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Nintendo To Split Ad Revenue With Streaming Gamers 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the lowering-the-tax-rate-from-100% dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over the past several years, as computers and networks have improved to handle heavier loads, it's become popular for people to stream video game footage over sites like YouTube and Twitch. Last year, Nintendo aggressively went after the players doing this for their games, hijacking the ad revenue generated through YouTube. It angered the gaming community, and was actively hostile to the people who were Nintendo's biggest fans. Now, Nintendo has partly walked back their position: they've agreed to share some of the advertising profits with the streamer. It's still hostile to the people actively putting Nintendo game playthroughs out there for others to watch, but it's a step in the right direction."
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Nintendo To Split Ad Revenue With Streaming Gamers

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  • This is the sort of BS one expects from Sony or MS, but Nintendo never used to attack its own customer base. Sad how the last great player-focused games company has fallen.

    • by mmell (832646)
      Nintendo's fall began long before this. Personally, I figured the Wii was the last nail in the coffin. The Wii was (IMHO) an attempt by Nintendo to capitalize on the non-hardcore gaming market, including old fogeys like myself. It worked to some extent, but the problem is that non-hardcore gamers don't buy a lot of games. Go figure.

      Then again, maybe this is just the first handful of dirt into the grave? After all, what's the last killer title NES had? Call of Duty? Medal of Honor? Grand Theft Auto?

      • by tepples (727027)
        Nintendo platforms had killer exclusives long after the end of the original NES. One was Super Smash Bros. Melee.
      • by C0R1D4N (970153)
        Zelda and Pokemon probably both outsell 8 or 9 out of the top ten of the other consoles' exclusives.
    • but Nintendo never used to attack its own customer base.

      Oh really? How many times did I try to play a NES game only to be struck by the blinking blue screen of death...

      Turns out, that was Nintendo's poorly implemented DRM screwing me, a loyal young gamer with a 100% legit game collection.

      • by LoRdTAW (99712)

        Could have been the shitty card edge connector in the console. They remedied that with the vertical design after the SNES came out but it was too little, too late. And it always puzzled me as to why they made the boneheaded decision to change from the Japanese vertical cart load to the slot mess they made for the rest of the world.

    • Sony is going the exact opposite way, they jsut added an option to disable HDCP on the PS4 just for streaming/capture.
    • by RogueyWon (735973)

      On the contrary, Nintendo has a long and ignoble history of doing this sort of thing. They've sued or C&Ded customers in the past just for mentioning their games on a blog, when the customer has been somebody who doesn't fit with their image (their was a stripper a few years ago who got threatened with legal action for saying she "liked Metroid"). They're incredibly protective of everything they see as relating to their franchises and characters (despite the fact that Donkey Kong - the game that started

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      Sad how the last great player-focused games company has fallen.

      Oh bullshit. Nintendo has always been notoriously litigious about their IP and have never given a fuck about their hardcore fans.

  • I assume we can't just Open Broadcast Software stream NES emulator roms, right?

    Is there some specific hardware/software used to interface with television to computer?

    I'd like to know because I could see myself streaming some old school games. I'm quite good and still have rapid reflexes. I could probably whip up some color commentary too. I might not stream Nintendo games and go for a console with more pure profit available. I was just wondering the specifics of how you do this.
    • The NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64 consoles generally output a nonstandard 240p (NTSC) or 288p (PAL) composite video signal.* The timing doesn't match the official spec but is well within the tolerance of 1980s CRT SDTVs. Some DVD recorders and some USB video capture devices can handle the nonstandard timing; others can't. GameCube and Wii should work with anything. I don't own a Wii U yet.

      * One Super NES game and a handful of N64 games are in 480i.

      • Thanks, so I should look into a USB capture device that handles NES. Got it. Would anyone be able to tell if I used a NES emulator with ROMs for games I have?
        • NTSC artifacts (Score:4, Informative)

          by tepples (727027) <tepples@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @11:55PM (#47104943) Homepage Journal

          The NES PPU takes shortcuts [nesdev.com] that produce characteristic artifacts in the composite signal. Some games, such as Blaster Master, rely on these artifacts to create more apparent colors than are actually there. Some emulators, such as Nestopia, have an NTSC filter [slack.net] that emulates these artifacts; others don't. Not emulating the artifacts makes your game look like it's being played on a PlayChoice or an emulator.

