Big YouTuber Says He Won’t Cover Nintendo Anymore

Big YouTuber Says He Won’t Cover Nintendo Anymore

Joe “Angry Joe” Vargas, who commands nearly two million subscribers on YouTube, has decided to stop covering Nintendo games, following a dispute over a Mario Party 10 video.

Angry Joe’s Mario Party 10 video was flagged by YouTube, and while it’s possible for him to keep the video online, he can’t make money off it. It’s easy to imagine why he’s upset.

He tweeted about the decision a few days ago:

Nintendo launched an early version of its Creators Program earlier this year, which allows YouTubers to release videos with Nintendo games, so long as they share some of the revenue. However, not every Nintendo game qualifies for it, and Mario Party 10 currently doesn’t.

Why? Good question. Nintendo’s decision to step into YouTube monetisation, a topic most companies have backed away from, has generated more questions than answers for creatives.

Though Angry Joe vowed to stop covering Nintendo games, he did release a final rant about the company’s policies.

“I hope Nintendo enjoyed the free ad revenue I generated for them, the positive coverage I generated for them,” he said. “I hope they really enjoyed that because after this, that’s the last of the Nintendo videos I do.”

Of course, even though Angry Joe has decided to wield whatever power he has by taking a stand through his channel, this tweet made me chuckle:

He’s not wrong.


  • Nintendoom?

    I thought the games Nintendo wouldn’t monetise were due to their third party content (see sega/capcom/konami for ssb). Legally that makes the most sense, and as an official program which tries to do away with the grey area, they’re obligated to protect the rights of their partners.

    I shed no tears for anyone getting pissy over this. New business models are being tested, there’s always going to be failures and adjustments. Someone had to step up and start making clear legal responsibility for this “industry”, and Nintendo is trying something. Whatever, I’m sure Mario parry will survive YouTube.

    • Why does everyone think people care about their tears? How self indulgent are we?

    • Being a slight devils advocate here…

      If that was the case then wouldn’t Capcom and NetherRealm studios be all over Youtube like fire ants on ice cream on a hot day?

      There is tons of MvC and MK vs DC LP’s all over Youtube and these haven’t had the same heavy handed approach Ninty is doing. These are games w/ multiple licenses such as Lego games. Now from a business perspective I would understand this approach. From a marketing and consumer perspective however it’s the equivalent of long term phyrric victory.

      And as mentioned in the video had EA or any other major publisher even tried the same scheme they would have been crucified overnight. Meanwhile all Ninty gets is a huge shrug of indifference at worst…

  • Still can’t get over the fact that someone on youtube makes the news over something like this. Whoopdee ****ing doo

    • It is someone with nearly 2M subscribers and with over 300M views. How many gaming websites get 2 million visits a month?

      • Well, quite a bit actually get way over 2 million visits a month. But, with the YouTuber’s that do get quite a bit of views/visits each month, out of those millions how many of them are unique users and not the same people over and over again. Just in the top 5 of the 15 Most Popular Video Game Websites, IGN receives an estimated 20,500,000 unique visitors a month. But even at its lowest visits per month – SuperCheats pulls around 1.5 million a month. Within the top 15, the unique views range from 20,500,000 IGN and all the way down to 1.5 a month SuperCheats

    • He might not be big now, but Youtube is increasingly the platform that launches new careers in entertainment.

      Case in point – Grace Helbig. A youtuber with a similar number of subscribers (just over 2mil), just got her own talk show in ‘prime time’ on the E! channel in the US gives you an idea of the potential career trajectory for someone who gets big on Youtube.

      You might chuckle at a ‘talk show’ but a quick google of the channel indicates E! has coverage in something like 94 million homes in America. Then think about your Ellen’s and Oprah’s of the talkshow world…

      • Angry Joe isn’t exactly new. He’s been doing his thing for years now as part of the That Guy with the Glasses group – well before the new crop of Pewdiepie wannabes.

        • I wasn’t addressing that it’s Angry Joe… Responding to comment about youtuber making the news over what he’s done/doing.

          Youtube’s reach is constantly growing and YouTube ‘stars’ will show up more and more in the news.

    • @cufcfan616 why not construct something meaningful yourself other than criticize the successes of others.

