Nintendo Wants Its Cut

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Nintendo must really be starting to worry about the WiiU if they're opening up an extortion racket.

Call me naive but I always thought of Nintendo as the friendly company, willing to sit down and actually listen to gamers; if they'd requested a cut of ad revenue from LP'ers as a royalty fee for sampling their IP then I could square that away.

Instead they've decided to go with 'give me back my ball or I'll fucking sue the life out of you.' Not that I need anymore reason to lose interest in Nintendo, but this would be a pretty big nail in the coffin.

Dooly95:
Let me preface this with "I'm not a Nintendo fan." But, I guess it won't bloody matter because I'm going to be painted in that broad brush where I'm either with you, or not.

Did Ninty go overboard for chump change? Yes. Thousand times yes.

However, is everyone blowing this totally out of proportion? Yes.

One. If you are doing LPs for monetary gain, you are in the wrong field. There are different, better ways of getting revenue. From what I gather, LPs take a shit load of time to produce for minimal gain. If you are making money off this, then yes, I think you can try something else that Nintendo can't claim is theirs.

Duo. If you are doing LPs for fun, then how does this change anything? You still put in the effort, but you do it for the sake of your hobby, not because you want money. Will it leave a bad taste in your mouth? I guess, but then no one is forcing a gun to your head to make LPs of Mario or Zelda.

III. Free advertising. I would really like to see how LPs riffing on a game sell more games than professional marketing does. Like, actual numbers, not anecdotal. I mean, if this is true, then the whole marketing team should be fired.

Why were you looking into this LP for this game? Because you were interested in it initially, in which case the LP wouldn't have mattered. Or, you were interested in the people doing the LPs themselves, in which case it wouldn't have mattered what game they covered, because you're watching for the personalities. They could be commenting on a movie, a TV show, or a phone call.

tl;dr, Nintendo is being douches; everyone believes they're the next Hitler. Some perspective might be nice.

Uh... you know there's a difference between voluntary work and slavery right?

Let's say I like a product. Then I chose to tell people around me about the product and why I like it. I just want to have this product I like to be more successful.

Then the company that makes the product hears I'm doing this, approaches me, and says they love what I'm doing, but that I'll only be able to keep it up if I start taking their product and selling it directly to everyone I meet, and that all the profit I get from doing this should go directly to them. And they consider this a charitable act because they didn't just send me to jail for talking about their product without their permission.

There's a very different feel to knowing you're doing something out for yourself and then knowing you're just working for someone else for free while they heap all the benefits of your work and you get squat.

Then there's the people who're actually making money out of this. Regardless of they doing the LP to earn money, this just means that you can now monetize on Let's Plays. You're actually arguing that people shouldn't be paid if they like their work? It is still work. It is not all that different from parodies. Should all comedians now be paid squat and whenever they choose to make fun of something that exists, giving all their earnings to the subject of their work? This is mental. It is SOPA all over again.

I'd rather have the videos pulled. In one case, the company is just seeing the LP as a threat to their licenses and outright bullying their customers from using their product in that way. In the other, the company is trying to double their customers as slave labor being auctioned by YouTube, gift-wrapped for them to take and squeeze every penny they can out of them.

Just to make it clear, it wouldn't be a problem at all if they just negotiated instead of going straight to outright exploitation. But exploitation is just too damn easy to pass up, I guess.

I don't buy nearly as many games as many people, but almost every game I've bought in the last 2 or 3 years has been as a result of a let's play. Either that or I have checked out let's plays to confirm my interest in a game I heard about. About the only ones that weren't were part of Steam sale bundles with games I wanted to buy because of a let's play.

I don't think its stretching it to say that's fairly typical behaviour these days. Nintendo really are shooting themselves in the foot. At least they aren't taking the games down, but I wouldn't be surprised if lot of LPers take down their videos of Nintendo Games as a result of this.

EDIt spleng

I heard this thing a couple times that Japanese game developers in general (and Nintendo in particular) react extremely badly to criticism of any sort and just tend to shut it out to an extent even greater than your regular-ass "western" developers. It's probably just idle racism though.

... it's hard to comment on Shamus' writings because saying "hit the nail on the head" is a little cheap.

Imagine if you bought a car and decided to use it as a taxi. Suddenly the manufacturer turns up and wants the money you make since your passengers are getting to drive in it without buying it for themselves. Oh, and when you decide to sell it, they find a way to stop the keys working so the new owner has to pay them to get it to work again...