          It's not an infringement to run homebrew games like Thwaite [pineight.com] in an emulator. Nor is it an infringement to back up your own cartridges using a cart reader like this [infiniteneslives.com] for the purpose of playing them in an emulator, so long as you do not distribute the dumps. (Assuming US law, 17 USC 117(a)(1).) But by the logic of the ruling in UMG v. MP3.com, it is an infringement to download a commercial game's ROM image through the Internet even if you own an authentic cartridge.

          • That is really good information to know. You guys informed me. I'm working on a video game now and will be finished in a few weeks that I've been working on for 5 years. I've been making video games for the majority of the last 22 years, and it is no where near as fun as actually playing them. If my next video game also turns out to be unprofitable, I might hang up my hat on making video games in the short run. Playing video games makes you feel like you're experiencing life. Making video games makes
            • by tepples (727027)

              That is really good information to know.

              Glad to be helpful.

              I'm working on a video game now and will be finished in a few weeks

              I too develop video games in my spare time; I have video of a work in progress [youtube.com].

              But watch out for a few Slashdot regulars who feel that if a video game isn't developed by "the industry" (a well-known game company) or by "industry alumni" (people who have worked for a well-known game company for several years), it's almost certain to be unfun. And until very recently, Nintendo used having a dedicated office as a proxy for whether or not a developer is serious, which is why Robert Pelloni

          • by odie5533 (989896)
            UMG v. MP3.com says it is illegal for them to provide a service of offering the "space shifted" files to consumers; it doesn't say it's necessarily illegal for the consumer to download copies of the songs they'd purchased.
      • by newsdee (629448)

        just curious, which SNES game runs at 480i? I'd like to try it.

        • That would be RPM Racing by Blizzard, the only game that fully used the Super NES's high-resolution mode during gameplay. The sequel, Rock n' Roll Racing, dropped the 480i gimmick in favor of more detailed 240p graphics and licensed hard rock music. Some games used a semi-high-resolution mode (512x240p) inside text boxes, mostly RPGs, because kanji need a lot more pixels than Latin characters.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gaming videos and streams are huge right now. Just immense. There are dozens of streamers and youtubers that have better ratings than many television shows. One obvious example is VanossGaming. One guy that makes funny game videos on youtube with seven million subscribers. No one would have expected these videos to be so popular a handful of years ago. The sheer volume of free advertising these people give out is an incredible opportunity.

    Really Nintendo should be sponsoring these people, not taking away fr

    • Many games I see are really just movies with some interaction pulled from a 1st person shooter engine. They have something to loose by people seeing the videos because you've already played the game a millions times with a different story and/or look. If I see somebody play it, I don't need to play the game because while it might be good what makes it good isn't really the game mechanics itself; which hardly change...

      Nintendo on the other hand, they have the same story, same look, few movies. It's all abo

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      It just shows how stuck in the past Nintendo is.

      This is a company that still thinks of online gaming as a passing fad that they need only embrace in the most half-hearted way possible.

  • screw that (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @11:52PM (#47104935)

    output of a game being played != a copy of the game.

    • Re:screw that (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday May 28, 2014 @01:24AM (#47105303)

      output of a game being played != a copy of the game.

      Its clearly a derivative work; and when published to the internet with ad revenue attched to it, then it becomes a commercial 'for profit' derivative work.

      Its a no-brainer that Nintendo has all kinds of rights over not only the gameplay videos but any profits from them.

      It's the same as someone buying a book, and then publishing ad-supported audio of them reading it.

      Nintendo allowing the gameplay videos and sharing the ad revenue to the creators of the videos really is about as reasonable an outcome as it gets.

      To be completely honest, its more lenient by far than the law requires.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LeRaldo (983244)
        It's not as reasonable as it gets. Plenty of other companies are ecstatic with the free publicity of gameplay videos and do not attempt to take any of the ad revenue. That's why it was seen as ridiculous that Nintendo took the stance that it did.
        • by Brulath (2765381)

          I don't know about you, but I play a few games for the story – sometimes in spite of gameplay I don't enjoy. If I'm curious about the storyline in a game but not really interested in the gameplay, perhaps watching someone else play and skipping through the combat part I can see the story and skip paying for the game. I'm not saying their stories are particularly good, by the way, I'm just noting that if I'm somehow invested it can be more efficient to watch someone else play whilst doing something els

        • It's not as reasonable as it gets. Plenty of other companies are ecstatic with the free publicity of gameplay videos and do not attempt to take any of the ad revenue. That's why it was seen as ridiculous that Nintendo took the stance that it did.