      • I was criticising Kotaku’s subjects for articles. Is it really newsworthy that someone isn’t able to make money off a Mario Party 10 video? This guy owes his success to games developers but now he’s having a go at them like a petulant child and that apparently demands a news article from professional ‘journalists’ (term used very lightly).

        As for me, do you have any suggestions what I should do with my life? Clearly you’ve deemed me as a failure despite knowing nothing about me or what I’ve done or will do. I do so wish to please online people

        • One could argue Nintendo (certainly many other games developers as you’re talking about) owes a large part of their success to the media. Youtube is a modern from (and one of the biggest) of games media. By your logic, we wouldn’t be having this discussion, because Kotaku wouldn’t exist.

        • Angry Joe is really good at what he does, I can see how you think this isn’t noteworthy but this dude is absolutely awesome and he works very hard to make those videos. Just watch a couple of reviews, I don’t know about you but he mimics my every thought good and bad about the games I play. Plus you know.. he clearly doesn’t take money from publishers for reviews. ( No offence Kotaku, I know you need to make money I’m not blaming you but its just nice to have an actual persons opinion with detailed information.. I swear if I hear another IGN review with no relevant information but say bullshit buzz words like Dynamic gameplay & Battlefield Hardline isn’t a cheaply made full priced piece of DLC crap.. legit watch angry Joes review then watch IGN’s its actually kinda hilarious to see the difference in reviews.

          • I’ll be honest, I haven’t read a proper games review in years through a combination of (ironically) Youtube videos and not wanting to spoil too much of a game. Back in the 90s you’d rely on a few games magazines for reviews (and more importantly demo discs come the PSOne). With those being the major media for games, if they started giving bad review to good games or vice-versa, people would stop buying them.

            With the internet, every man and his dog can have an opinion (and does, I like many others will voice mine in one way or another for better or worse) and it isn’t easy to pick out the good eggs from the bad ones. Recently, the websites that replaced the magazines have done as you’ve said and are more in the pocket of developers. I do find it strange though in this day and age that Kotaku freely comment about Youtube reviewers when they are basically their competitors. More articles about Youtubers on Kotaku means fewer articles about reviews and game news. That’s what I’m opposed to I guess, work hour(s) spent on talking about someone not being able to talk about a game on his Youtube channel are hours not talking to games developers or actually playing and reviewing a game themselves. I guess Kotaku is a ‘blog’ rather than an online magazine though and so it’s easier to let someone else do they work and then ‘re-blog’ it on here later on

          • I think the last few months most gaming journalism sites have been scraping the barrel, not their fault but it just seems like the length between good games being released are getting longer and longer.

            Seriously though if you want actual journalism Angry Joe is the best once you get used to him blow up mid review.

        • There’s lots of articles on this web site that have no interest to me. I just don’t click them.

    • Nintendo is using their censorship powers to block anything not approved of them. The Nintendo Affiliates program also cover reviews and critique. If they wanted to, they could block all negative reviews of their games and control the message. That’s how bad the Nintendo Affiliates program is, and how dangerous of a precedent is sets. Programs like these need to be burnt at the stake, and fast.

      At the end of the day, making videos for YouTube is Joe Vargas’s job. He is employed by Polaris and YouTube. If he can’t make videos, he can’t pay his rent. This is something that has personally affecting him now, and it has affected him before. He was one of the hardest hit by the December Massacre of 2013. It hit him right in the bank account, and delayed videos for months.

  • I can’t be the only one thinking that yes, this is interesting, but also saying who the fuck cares it’s a guy on YouTube? I’d give equally as little shits if Kim K. (not even gonna try and spell that last name) decided she wouldn’t play Nintendo games anymore.

    Someone out there cares about this guy, apparently 2 million someones, but I ain’t one of them.

  • Wow. What a loss for nintendo.
    Who will yell in a rage about there games now???

    • PS and MS execs when they get all teary about why people still play nintendo games even though the PS/X1 “have the best graphics and exclusive content and all our marketing bullshit, nobody plays games because they are fun anymore right?”

      • Those execs probably don’t care since the PS and X1 have both outsold the Wii U despite being released a year behind so people are still buying their stuff.