These seems like a situation that youtube have agreed into? So why not host the videos privately and generate revenue that way? You could even put up a youtube video advertising your own page? A suggestion is all. If you are providing a critical review, I'd imagine the material can be legally used, in the same way that critics use film clips etc. You'd just not be able to film the whole thing, but I refuse to believe that there are that many people willing to sit through 5+ hours of someone else playing and reviewing the game.

D-Mc-G:
Extremely well summed up Shamus, let's hope the Let's Players follow through on a non-nintendo policy across the board. Maybe the company will realize what an asinine mistake they made.

One of the LPers I follow has explicitly said that he will not stop LPing Nintendo games. I think he said the group he belongs to won't stop, either. I think he loves Nintendo's games too much, and that's what his audience expects.

Couldn't have said it any better myself Shamus. The one thing that I see a lot of is that people think that doing LPs is the easiest thing ever. Sure it is, if you want your video to look terrible. The amount of time LPers put into there editing can do a long way. In this day and age it is very difficult to get your Let's Plays noticed, and the cost of equipment can be staggering. Sure you can get by with just a Dazzle, which by itself is still around $50-75, and a terrible mic but you won't get many views and the end result will not look the best. When it comes down to the equipment to make high quality LPs like the ones people like Chuggaconroy make the costs are very high. An HD capture card, be it Roxio, Elgato, or an HD PVR, will cost you from $100-$250 at times. Then for high quality mics then the costs are more, Blue Yeti's for example go for about $150 or so. Then there is the editing software that you need because let's face it using Windows Live Movie Maker is better for you than using the editor's that an HD capture card comes with. Finally you have to put a lot of time into the editing to make the video presentable, and also come up with witty or informative commentary.
In summary doing LPs nowadays is actually a very long and time consuming process. I've been doing LPs myself for almost a year now and when I see people around here dismissing the effort many of us put into it and just say that it's easy kinda irritates me.

Now when it comes to the Nintendo thing it'd be reasonable for them to want just a cut of the profit, but the fact that they are taking all of the revenue, slapping an ad in front of the video you've created, and are basically being told "make more money for us" is sickening. Now I don't monetize my videos, never have for any of them, but I've actually had some Nintendo ads put in front of my Luigi's Mansions Let's Play despite me not monetize it and that infuriates me more. Really what I've not liked about YouTube when it comes to Let's Plays is when they made it so that every account is put under as a "partner" when in reality that's not true. The LPers who make actual money from this are part of networks like The Gaming Station, Fullscreen Arcade, Machinima, etc. The problem is that those networks use the money to sustain themselves so that they can grow. And it's not easy to get accepted to those networks a lot of the time.

All in all Nintendo may legally be in the right, but by doing this it's showing a bad side of them. Plus if this starts working what's gonna happen if other developers and publishers decide that they wanna do the same thing? What would happen to TGS or Roosterteeth then? I guess though perhaps some of the other LPers can go to Game Anyone, more traffic on Game Anyone wouldn't hurt at all.

So if I make a video that goes viral, wherein I'm doing some really nifty tricks with a hula hoop, does that mean the hula hoop companies suddenly want in on my revenue too, even though I've probably encouraged quite a few viewers to go out and buy a hula hoop (or 10... it was a really awesome trick) so they can reproduce what I've done?

SoDaRa:

Zombie_Moogle:
Thank you. Thank you so much for this article

I have seen far too many Nintendo apologists banging on about it being copyrighted material, it being Nintendo & YouTube's decision to make, & any other reason they can think up that won't alienate them at the next Nintendo press event.

I've observed shockingly few people publicly saying, right-wrong-or-indifferent, what a horrible idea this is.

I've watch many LP's that impressed me; I then purchased the game I just saw

Nintendo has been skating on the goodwill of nostalgia for a long time and, for a lot of fans, it just ran out.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm not a Nintendo fan, because I am, but I don't have a blind devotion. If they screw up, I will admit they screwed up (I'm looking at you Metroid: Other M). That said, I don't think what they did was this horrible.

