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Nintendo Hops on the CPM Bandwagon (Gotta Grab those Let's Play Pennies)

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Nintendo Hops on the CPM Bandwagon (Gotta Grab those Let's Play Pennies)

Post by Maffi on Sat May 18, 2013 5:36 pm

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-05-16-nintendo-targets-user-youtube-videos

Linked Article wrote:Nintendo claims monetisation rights on Let's Play videos, YouTubers respond

Nintendo has targeted fan-made YouTube videos featuring its content in an attempt to prevent their creators from earning any revenue.

That's the claim of Zack Scott, who is one of many YouTube users whose "Let's Play" videos have been issued with a "content ID match" claim by Nintendo. A "content ID match" claim is not as serious as an outright copyright infringement claim, but it does give Nintendo all monetisation rights on the videos, as well as power to block the content.

Nintendo issued a statement to Gamefront that indicates it has no plans to block content, only to use the videos as a platform for advertising. "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," the statement read.

However, with YouTube an increasingly legitimate way to make money, Nintendo's hard-line stance on its users' ability to do so could act as a strong deterrent. In a tweet, the indie developer Mike Bithell suggested that,without user-generated YouTube videos, his debut game Thomas Was Alone, would not have found an audience.

In a post on his Facebook page, Scott called Nintendo's stance "backwards," and emphasised that his videos are personal creations, popular due to his efforts and perspective rather than the game in particular.

"Video games aren't like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience. When I see a film that someone else is also watching, I don't need to see it again. When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself.

"Since I started my gaming channel, I've played a lot of games. I love Nintendo, so I've included their games in my line-up. But until their claims are straightened out, I won't be playing their games. I won't because it jeopardizes my channel's copyright standing and the livelihood of all LPers."

Ok, so just to get this out of the way, I am not speaking from a legal perspective, as I am not a lawyer.

I think this is a very bad move, from both Nintendo's point of view and for YouTubers. Certainly it makes
Nintendo look bad, as a lot of people make their livings by doing Let's Plays of video games, including
Nintendo games. What this means, of course, is that there is no incentive to do Nintendo LPs anymore, so very few, if any, content providers will actually bother doing them anymore. A lot of people are fans of watching these LPs, meaning they're upset with Nintendo, and the content providers themselves are upset with Nintendo because they don't get any money from their LPs anymore.

You might say that Nintendo has a right to stop people from making money from their games, and I can certainly see this side of things, but there are at least two issues with this argument.

Firstly, unlike music or movies, video games are primarily an interactive medium (for the most part - cutscenes, dialogue, etc., are of course, not). One player's experience going into a video game is going to be very different from another player's (for many games, at any rate - not games that are mostly story-driven with little gameplay.) This makes LPs different from, say, Rifftrax. One player's LP may differ drastically from another player's LP, and probably will be, because each player will likely play the game differently. The players themselves will oftentimes make the LP entertaining because of how they play.

This point is, of course, not as applicable to single player games. There's only so much you can do in
terms of gameplay in, for example, a Final Fantasy RPG compared to a competitive multiplayer game like Street Fighter (and that's a whole other topic of conversation), but regardless, a lot of people watch videos of people playing these games because of the person actually playing the game, rather than the game itself. It's not like the players aren't adding something important to these videos.

Secondly, and more importantly, these videos are promoting the games they're playing. The people who care enough to upload videos to YouTube of the game probably like the games they play a lot (sometimes not, if someone is intentionally playing a terrible game, though), and when people watch a video of a person playing a game, it's pretty obvious if the person likes the game or not. I don't have any statistics on this, but I feel confident that generally speaking, these YouTube videos do promote and encourage people to buy games, except perhaps entirely story-driven games.

I find it's interesting that Nintendo would say, "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," as if they're supposed to be the good guy in this scenario. In terms of video game companies, the only company I can recall blocking content is Sega with Shining Force. As far as I'm aware, no other video game company is actually blocking content, so I have no idea where Nintendo is trying to go with this statement.

Personally, I think it's a fault with Japanese business culture. They don't seem to understand how these things can actually help increase sales (I have a similar issue with Capcom's lack of support for their section of the FGC.)