    • Very much this – he has not been relevant for two years now, having eschewed his reviews for lazy LP content

    • I might have to agree with you. I used to be a big fan of his stuff, but after he was hit hard with copyright strikes in 2013 and that derailed his channel for a bit. Once he finally seemed to have gotten the debacle sorted he stopped making reviews for months, replacing it with LP content that is 300% easier to make, but far far less engaging. It seems he’s gone back to reviews, but I can’t be bothered watching them at this point. I waited too long.

      • The problem is YouTube’s complicated/semi-hidden payment model pushes him towards that pretty hard. Let’s Plays are pretty much YouTube’s idea of perfect content and over the past year or two it’s been made harder and harder to get by on YouTube with content that doesn’t fit that ideal. Reviews are great but if you want YouTube to give you money or promote your content in the suggestions you pretty much need to release multiple mid-length videos every day. Reviews don’t seem like much, but they require a lot of research, editing and scripting so it’s hard to get even just decent length ones three out per week.
        It’s very interesting to read about how the changes to their various algorithms impact established content creators. A lot of people wake up one morning to find their profitable, well recieved venture has been pushed back into non-profit/hobby territory through minor alterations to the way YouTube determines the value of the content. It comes off as lazy because Let’s Plays are so easy to do, but like a lot of established YouTubers who turned to Let’s Plays he probably prefers to do the content you enjoyed, but that content no longer pays the bills.
        If you don’t like Let’s Plays there’s no reason to continue to support these channels, it just sucks that people have been pushed into doing it to keep their channels alive while their audience thinks they’re just being lazy and chasing easy Pewdiepie money.

        • It’s not that I don’t like let’s plays, (I love my Jesse Cox) I just find him to be an extremely lackluster let’s player. It’s definitely not his forte.

          It’s such a shame what the algorithms have pushed people to. But maybe he could do a Patreon thing to keep him alive in between videos?
          However, his demographic at the moment are probably the people who like his let’s plays by now, so I guess it might harm his Patreon donations.

  • It’s hard to find sympathy for someone who literally just filmed themselves playing a video game and expected Nintendo to let him get away with monetising it.

  • He’s barely covered Nintendo anyway. Also in that video he says he bought the Wii U but in a previous video he said someone donated that to him? I smell a conspiracy. 9/11 was an inside job and actually was about ethics in journalism.

    • Yes, I wanted to mention that he’s only tried to upload 2 videos so far (mario kart 8 and mario party 10), and both were slapped with a copyright notice after he tried to monetise them (why he thought doing it a second time without changing anything would be different I dont know).
      And he did mention before he had it donated so I feel sorry for those that put their money towards it.

      Im sure he’d be singing a different tune with the amiibos if he wasnt raging at Nintendo (he is also collector in some ways)

    • He did buy it, the money was donated.
      The point he is making is that money was spent etc. (Of course he could of just said that anyway to avoid confusion)

      I do enjoy his reviews but I wouldn’t mind knowing if he attempted to join the Creator Program before trying this otherwise he is kind of shooting himself in the foot. I get he doesn’t agree with the program but if you know it exists and attempt to bypass it then this result is kind of expected.

    • I’d say there’s some legitimate ethical concerns surrounding youtube commentary, developers and monetisation. Hence you’ll never see #TheyWhoShaltNotbeNamed give it a second glance.

      • Nintendo holds a scary amount of power in this situation. It wouldn’t be hard for them to abuse it.

  • I’ve seen this article pop up on a few gaming sites and each iteration is bereft of important detail.

    Is the issue that Angry Joe’s video was registered with Nintendo’s Creator Program but couldn’t claim ad revenue because Mario Party 10 isn’t a sanctioned title?
    Did Angry Joe claim ad-revenue,thus causing Nintendo to make a claim?

    Details from those questions would clarify the positions of both parties in this event.
    Currently it appears that Angry Joe claimed ad revenue outside of the Creator Program and then chucked a piss baby fit when Nintendo took action. It might explain why no other reviews for Mario Party 10 have been affected.

    • So as I understand it, he would have known in advance that MP10 was unsanctioned? then he went and tried anyway and got busted? If so then stick to your guns nintendo

    • Reviews almost never constitute valid DMCA claims regardless of the wishes of the owner. Review is protected speech and protected fair use under US law. I don’t know if Joe’s video was a review or just a play session, just commenting on reviews in general.

