After weeks of scary moments and weird observations, we have again stumbled across a reality that seems all-too-common in the video game industry at the moment. Nintendo and their DMCA-antics. Their copyright strikes, their inability to adapt to the YouTube and Twitch generations. Now, I don't blame them for their cynicism: there are very few things that are more annoying than Twitch Streamers. Honestly. So flippin' irritating. Anyway, that doesn't give Nintendo an excuse to not move on and start doing the most basic thing that almost every other gaming company have started doing... You know what I am referring to, right? Being okay with it. That's it.
This week, we received news that Nintendo have actually requested the takedown of scans of a 1996 Super Mario 64 strategy guide. Yes. A Japanese strategy guide that got scanned and plopped up on the internet. A guide of a game that is more than two decades old at this point. It is absolutely absurd that Nintendo would even consider doing this, but honestly not that surprising considering Nintendo's track record. That being said, it does set a whole new bar for s***tiness on the part of Nintendo. I mean, should they really care about this? Sure, it's technically pirating, but what are they going to do, sell a ton of 20-year-old Japanese strategy guides? If people want to know how to complete a level in Mario, they ain't going to read a strategy guide anymore, folks.
We now return to the more broad discussion. Nintendo has a history with copyright strikes, and whilst they have been improving over these last couple of years, things are still not optimal. The company relies on nostalgia and love for those classic game franchises, yet they restrict how those franchises can be shared online. They restrict the use of footage, they restrict the use of sound, anything relating to the game needs to be clearly looked at before uploading to make sure that you're not going to be demonetized, taken down, or even worse, have your account destroyed. It's absolutely incredible that in 2022 this is still a thing.
So, why would Nintendo do this? Well, Nintendo is a pretty traditional company. Some might say even "conservative". It's not so surprising, seeing as that is a bit of a trend amongst Japanese businesses. Their content is great, and they make fantastic games, but their traditionalism roots them into a habit of perhaps taking a little long to adopt new ideas or technology. The Nintendo 64 stuck with cartridges when the PS1 went to CDs. The Nintendo Game Cube then went to... small CDs. The Wii adopted CDs but was not high definition, despite the PS3 and Xbox 360 being HD. The Wii U was... well... the Wii U, and the Switch is hardly a technological powerhouse. What I am saying is that there is precedence for this, a lot of precedence.
Well, Precedence for Nintendo Taking a Chill Pill
Relax, guys, honestly. There really isn't that much to be worried about with YouTube and Twitch and Instagram and all that. You ain't dealing in political information, you're dealing in video games. It's an art form and a great product that nets you billions of bucks each year. Let the content creators continue to stir up hype for your s**t. That will cause more people to buy your games, after all. So what's the problem? Does it really matter that they might make a buck or two off it themselves? Not really, if you ask me. They are also producing an entertainment product, people like that stuff, so calm down.
Maybe work on releasing more games, I mean, it's not like you have been prolific over these last few years. Not at all, to be honest, you have been pretty slow to release games. Where the hell is Breath of the Wild 2, or Mario Odyssey 2? It has been five years, guys! Where are the games? Maybe if Nintendo decided to spend a little less time and money taking down other people's content, well, they might have more time to give us some more games and – by extension – make a whole lot more money.
Nintendo needs to relax, that much is certain. The reality is that people are going to watch each other play games, just as people gather to watch people play sports. There is a reason why people watch esports, and it isn't the arrogant, cocky and borderline-f**ked presenters, nor the tediously cringey behavior, or the haircuts that belong out of a bad 1980s movie. The reason is that it is engaging to watch people play, especially when those people are a whole lot better at said game as you. Some people also might not have the cash to pick up a new video game on a regular basis. Some people don't just have $60-70 lying around unused. Most people, to be honest. Those people will want to know that what they're buying is worth it, and considering how little trust there is in both major game reviewers and game developers, a lot of that worth is going to be defined by footage watched on platforms like YouTube.
Take a chill pill, Nintendo. It's for your own good.
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