Anyway, that's the gist of my stance on the issue. What does everyone else think?
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Re: Nintendo Hops on the CPM Bandwagon (Gotta Grab those Let's Play Pennies)

Post by Klonoahedgehog on Sat May 18, 2013 6:14 pm

My reaction to this.

There goes my dream of Lets playing The Wind Waker.

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Re: Nintendo Hops on the CPM Bandwagon (Gotta Grab those Let's Play Pennies)

Post by FearlessSasuke on Sat May 18, 2013 7:00 pm

Nintendo made a bad publicity move here, they downright said we want to make money off your work it's our game so if you make a lets plays we want to own it or we will shut you down, I know they have the right to do it since copyright but let's players basically promote the games they are playing free advertisement right there why would you want to take down free advertisement?

They should have least make a compromise with the let's players, split up the ad revenue with the let's players that makes money off nintendo videos this whole thing makes them go from the awesome Nintendo we know and love to cold hearted business people maybe they do it different in japan but I guess this whole thing with the Wii U not doing so hot made them think of more ways to generate more money.

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Re: Nintendo Hops on the CPM Bandwagon (Gotta Grab those Let's Play Pennies)

Post by GasmaskGamer on Mon May 20, 2013 1:38 am

Alright, time to sit down and make my long-butt response to all this.

I'll be addressing this entire thing and the arguments made against Nintendo on a point by point basis. The following points will be addressed.

  • Let's Play videos help to promote a game
  • Because video games are interactive and offer a unique experience on a per-player basis,
    • Nintendo does not own the rights to footage of someone playing a game
    • Let's Plays do not discourage some people from buying games
First off,

  • Let's Play videos help to promote a game
Yes, Let's Play videos do promote a game. They make people who weren't aware of the game beforehand know about it. They create curiosity, interest, public awareness. For some games (Minecraft), they might even drive tens of thousands of sales (if not more).

However, Nintendo is not a small indie studio. Nintendo is one of the most popular and well-established companies within the industry. When Nintendo announces a game, it almost always makes a splash. When Nintendo speaks, people listen. Not to mention, Nintendo advertises their games. Nintendo games are already promoted very heavily by both Nintendo and the gaming media. Let's Play videos still offer free promotion and advertisement. But those advertisements are much more redundant and unnecessary than they are for a small, indie dev. The percentage of people who watch a Let's Play video about a Nintendo game compared to a Let's Play video about an indie game and knew about each game beforehand, is, I imagine, much, much larger by several factors.

Even if Nintendo completely shut down Let's Plays, their games would still be popular and still sell.

  • Video games are interactive and offer a unique experience on a per-player basis
This point is very important since the next two build off it.

What sets video games apart is that they are an interactive medium. Books, movies, music, these mediums do not allow the player to alter how they experience them. But do games being interactive make them unique experiences?

The answer for almost all games is, technically, yes. But the question is not if games provide unique experiences but rather how unique those experiences are.

A very important fact that must be realized is that how the player interacts with the game is determined by the parameters the developer provides. The player is never given total freedom in what they can do in the game. When you play Mario, you are not permitted to spontaneously turn into a dragon and fly away. You may jump, you may move left and right. You may crouch, you may ground pound. You may throw fireballs after acquiring a power-up. You may discover a hidden area. But you may not do whatever you want. The developer has given you a set of rules, and you must play by them.

As a result, individual gameplay is technically unique (in most cases). However, in many cases they are very similar. Point and click'em ups, puzzle games, and JRPGs often result in near identical experiences. Open-world and multiplayer games, however, often result in much more unique experiences. But almost no game offers the ability to create a wholly unique experience, because almost no game offers an experience that approaches complete freedom.

  • Nintendo does not own the rights to footage of someone playing a game
Let's list what Nintendo does own in a game. They own the music, the story, the characters, the textures, the sound effects, the enemy designs, and, perhaps most importantly, how you play the game.