I will admit that Nintendo really should have handled this better, but I don't think they're bad people because of it.
Nothing will change about this other than some people won't get paid to show someone else's content. When did Let's Plays become less about showing people a game you really love to other people and more about the cash? And is Nintendo really going to alienate all of its fans because some people aren't getting paid to play their games on Youtube? Is this going to affect the casual market? Are people going to stop buying their games simply because people aren't getting paid to play them? Are the videos going to be gone? No.

Was this handled very well, not really. But by people not getting paid to play the game, more quality LPs will probably be noticed because the person isn't playing it for the money, they're playing it because they like the game. At least Nintendo wasn't like Sega, who outright flagged, and as a result, destroyed several channels just for the mere mention of a game.
If you want more on this topic, I recommend you listen to this podcast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYplcqazWCA

OK, you need to stop talking. Right now. You're only making a fool of yourself by doing exactly what Shamus talked about in the article when he mentioned the apologists. I've been a Nintendo apologist for years, I've defended almost every bad decision they've made before, but this is a terrible, terrible one and there's no defending it.

First of all, it outs Nintendo as being completely out of touch with this generation. They've been more or less avoiding this barely, but this time it's very clear they have no idea how people behave.

Second, stop trying to pretend this is about LPers being greedy. Believe it or not, LPing is a job for a lot of people. That's what they do for a living. They don't "demand to get paid to play games", they're doing it to inform people, they have to compose and edit videos and music, they need to play correctly in order to not bore their audiences or discourage them and they paid for those games (it's not like Nintendo gave the games to them for free), and it's pretty much impossible to do this regularly AND having another job, so they're spending time and money in order to bring people free publicity for Nintendo, there's no situation here in which they are evil ones.

Also, what's with the ridiculous remark about fart jokes or making a profit about a game they hate? Who does that? If there's anyone who does that it's the absolute minority (as in, less than 0.001%). If you hate a game you're not going to be playing it for money when you can make the same money by playing a game you love. And if there's people who prefer to watch a stupid video with fart jokes than a good one about the same subject with interesting and funny commentary when both are available for free they're not enough to warrant a real profit for anyone.

Shamus here is making an intelligent analysis of a very real situation, while you're doing preposterous remarks based on ridiculous assumptions, faux logic and outright lies. Excuse me if I can't take your opinion as relevant.

Dreadjaws:
Second, stop trying to pretend this is about LPers being greedy. Believe it or not, LPing is a job for a lot of people. That's what they do for a living. They don't "demand to get paid to play games", they're doing it to inform people, they have to compose and edit videos and music, they need to play correctly in order to not bore their audiences or discourage them and they paid for those games (it's not like Nintendo gave the games to them for free), and it's pretty much impossible to do this regularly AND having another job, so they're spending time and money in order to bring people free publicity for Nintendo, there's no situation here in which they are evil ones.

Lping is a job? No, no, no. It's a hobby that you might get lucky and make a bit of money off of. It doesn't matter how much work you put into an LP, the entire foundation of the medium is based off of skirting copyright. Dropping out of a real job to make silly internet videos then being screwed when your revenue dries up doesn't make you a victim, it makes you an idiot with an incredible lack of foresight.

SoDaRa:
Nothing will change about this other than some people won't get paid to show someone else's content.

. . . with their commentary thus they will stop covering someone else's content.

Let's Plays boil down to free advertisement, and essentially Nintendo is expecting ad revenue for their free advertisement - which is incident enough not to give them anymore free advertisement.

Verlander:
These seems like a situation that youtube have agreed into? So why not host the videos privately and generate revenue that way? You could even put up a youtube video advertising your own page? A suggestion is all. If you are providing a critical review, I'd imagine the material can be legally used, in the same way that critics use film clips etc. You'd just not be able to film the whole thing, but I refuse to believe that there are that many people willing to sit through 5+ hours of someone else playing and reviewing the game.

Video hosting is insanely expensive because of bandwith costs, and will be until some sort of peer to peer distribution becomes commonplace. Most people just couldn't afford the cost of hosting their own videos. Youtube still doesn't make a profit, I believe it barely covers expenses in a good quarter. Google's muscle and massive cash reserves are what kept it running for a long time.

This is mistaking cause-and-effect.

Which is more reasonable:
1. Let's Plays bring games into public culture.
Or
2. Games bring Let's Plays into public culture.

I strongly suspect it's Door #2. While obviously there's some give-and-take both ways, the truth of the matter is Let's Plays are built on the premise of interesting games.

