Nintendo is working on a YouTube affiliate program that would let video creators use Nintendo content without having to completely give up advertising revenue.
The program, which Nintendo confirmed to Game Informer, is likely aimed at users who create walkthroughs or "Let's Play" videos of Nintendo games. Nintendo hasn't gone into specifics on the affiliate program, but says it will be available "for those who wish to use the material more proactively."
Last year, Nintendo began identifying these videos through YouTube's ContentID system and funneling all the ad revenue (aside from YouTube's cut) to itself instead of the creators. At the time, Nintendo said the crackdown was "part of our on-going push to insure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way."
While Nintendo didn't block these videos outright, it did keep the creators from making money. The move triggered a backlash from Let's Play creators and fans, who believe the videos are a form of free promotion for Nintendo.
As IGN points out, an affiliate program may help placate creators, but it could also set a precedent that encourages other game publishers to seek their cuts of Let's Play videos. Many other publishers have taken a more relaxed attitude toward these videos, or have given explicit permission for creators to monetize their work. An affiliate program is better than nothing, but it may still discourage people from making videos based on Nintendo content in the future.