This is why Capcom’s new streaming rules are controversial

Steven Rondina • January 12, 11:43

Capcom is looking to take a bit more control over the content creators that work with their games.

Capcom has revealed a new set of guidelines regarding what kind of content can be made using its IPs. Though the guidelines are mostly standard fare, the publisher behind Mega Man, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and more left some things vague enough that it could open the door for major issues down the road.

Capcom has a few blanket restrictions regarding the use of its content. This includes rules against leaked footage and any content related to Capcom games that hasn’t been officially released. While this is likely aimed at barring YouTubers from putting out leaked gameplay footage from incomplete builds of games, compelling content has been made for other titles that would fall into a gray area of this rule.

For example, Bloodborne and Dark Souls have large communities that have unearthed unreleased enemies and levels through data mining. This hidden content isn’t complete, but it expands the lore of the games in compelling ways. It’s unclear if something similar could be done now in games like Resident Evil or Monster Hunter.

Another sticking point is that content be “audience-appropriate,” where games targeted for younger audiences shouldn’t be repurposed into mature content. While Capcom’s best-known franchises are for older audiences, titles such as Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and Okami have received child-friendly ratings in some regions. Could a foul-mouthed player create content using these games? Technically not.

The biggest question mark involves a rule regarding “non-commercial use,” which states Capcom will “not allow you to create new content using our game if a paid subscription is required for people to access our specific content.” It’s unclear what specific type of subscription services Capcom is discussing, but it’s stated that videos may be monetized through “partner programs and/or advertising.”

This could be specifically targeted towards larger media entities like Netflix, which has multiple series that feature footage from video games. But things get quite murky when it comes to subscriber-only streams or VODs on Twitch, as they would technically go against these rules.

Ultimately, these sorts of rules are defined by how they’re enforced. Capcom may be simply establishing conditions which would allow the company to take down extremely offensive content or it could be planning a much larger crackdown.

Does Nintendo own Capcom?

No. Capcom has a long working relationship with Nintendo that includes the development of exclusive titles and even Capcom studios developing games to be published by Nintendo. Despite that, Capcom is its own company that has published games on all major handhelds and consoles.

Is Capcom Japanese?

Capcom’s headquarters are located in Osaka, Japan, and the publisher’s operations have always been primarily located in the country. The publisher has a number of subsidiaries located around the world with the primary goal of distributing and selling its games, but business and game development efforts are almost entirely performed in Japan.

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