Would a community have evolved around Team Fortress 2 if it were a run of the mill, nitty-gritty FPS? Probably not. It's a zany over-the-top game that encourages zany-over-the-top commentaries and memetic devices.

So, I conclude that Let's Plays of Nintendo will continue to be made so long as there is Nintendo content to discuss.

Honestly I don't think it is unfair that nintendo wants money for it, but taking all of the money? That is just stupid, since then people stop making videos about their games, and nintendo is back to square one making no money of youtube vids, except now they don't even get free advertisement. Maybe takeing a small cut like 15-20% percent I don't what it should be, just an example. But as I've said I don't think it is unfair for nintendo to want a small cut.

I rarely watch YouTube videos for the games featured in them, I watch them because of the personalities behind the videos. The best videos are made by people who take a lot of care in either editing the video or having enough experience with it that they can ensure the content is good in a single take. If these people, many of which have made this a job, can't make money from the videos they will stop making them. At which point the only videos to get put up will be amateurish and poorly made. Nintendo should consider which is more beneficial or damaging to their IP.

f1r2a3n4k5:

So, I conclude that Let's Plays of Nintendo will continue to be made so long as there is Nintendo content to discuss.

Just not on Youtube, or without Nintendo's permission.
And it doesn't take a genius to figure out what happens when you need a company's permission to talk about their products.

C'mon Shamus, I consider you guys over at Spoiler Warning just as good as Game Grumps or TBFP.
You guys just focus more on story instead of comedy. Where's all the Bioshock episodes?

EDIT
There's two kinds of people who watch LPs. People who have already played the game and people who don't care about having parts spoiled.

SandroTheMaster:

SoDaRa:
I remember a time when people weren't paid to do Let's Plays. They made the videos solely because they wanted to show people a game they may not have heard about. Now, when you tell people they aren't getting paid, they're all butt hurt about it and refuse to play the game, even if they love it. If getting paid is the reason you do video LP's then I don't think you should be doing them in the first place. Also, plenty of people WILL be doing Nintendo games after this. Not because they get paid to do it, but because they love doing it. At least Nintendo isn't being like Sega, and just removing the videos outright without warning and shutting channels down.

If you want a really good discussion on this, I recommend this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYplcqazWCA

SoDaRa:

I'm not going to pretend that I'm not a Nintendo fan, because I am, but I don't have a blind devotion. If they screw up, I will admit they screwed up (I'm looking at you Metroid: Other M). That said, I don't think what they did was this horrible.

I will admit that Nintendo really should have handled this better, but I don't think they're bad people because of it.
Nothing will change about this other than some people won't get paid to show someone else's content. When did Let's Plays become less about showing people a game you really love to other people and more about the cash? And is Nintendo really going to alienate all of its fans because some people aren't getting paid to play their games on Youtube? Is this going to affect the casual market? Are people going to stop buying their games simply because people aren't getting paid to play them? Are the videos going to be gone? No.

Was this handled very well, not really. But by people not getting paid to play the game, more quality LPs will probably be noticed because the person isn't playing it for the money, they're playing it because they like the game. At least Nintendo wasn't like Sega, who outright flagged, and as a result, destroyed several channels just for the mere mention of a game.
If you want more on this topic, I recommend you listen to this podcast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYplcqazWCA

This thinking of yours is disingenuous. The problem here is that Nintendo just wade in and demanded all the revenue for the videos. This is not all that different from a musician to go to a movie that used their piece and requesting that they get all the movie's revenue in order to allow licensing their music. It is to spit in the face of the people making a great effort to showcase your game. And even worse, if people make a tribute for a music for the musician for nothing and then the musician but-in and demanded to be paid for that. It'd not be much of an issue if Nintendo requested a cut and NOT started making revenue off the people who were already doing it for free.

It is a choice not to place advertising.

I'm saying this as an LPer. I'm making a LP of Supreme Commander on Something Awful because I love the game and I'm not being paid a cent. But if at any moment JoWood or Square Enix (whichever holder would have the right to call it since it's... complicated) demanded that I start placing adverts somehow to pay them off, I'd just stop it altogether. Not because I want the cut, but because this shows spectacular bad faith and disrespect on their part for my work. It takes anything between 8-20 hours of work to produce each update. And it is exhausting. I'd not stand this kind of blatant disrespect and money grab after all that effort. Many of my followers bought the game because of my Let's Play, but if the company doesn't want this kind of exposure without ALSO getting something more out of it, it is their loss.

