YouTube star PewDiePie hits out at Nintendo revenue-sharing plans

03/02/2015

Popular YouTube content creator PewDiePie has criticised Nintendo for its plan to take a cut of advertising revenue from "let's play" videos featuring its games.

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Under the new ‘Creators Program’, Nintendo will shares revenue with the YouTubers.

The scheme requires YouTube creators to register with Nintendo, agree to it collecting the ad revenues from their entire channels or from specific videos, and include a disclosure message within each video.

In return, they’ll be paid 60% of the advertising revenues, or 70% if they have registered their entire channel under the program.

It replaces Nintendo’s previous policy, which was to keep 100% of the ad revenues from any video featuring one of its games.

Most game companies allow footage of their games to appear online without overt restrictions, viewing the content as useful and promotional.

In response to Nintendo’s new scheme, PewDiePie – aka Felix Kjellbergposted a Tumblr update.

"They have every right to do this and any other developer and publisher have as well," began PewDiePie, who has over 35 million subscribers to his channel. "There'd be no let's play without the game to play. And we YouTubers are humble to this fact.

"But what they are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTubers. What better way to sell and market a game, than from watching someone else that you like playing it and enjoying themselves?

He went on to describe the Creators Program as “a slap in the face” to the community of YouTube channel that focus entirely on Nintendo games, and suggested that in other cases, the gamer is more important than the game when it comes to YouTube popularity.

“If I played a Nintendo game on my channel. Most likely most of the views / ad revenue would come from the fact that my viewers are subscribed to me,” he wrote. “Not necessarily because they want to watch a Nintendo game in particular.”

Kjellberg makes a comparison between Nintendo and another games firm – Minecraft developer Mojang – in his blog post, claiming that Mojang’s hands-off policy on YouTube has been one of the main factors behind Minecraft’s success.

Mojang’s chief operating officer Vu Bui explained that policy in an interview with the Guardian in October 2014, praising the community of Minecraft YouTubers that includes some of YouTube’s most popular channels overall:

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