The gaming industry is on the rise, with the Asia Pacific region dominating the space for years. This has seen the gaming industry grow, along with the demand for gaming content. The Drum explores how Nintendo is working with creators to monetize their own gameplay footage.
As a copyright holder, Japanese gaming giant Nintendo is constantly fighting an uphill battle as streaming services like Twitch stream the equivalent of the entire catalog of Netflix every minute. While it has strong IP protection, Nintendo is unable to keep up with the infinite amount of content being produced daily. On the part of content creators, they are not trying to infringe on copyrights deliberately as they want to create content and support their income.
To solve these issues, Nintendo signed a licensing agreement in May with Collab Asia, a digital content studio and talent network in APAC to work with Collab Asia’s content creators, Collab Asia Game Streamers under the Collab Asia network, to monetize gameplay footage derived from Nintendo Game Content. This accelerates support for the production, distribution and monetization of live game videos. This is the first time Nintendo has entered into a content licensing agreement with a multi-channel network (MCN) outside of Japan.
The licensing agreement allows Collab Asia’s creators to monetize Nintendo Game Content through creator programs like Facebook Game Streamer, Niconico Creators Program, Openrec Creators Program, Twitch Affiliate Program and Twitch Partner Program, and YouTube Partner Program.
“Our goal is to help give creators peace of mind by ensuring that their videos are safe to monetize online while simultaneously helping Nintendo to protect its iconic IP,” explains Jerry Soer, the vice-president of partnerships and head of South East Asia at Collab Asia.
“As we have an office and team in Japan, we were able to have an on-the-ground view of the landscape there and see other Japanese MCNs signing similar licensing agreements. As one of the few MCNs in Asia who has a truly regional presence with eight offices in the region and creators from over 20 countries, we saw the opportunity for our creators both inside and outside of Japan.”
He adds: “It’s more common in this part of the world for MCNs to be focused on one country, so we are proud to be the first regional MCN from outside of Japan to work with Nintendo in this way.”
This agreement also means that more audiences around the world can see their favorite creators play the Nintendo games that they know and love, Soer says, ultimately helping to grow the Nintendo creator ecosystem.
Collab Asia has noticed a strong demand for gaming content across APAC, and the Nintendo agreement will help unlock Nintendo content for markets where Collab Asia’s creators have market demand, like South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The MCN claims its network of creators reaches more than 30 million subscribers and the popularity of their content continues to grow in line with the broader gaming and livestreaming industries’ successes.
It recently opened its first office in Shenzhen, China to accelerate its growth in Greater China, where it has maintained a presence for the past three years. The Shenzhen office is Collab Asia’s eighth office, joining other officers in South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR and Singapore.
“In turn, this momentum will help develop a new generation of Nintendo fans among the younger viewers. For creators who have not yet created Nintendo content, they now have a new opportunity to do so and expand into new audiences and grow their subscribers,” Soer adds.
Japanese content creator Sena has been creating content since March 2011 and has posted more than 1200 videos over the past decade. He says that as he has been mainly playing Nintendo action games to generate revenue since around 2013, with the help of Collab Asia he has gained over 150,000 followers.
“With so much attention being paid to copyright infringement issues all around these days, this agreement will help creators like me create content without worry. As a creator, I am very grateful for this service, as I believe it has a great impact on the quality of the content,” he explains.
As of 2020, Collab Asia manages 4,000 video channels and social media accounts with 270 million loyal subscribers across leading platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Facebook. It is currently commencing series C financing to help even more creators share their work with audiences across the world.