Watching livesteams of video games has become the hobby du jour for a generation, and game companies have noticed. Western publishers have recognized the publicity value and put Twitch functionality into their own menus. Japanese publishers….have reacted a bit differently.
A representative of Square-Enix shared their new set of streaming guidelines with Kotaku today. Among them: if you stream a recent Square game on Twitch, you have to shut the music off, because only YouTube is licensed to have the music there. The video description has to have copyright fine print like © 2015 ARMOR PROJECT/BIRD STUDIO/KOEI TECMO GAMES/SQUARE ENIX/ALL RIGHTS RESERVED stamped on it, or they’ll take down your video. Also, even if all these rules are followed, Square says they reserve the right to take down your video anyway.
This is not the only corporation in the East that doesn’t understand these kids today. A few months ago Nintendo put up a similar list of dos and donts regarding the streaming of their video games. Although even that wasn’t as restrictive as Square’s new list, it resulted in a lot of popular, influential streamers getting their videos deleted and their revenue cut. They reacted to this as anyone would by badmouthing Nintendo to the millions of viewers who would have spent money on Nintendo products.
Reacting to the Internet with fear, and then attempting to control it, seems to be especially prevalent among Japanese companies lately. What they don’t realize is that “the Internet,” being a largely social invention, is made up of the people who create its content. By censoring people’s videos and putting up silly restrictions that have no bearing on anything, you’re really trying to control PEOPLE and you’re acting like you own them. And they tend to not appreciate that sort of thing.