Nintendo has announced an end to its controversial Creators Program. The company announced the news via Twitter, along with a brief statement explaining the program will come to a close by the end of December. Nintendo is ending the program to “make it easier for content creators to make and monetize videos that contain Nintendo game content.”
The system is no longer accepting new videos and channels, nor will Nintendo review any remaining in the queue. Creators can continue “showing their passion for Nintendo” by following the company’s guidelines, which were updated along with today’s announcement.
The program, which launched in 2015, granted registered users 60 percent of the advertising revenue for videos containing content from Nintendo games. The system worked in parallel with a second agreement with YouTube, where videos with a certain amount of Nintendo content would be flagged; creators could keep their video live by adding Nintendo advertisements to their videos, with proceeds from those videos being split between Nintendo and YouTube.
The Nintendo Creators Program drew criticism from content creators and community figures, with the rules surrounding monetization being seen as overly restrictive and harsh. In 2017, the release of Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild reignited the conversation around streaming Nintendo games. YouTubers were hit with copyright claims on their videos, which led to them to being demonetized by YouTube’s system. Nintnedo also restricted livestreaming, even for users who were part of the official program and playing one of the approved games — even if it was for non-monetized purposes.
This change will likely be welcomed warmly by streamers, especially in light of the highly anticipated release of Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Nintendo’s new guidelines “encourage” creators to make content with active commentary and “creative input”, a fancy way of saying Let’s Plays.
The statement is brief, but ends with a message of support for content creators, noting that “we appreciate and encourage the continued support of content creators, and thank them for their dedication to helping us create smiles.”