Monday, May 07, 2018

Atlus Still Blocks Streaming of Persona 5

We're steadily reaching the 2 year mark since Persona 5 was released (September 2016 in Japan/April 2017 worldwide). If there's one thing Atlus is sticking to, is that they do not want the story to be spoiled for anyone. Because you still can not stream the game through conventional methods without your PS4 blocking you.

Last year, after gamers and streamers called out Atlus over their crazy streaming practices, not much has changed. If you were one of those with a PS Plus membership and snatched up the recent Persona 5 deal, you're fully aware that streaming the game is a no-go zone. After the first action sequence, your PS4 will prevent from any additional streaming of the game by only airing audio content. I tried it yesterday with an exasperated sigh. I remember the controversy. I remember Atlus said it would ease up on it's restrictions and put streamers in "good faith" to stop streaming after a certain date in the story.

I didn't realize that the ban on streaming through the PS4 was still blocking the content.

Is it possible to still stream Persona 5? Yes if you buy a capture card, which can run you from $80-$100 for one of good quality. Streaming of the game isn't prohibited, technically. You can find full playthroughs with relative ease. But you can't use the capabilities built into the system.

Why is Atlus still doing this?

It's not uncommon these days, particularly among Japanese developers, to block certain segments from streaming with the PS4 or XBoxOne. Some argue that it's to protect story elements from leaking so people can "enjoy the game" without being spoiled. Kind of wish people would do that with 'The Avengers: Infinity War.' SquareEnix, for example, did this with the end of Final Fantasy XV when the game was first released. But generally after a few months have passed, the blocks are removed.

Persona 5 has been a worldwide release for over a year and people have seen what the game is about - even in passing. Why keep blocking it from general streaming services and force your players to use alternate methods? Streaming has morphed into an important marketing tool. It's a cheap and effective way to promote your content without needing to spend much in the process. The developer's core audience are the people who would want to buy games. Streaming provides a direct line of contact to gamers seeing the product. Versus spending hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, on a 10-15 second TV advertisement going to a supposed demographic. It makes sense to promote streamers and allow your games to be accessible to them. When you block the content, you throw away an easy opportunity to promote your game.

It's a conundrum that Atlus has yet to provide an update for. If Persona 5 ever gets a re-release, maybe then the restrictions will be lifted?

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