Few companies have managed to have an impact on their respective industries that is as huge as the one Nintendo has had on video games. It is essentially the medium’s version of Disney. Nintendo is credited for sparing video games from becoming a fad thanks to the introduction of the Robotic Operating Buddy and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Several of its characters, especially Mario, are among the most famous characters in not just video games, but in pop culture in general. Despite some rough times, like the Virtual Boy’s failure and the Wii U’s mediocre history, Nintendo is one of the most powerful companies in the industry.
Despite this power, Nintendo seems to be insecure when it comes to its fans’ relationship with its works. Countless people on YouTube, from those making walkthroughs to those uploading soundtracks, have been victims of Nintendo’s habit of giving copyright strikes to videos that use its content. What originally started as an annoyance is becoming a major problem on online platforms. If Nintendo does not end its copyright claiming streak anytime soon, it could jeopardize its own fans’ communities, fans’ abilities to share content related to its games, and most importantly, Nintendo itself.
Nintendo’s Actions Are Unwarranted
While its exclusives remain as beloved as ever, with some of its series, like Kirby, getting their biggest releases in years, Nintendo’s business decisions polarize players and are becoming increasingly more controversial. One particular decision that irks fans to this day is Nintendo’s endless pursuit of emulation sites, leading to the creation of new websites when the older ones are inevitably taken down. Nintendo’s games are some, if not the most popular titles to emulate, so the company’s decision to track emulation websites down makes sense. The problem is that there is no reason for Nintendo to do so.
The youngest Nintendo console that can be decently emulated is the 3DS, a system that was recently discontinued. Emulating Super Nintendo, Game Boy, or even GameCube games is not a threat to Nintendo. The closest thing to a loss in profits is that people might prefer emulating on their computer than on Nintendo’s services. If Nintendo actually addressed user feedback and made a streamlined emulation service that includes all its past major systems, then the ire would be a bit more understandable. However, illegal emulation is still the best way to play old games, and it does cost companies a cent. If Nintendo continues its crusade against emulation, it will punish itself by depriving players of easily experiencing its history.
As previously mentioned, Nintendo is not just going after emulation sites, but also after content creators, even Nintendo-themed ones. Any kind of video, from Let’s Plays to music rips, has been victimized by Nintendo’s paranoia. Even big Nintendo-themed creators, such as the famous GilvaSunner, have been negatively impacted by Nintendo’s policies. To make things worse, Nintendo’s attempts at releasing its games’ soundtracks to the public are even more futile than its emulation services. So far, only Pokemon Diamond and Pearl’s soundtrack has been released following the recent purging of content creators. Considering Nintendo’s track record, the release of other soundtracks is also unlikely to happen soon.
Nintendo is not an underdog, nor is it struggling as a company. Even during its “dark” ages, like the Wii U era, the money it lost was not nearly enough for it to declare bankruptcy. Nintendo games are among the most famous, beloved, and historically impactful. It is imperative that its games remain accessible for not just the company’s fans, but random people that might stumble across a Nintendo work and become interested in the process. If Nintendo keeps abusing its power without doing anything to compensate for its actions, even its most diehard fans might turn on it.
Several NES, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 games are available now for all Nintendo Switch Online and Expansion Pack owners.