Yes, Nintendo owns how every single one of those lets players plays their games, because, as mentioned earlier, they set the rules. Nintendo owns how you play the game, and it's this ownership that (in theory) keeps other companies from stealing their gameplay. It's what keeps other devs from making games that copy their gameplay (a "Mario" game with different sounds and appearance).

What does this leave for the Let's Players? The commentary. Which means they own a portion of their video. But how much? How many people come to watch the video for the commentary rather than the gameplay? Would they have come if it was only commentary and not any music, sounds, gameplay, etc.? There's too much subjective-ness and gray matter here to determine an easy way of dividing revenue. But it is certain, that the commentary would not exist without the game, everything that Nintendo owns. That reason alone, I believe, is enough to make the decision of who to award monetisation to (the commenter or Nintendo) a very easy one.

  • Let's Plays do not discourage some people from buying games
The logic behind this idea is, again, that because games offer interactivity and a unique experience, people will not feel like they've gotten "most of the package" by watching someone else play the game, and would still feel compelled to go out and by it themselves. This is not the case. Going back to click 'em ups, puzzle games, and JRPGs, because of how similar each experience with these games are, a viewer watching someone else play them on YouTube often does get most of the package. I can say personally that after having watching a playthrough of Limbo and watching Matt and Pat play The Walking Dead, I felt no compulsion to go out and buy either game. I'd gotten the whole package. Playing through either would be walking through motions I had already seen.

I should note that how satisfied someone can feel by watching someone else play a game is not necessarily correlated to how unique an experience the game provides. Using Mario platformers as an example, someone could watch a Let's Player play through a Mario game and still feel compelled to go out and buy the game themselves. After all, most of the fun in Mario platformers isn't figuring out what to do but rather having or developing the skill to do it. In this sense, it's ironic that Nintendo would be concerned about Mario platformers of all games since these would seem to be the safest. Zelda and Metroid games, however, I imagine are much less applicable, and perhaps this is a "one-size-fits-all" approach (yes, I know only Mario games have been targeted thus far, but perhaps they're only going after they're most popular and recent releases).

On the other side of the coin, Bioshock Infinite is a game that may offer very unique experiences to each player, at least in terms of combat. From what I've seen, combat allows the player to move around and take advantage of the verticality of the world, resulting in some very unique experiences across different sessions. However, the main draw to Bioshock Infinite is the story, something that will be the same for every player. I can say that even though I haven't watched the entire game on YouTube yet,the fact that I can is enough to keep me from buying the game. Even though Bioshock Infinite might offer a fairly unique experience overall to each player, it's still something someone can watch and feel like they got "most of the package".

In Conclusion:

Does Nintendo have the right to monetize Let's Play videos of their games? Because they set the parameters and own the rights to how you play the game, I would say yes. A stronger case might be made for open world or multiplayer games, such as The Sims, Animal Crossing, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty multiplayer, since each of these experiences is fairly unique for each player. But for many other games (and especially in the case of click'em ups, puzzle games, and JRPGs) the argument is much less strong.

So really, it seems like it came down to a matter of opportunity cost. Nintendo decided it didn't want to be the bad guy and completely get rid of all the let's play videos. However, they knew they were offering some players "enough of the package" while giving off mostly redundant promotion. In other words, they were hurting more than they were helping. So they decided to deter people from creating Let's Play videos and make some money off those who did anyway.

Now for the Let's Players, it again comes down to opportunity cost. Is the fun of doing a Let's Play video of a Nintendo game worth less than the money I could make doing a Let's Play of another game? Am I not losing any potential viewers who might view my other videos by not making Nintendo Let's Plays? For YouTubers with only a few hundred subscribers, this is likely not even a question. They make so little money off their Let's Plays already that they might as well continue making Nintendo Let's Plays, especially if they enjoy doing them. For those with tens of thousands of subscribers, the question becomes harder, because the opportunity cost of making a Nintendo Let's Play becomes a lot bigger.

Regardless of what happens, if the big guys stop making Nintendo Let's Plays, someone else will. People will go and see his or her Nintendo Let's Plays because no one else is making them. They might stick around for other Let's Plays that that user can monetize. The holes will fill in.







