Nintendo has seen an improvement in the video game market over the past year, thriving on software successes as the Pokémon games, as well as big Wii U releases like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8, even though hardware sales continue to disappoint. However, Nintendo appears to be struggling in another department — with online videos.
Despite the fact that it opened up a community with YouTube support for Mario Kart 8 last year, Nintendo has seen a sudden drop in views and videos on YouTube since December 10, 2013. It probably didn’t help that the company put such strict policies on claiming revenue on users’ “Let’s Play” videos that contain content from its games, but the drop still seems somewhat drastic.
Tubular Labs reported that, from January to May 2014, there were an average of 697 videos uploaded per month regarding Nintendo IP, which reached 25,000 views or more on the social channel. These videos managed about 80 million views a month during this time.
That sounds like good news, but consider the numbers from the previous year, where, from January to May, there were an average of 1,361 videos uploaded with 25,000 views or more, with an average of 192 million views per month.
These numbers indicate a massive drop of 58 percent year over year over the period, which also show a similar drop month-after-month, according to Tubular.
As you can see from the chart, the differences in traffic are quite noticeable, and include a number of the company’s more popular games, including Smash and Mario Kart.
Tubular noted that the drop came right after Nintendo began claiming revenue on “Let’s Play” videos, as, before then, the numbers were quite healthy. Clearly, Nintendo doesn’t seem to be doing anyone any favors in this department.
And it’s probably going to go even lower. The company introduced a program that allows users to make money off of Nintendo-related videos, provided that they were approved. However, Nintendo limited this program to not include third-party games, and also shut out avid Smash Bros. players when it came to their replays, as well as Pokémon and Bayonetta 2 devotees.
Called the Nintendo’s Creator Program, it’s been met with a heavy dose of criticism. PewDiePie, one of YouTube’s most popular broadcasters, recently posted his thoughts on the matter, indicating how it was bad news for the YouTube community in general.
Despite a high number of requests to take part in the program, it appears that Nintendo has a ways to go to reclaim its YouTube audience. Now it’s just a matter of seeing what moves it makes next to bounce back. Trying to exert tight control over videos involving your game may sound like a good idea for a number of reasons, but video creators have plenty of other games they can showcase. Nintendo is losing visibility in a marketing channel where other companies are getting plenty of attention. Will the company figure out a way around this problem, or will it simply decide that Nintendo products will be shown on the company’s terms or not all, regardless of the consequences