          By modern standards Nintendo is an odd duck. Some of the things they do is outright antiquated (and I don't mean just videos) and some of the other things they do are weird. With that said, Nintendo markets differently and their customer base is wider than just "cor

      • by gnupun (752725)

        Its clearly a derivative work; and when published to the internet with ad revenue attched to it, then it becomes a commercial 'for profit' derivative work.

        So, should Adobe get a cut of the profit you made from selling your photo just because you used Photoshop to create it? Should MS get a cut because your app is generated (derived) by the Visual Studio compiler/linker? Of course, not.

        Trademarks and copyrights for third-party games and characters are owned by the companies that market or license those pr

        • by vux984 (928602)

          So, should Adobe get a cut of the profit you made from selling your photo just because you used Photoshop to create it?

          Editing a photo with photoshop creates a derivative work of the original photo, not a derivative work of photoshop.

          Should MS get a cut because your app is generated (derived) by the Visual Studio compiler/linker?

          Look up what derivative works are in the context of copyright law. You clearly have no idea.

          According to their copyright page, Nintendo does not own the copyright to these games, so

          • by gnupun (752725)

            Should MS get a cut because your app is generated (derived) by the Visual Studio compiler/linker?

            Look up what derivative works are in the context of copyright law. You clearly have no idea.

            Every time you use a loop, call a function or declare a variable etc., the compiler replaces that with its own copyrighted machine code that you did not write.
            Your executable is a patchwork of copyrighted code from the compiler.

            Are they demanding ad revenue from non-Nintendo (ie 3rd party) games? That would require are mo

            • by vux984 (928602)

              Every time you use a loop, call a function or declare a variable etc., the compiler replaces that with its own copyrighted machine code that you did not write.
              Your executable is a patchwork of copyrighted code from the compiler.

              Its not "replaced" its transformed. The output is a derivative work of the input source code, transformed by an algorithm. The algorithm is not 'creative', and retains no copyright over the output.

              Now, having said that I suppose some dirtbag compiler maker could require you to sign a

          • by phorm (591458)

            Editing a photo with photoshop creates a derivative work of the original photo, not a derivative work of photoshop.

            And creating a gameplay video does not create a derivative work of the game.
            Can you play it? No

            A derivative work would be an unofficial fan-sequel, or a modified rip. Back in the day some Japanese-only games were ripped and re-encoded with english text by fans, *THAT* would be a derivative work.

            Might as well have Oscar-Meier sue you for taking a video of your kids eating hot-dogs.

            • by vux984 (928602)

              And creating a gameplay video does not create a derivative work of the game.

              Look up what a derivative work is. Then come back.

              Recording just the audio of you playing the game and releasing that as a song is a derivative work. Do you really think adding the video somehow makes it less a derivative work?

              Even just SAMPLING the audio from the game and including it in an otherwise original new rap song technically requires getting the rights.

              Can you play it? No

              Irrelevant.

              • by phorm (591458)

                Can you play it? No

                Irrelevant.

                Actually, not irrelevant. Transformative changes and "verbatim copy" are certainly issues which affect fair use. An unplayable video is substantially less derivative than a verbatim copy of a game.

                • by vux984 (928602)

                  "less derivative" sure. But still derivative.

                  And now you are arguing "fair use" which by definition concedes that it is a derivative work; see my reply to your other post.

      • by phorm (591458)

        It's the same as someone buying a book, and then publishing ad-supported audio of them reading it.

        Reading a book requires no special skill (beyond the ability to read). Also, listening to an audiobook may remove the reason for somebody to purchase/read a book, but watching a game "walkthrough" doesn't remove the incentive to purchase the game (unless it sucks).

        If I record a video of myself and buddies playing a game of Monopoly or some kids demonstrating a hula-hoop technique, should Hasbro or the Hoop manu

        • by vux984 (928602)

          Reading a book requires no special skill (beyond the ability to read).

          Says someone who has no appreciation for a good audiobook. A good 'reader' provides lots of value add.

