Nintendo Policy on E3 Direct Streaming Throws Twitch Into Chaos

The company's vague announcement, yet again, shows the sort of legal grey area where streaming exists.
June 15, 2021, 4:52pm
A screenshot from today's Nintendo Direct
Image Source: Nintendo

Last night Nintendo of Japan tweeted that streamers are not allowed to co-stream or talk over today's Nintendo Direct. Hundreds of people were doing it anyway.

Nintendo's tweet went out very late last night, and was only on their Japanese language account. According to Google Translate, the tweet asks that streamers "please refrain from mirror distribution of Nintendo Direct video and audio during live distribution of Nintendo Direct."

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At this time, it is unclear whether or not this applied to everyone, or if the message was just intended for Japanese streamers (Nintendo of America did not put out a similar tweet).  In response, Twitch said that it would not co-stream today's Direct, though the Direct is streaming all over Twitch, hosted by a variety of different streamers (including the official E3 account).

The lack of clarity has led to frustration not just from streamers, who have been talking over E3 presentations for years, but also the video game press, who were also planning to talk over today's Nintendo Direct. The tweet, yet again, shows the sort of legal grey area where streaming exists. Game developers and publishers by-and-large have decided to look the other way with streaming, specifically because streamers are amplifying companies’ games or, in this case, marketing material. Streamers were quick to say that the decision put them in a difficult position:

Waypoint reached out to Twitch for comment but they did not respond.

Despite the statement from Nintendo, hundreds of streamers were still mirroring and talking over the Nintendo Direct. Some streamers decided to only do reaction streams, where Nintendo’s actual Direct isn’t visible on stream.