It’s one of the most popular games so far this year, and you can’t stream it. Or at least, you can’t stream it past a certain point. Video game companies have greeted the rise of livestreaming and Let’s Plays with varying degrees of wariness….American and European companies have mostly said “Go ahead; it creates free publicity for us.” Japanese developers have exhibited a starkly different reaction: “YOU STOP THAT RIGHT NOW WE DIDN’T SAY YOU COULD SHOW THAT STOP IT STOP IT!!!”
Persona 5 is the latest victim of this attitude. Shortly after the game was released, Atlus issued forth a set of legal rules stating how much you could publicly show of the game. Persona 5 runs on an internal calendar and originally, players were forbidden from publicly sharing anything past mid-July. The goal was to avoid spoilers — a fruitless endeavor in this day and age, and probably unsuccessful. The game also doesn’t respond to the PS4’s Share button, so you can’t even take screenshots without a capture device (or if you have nothing else on hand, a phone).
Now that Persona 5 has been out for a couple weeks, though, Atlus has decided to relax the rules a little bit. They’re still there, but the in-game cutoff date is now November 19, not July 15. They’re also seemingly aware of how Big Brother they came off with telling streamers what to do. “We want to be transparent about what we do, and the reason we released the guidelines was to give streamers the right information up front,” they said in a public statement. “It was never our intention to threaten people with copyright strikes, but we clearly chose the wrong tone for how to communicate this.”
The damage has already been done for some gamers who stream, and it’s not like the guidelines have been repealed entirely. Atlus still has some work to do if it truly means to mend fences.