The Absurd Nintendo Creators Program

The Nintendo Creators Program is a farce. YouTube content creators have to join this program or face some pretty severe results… the problem is, the program is horrible.

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Let’s Play Vs. Firsthand Experience Scott's Thoughts

Growing up, Let’s Plays didn’t really exist.

It seems like it started with advent of Minecraft, but I might be wrong because the whole scene has never really appealed to me.

To be sure, I can see its draw:

  • See how a game works and plays before you buy (or instead of buying)
  • Enjoy the commentary of an engaging personality on-screen
  • Chat live with other viewers
  • Watch expert players perform speed runs, advanced techniques and find secrets
  • Free entertainment

Even with everything going for it, I just can’t get behind the idea of watching someone else play a video game.

Part of my hesitation is generational; I’m a little bit older than the average LP viewer.

Otherwise, it’s just not how I want to spend my small slice of free time. After work is done, the house is taken care of, and my responsibilities are attended to, I want the controller to be in my hand. That firsthand experience just can’t be replaced.

Ironically, I help run two weekly Let’s Play series, one for Switch and one for Classics. Make sure to tune in live on the weekends!

Yes, I am Intimidated by Pokemon RPGs for Kids Scott’s Thoughts

Have you ever been on the outside, looking in on a pop-culture phenomenon?

While the Pokemon games are some of the most popular titles in Nintendo’s stable, I’ve never played a full mainline entry.

I’ve had a weird history with this franchise, and beaten just about everything except the main RPGs: Stadium 1&2, Snap, Colosseum, XD Gale of Darkness, Pokken, a little GO, even Hey You! Pikachu for goodness sake.

I grew up a little bit after the huge wave of Red/Blue/Yellow hype, and have always felt that I missed the bandwagon.
People who have been with the series since its inception are still trading their pocket monsters from game to game, amassing a huge army!

It definitely feels like I would have a hard time just jumping in, although I know they create these games for a younger demographic and take into account franchise newcomers to some extent.

You know what still scares me? It’s all the nuance that’s built up over generations. Developer GameFreak still builds on mechanics that have existed for decades, resulting in an imposing collection of the unknown.

A crossroads approaches. When the Pokemon series debuts on Nintendo Switch, I feel like I’ll have my best shot yet of hopping aboard the speeding train. If I let it pass me by again, I may never catch up.

Apps that Switch Needs Now!

OH MAN, we forgot to say Miitomo!

#590 – Nintendo has been sliding by unchallenged in a few areas with their new Switch console. Why? I think we give them a pass because the system is fun to play and the games are so stellar. But there are some things they definitely need to answer for, such as Virtual Console, voice chat, friends codes, and today’s topic: apps. Where’s our Netflix? Twitch? Come on! It’s an HD portable screen, let’s make use of it for goodness sake.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Streaming Nintendo Games – Needlessly Complex

So, you want to stream Nintendo games, huh? I don’t blame you! They make the best first party games. An incredible amount of polish and attention to detail goes into every title that the Japanese game developer publishes.

The origin of these games does bring up an interesting point to consider, however: there’s quite a big culture difference between Nintendo and many of their competitors in the market. They make weird decisions that don’t always make sense to their fans here in America, Europe, or elsewhere around the globe. Sometimes the ways that Nintendo interacts with their fans can only be described as “backward.”

Let me put it bluntly: they don’t make it easy for you to stream their content. You’re in for a bit of an uphill battle, but don’t let me discourage you! It’s totally possible to get a stream up and running for your Nintendo console.

Well – as long as we’re talking about a home console and not a portable.

For 3DS games, you’re out of luck. You basically have to have a development kit to get any kind of capture device rigged up to your handheld.

So let’s keep the discussion focused on their home consoles. And away we go!

Streaming As A Nintendo Fan

I’m about as big a fan of Nintendo as you can get. I buy everything they release and I make videos about their stuff on a daily basis. My free time is devoted to this company, which is why I hope you’ll understand when I say I’ve never even touched an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller. I don’t think I’ve even been in the same room as one (I need to diversify my friends).

But I hear that Microsoft and Sony fans have it a bit easier with streaming. PS4 has a share button that you just press to start your broadcast? Those guys are spoiled!

Nintendo has never catered to streaming culture. They’ve never made it easy to stream their games – it’s not built into the hardware in any way. That is… until now (hopefully!). You see, there is a Share button on their newest product, the Nintendo Switch. It’s still not equipped with built-in streaming capabilities; it only takes screenshots until a future update expands its use.