          Also, listening to an audiobook may remove the reason for somebody to purchase/read a book, but watching a game "walkthrough" doesn't remove the incentive to purchase the game (unless it sucks).

          That really makes no difference to copyright law. But even if it did, I think most people watching game walkthroughs already have the game; so th

          • by phorm (591458)

            Says someone who has no appreciation for a good audiobook. A good 'reader' provides lots of value add.

            Reading VS narrating. Hence the following part about an audiobook. You don't need to be a genius to read a book (to yourself). Yes, being a good narrator is a skill, similar to being able to make a speech or voice-act in an animated movie. Similarly, being able to teach somebody to read is also a skill.

            However, in most cases I'm not going to be incapable of completing a leisure book because I lack the avera

            • by vux984 (928602)

              Reading VS narrating.

              You could make your audiobook with a text-to-speech program or get Patrick Stewart to read it -- doesn't matter either way its a derivative work.

              A game recording is somebody demonstrating their skill, and/or teaching people how to accomplish similar things.

              And he's got the soundtrack playing in the background, the voice work, the company logos... and all the art assets. You can't use all that commercially without permission.

              Also, fair use has been seen to cover transformative copying. M

              • by phorm (591458)

                very significant shift from claiming your walk through video is a completely original work

                Where did I ever claim this?

                It seems pretty clear its a for-profit commercial purpose to me.

                Fair-use does not only include non-profit uses, although they tend to get more leeway

                • by vux984 (928602)

                  Where did I ever claim this?

                  Implicitly by arguing it wasn't a derivative work.

                  Fair-use does not only include non-profit uses, although they tend to get more leeway

                  Yes, but a video game walktrhough resembles, more than anything, the performance of a someone elses screenplay, done for profit (ad revenue).

                  The fair use defense falls flat. It is only minimally educational (in the same sense that watching someone perform Hamlet is instructive to a budding actor, but that character of the performance is still prim

      • What about a written account of a playthough that's published and sold for money? Is that a "derivative work" that's commercialised?

        This is the problem with copyright and its continual land-grab of ownership. It has no real-world boundaries and exponentially expands with the greed of a creator being one of its few limiting factors.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          What about a written account of a playthough that's published and sold for money? Is that a "derivative work" that's commercialised?

          Probably not. What 'major copy-protected elements of the original' does that contain?

          I suppose if it were a dialog heavy adventure game, and you reproduced the entire dialog transcript of your playthrough then at that point yes, it would be derivative.

          Bottom line, is if you are looking to create an original work, without risk of it being derivative to commercialize it, don't cr

  • thought that boat anchor they released, like 3 years ago sent them the way of sega

  • The way it's phrased makes Nintendo out to be some evil corp attacking it's poor defenseless fans. It's the total opposite! If you make money with ad revenue using Nintendo's IP, well that's not allowed for ANYONE, and those that do it have been getting a free ride. You can't make money performing a play that someone else wrote unless you get permission, you can't project a DVD of a movie onto a big screen and make money from people watching it unless you get permission, you can't record yourself reading so
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who cares if they are technically right?

      What they have been saying is "So, you love our product so much that you want to show the rest of the world what they are missing, and why they should buy our product. Well, STOP THAT".

      Any company that says that to their fans is wrong.

  • Why should Nintendo permit people who post spoiler videos for their games on Youtube to profit from it significantly?

  • I've noticed that the Let's Play channels I watch pretty much stopped doing Nintendo games altogether. Whether Nintendo liked it or not, these channels can bring exposure to their games.

    I've bought about a dozen games after watching short LPs of them on Two Best Friends Play's channel [youtube.com] or their subchannel [youtube.com] on Machinima.

    When this first started, I heard podcasts or interviews with people from shows like Hey Ash Whatcha Playin', TBFP, etc. where they basically said they weren't planning any Nintendo game based

  • This whole thing helps LPers. It takes their hard work out of a legal grey area and says "If you make an LP with a Nintendo game you are guaranteed that the video won't be taken down and you won't be sued. If you get enough views you also will get paid." If you make a Mega Man LP, and Capcom doesn't have a deal like Nintendo's for you to sign up for, then suddenly one day some Capcom guy can just shut down your video or even sue you. That's a big risk, when the alternative is doing an LP with Nintendo t

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