“Angry Joe” Vargas is, well, angry. Not about a game – at least not this time, but about a company: Nintendo.
Back in January, Nintendo announced its controversial new Creators Program, which allows YouTubers to only stream games from a white-list and stipulates that 40% of monetization go to Nintendo. The Program has come under heavy criticism from a number of prominent Youtubers, including Vargas, who argue that the publisher has no moral justification for restricting freedom of speech – particularly not when they’re getting free publicity from Youtubers making Let’s Play videos.
Despite the program not being officially rolled out until May, Vargas received a copyright claim for posting a video featuring Mario Party 10 footage. He’s drawn the line, removed the video, and promised that it would be the “last Nintendo video” he ever makes.
— Joe Vargas (@AngryJoeShow) April 4, 2015
Well, not quite his last. Vargas later posted a second video to discuss Nintendo’s policies.”I feel their policies are anti-YouTuber in a world where so many other companies are embracing the YouTube community,” he told Polygon via email.
“I have not seen this behavior from any other modern, Web 3.0 company,” Vargas said, saying that it would be “insane” for other companies to sweep Let’s Play footage under the rug if they couldn’t get paid for it. And with services like Plays.tv entering the scene and YouTube livestreaming making a comeback, it’s hard to argue with his logic.
Streaming is a wild market right now, and it seems like Nintendo might be shooting itself in the foot with its overzealous IP-protection. Even if it isn’t directly profiting from Vargas, his video garnered about 150,000 views in just two days, and now all of that positive coverage is gone, while Vargas is left with “maybe over $900” worth of Nintendo products that he bought for his videos.
The frustration of trying to create videos about something you enjoy, only to have it taken down by the very people that created it, can only be made worse by the fact that being a YouTube celebrity isn’t all that lucrative of a career: The average take from 1,000 ad views is only $7.60. That seems like a lot when you’ve got a million people watching your video, but that number doesn’t include the 45% that YouTube takes, the fact that not every video features an ad, or users who block ads from ever appearing. Not every Youtuber enjoys the income of PewDiePie, who reportedly earns over a million dollars a year from his videos.
It’s a difficult situation for everyone involved: Nintendo is trying to protect their property and profit as a company, while YouTubers are trying to make a living off of showing popular games. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of compromise in the coming days, although I wouldn’t hold your breath.