A number of users who stream video games via the popular video-sharing platform YouTube weren’t too happy with Nintendo Co. Ltd. after the company announced its new affiliate sharing program Thursday. PewDiePie, aka Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, a video-game commentator with about 5.11 million followers on Twitter and more than 34.16 million subscribers on YouTube, called the Kyoto, Japan-based gaming company’s move a “slap in the face.”
“They have every right to do this and any other developer or publisher have as well,” Kjellberg said in a Tumblr blog post Friday. “There’d be no ‘Let’s play’ without the game to play. And we (YouTubers) are humble to this fact.” However, the 25-year-old video blogger also felt Nintendo was “missing out” on the “free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTubers.”
“What better way to sell and market a game than from watching someone else playing it and enjoying itself?” Kjellberg asked.
As reported by the Verge, Nintendo launched a beta version of its so-called Nintendo Creators Program, designed to share advertising revenue with those who create Nintendo-related content on YouTube this week. Those accepted into the program are able to create videos that feature footage of Nintendo games and share the money with the company. Users will receive 60 percent of the revenue generated by the videos, but they can also register Nintendo-specific channels to earn as much as 70 percent. The program will launch in full May 27.
“In the past, advertising proceeds that could be received for videos that included Nintendo-copyrighted content (such as gameplay videos) went to Nintendo, according to YouTube rules,” the company said on its site Thursday. “Now, through this service, Nintendo will send you a share of these advertising proceeds for any YouTube videos or channels containing Nintendo-copyrighted content that you register.”
In 2013, Nintendo began claiming ad revenue on YouTube videos that featured its content -- a move that resulted in many YouTubers abandoning Nintendo games.
Kjellberg said in his blog post he will still play Nintendo games on his channel, but warned that Nintendo should reconsider its decision.
“When there’s just so many games out there to play[,] Nintendo games just went to the bottom of that list,” he said. “I’ll still play Nintendo games that I want to play on my channel as usual. I’m lucky to be in a situation where losing ad revenue on a few videos won’t matter. However, many people on YouTube are not in that situation.”