Except in this analogy, the LPers who want to be paid are the equivalent of the musician who demands compensation for the entire work despite only having the rights to one aspect of it. It doesn't really work anyway, because licensing agreements tend to be made before release and if one party finds the agreement too onerous it doesn't go through.

Talking about people who bought a game because of a LP they watched is always anecdotal, I've seen LPs that inspired me to purchase a game as well as ones that provided enough of the experience I felt buying was unneeded. Not to mention LPs of older games not being sold retail or digitally where the creators won't see any money regardless of how many people decide to buy it.

Atmos Duality:

f1r2a3n4k5:

So, I conclude that Let's Plays of Nintendo will continue to be made so long as there is Nintendo content to discuss.

Just not on Youtube, or without Nintendo's permission.
And it doesn't take a genius to figure out what happens when you need a company's permission to talk about their products.

Videos of Nintendo's content are still being allowed, the uploader just won't get ad revenue if they use too much of it as footage.

WraithGadra:

Videos of Nintendo's content are still being allowed, the uploader just won't get ad revenue if they use too much of it as footage.

That's cold comfort for anyone who does it for a living.
Kill the ad-revenue, kill their incentive to produce Lets Play videos based on Nintendo's games.
Which in turn, eliminates the ad-revenue Nintendo would be receiving from those videos.

Lose-lose.

Atmos Duality:

WraithGadra:

Videos of Nintendo's content are still being allowed, the uploader just won't get ad revenue if they use too much of it as footage.

That's cold comfort for anyone who does it for a living.
Kill the ad-revenue, kill their incentive to produce Lets Play videos based on Nintendo's games.
Which in turn, eliminates the ad-revenue Nintendo would be receiving from those videos.

Lose-lose.

That's the problem with making a living from someone else's content. The issue is the law, not Nintendo asserting its rights.

WraithGadra:

That's the problem with making a living from someone else's content. The issue is the law, not Nintendo asserting its rights.

And we all know the law is absolutely right and always in the best interests of everyone, right?
Sorry, I'm taking "logic" over blind submission to the law in this case; especially when said laws are in dire need of revision.

Nintendo stands to gain nothing from this, legal rights or not.

Atmos Duality:

WraithGadra:

That's the problem with making a living from someone else's content. The issue is the law, not Nintendo asserting its rights.

And we all know the law is absolutely right and always in the best interests of everyone, right?
Sorry, I'm taking "logic" over blind submission to the law in this case; especially when said laws are in dire need of revision.

Nintendo stands to gain nothing from this, legal rights or not.

Obviously, if there's an issue with the law you should work to change it. Acknowledging where the problem lies is not blind submission. A lot of people are vastly over-inflating the importance of let's play when discussing this.

Dreadjaws:

SoDaRa:

I'm not going to pretend that I'm not a Nintendo fan, because I am, but I don't have a blind devotion. If they screw up, I will admit they screwed up (I'm looking at you Metroid: Other M). That said, I don't think what they did was this horrible.

I will admit that Nintendo really should have handled this better, but I don't think they're bad people because of it.
Nothing will change about this other than some people won't get paid to show someone else's content. When did Let's Plays become less about showing people a game you really love to other people and more about the cash? And is Nintendo really going to alienate all of its fans because some people aren't getting paid to play their games on Youtube? Is this going to affect the casual market? Are people going to stop buying their games simply because people aren't getting paid to play them? Are the videos going to be gone? No.

Was this handled very well, not really. But by people not getting paid to play the game, more quality LPs will probably be noticed because the person isn't playing it for the money, they're playing it because they like the game. At least Nintendo wasn't like Sega, who outright flagged, and as a result, destroyed several channels just for the mere mention of a game.
If you want more on this topic, I recommend you listen to this podcast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYplcqazWCA

OK, you need to stop talking. Right now. You're only making a fool of yourself by doing exactly what Shamus talked about in the article when he mentioned the apologists. I've been a Nintendo apologist for years, I've defended almost every bad decision they've made before, but this is a terrible, terrible one and there's no defending it.

First of all, it outs Nintendo as being completely out of touch with this generation. They've been more or less avoiding this barely, but this time it's very clear they have no idea how people behave.

