Mario!

Remember when Nintendo started wrapping ads around 'Let's Play' commentary videos last year and pocketed the revenue? It's happening again, albeit in a more organized way. Nintendo just announced that it's creating a YouTube affiliate program for content creators that use officially licensed images and video. Creators who sign up for the program (and receive permission to use copyrighted material) will be eligible to receive "a portion" of the advertising profit.

It's not too surprising, but it is a little odd. Microsoft's game content usage rules specifically ask that users don't seek payment (via advertising or otherwise) for projects made using gameplay footage, but the company typically doesn't try to claim revenue made by those who do apply ads to their video. More to the point, both Sony and Microsoft allow gamers to stream gameplay directly from their consoles without agreeing to any revenue-sharing initiatives. Nintendo's taking a much stronger stance on YouTube creators than the rest of the industry.

The program could be a response to the negative reaction its copyright claims got last year, but it might have something to do with Mario Kart 8. The upcoming racer allows users to upload gameplay videos directly to YouTube, which are automatically flagged as Nintendo owned in the service's Content ID system. It's not clear, however, if these videos will be eligible for revenue-sharing. Nintendo promises to release more details at a later date. Either way, Nintendo's stance is clear: if you're making videos of its games, your video's ad revenue should be at its discretion.

[Image credit: rapapu/Flickr]

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Nintendo wants its cut of 'Let's Play' gaming videos