Written by Diclonius Games
Regarded as one of the most-hyped and most-anticipating games of the past 5 years, Persona 5 came and went with a storm of controversy from both the publisher/developer Atlus and the whole of the gaming community.
When the game officially released worldwide (excluding Japan) on April 4, Atlus took the offensive against anyone who wished to upload content and/or stream the game with some strict guidelines. Out of those, two of the biggest were that no one could stream past the in-game date of 7/7 as Persona 5 runs on a calendar system (July 7) and not to spoil major plot points including a “perverted teacher” and a “student investigator.” Breaking Atlus’ rules ran people the risk of Content ID claims, copyright strikes and going so far as to issue channel suspensions. Other minor issues included trophy screenshots not being taken when players earned in-game trophies (for PS4 users only. Why they’re worried about this, I don’t know). Native PS4 streaming was also barred for the game.
Amidst the backlash, Atlus issued a statement apologizing for the harsh restrictions and fear of channel takedowns and strikes by extending the in-game date to 11/19 (November 19). Gamers and streamers alike still weren’t happy as they were up in arms as the game was already out in Japan for over six months so anyone who wanted to watch walkthroughs of the game already could. Atlus was afraid of spoilers getting out, and while I can understand their perspective, I can also understand the view of the gamer as the community alike said that if you didn’t want to see spoilers, don’t watch streams of the game.
Over 8 months since the game released worldwide, has the storm died down? Kind of. Here’s the thing: from my perspective, most of Atlus’ policies don’t affect me because I don’t stream. The only thing that affects me is the trophy screenshot blocking (which I think makes no sense at all to be honest), as I recently picked up Persona 5 and am enjoying it so far.
The million-dollar question remains though…for anyone who’s interested in checking the game out and waited for a sale or for other reasons, will Atlus permanently erase these restrictions and allow people to play the game freely? I think they should and here’s why…
Indeed, Atlus doing this in the first place was a dumb move. I can understand not wanting the game to be spoiled, it’s kind of the same with watching a major movie for the first time and some dummy in the back spoils the ending. Here’s the thing: anyone who wanted to watch gameplay, did so six months prior in mid-September of 2016 when the game released in Japan. People were mostly spoiled with the game to begin with. Native streaming via the PS4 was also another unfair tactic as there are some people (like myself) who don’t have the know how or the money to purchase a capture card to stream from a computer.
Another major riot people took offense to was the severity of the penalties for breaking Atlus’ policies. Content ID claims were one thing, but channel strikes, and/or suspensions were proof Atlus went too far. While Atlus USA understands the culture of streaming video games, most people took to social media as they adhered to the opinion that Atlus JP doesn’t understand current-day culture of game streams on both YouTube and Twitch. Twitch themselves also stood behind the restrictions and supported Atlus.
Here’s another thing: This isn’t George Orwell’s “1984.” While it is your intellectual property and you can do what you want with it, you kind of went too far Atlus, even if you meant good intentions to keep spoilers under wraps. This is just my opinion from a first-timer of JRPG games, but what do you think. Did Atlus go too far or did the gaming community overreact and make a war out of a debate?
Atlus’ Original Restrictions: https://atlus.com/note-persona-5-streaming/
Kotaku Article On Revised Restrictions & Apology: https://kotaku.com/atlus-apologizes-for-persona-5-streaming-restrictions-1794684386