      The problem with Youtube’s handling of DMCA claims is the burden is placed on the video creator, not the claimant. Anyone can claim DMCA on any video whether you had something to do with it or not and the video will be pulled until the creator proves the DMCA claim is invalid. That has led to several high profile cases of DMCA being abused to silence criticism.

      • Great point about the standing of reviews regarding DMCA takedowns.
        It would be interesting to see how well Nintendo’s claim would have held up if the main point of contention is unlicensed monetisation, given how young that area is.

  • I think most people are missing the point here. At a time when the market is increasingly saturated with game titles (many of whom struggle to distinguish themselves from predecessors), the opinions of influential youtube reviewers do matter.

    Reviewers provide marketing and hopefully, positive reviews. And in return, the pay off is that they get access to early releases and they can monetise their videos. For popular youtubers, this is their livelihood.

    In this case, Nintendo appears to be saying, “Give us free marketing and we’ll keep the cash too.” And Angry Joe say No.

      • I don’t think the loss of Angry Joe will cause Nintendo to go bankrupt either. But given that they have declared financial losses for several years and are currently losing the console wars, I would suggest that every little bit helps. And alienating someone who has influence over thousands of consumers over a small amount of money is not good business.

    • How are people still confused about the Nintendo Creator Program?

      Before the program = no ad revenue for uploader. Claims for ad revenue are met with takedowns.
      During the program = uploader receives 60% for registered videos, 70% for registered channels. Uploader must adhere to rules for ad revenue claim to be validated.

      In this case, Nintendo appears to be saying, “Give us free marketing and we’ll keep the cash too.” And Angry Joe say No.
      An accurate statement along these lines would be:
      Nintendo says “Abide by our rules to be granted a license for partial share of advertising revenue or we will exercise our control over our copyrighted materials”
      Angry Joe says “I deserve to get paid for generating free advertising but I refuse to follow your conditions”.

      • It’s not really about being confused, it’s about it being nonsensical bullshit.
        Nintendo says “Abide by our rules to be granted a license for partial share of advertising revenue or we will exercise our control over our copyrighted materials”
        That’s mostly true, except it’s leaving half of the important bits out. It’s closer to “Use your time, effort, ect (during the job that for most, is your livelihood), make some advertising for us (which we will check over for an unknown period of time to make sure it’s exactly how we like it before maybe allowing you to use it – or deleting it and wasting your time), use the viewerbase that you’ve built for our ads and then give us most of the money you make from those viewers watching it (and we’ll keep all the money from the sales too, obviously).

        • Still, an uploader could not monetise videos about Nintendo games before the implementation of the partner program. However convoluted it may be, the uploader retains their autonomy over what content, and the program now allows for the uploader to claim a majority share of advertising revenue from the video.

          A major factor in this is that the uploader has chosen to make videos that contravene an enforceable set of conditions. As Zombie Jesus pointed out above, the framework that supports those conditions is shit. Yet, the uploader controls their time and content; choosing to pursue a null stream of income is no ones fault but their own.

          I’m going to continue pushing that people are terribly confused about the program. From blatant errors, such as your claim that Nintendo receive the majority share from advertising revenue of any video or channel; through the dense and poorly understood swamp that is copyright law; to the overly complex and nonsensical structure of Youtube and it’s interactions with copyright holders; most people, myself included, have barely half an idea about the technical talking points and completely lack the specialisation required to discuss these matters in a knowledgeable, or even constructive way beyond morals of what makes them warm and fuzzy.

          • I think this pivots on whether Joe’s video was a review or a playthrough. If it was a review, Nintendo doesn’t have the right to DMCA it. If it was a playthrough, Joe should have realised this was a likely outcome. I fully support his choice to no longer cover Nintendo products though, it’s not an unreasonable response to what he perceives to be an unreasonable set of rules they’ve put forward.

    • Noticed the same thing on Polygon and IGN. Especially let’s players! Wtf?

    • Its the internet in general… We’re all legit hipsters on here. We express our love for the medium and the freedom of expression. No room for sellouts…

    • I think it’s more just a lack of understanding how Youtube works as a business.
      Most people still seem to think that youtubers are just lazy arse’s playing video games and expecting ‘free’ money for it, ignoring the effect they actually have on sales (and the comparison of that to traditional games media).