Second, stop trying to pretend this is about LPers being greedy. Believe it or not, LPing is a job for a lot of people. That's what they do for a living. They don't "demand to get paid to play games", they're doing it to inform people, they have to compose and edit videos and music, they need to play correctly in order to not bore their audiences or discourage them and they paid for those games (it's not like Nintendo gave the games to them for free), and it's pretty much impossible to do this regularly AND having another job, so they're spending time and money in order to bring people free publicity for Nintendo, there's no situation here in which they are evil ones.

Also, what's with the ridiculous remark about fart jokes or making a profit about a game they hate? Who does that? If there's anyone who does that it's the absolute minority (as in, less than 0.001%). If you hate a game you're not going to be playing it for money when you can make the same money by playing a game you love. And if there's people who prefer to watch a stupid video with fart jokes than a good one about the same subject with interesting and funny commentary when both are available for free they're not enough to warrant a real profit for anyone.

Shamus here is making an intelligent analysis of a very real situation, while you're doing preposterous remarks based on ridiculous assumptions, faux logic and outright lies. Excuse me if I can't take your opinion as relevant.

I will admit that I didn't really present my argument very well or with the most understanding tone. I probably should have taken more time to think out how I wanted to say what I said and that has definitely hurt my case. But at the same time, I'm not going to "pretend" that I have my opinion just because I want good will from Nintendo. I have my opinion because that is what I think is true, not because Nintendo pays me to have it. Do I actually think Nintendo is doing this all because there are a lot of people making videos of their games who actually hate them? Hell No! It was an extreme example, and while I didn't present it all that well, it was to show that there is a line that a developer has a right to say they don't want a person to make a profit off of their game. Not to say that is the line, but if you don't like how something you put a lot of time into is being presented, a copyright holder should have a right to say no.

FYI, I can poke just as many holes into your argument as you did to mine.
"First of all, it outs Nintendo as being completely out of touch with this generation. They've been more or less avoiding this barely, but this time it's very clear they have no idea how people behave." I'm sorry but what about this situation proves that Nintendo has no idea how people behave? Are you implying they didn't know people wouldn't like this? Because anyone with half a brain can tell you cutting off some people's revenue isn't going to make them happy.

Regarding your run-on-sentence of a second paragraph (seriously would it kill you to use periods?). I don't know where you get the idea that I'm "pretending", my opinion may not be yours but that doesn't mean I live in some fantasy land and ignore reality completely. And having a job kind of means that you expect to be paid from it to some extent doesn't it? Nobody works at Meijer as a clerk just because its fun. Nor have I ever heard of someone composing music for a LP. Most people just use the in-game audio or some non-copyrighted song when they need one. And if you need to be good at playing the game in order to be a good LPer, then there aren't many good LPers (Actually before I leave that note, I'm not saying you have to the best person at the game to be a good LPer, but if you die 20 times in a row and don't cut that footage out, I'm sorry, but you're going to bore the audience to tears). When in my argument did I say that Nintendo gave people the games for free? The extreme thing for Nintendo to do would be to take away their games, which would be against the law. Finally, it IS possible for a person to do LPs and maintain a regular job. Is it easy? No, but it can be done. And on that topic, LPers have no job security. There is no insurance that they will make money, or that they are allowed to do it. So I do commend LPers who do it, but I wouldn't want to tell a child that its a good job to go into.

Finally, all I have to say about the 3rd paragraph is this. PewDiePie is only one human being I will admit, but I will not "pretend" that he is funny, insightful, gives a damn about the games he's playing, and isn't in it for the money. He may pretend that he isn't, but there is proof to the contrary. He is a complete hack along with TobyGames. I know saying that won't make me popular or make anyone accept my opinion, but I'm not going to let that change my opinion. I have every right to say what I think and I will not shut up just because I am unpopular, but I still firmly believe in my opinion because I do. Besides we wouldn't be anywhere if it weren't for the people who went against the crowd despite violent opposition. So :P

I am commenting on a real situation, I respect Shamus does have his points, but that doesn't mean I need to follow him blindly without my own thoughts. I'm sorry if I didn't present my point very well, but I don't think anything I said was an outright lie or founded of faux logic, and I'm sorry if you can't take my opinion as relevant to the conversation.

SoDaRa:
I remember a time when people weren't paid to do Let's Plays. They made the videos solely because they wanted to show people a game they may not have heard about.