I probably haven't made all my thoughts clear in the best way possible, so feel free to pick me apart and I'll respond the best I can.

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Re: Nintendo Hops on the CPM Bandwagon (Gotta Grab those Let's Play Pennies)

Post by Maffi on Mon May 20, 2013 8:00 am

I have several issues with your argument, and I hope I'm not skipping over any, but I'm kinda tired at the moment so whatever I'll do my best.

GasmaskGamer wrote:
  • Let's Play videos help to promote a game
Yes, Let's Play videos do promote a game. They make people who weren't aware of the game beforehand know about it. They create curiosity, interest, public awareness. For some games (Minecraft), they might even drive tens of thousands of sales (if not more).

However, Nintendo is not a small indie studio. Nintendo is one of the most popular and well-established companies within the industry. When Nintendo announces a game, it almost always makes a splash. When Nintendo speaks, people listen. Not to mention, Nintendo advertises their games. Nintendo games are already promoted very heavily by both Nintendo and the gaming media. Let's Play videos still offer free promotion and advertisement. But those advertisements are much more redundant and unnecessary than they are for a small, indie dev. The percentage of people who watch a Let's Play video about a Nintendo game compared to a Let's Play video about an indie game and knew about each game beforehand, is, I imagine, much, much larger by several factors.

Even if Nintendo completely shut down Let's Plays, their games would still be popular and still sell.

This is the first point I'd like to address, but also it's the one I'm least interested in addressing, because I don't have the sales data to back me up nor am I really willing to dig through a bunch of stuff to find out if my claims are supported or not. Take this more like a, "This is kind of what I feel is going on at the moment, but maybe I'm wrong, and I'm pretty much willing to drop the point if shown otherwise" kind of thing. Mostly, I just don't know HOW to get the info I need, so whatever, here goes.

No, Nintendo is not some small indie dev, and I'm sure they're sitting on piles of cold, hard cash after the success of the Wii. But a more important point, in my opinion, is to consider: is the WiiU doing as well? I'm pretty much 100% certain that it's not, considering that I remember how pretty much everyone (including late night talk shows that had absolutely nothing to do with gaming) was talking about how exciting the Wii would be. I remember WiiSports was featured on The Colbert Report at least once. As far as I am able to tell, the WiiU has not had anywhere near as much success. Again, if I'm wrong about this, please let me know. I don't know how to get specific data about this.

This is key, because if we were talking about Wii-launch-era Nintendo, I might be more willing to agree with you about Nintendo not needing any help selling their games, but we're talking about post-WiiU-launch Nintendo.

Now, I'm gonna preface this next part as anecdotal evidence, because it is, so don't take it as hard evidence or anything. Me and most of my close friends and fam who did want a Wii (me and two of my closest high school friends actually camped outside a Best Buy overnight to get one like a few weeks or something after the launch) felt pretty much no inclination to go get WiiUs. And certainly, each of our personal circumstances were different back then than they are now, but still. And from personal experience, I can tell you that I got utterly sick and disgusted with Nintendo's "New Super Mario Bros." after I played the first Wii one. So when they made yet another one for the WiiU, I pretty much dismissed it straight out of the gate. When I watched people actually playing it with the gamepad and placing platforms for the other players to jump on, I was like, "Yeah, okay, I can kinda see why people might shell out however many dollars for this." Personally, I'm straight up still not interested, but I'm sure there are lots of other people who were skeptical at first until they saw it in action in a LP, and seeing it in action convinced them to give it a shot.

Furthermore, given how modern-era LPs are run nowadays (that is, very personality-driven e.g. Game Grumps, Yogscast, Best Friends, etc.), and how many people watch these videos (500k on Game Grumps's New Super Mario Bros. U LP, 560k on Best Friends, 570k on whoever these guys are), I really think it's disingenuous to say that these guys don't help promote these games, even given how popular Nintendo is.

They're selling the product by indulging in it, and screaming at each other throughout playing, and they make it all look like a lot of fun. It's one thing to see some random ad about a video game, and another to see people actually play a game and have fun with it (especially with how many people don't trust reviews or marketing ploys anymore). Almost certainly they can't be hurting them, as the actual fun of Mario games is jumping on those asshole goombas yourself. Or trolling your friends yourself.

