As little sense as it likely makes to anyone over the age of 35, even the most cursory glance at the most-subscribed channels list on YouTube will show you that there is big money in watching other people play video games.
Having previously (and controversially) claimed all ad revenue for any videos featuring its copyrighted images and game footage, Nintendo is doing a partial 180° (more like a 90°) by agreeing to split advertising money with YouTube content creators.
The “Creators Program,” Nintendo’s new affiliate program, will offer video makers 60% of the revenue from individual videos–or 70% of the money if creators register and post to Nintendo-specific channels.
The program is currently in beta—although creators can still sign up— but Nintendo plans to launch it properly on May 27. Payments for the Creators Program will be made via PayPal two months after monthly viewing numbers are added up.
In all, it’s a great move for a company which made a major misstep back in 2013 by cracking down on Nintendo-related video content. We’ve written before about the poor quality of Nintendo’s relations with third-party games developers—with a major problem being the lack of financial incentive for developers who make cross-platform titles.
Hopefully, this marks a turning point for Nintendo’s relationship with people outside of the company–in this case, YouTube content creators. Nintendo has an adoring fan base out there, but it’s crucial that the company learns how to embrace it, rather than alienate gamers who would otherwise support them.