I remember a time when I wasn't paid to make games. I made video games solely because I wanted to share an idea or experience with people.

SoDaRa:

Now, when you tell people they aren't getting paid, they're all butt hurt about it and refuse to play the game, even if they love it.

Some people tell me they won't ever pay so I can turn my hobby into a job and make better games. They say I'm just "butt hurt" about them pirating it, even if they love the game.

If getting paid is the reason you do video LP's then I don't think you should be doing them in the first place.

I agree that if getting paid is the reason I make video games, then I shouldn't be making games in the first place. I'm making games for the love of it, but getting paid will let me work on Database Backends less and allow me to make more games.

Also, plenty of people WILL be doing Nintendo games after this. Not because they get paid to do it, but because they love doing it.

Some think it doesn't matter if I don't ever make any new games. Other part-time game devs don't get paid to do it, they just love doing it too. It's sad to think only folks that have money and time to burn will be able to make games...

At least Nintendo isn't being like Sega, and just removing the videos outright without warning and shutting channels down.

At least the pirates aren't actually Pirates, and just raping me in my bum and scuttling my ship out from under me.

The point is that you've come to a game journalism website, to make a foolish claim that folks doing game journalism shouldn't try to make money by doing it... Are you daft? As someone who makes games I've put a damn video encoder IN THE ENGINE so that even folks with crappy computers can render out HD WebM videos (no screen recorder or AV capture required). Just because "Video Game" has "video" in the title doesn't mean that's all they are. A video is not the game. A video may contain copyrighted elements of the game, but it also contains copyrighted elements of narration or critique or satire, etc. It's a combined work. If you didn't think commentary about games was worth anything, then YOU WOULDN'T BE HERE.

VortexCortex:

The point is that you've come to a game journalism website, to make a foolish claim that folks doing game journalism shouldn't try to make money by doing it... Are you daft? As someone who makes games I've put a damn video encoder IN THE ENGINE so that even folks with crappy computers can render out HD WebM videos (no screen recorder or AV capture required). Just because "Video Game" has "video" in the title doesn't mean that's all they are. A video is not the game. A video may contain copyrighted elements of the game, but it also contains copyrighted elements of narration or critique or satire, etc. It's a combined work. If you didn't think commentary about games was worth anything, then YOU WOULDN'T BE HERE.

You, Sir, are a very eloquent debunker. I'm making an LP with no money involved, it is very hard work, I do it for love, but I don't really need the money right now. Heck, I've actually spent about 80US$ so far in different programs to help me make the LP, not to count the money I put on the game (multiple times, because I bought it on the retail box, on Impulse before being sold out and finally on Steam). But I believe good LPers should be compensated for their work not have all the revenue stole right from underneath them. Nintendo are the ones acting like the real pirates. You just hit the point right on the nail.

It's funny that you mentioned Two Best Friends Play, because I only found out about them because I was looking up a Nintendo game. Without nintendo's marketing machine promoting a game I wanted to know more about, I would never have found their channels and contributed to their eyeballs count. Free advertising can work both ways.

Does anyone remember Mystery Science Theater 3000? They really made those terrible B Movies funnier by adding commentary over it. But do you know why they only did B moves; it was because those licenses were all they could afford. That is why their RiffTrax of recent big movies are audio only. And why they could not do a live riff show of Twilight. Even if you put in a lot of work, just adding commentary will not make it transformative enough for it to count as fair use.

If I make a word-for-word audio book of the latest Harry Potter book, can I sell it without obtaining the proper licenses? I would have clearly put in a lot of work, and it's not even in the same media (books you read with your eyes, audio books you listen to with your ears). But if I try to the Rowling estate will come down on me like a ton of bricks, even though she's probably richer than the Queen of England. Because if she's ok with me making money off of her IP, then she's ok with anyone making money off of her IP. Which is one of the aspects of copyright law - if you do not enforce your copyright then you can lose that right to enforce it.

Aside: can I make DVDs of all the vidoes on this site and sell them? I will make sure to put in a lot of work and it will be free advertising!

