Nintendo announced today that the Nintendo Creators Program is coming to a close at the end of this year, and is being replaced by a looser Nintendo Game Content Guidelines.
The Nintendo Creators Program was created during the Wii U era, and content creators such as Youtubers who signed up would need to submit their content to the NCP for review before monetization. Furthermore, the video creators would receive only 70% of the advertising proceeds.
As a replacement for the NCP, Nintendo is instead adopting universal guidelines that don’t require signing up with Nintendo. As long as the following rules are followed, gameplay footage and screenshots from games copyrighted by Nintendo will not be objected to:
- Creators may monetize their videos and channels using the monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo. Other forms of monetization of Nintendo’s intellectual property for commercial purposes are not permitted.
- Videos and images that contain mere copies of Nintendo Game Content without creative input or commentary are not permitted. That said, gameplay videos and screenshots using Nintendo system features, such as the Capture Button on Nintendo Switch, can be posted without additional input or commentary.
- Creators are only permitted to use Nintendo Game Content that has been officially released, or from promotional materials officially released by Nintendo (such as product trailers or Nintendo Directs).
- If content creators want to use the intellectual property of a third party, any necessary third-party permissions have to be separately obtained.
- Creators cannot imply or state that your videos are officially affiliated with or sponsored by Nintendo.
- Nintendo reserves the right to remove any content that they believe is unlawful, infringing, inappropriate, or not in line with these Guidelines.
The guidelines cover both video uploads as well as livestreams, but just streaming a game, for example, without any creative input or commentary would be going outside the guidelines. The guidelines will apply to “most commonly used video and image sharing platforms”, including Youtube, Twitch, and Instagram.
That said, there seem to be some caveats. Game tournaments livestreaming Nintendo game content will need to be Nintendo-authorized or licensed to be within the scope of the guidelines, while hosting a tournament is outside the guidelines. In some cases, Nintendo may take down content on behalf of their third-party partners.
Currently, the “monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo” include the following:
- Facebook -Facebook Game Streamer, Facebook Level Up Program;
- Niconico Douga/Niconico Live- Niconico Creators Program, Niconico Channel;
- OPENREC.tv – OPENREC Creators Program;
- Twitch – Twitch Affiliate Program and Twitch Partner Program;
- Twitter – Amplify Publisher Program; and
- YouTube – YouTube Partner Program.