Thursday, April 06, 2017

Streamers Clash with Atlus Over Persona 5

Persona is one of those odd games where people know the name, but most of you probably haven't played it. It's pretty big in Japan. But it didn't hit it's big break in the US until 2007 with Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. It's considered to be one of the best PS2 games, and PSP ports. Ever since, it's been gaining momentum in the US. Developer Atlus is also really bad about announcing release dates, so the release of Persona 5 was very much on the fore-front of gamer's minds. Japan has had the game for nearly 7 months before it was released here on just a few days ago.

However, one policy from Atlus is already giving a sour note to the game. Those who post any video footage of the game after the in-game date of 7/7 will receive a copyright notice. The game also blocks the PS4's native sharing features (screenshots and video). Needless to say, that's made a lot of streamers and fans quite unhappy. Their claim is that they don't want people to have the story spoiled for them (but with it already being out in Japan for 7 months, it's easy to find out the plot). They are even "suggesting" how people review the game so as not to drop spoilers.

There is even policies on video limits. No boss fights, with the exception of one character. Videos can only be 90 minutes long. You can't have videos focus on cutscenes. There are even rules about which story scenes, prior to the in-game 7/7 date, that can not be included. It all boils down to preventing people from streaming the game. At all. With all these rules, why bother streaming?

In all fairness, Atlus can be Draconian when it comes to streaming and issuing copyright claims. They have threatened smaller channels in the past with Persona 4 Dancing All Night without any warnings or requests to remove the videos. Just outright strikes on their account (which is already a red flag with YouTube and why they allow such a carté blanché to Atlus). But with some of the larger channels and the same game? No issues at all. So apparently it's okay if a known YouTuber streams Persona because it may boost sales, but not the smaller channels? Unfortunately, it's all still legal within the rules of YouTube so there's nothing to stop Atlus from doing it.

A number of streamers are no longer showing support for the game, and will not stream at all. Which is what Atlus wants anyway. But that can very well work against the developer. As a number of people have commented on Twitter and YouTube that their interest in Persona came to be because of streaming. I know I didn't have a fascination with it until I saw a friend stream Persona 3 and I thought it was such an odd game, I was intrigued. Streaming is the new way to market games, whether you like it or not. Atlus ' restrictions could impact their sales in the long run by having such tight restrictions on streamers.

It's also a dick move to post the streaming rules after the game released on Tuesday, when people had already bought the game with the intent on sharing it with their family, friends, and subscribers to encourage them to play it too. Open boxes = no return. What jerks.


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