After a move like this, Nintendo basically deserves what it gets. As Shamus points out, they are basically denying themselves free advertising that is better than anything they could buy; in order to extract chump change from YouTube ads. But then, if you look at the online features of the Wii and Wii U, it's unclear if Nintendo even understands how to do anything involving the Internet.

pyrus7:

If I make a word-for-word audio book of the latest Harry Potter book, can I sell it without obtaining the proper licenses? I would have clearly put in a lot of work, and it's not even in the same media (books you read with your eyes, audio books you listen to with your ears). But if I try to the Rowling estate will come down on me like a ton of bricks, even though she's probably richer than the Queen of England. Because if she's ok with me making money off of her IP, then she's ok with anyone making money off of her IP. Which is one of the aspects of copyright law - if you do not enforce your copyright then you can lose that right to enforce it.

Aside: can I make DVDs of all the vidoes on this site and sell them? I will make sure to put in a lot of work and it will be free advertising!

I think you missed one of his points, which is this: Watching other people play a game is not the same experience as playing it yourself. If I watch a video from this site on DVD, it's the same experience as watching it on the site. But a Let's Play is different because the fun part of watching a LP is listening to the commenters, while the fun part of a game is *playing it yourself*. They are two different experiences.

VortexCortex:

SoDaRa:
I remember a time when people weren't paid to do Let's Plays. They made the videos solely because they wanted to show people a game they may not have heard about.

I remember a time when I wasn't paid to make games. I made video games solely because I wanted to share an idea or experience with people.

SoDaRa:

Now, when you tell people they aren't getting paid, they're all butt hurt about it and refuse to play the game, even if they love it.

Some people tell me they won't ever pay so I can turn my hobby into a job and make better games. They say I'm just "butt hurt" about them pirating it, even if they love the game.

If getting paid is the reason you do video LP's then I don't think you should be doing them in the first place.

I agree that if getting paid is the reason I make video games, then I shouldn't be making games in the first place. I'm making games for the love of it, but getting paid will let me work on Database Backends less and allow me to make more games.

Also, plenty of people WILL be doing Nintendo games after this. Not because they get paid to do it, but because they love doing it.

Some think it doesn't matter if I don't ever make any new games. Other part-time game devs don't get paid to do it, they just love doing it too. It's sad to think only folks that have money and time to burn will be able to make games...

At least Nintendo isn't being like Sega, and just removing the videos outright without warning and shutting channels down.

At least the pirates aren't actually Pirates, and just raping me in my bum and scuttling my ship out from under me.

The point is that you've come to a game journalism website, to make a foolish claim that folks doing game journalism shouldn't try to make money by doing it... Are you daft? As someone who makes games I've put a damn video encoder IN THE ENGINE so that even folks with crappy computers can render out HD WebM videos (no screen recorder or AV capture required). Just because "Video Game" has "video" in the title doesn't mean that's all they are. A video is not the game. A video may contain copyrighted elements of the game, but it also contains copyrighted elements of narration or critique or satire, etc. It's a combined work. If you didn't think commentary about games was worth anything, then YOU WOULDN'T BE HERE.

Merely being combined with commentary isn't enough to grant you rights to make money from someone else's copyrighted material, otherwise recording yourself singing other people's songs and making money for the performance without a previous licensing agreement would be allowed and it isn't. There's a reason most reviewers don't show the entirety of the work they're critiquing.

Also, are you comparing making videos to piracy?

I don't see why people who put an effort into doing something and have people willing to pay for it shouldn't get paid for their efforts. Or that somehow because someone enjoys what they are doing they should only be doing it for free? If I buy a spade and open a gardening business why should the makers of the spade expect a cut. They got their cut when I bought the spade. Reading an audio book would replace buying and reading the book as would recording and selling a cover version of a song. Watching a game commentary however doesn't replace playing the game and it's not something Nintendo does themselves so they're not losing money. They're just being arsey that someone has found a way to make money from a product they bought from them. They're not alone in this and just about every big company is the same. I know of a business that runs airsoft games and for a laugh they wanted to run a game using Nerf Guns. You would think that all you needed to do was buy a load of Nerf Guns but no, the Nerf Company also wanted a large cut of any money they make and so it never happened. End result - the Nerf Guns aren't bought and everyone loses. I teach Fitness classes and buy specially mixed music to do this. The music licensing business (PPL) decides that buying the music from them and the yearly fee I pay isn't enough and so they now expect what works out as a 10-20% cut of the fee from every class. End result - the company that produces the music I buy switches to PPL free music (which is adequate but not as good), PPL ends up with less money and everybody loses.

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