Nintendo Forcing Ads On Some YouTube "Let's Play" Videos

Nintendo of America has muscled in on the world of "let's play" videos on YouTube, inserting commercials into user-made clips that are of "a certain length".

Seems that late last year the publisher registered with YouTube as a "partner", registering their content with the video service's database. While Nintendo claims (via Go Nintendo) that "most fan videos" will be unaffected by this, longer clips "featuring Nintendo-owned content" will now have Nintendo commercials inserted before/after/during them.

This move impacts those who make advertising money streaming "let's play" videos on YouTube, because those commercials no longer make money for the person streaming the clip.

Nintendo's full statement on the matter is below:

As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property. For more information please visit

Nintendo comments on YouTube 'Let's Play' situation, adding ads to certain videos [Go Nintendo]


    Wish they'd force themselves to make some f'n games.

      Luigi's Mansion 2, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Fire Emblem Awakening, Mario and Luigi Dream Team, Paper Mario Sticker Star, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, Pokemon X and Y.

      Oh yeah, clearly Nintendo has a big problem with a shortage of games this year.

    Doesn't seem like an unreasonable position for them to take and sets a fair precedent for any publishers who may want to capitalise on the use of their products in future "Let's Play" style videos (there seems to be an interesting grey area here already in that people can make money just for playing video games and adding their own colourful commentary over the top of it - see Pewdiepie, Tobuscus, Rooster Teeth/Achievement Hunter, etc.)

    I'm very ok with this, and it should be adopted for every game publisher/developer.
    Especially with the upcoming PS4 sharing videos ability

    I'd gladly sit through Nintendo ads, or even pay, just to have some of these people STFU during these Let's Play videos. If I wanted to listen to nausiating bullshit from someone playing a game, I'd watch the "Lets Play While I Bombard You With Utter Bullshit And Make You Dumber For Twenty Minutes" series. Or I'd play Call of Duty.

    Either way, ads are no big deal, and not even an issue if you're using ad blocker anyways.

      That's the point of Let's Play videos. It's a bunch of people, or a person, just talking and messing around while playing a game. Maybe look up other Lets Players if the ones you watch are bothering you.

      Last edited 16/05/13 5:20 pm

    Well, this is much more preferable than Nintendo having Youtube take down all videos with footage of their games.

    Achievement hunter has started doing this, 90 seconds of staring at a "why do you have adblocker?" screen or a 30 second ad...i choose the 90 seconds thanks.

    Kind of unfair if it means longer lets play videos no longer make the uploader money, seeing as the lets play video itself is an advertisement for a nintendo product, but egh..

      This. Exactly. I just assumed publishers were okay with these kinds of things because 'hey, free advertising'. Apparently they weren't satisfied with that. How will Let's Players be rewarded for their effort in recording and uploading these things? Doesn't this disincentivise free advertising and word-of-mouth? Stupid kind of dick move, if you ask me.

        Yes. This confuses me as well. They are taking money away from people who are in most cases their fans and giving them free advertising. I'm not even sure how this works legally because as far as I understood it footage of gameplay isn't protected by copyright.

    So why does Nintendo get exclusive rights to the advertising revenue on these videos? Surely the person who put together the video has some rights to the content here as well?

      Nope, it's in the T.o.S they agree to. If they don't like it they should piss off somewhere else.

      Well for starters, they own the copyright to the content in the video since they're the ones that put all the hours into making the game. If you're going to play games just to make money off of someone elses work then you're really playing games for all the wrong reasons.

      That and Youtube's guidelines for Monetization clearly states:
      ""Without the appropriate license from the publisher, use of video game or software user interface must be minimal. Video game content may be monetized if the associated step-by-step commentary is strictly tied to the live action being shown and provides instructional or educational value.

      Videos simply showing a user playing a videogame or the use of software for extended periods of time may not be accepted for monetization."

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