They say that some form of video sharing is on its way, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

That’s not to say that Nintendo’s hardware prevents you from streaming – you can still arrange a setup that works. For me, I have a Live Gamer Portable device that accepts HDMI (for Wii U, Switch) and AV (Wii). It works very well, and I was able to purchase it for around $100. Not bad to get started with streaming Nintendo games!

Nintendo Creators Program

But not so fast. You see, Nintendo doesn’t like you uploading footage of their games to YouTube and making a profit on it.

There’s nothing they can really do about the ad revenue you receive as you are live on YouTube Gaming or Twitch, but they will seize the AdSense you would normally get off replays.

Your videos with Nintendo content will get flagged instantaneously – you won’t even have time to adjust your video titles, descriptions, or make them go live before they’re claimed by the Big N.

This is one of the main frustrations that Nintendo fans experience as they get into streaming. Why? Because many other companies just aren’t like this. And that’s because they view streamers as “free advertising,” which makes sense. YouTubers and streamers are what game developers call “influencers,” because they/we get the word out about video games. We play the ones we like (usually) and the audience sees us having a great time! Many publishers thank streamers for showing off their product so much.

Nintendo doesn’t see it that way. They see videos featuring their IP and decide that they should control who gets the ad money.

Thankfully, they don’t take it all. The company offers the Nintendo Creators Program which ultimately allows you to receive a portion of the profits from your YouTube videos, whether they are replays from a live stream or original content featuring gameplay property they own.

You sign up for the NCP with your Google account, and you’re faced with two options.

The Limited Options

You can either register your entire channel under the NCP banner, or you can choose to submit flagged videos individually and request part of your revenue back.

Option 1 allows you to receive 60%, and option 2 qualifies you for 50%. Keep in mind, these cuts are taken from the portion not already kept by YouTube itself.

The problem is, option 1 is basically fit for no one but Nintendo’s own YouTube channel. If you register your entire channel, you’re not allowed to feature gameplay from any other company other Nintendo.

Yep – you’re locked into Nintendo gameplay videos if you want to earn the greater portion of your revenue back.

So, inevitably, you’ll choose option 2 and submit each video flagged by Nintendo, and hope they agree to split the profit with you.

The Abysmal List

The reason I say “hope” is because not even every Nintendo game qualifies for this rev-share model. Buried within the NCP program is what they call a whitelist (link for your convenience). Games that are on this list qualify for submission!

Why Nintendo limits this list, I have no idea.

The entire Super Smash Bros. series is notably absent, which drives me nuts because it has a thriving eSports scene and Nintendo should be throwing those fans a bone. Smash players are Nintendo’s most dedicated, hardcore, loyal customers. How do I know? Because they still haul around their Gamecubes and 50 pound CRT televisions to play Super Smash Bros. Melee!

NES Remix for Wii U is whitelisted.
NES Remix 2 is not.


I’m sorry, I can’t make sense of it for you. I wish I could.

The Principal

After you jump through a few hoops, you’ll be set. Once you get past the NCP registration and the hardware setup, a lot of this nonsense kind of fades into the back of your mind as you start enjoying the games on their own merit and connect with your audience.

Should Nintendo be more understanding to streamers? Yes, they should. But they could also just seize all profits and choose not to offer the NCP, so I won’t complain too much.

The slice of advertising revenue isn’t really worth it to Two Button Crew, so we turned advertising off in favor of receiving support through Patreon. Ads aren’t the only way to make money playing games!

I don’t want to worry about the ad revenue – I just want to have fun playing Nintendo games and making friends with my viewers. Like I said, I’m a dedicated Nintendo fan. I run a YouTube channel that puts out daily content – discussions, reviews, streams – you name it. Check us out at Two Button Crew – we cover the latest developments in the Nintendo sector every single day, and we have literally hundreds of videos for you to browse in the backlog! We’d love to see you around and welcome you to the Crew.

If I Could Change One Thing…

We are not responsible for any first kisses that happen as a result of this episode.

#524 – If you were given the power to change one thing about a Nintendo console, which one would you pick and what would you change? Simeon and Scott are faced with many similar tough choices today – watch to see what they would decide! Comment below what you would change. Footage Credit: Super Smash Bros. Wii U Tripping – Master0fHyrule | Metroid Prime 3 Corruption SD vs HD – thepixelpress

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Just being honest.

