money with ad revenue using Nintendo's IP, well that's not allowed for ANYONE, and those that do it have been getting a free ride. You can't make money performing a play that someone else wrote unless you get permission, you can't project a DVD of a movie onto a big screen and make money from people watching it unless you get permission, you can't record yourself reading someone else's book and sell the recording or charging companies to put ads on the broadcast, and you can't show people the full plot and details of a whole video game that you didn't publish without the publisher's permission! Just because doing that on Youtube has become a trendy thing with it's own cute name (Let's Play!) doesn't mean it's not IP infringement. What Nintendo is doing is saying "We respect our fans and are letting them slide, and even letting them get paid real money making clearly infringing derivative works, we just want a 50% cut of the money because we are the ones who made and published this game which is the basis of the over half (generously) of the video's content." Also for the record, in the new Mario Kart, Nintendo DOES also allow people to record and edit highlight videos of their races and post them directly to Youtube through a free app. Acting like they are this anti-social bully is completely against their corporate philosophy of gaming being fun and inclusive for everyone.

Re:What a biased summary. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47106191)

Who cares if they are technically right?

What they have been saying is "So, you love our product so much that you want to show the rest of the world what they are missing, and why they should buy our product. Well, STOP THAT".

Any company that says that to their fans is wrong.

Re: What a biased summary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47106949)

Software isn't patentable in that way, the videos are derivative art. Stop being a shill.

Playthroughs? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 4 months ago | (#47106683)

Why should Nintendo permit people who post spoiler videos for their games on Youtube to profit from it significantly?

Probably backfired on them (2)

pedrop357 (681672) | about 4 months ago | (#47107539)

I've noticed that the Let's Play channels I watch pretty much stopped doing Nintendo games altogether. Whether Nintendo liked it or not, these channels can bring exposure to their games.

I've bought about a dozen games after watching short LPs of them on Two Best Friends Play's channel [youtube.com] or their subchannel [youtube.com] on Machinima.

When this first started, I heard podcasts or interviews with people from shows like Hey Ash Whatcha Playin', TBFP, etc. where they basically said they weren't planning any Nintendo game based shows until the situation was changed.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?