Last Week Atlus released ‘a note on Persona 5 and streaming’ with guidelines for people wishing to upload content from their recently released game onto YouTube, Twitch and other streaming services, with consequences for people who don’t abide by their guidelines. The problem with the announcement is its wording, it’s very ambiguous and in the interest of trying to protect spoilers, Atlus ironically lists a load of minor spoilers themselves.
Let’s start off with one of the opening lines from the article; ‘Simply put, we don’t want the experience to be spoiled for people who haven’t played the game.’ This isn’t a particularly convincing statement, and i think ‘we don’t want people to experience content from our game for free’ would be more accurate to what they really intended to say, which is absolutely understandable and I don’t blame Atlus for trying to protect their work. Atlus have worked hard on Persona 5 as they said in the statement and it shows, it’s an incredible game and they are well within their right to prevent people from advertising their work.Persona 5 revolves around an in-game calendar where the player needs to manage their time in order to progress with the most potential possible, as doing activities to upgrade your statistics passes the in-game time. It’s a game about utilising your time in-between dungeons, as anybody who has experienced a Persona game will be familiar with. It’s these Palace dungeons where the core of Persona 5 is, as the protagonist and friends delve into them to steal the heart of corrupted people within a certain amount of days. So when they stated; ‘Please limit video content through the in-game date of 7/7’ it already raises the expectations to a date that previously people didn’t have any preconceptions of.
Within the opening lines of the statement Atlus even give hints and tips on how to succeed through the game by suggesting, ‘MAKE SURE TO CHECK YOUR CALENDAR AND NOT WAIT UNTIL THE VERY LAST DAY TO STEAL SOMEONE’S TREASURE. REMEMBER TO SEND OUT A CALLING CARD BEFOREHAND’. Anybody that hasn’t played the game yet or have only played the opening hours wouldn’t necessarily know what this means, and it seems like an irrelevant thing to say in a statement about streaming guidelines.
Another issue is Twitch streamers and people who upload onto YouTube are completely different. Where YouTubers have the ability to record, edit then upload their content, thus having control over what is uploaded, live Twitch streamers who are playing the game for the first time don’t have that luxury, so when Atlus state, ‘ please limit each to be at most 90 minutes long’ and ‘No major story spoilers, and I’ll leave that up to your good judgment’, it doesn’t make the message clear on what they want from both parties. How can a live Twitch streamer playing the game for the first time possibly know where a major spoiler lays when they haven’t experienced the game themselves? The biggest spoiler though, is when Atlus says that don’t want a particular character and event to be spoiled, but then indirectly spoils it anyway, ‘While you can show initial interactions with Yusuke, avoid his awakening scene, and that whole deal about THE painting. Also, don’t post anything about a certain student investigator’.
The article was posted on social media on 4th of April, the day of the games release which also doesn’t make a lot of sense. Persona 5 was released in Japan seven months ago, giving people plenty of time to upload videos of the game .
There’s a lot of confusion as to exactly what Atlus wants from the broadcasting services and it would have been less complicated if they had just released a ban on advertising the game in any way. Anyone with a moral compass would abide by their wish and the confusing nature of their statement would’ve been avoided.
I just want to add that Atlus is one of my favourite video game developers, they’re a small company with big ideas and a great cult following. I just think that the way they handled this situation was untimely and unprofessional.
Read their statement here;