At any rate, my point is this: Nintendo games can certainly still sell well, but right now, they're almost certainly not selling as well as Nintendo would like. I can't imagine LPs actually discouraging people to play a Mario title, unless they were pretty sure they didn't care for the title in the first place (or, unless it's a largely story-driven game instead of a gameplay-focused game; see further below where I address this more directly in the part after the next one in my post).

GasmaskGamer wrote:
  • Video games are interactive and offer a unique experience on a per-player basis
This point is very important since the next two build off it.

What sets video games apart is that they are an interactive medium. Books, movies, music, these mediums do not allow the player to alter how they experience them. But do games being interactive make them unique experiences?

The answer for almost all games is, technically, yes. But the question is not if games provide unique experiences but rather how unique those experiences are.

A very important fact that must be realized is that how the player interacts with the game is determined by the parameters the developer provides. The player is never given total freedom in what they can do in the game. When you play Mario, you are not permitted to spontaneously turn into a dragon and fly away. You may jump, you may move left and right. You may crouch, you may ground pound. You may throw fireballs after acquiring a power-up. You may discover a hidden area. But you may not do whatever you want. The developer has given you a set of rules, and you must play by them.

As a result, individual gameplay is technically unique (in most cases). However, in many cases they are very similar. Point and click'em ups, puzzle games, and JRPGs often result in near identical experiences. Open-world and multiplayer games, however, often result in much more unique experiences. But almost no game offers the ability to create a wholly unique experience, because almost no game offers an experience that approaches complete freedom.

Nintendo does not own the rights to footage of someone playing a game
Let's list what Nintendo does own in a game. They own the music, the story, the characters, the textures, the sound effects, the enemy designs, and, perhaps most importantly, how you play the game.

Yes, Nintendo owns how every single one of those lets players plays their games, because, as mentioned earlier, they set the rules. Nintendo owns how you play the game, and it's this ownership that (in theory) keeps other companies from stealing their gameplay. It's what keeps other devs from making games that copy their gameplay (a "Mario" game with different sounds and appearance).

What does this leave for the Let's Players? The commentary. Which means they own a portion of their video. But how much? How many people come to watch the video for the commentary rather than the gameplay? Would they have come if it was only commentary and not any music, sounds, gameplay, etc.? There's too much subjective-ness and gray matter here to determine an easy way of dividing revenue. But it is certain, that the commentary would not exist without the game, everything that Nintendo owns. That reason alone, I believe, is enough to make the decision of who to award monetisation to (the commenter or Nintendo) a very easy one.

I'm going to address these two points simultaneously.

How do you feel about ads run on ESPN? Does all that revenue go to the guy who invented football? How about people putting videos up on YouTube about how to play chess? Do those ad pennies go to the guy who said that knights can't move in straight lines?

It's unfair to say that the game is just a list of rules. A game is defined by how the players play the game, not by what the creators wanted to say it is. Look at Nintendo's very own Smash Bros. series. Nintendo doesn't want Smash Bros. to be a competitive fighting game, but the fans turned it into one, despite all the "rules" of the game that inhibit competitive play. And they did so because of how they played it.

The skill that goes into playing these games, whether they are physical sports, chess, or video games, is what is key here. I can tell you that when people watch other people play these things, they either like to see (1) actual good, skillful play, and/or (2) people talking about the things happening on the screen (regardless of whether they are good at the game or not), because they provide a funny or interesting take on the things going on. In the case of physical sports and chess, it's probably usually (1) and sometimes (2), and with video games it's probably usually (2) and sometimes (1) (but it obviously depends on the game). But in both cases, the player is providing the draw. Yes, they are confined to a certain set of rules, but I can pretty much guarantee that if suddenly all the LPers stopped commentating during their videos or stopped providing skillful or meaningful play in their games, much, much less people would bother to watch their videos anymore.

