The rules around video game streaming and video rights are a bit of a murky area online, with different people and companies arguing that it’s fair use from the video creators, that it diminishes or amplifies game visibility and sales, and whether or not it should be considered a transformative work.
While Nintendo have allowed game streaming and videos, they’ve only allowed these to be monetised when going through the onerous Nintendo Creators Program, which required approval and content requirements, while also giving Nintendo a 30% cut of the ad revenue. Thankfully they’re loosening their grip with the closure of this program at the end of 2018 and the publishing of new guidelines.
Now anyone can upload and monetise videos featuring their games, but the rules are still more stringent than some other publishers. Nintendo “encourage” you to add some commentary, as simply streaming the game and the game alone is not allowed – the exception to this is when sharing via the Capture button on Switch.
And as is completely fair, Nintendo note that they will contest and remove any content that is unlawful and not following these guidelines. That includes, unsurprisingly, a ban on using game content that has been officially released by Nintendo. All those leaked cutscenes from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? There’s a reason they got pulled as quickly as they did.
It’s a good step forward by Nintendo, though not as lenient as some other companies, and follows a relatively common sense application of laws surrounding fair use and transformative works.