      Totalbiscuit for instance has posted evidence multiple times of the drastic increase in sales a game can have after a video from him (or other popular youtubers) but people still seem to think it’s all somehow ‘low-class’ and lazy and doesn’t deserve to be treated the same way something like Kotaku or IGN would be.

      • Didn’t Pewdiepie crash some indie dev’s website at one point simply because he played their game and a shitload of people who saw the video immediately tried to buy it?

        Anyone who doesn’t see the value of what is potentially free positive coverage is an idiot… And if one complains about negative coverage, maybe one should be releasing a better game in the first place.

        Another factor is that I’ve seen Youtube reviews or such where the people playing HATED a game, yet I still bought it simply because from what the video showed me I knew I would like it for one reason or another.

      • “doesn’t deserve to be treated the same way something like Kotaku or IGN would be”

        Lol, have you seen how commenters here treat Kotaku or IGN writers??

        • hahaha, I’ll agree with you there.

          I was really refering to how most people seem to have no issue with Kotaku or IGN writing about/showing videos/gifs from games all the time (just a quick scan of the front page has CoD, Elite Dangerous, Sunset Overdrive, SSB, GTA and some others) because that’s their job, why else would any of us be here in the first place?
          I think a lot of people complain about quality/style or the content being written about but it’s pretty rare to see people here saying Kotaku don’t deserve to earn money because they are simply ‘using games developed by others for their own fame/profits’ yet people complain about that with youtubers all the time..

    • Unfortunately seems like that.

      I don’t care one way or the other about Angry Joe himself, but seriously supporting Nintendo’s stance on this video revenue shit is utterly absurd.

      They get what is pretty much free advertising anytime someone puts some work in and makes a video using products they already paid for. The stance is basically forcing people to pay Nintendo to advertise for them… Insanity.

      Nobody but Nintendo could do this… They know quite well they can basically do whatever the fuck they want because the fanboys will come out in droves screaming bloody murder anytime someone questions absolutely anything they do.

  • He dose have a point about EA and Nintendo. Everyone bashes on EA a lot, yet Nintendo do the same thing and everyone one just ignores their actions. What is it about Nintendo that has earned them this free pass? Why are there not more outrage about Nintendo’s crap marketing and lack of moving with the times? Granted, he should join a partnership program so this won’t happen again. There are others that offer better deals than Nintendo’s program.

    But Nintendo has a big problem and it needs fixing or they will not be around for much longer.

    • Probably the history of Nintendo with a lot of gamers I suppose. Whereas EA is a bit newer and hasn’t had the same nostalgic connection. They forgive Nintendo for a lot because of that history.

    • Well, one thing is Nintendo doesn’t have a nasty habit of releasing unfinished games. Nor do they pump out the yearly sequels or mishandle any of their own properties.

      • What are you talking about? Nintendo is the industry leader of releasing the same game over and over again. For a start, you just commented on an article about Mario Party 10. There are 7 Zelda re-releases alone (two of which are Ocarina of Time remakes), countless sidescroller Mario games, numerous barely distinguishable Pokemon games — with the added insult of each game released with a near identical counterpart, whose sole purpose is to get you to buy two copies of the same game so you can catch ’em all™.

        Nintendo makes good games, but let’s not pretend that they don’t milking series to a whole new level than other companies.

        • Sure, there are 10 Mario Party games, but the 9th installment came out about 3 years ago, and before that, the last Mario Party game was at least 5 years old.
          Even the gaps between the last two Mario side-scrollers is still at least 3 years.
          At first I feel like I might agree with you about Pokemon, but I haven’t played one in a number of years so it would feel a bit unfair to make assumptions.

  • I like Angry Joe, and I completely understand his decision. If making videos was your job, and you were in the gaming industry where you can get interviews/exclusives at conventions and what not, you would care too.

    I don’t know much about his life, but he puts a lot of time and effort into his reviews. Everyone saying “who cares?” would definitely complain if their work decided not to pay them for a week.

    It’s all relative.

    • I watch his videos and while I dont always agree with his stances I get his schtick. He is right in some way about this issue. He has influence over at least 2 million people. All of them obviously are people who like gaming and potentially have money to spend on games. If he says a game is great then you can assume a percentage of his subscriber base are going to take that opinion and use it to make their decision to buy the game.

      Couple that with all the other popular YouTubers out there doing gameplays and reviews and theres a lot of potential there for ‘free’ marketing.