Now, sure, you could say that if it was just a video of a black screen with people talking over it, not very many people would bother watching those videos either! Sure, that's fair. What isn't fair is to say that Nintendo gets to take all the money and tell everyone else to fuck off because they made a bunch of rules about how you're supposed to play a game.

GasmaskGamer wrote:Let's Plays do not discourage some people from buying games
The logic behind this idea is, again, that because games offer interactivity and a unique experience, people will not feel like they've gotten "most of the package" by watching someone else play the game, and would still feel compelled to go out and by it themselves. This is not the case. Going back to click 'em ups, puzzle games, and JRPGs, because of how similar each experience with these games are, a viewer watching someone else play them on YouTube often does get most of the package. I can say personally that after having watching a playthrough of Limbo and watching Matt and Pat play The Walking Dead, I felt no compulsion to go out and buy either game. I'd gotten the whole package. Playing through either would be walking through motions I had already seen.

I should note that how satisfied someone can feel by watching someone else play a game is not necessarily correlated to how unique an experience the game provides. Using Mario platformers as an example, someone could watch a Let's Player play through a Mario game and still feel compelled to go out and buy the game themselves. After all, most of the fun in Mario platformers isn't figuring out what to do but rather having or developing the skill to do it. In this sense, it's ironic that Nintendo would be concerned about Mario platformers of all games since these would seem to be the safest. Zelda and Metroid games, however, I imagine are much less applicable, and perhaps this is a "one-size-fits-all" approach (yes, I know only Mario games have been targeted thus far, but perhaps they're only going after they're most popular and recent releases).

On the other side of the coin, Bioshock Infinite is a game that may offer very unique experiences to each player, at least in terms of combat. From what I've seen, combat allows the player to move around and take advantage of the verticality of the world, resulting in some very unique experiences across different sessions. However, the main draw to Bioshock Infinite is the story, something that will be the same for every player. I can say that even though I haven't watched the entire game on YouTube yet,the fact that I can is enough to keep me from buying the game. Even though Bioshock Infinite might offer a fairly unique experience overall to each player, it's still something someone can watch and feel like they got "most of the package".

As I mentioned before, largely story-driven games are different from other, more gameplay-focused games. But let me ask you this: how many people who were actually considering buying a story-driven game would rather simply go watch a LP of the game, knowing it’ll kind of give them a similar experience? It’s probably a good amount of people, but it’s probably not going to be everyone! For me personally, I care a lot about actual gameplay mechanics more than the story (usually; there are exceptions). So unless the actual gameplay is something really good, I’m probably not going to be buying the game anyway, regardless of how amazing the story is or whatever (which is the reason why I cannot fuck with many JRPGs… even if I did think skinny angsty teenagers were somehow interesting and compelling characters. Anyway!)

And then, there are the people who want to experience the game for themselves, because the gameplay itself is immersing enough to be a part of the story. I have friends and fam like this, so regardless of whether people post a LP of a story-driven game up on YouTube, they’re gonna go buy it because they want the genuine experience, and because they don’t want a bunch of immature 20-something assholes yelling over the footage and the dialogue. They’ll ignore the LP completely and jump straight to buying the game and playing it.

And then, there’s the third group of people who will watch a LP of a story-driven game and then go buy the game anyway because the LP showed them that the game was worth supporting.

And finally, there’s a fourth group of people who will watch the first couple parts of a story-driven game, and, based on the strength of the story of the first couple parts of the LP, will go out and buy the game and play the rest for themselves.

These last two groups I mentioned are important, because they are part of the seemingly-increasing number of people who are very skeptical of review sites, and want to witness people playing the game in action for themselves. This is especially important for me, because I am one of those people. I don’t look at review from big sites because I want to see people actually experience the game, and then judge for myself whether I think the game is worth supporting or not. And I know for a fact I’m not the only one.

And as far as gameplay-focused games go, I already addressed that point in the part directly above this one.

At any rate, basically what I’m saying is this: for gameplay-focused games, I certainly don’t see LPs hurting sales. For story-driven games, I can certainly see LPs hurting sales, but I can certainly see them helping sales as well. It all depends on who is watching! It’s impossible to tell whether LPs are a net positive or net negative at this point.