#509 – Just getting on camera and talking through what’s been going on with our channel lately. Thanks so much for your outpouring of support, and for being a part of this wonderful Crew that we’ve collectively made!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Thoughts after Making 500 Daily YouTube Videos

Tuesday, May 2nd was the day that Two Button Crew uploaded its 500th episode.

This monumental milestone dwarfs everything that has come and gone before! It’s hard to believe that we’ve made a show every weekday for the last 500 weekdays. Just amazing.

Simeon and I (Scott) are almost two years older than when we started, and we’ve grown from a team of 2 to a team of 7 (don’t worry if you can’t name everybody – we’ll introduce them properly soon).

The show has stayed largely the same, although the set has changed, we’ve witnessed the launch of a new Nintendo console, and we’ve changed day jobs.

Oh, and YouTube has changed a dozen times or so.

Here, I’m going to take a few moments and share the things I’ve learned over the last 500 episodes:

You Can Attract the Right Viewers and Build A Community

TBC doesn’t have a huge following, but the quality of our viewers is astounding. There are all kind of stigmas about YouTube comment sections, but none of them apply to our viewers. By avoiding growth shortcuts, follow-for-follow techniques, and by engaging with Nintendo fans, we’ve collected a tight-knit group of like-minded Nintendo fans. Our patience has paid off! We wouldn’t change the connections we’ve made for a big number of mysterious subscribers.

You Can Help People By Providing Entertainment

Our daily show is a mixture of information, entertainment, gameplay, competitions, and the like. But the source material is consistently one thing: video games. Sometimes it’s tempting to feel like all the time we pour into this effort is frivolous compared to more altruistic endeavors, but we’ve found something surprising along the way: we have helped people. Our viewers have chaotic and sometimes difficult lives, and our channel has proved to be a safe-haven of positivity for them. We love making consistent, top-quality content that you can count on, no matter what’s going on in real life.

You Have to Serve Others to Succeed

There are no benefits for creators to reap without helping others. At first, becoming a YouTuber seems like a pretty grand gig. Make content, people will watch, numbers will go up, and you’ll gain credibility and perks in the industry. Right?


Those motives aren’t sustainable. Attach your motivation to helping your audience, and then you can wake up every day, put others before yourself, and make something truly great while improving others’ lives.

You Have to Be Ready to Adapt

YouTube changes the rules constantly, tinkering with their algorithms to keep viewers engaged and to increase their own revenue. Sometimes these changes are in the favor of creators, and other times they’re not. It’s important that we don’t rely on YouTube too much, but that we diversify our sources of support.

Persistence Pays Off

Things that we have invested in for years are just now starting to pay off. It’s all about the long game. I’ll look back on this post another 500 episodes from now and smile at how things have changed.

Here’s to 500 more!

EPISODE 500! “Why We Do This Show”

500 episodes x 10 minutes per show = 83 hours of glorious Two Button Crew content. <3

#500 – The Two Button Crew show has just reached a MASSIVE milestone: today’s upload equals 500 shows on this channel. We’re halfway to a thousand, and we’re having a blast! But when someone shows up consistently and does something every day for 500 days in a row, you have to stop and ask what causes them to keep up all the hard work. That’s exactly what Simeon and Scott are talking about today, as they try their best to explain what it is that keeps TBC going. On this very special occasion, we’d like to thank you, the viewer who is reading this description, for your ongoing support. We do this for you.

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Stolen TBC Episodes

We demand compensation! Or at least a little bit of credit.

You know when you work really hard on something, and then other people steal your ideas and your work? That’s how we feel right now! There are a few channels on YouTube that are uploading videos suspiciously close to ones that we’ve made (and within a suspiciously close time-frame, as well)… If we’ve ever made a video that looks like someone else’s, we promise we would never take your idea – or at the VERY least we would give you credit and drop a link to the original! Can the same courtesy be extended to us?

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

How a TBC Show is Made (Ep. #400!)

TMI, or good to know?

Wow, we made it to another landmark episode! We’ve been uploading daily videos related to Nintendo fandom for 400 solid episodes. On this momentous day, Scott and Simeon are going to take you behind the curtain and provide a peak at what it looks like to put together a single episode of the show. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a YouTuber, this should give you an idea. From the content preparation, equipment set-up, filming, editing, and everything in between, take a look at what goes into each episode.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

The LOST Episodes of TBC

Would it not just have been the most ironic thing in the world if something happened to THIS episode?

Do you think every episode TBC has filmed made its way to YouTube? IF ONLY that were the case. Simeon is on camera today to fill you in on the episodes that are lost to time.

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0