      I think Nintendo sees it as their game being shown off and that they should be getting a portion of the revenue; granted they put the effort into creating the game but I think they possibly underestimate the impact these sorts of YouTubers actually have; sort of like a lot of the people commenting here perhaps…

  • Oh no!! Angry Joe isn’t going to review Nintendo games anymore!! How will Nintendo survive!????? This spells the end of the company!!!

    • It’s interesting that people will criticise the government for not having foresight with the NBN, but then prominently display their own lack of foresight when it comes to things like this.

      YouTube content represents some of the most effective advertising around in terms of conversion rates, and it’s one of the fastest growing spaces from a marketing perspective. Even if only 1% of Joe’s followers buy a game based on his recommendations, that’s some 20,000 sales Nintendo might not have had before. Sure, Nintendo doesn’t need content producers to survive right now, but two million eyes on your product is absolutely significant. Why fuck that up with unnecessary rules that throw the baby out with the bathwater when other companies have shown you can have their cake and eat it too by not interfering?

      You guys seriously underestimate the influence YouTube content producers have over the teen and young adult segments that represent Nintendo’s primary demographic.

  • A lot of people here are bashing Nintendo for their Creator Program, but you guys seems to be forgetting one vital thing: it’s Nintendo’s prerogative. You may not like it, you may thing it’s silly and behind the times, etc but it’s a fact. Maybe it’s a bad business decision, but it isn’t yours or Angy Joe’s to make, it’s Nintendo’s. That’s the bottom line.

    • Has anyone said it’s not Nintendo’s decision to make? I’m not sure I see what you’re referring to, I only see people criticising the program, which we’re of course entitled to do.

    • Just because you have the option to do something, it doesn’t make it a good option.

  • Hmmm let me think…… when has Nintendo ever been a stubborn company…. HMMMMMMM (hint: always).

    I get both sides of the argument but it is what it is, just gotta play by the rules or ignore them. Everyone can have their opinion but when people say things like “Nintendo should do this or that”…. cool story. Nintendo will keep doing whatever the hell Nintendo want to, and it will be probably be profitable for them.

    I just find it hilarious when people say:
    “Oh man Nintendo are screwed, if they don’t beef up their handheld they will get smoked”
    “If the next console doesn’t play blu-ray or have better third party support, they’re screwed”.
    “Amiibo’s are crud, noone will buy them… they don’t do anything”

    Guess what…. Ninty are fine, swimming with cash. They’re a profitable company and they make decisions based on what they believe is best. I’m just kinda sick of everyone telling Nintendo what to do when they keep managing to pull out “the hits” from their behinds.

    Side gripe: Yes I’ve been continuously underwhelmed by them for years but I deal…. it’s just how they roll.

  • Rooster Teeth uses EA & Microsoft products to make videos, sells DVDs is said videos, makes thousands of dollars with other peoples assets, creates huge company using other peoples assets along with original content. DID NOT HAVE PERMISSION WHEN THINGS STARTED! – People praise it as “amazing” and “revolutionary”. (Which they are, I’m an RT fan)

    Guy on Youtube does the same type of thing, using gameplay to make mere cents on videos involving hours of recording, editing, equipment buying, etc – Completely panned by everyone as a “piece of shit” and should “get a real job”.

      • The company behind Red vs Blue, RWBY, the Lazer Team feature film, Achievement Hunter, The Gauntlet, The Rooster Teeth Podcast, and Immersion. They do a lot of stuff.

    • I agree with you totally…but “People praise it as “amazing” and “revolutionary”…

      Lolz, have you seen some of the comments on the Achievement Hunter youtube channel…

  • Still not sure why this whole program isn’t a scam. While Nintendo owns the intellectual property people are allowed you use it for forms of review or satire (what actually constitutes this is left fairly vague and is open for interpretation). It’s why every newspaper has an entertainment section and is still allowed to charge for it, why online review sites can have paid advertising on them when people are reviewing a movie. unless I’m missing something large here you don’t need nintendo’s permission to monetize your reviews or video’s of their products.

  • If ANY of the youtubers come out and whinge about not making money off nintendos IP when they havent done nintendo games in the past, saying its free advertising, they can F*** off.
    And i LIKE angry joes videos.

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