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In a surprising move, Nintendo is set to abandon its controversial Creators Program by the end of the year while simultaneously creating new guidelines that will make it easier for everyone to post and stream their games. More importantly for the ever-growing streaming crowd, this means Nintendo will no longer be taking a cut of the profits from any such videos.
Nintendo has always done things a little different, but the Nintendo Creators Program was one of those differences many folks felt was totally unnecessary and even a bit on the gross side. They launched the program back in 2015, allowing folks to post videos of Nintendo products only if you were first approved by the company and, even then, they got to snag 60 percent of the advertising revenue your videos featuring Nintendo games might pull in on sites like YouTube. Most folks weren't willing to jump through those hoops and simply decided not to post videos featuring Nintendo content, as they were pretty adamant about hunting down offenders and making sure consequences were applied.
Then, completely out of left field this week, Nintendo took to Twitter to announce that the Creators Program was ending in December, following up with a news post offering additional details.
According to the announcement, Nintendo wants to make it easier for folks to share their passion for Nintendo products by loosening their grip a bit. Still, Nintendo is going to Nintendo, so they've got some guidelines established when it comes to how folks can share those images and videos boasting Nintendo content. For starters, you may now monetize your Nintendo videos without needing to be part of a Creators Program, and the company no longer takes a cut of any revenue.
The catch, though, is that you need to provide some sort of creative input to go along with the footage. In other words, it sounds like videos that simply show off gameplay are not permissible unless you're offering some commentary to go along with the footage. It sounds like Nintendo is specifically referencing let's play videos here, as they now encourage that type of broadcast so long as you're offering your own two cents along the way. The exception is any footage/screenshot you have courtesy of the Capture button on the Switch. That stuff can be posted without limit.
Other guidelines include that you can only use footage of released games and that you may not imply or flat-out state that you are in any way affiliated with Nintendo. They also reserve the right to remove anything they feel is unlawful, inappropriate, etc.
In other words, Nintendo is basically letting folks treat their games like any other title when it comes to streaming and posting videos, which is kind of a big deal. It's noted that Nintendo will not be able to address video issues on a case by case basis so, if one of your videos still gets flagged in the future, it sounds like you're just going to have to deal with it.
The announcement also boasts a FAQ featuring a handful of additional concerns for folks worried about streaming tournaments, posting videos of unreleased games at preview events and the like. If you're planning on making Nintendo part of your streaming/upload empire, it's probably a good idea to read through all of that and do your best to comply, if only to avoid unexpected frustrations down the road.
Also, no way in hell this isn't partially due to the fact that a new Smash Bros. is about to launch, which will be a huge game for the streaming/posting community.