And even then, I think most Nintendo titles are gameplay-focused anyway. Even the Metroid and Zelda games. (Except for Other M, I guess. But I really feel like people like those games because they’re fun, and not because they think that the story of a 10-year old kid in green trousers fighting against a middle-aged old man being a dick to the rest of the kingdom is just so compelling.)

GasmaskGamer wrote:
Now for the Let's Players, it again comes down to opportunity cost. Is the fun of doing a Let's Play video of a Nintendo game worth less than the money I could make doing a Let's Play of another game? Am I not losing any potential viewers who might view my other videos by not making Nintendo Let's Plays? For YouTubers with only a few hundred subscribers, this is likely not even a question. They make so little money off their Let's Plays already that they might as well continue making Nintendo Let's Plays, especially if they enjoy doing them. For those with tens of thousands of subscribers, the question becomes harder, because the opportunity cost of making a Nintendo Let's Play becomes a lot bigger.

Regardless of what happens, if the big guys stop making Nintendo Let's Plays, someone else will. People will go and see his or her Nintendo Let's Plays because no one else is making them. They might stick around for other Let's Plays that that user can monetize. The holes will fill in.

Well, it always comes down to opportunity cost, because that’s how it works, but anyhow.

So, there’s parts of this I agree with, and parts I don’t. The biggest LPers actually make LPs because that is how they actually make a living. Without videos and ad revenue, they don’t get paid, which means they don’t get to pay rent. So, yeah, pretty much, they’ll just stop doing Nintendo LPs. Maybe they’ll do some once in a while just for fun. But nowhere near as often, and they won’t care as much since they won’t get paid, which means production values will drop… which is also another important point, actually.

You’re assuming all LPers are equal. So, if the biggest LPers stop doing Nintendo LPs since they don’t get ad pennies, what’s stopping the small LPers from taking over? Well, for one: production values. The people that don’t get paid to do LPs don’t make much money, as you said. If they don’t make much money, they can’t invest in actual non-shitty recording equipment. Sure, they can record footage on their phone or whatever, but let me tell you. That shit is damn ugly. It makes footage hard to look at, and the microphones are terrible so the audio is terrible. It’s just overall terrible.

Now, even if these small-time LPers somehow manage to garner an audience, as you mention, and they somehow start making money from all their other videos… what’s going to happen? They’ll notice that they’re not making any money from their Nintendo LPs, which makes sense, because those ads only make money for Nintendo. Which means that if these LPers want to step up their game and actually start making money, they need to stop doing Nintendo LPs. And the cycle just starts all over again: the LPers with good production values ignore Nintendo games, and the only Nintendo LPs we get to see are ones with horrible production values.

GasmaskGamer wrote: Nintendo decided it didn't want to be the bad guy and completely get rid of all the let's play videos. However, they knew they were offering some players "enough of the package" while giving off mostly redundant promotion. In other words, they were hurting more than they were helping. So they decided to deter people from creating Let's Play videos and make some money off those who did anyway.

Okay, and finally, this point. I’m sorry Gas, but I honestly think you are entirely off-base saying that Nintendo is somehow not the bad guy here. In a world where (as far as I’m aware) the only video game company that is blocking content is Sega with Shining Force videos, how is Nintendo being not being a bad guy by disincentivizing everyone from putting up Nintendo LPs?

If you honestly think LPs are hurting sales, and Nintendo is being fair by deciding to take a softer approach to the situation by taking all the ad money, then Gearbox, Blizzard, etc. must be saints, since even though they got LPs of their games posted on YouTube, they’re not blocking content or taking ad revenue from the LPers.

I don't understand how Nintendo is not a bad guy here. And I absolutely cannot understand how Nintendo is being the good guy (and I do want to note you didn't actually say that - I don't want to put words in your mouth. But it seems like Nintendo is trying to spin it like they're being the good guy - which makes sense from a PR point of view, but not from a logical point of view).
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Maffi

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Re: Nintendo Hops on the CPM Bandwagon (Gotta Grab those Let's Play Pennies)

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