How Atlus' draconian Persona 5 streaming rules hurt fans

Persona 5's publisher is even more jaded that Nintendo when it comes to streaming and video capture regulations.

5 minutes & 2 seconds read time

Persona 5's release is a massive day for Atlus, but instead of celebrating, the publisher rolled out some draconian and outlandish streaming rules for gamers to follow, proving whoever is in charge simply doesn't understand the current generation of media content consumption.

Atlus has a tight stranglehold over Persona 5 content. Not only did Atlus block Persona 5 screenshots, video recordings, and streams on the PS4 itself, but now the publisher has rolled out some pretty harsh restrictions for streamers who circumvent the block with capture cards. If you break the rules, the publisher has threatened to deliver a copyright strike on your YouTube channel, which can lead to account suspension.

So what are the rules, and why are they so bad? Remember that weird agreement Warner Bros made YouTubers sign with Shadow of Mordor? The one that controller what YouTubers could say and show? Atlus is treating every single Persona 5 gamer and streamer the same way, upholding them to this weird phantom agreement.

"This being a Japanese title with a single-playthrough story means our masters in Japan are very wary about it. Sharing is currently blocked through the native PS4 UI," reads the guidelines.

How Atlus' draconian Persona 5 streaming rules hurt fans |

Atlus doesn't want you revealing spoilers, and that's understandable, but it's definition of a spoiler is super generic. "Only talk about the game in broad strokes," reads the guidelines. Furthermore, each video should only be 90 minutes long, but streams can be as long as you want (provided you show no spoilers).

You shouldn't capture footage of any boss fights except one, and showing ending segments for specific areas. Not being able to show certain areas or battles means streams will need to be edited...kind of defeating the purpose behind a stream.

The worst part about these regulations is you can only stream or show a specific portion of the game. If you stream or capture any footage beyond the in-game date of July 7, Atlus will respond with its promised punishments, including account suspensions or copyright strikes.

This only hurts Persona 5 fans and Atlus' business model

Atlus' "Japanese masters" clearly don't understand how content is consumed in the digital age. These regulations probably come from the same clandestine old-guard Japanese businessmen that are responsible for Nintendo's weird YouTube restrictions.

Publishers absolutely have to embrace video and screenshot sharing. If you don't, you miss out on an insane amount of organic and natural engagement.

Gamers absolutely love sharing awesome screenshots and video clips with their friends, and no one can do that on the PS4 without capture cards.

So Atlus has not only punished everyday gamers and fans for actually liking the game, but they're punishing themselves.

Every time someone shares a cool screenshot or little GIF for a game, it's seen by thousands--sometimes hundreds of thousands--of people on social media. That kind of exposure is something most publishers pay millions of dollars for, and it all happens for free on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other forms of social media.

It's literally free advertisement being passed around by your fans. Free engagement, free advertisement, free exposure. Why would you pass that opportunity up?

Big name YouTubers have refuse to show Nintendo games on their streams and video content because of the company's weird restrictions, and now I have a strong feeling Persona 5 will suffer the same fate. Future Atlus games could also be restricted in this way, too.

But of course none of that matters. What's most important is no one "ruins" the story or game for someone else. I'm sorry, Atlus, but in this day an age that's simply not possible, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Your regulations only hurt your fans and yourself, and if it's anything this digital age has taught me, you have to learn to swim with the current or you'll sink like a rock.

Check Atlus' full Persona 5 streaming regulations below.

Ok, now let's talk Persona 5 streaming and videos. Simply put, we don't want the experience to be spoiled for people who haven't played the game. Our fans have waited years for the game to come out and we really want to make sure they can experience it fully as a totally new adventure. Please read our video/streaming guidelines below:

Please, PLEASE do not post any specific plot points or story spoilers, and only talk about the game in broad strokes. (Good example: "The game deals with dark themes right off the bat, with a lecherous teacher and other corrupted individuals." Bad example: "Players immediately run into trouble with the pervy teacher *spoiler*, whose actions go so far as to cause *spoiler*.")

You're more than welcome to talk/show Confidants, the new combat, the Velvet Room, the dungeons, etc. Just please keep in mind that as a singular story playthrough, viewers are *highly* wary of spoilers!

In-game Content Limit: Please limit video content through the in-game date of 7/7.

Video Content

  • You can post however many additional videos you'd like, but please limit each to be at most 90 minutes long.
  • No major story spoilers, and I'll leave that up to your good judgment. If you need some guidelines, avoid showing/spoiling the ending segments of the first three palaces. 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.
  • I know I mentioned not showing the end of each palace, but you can grab footage from the Kamoshida boss fight. However, don't capture video from the other major boss fights.
  • Must not focus solely on cutscenes/animated scenes, should prominently feature dungeon crawling/spending time in Tokyo.
  • You can post straight gameplay or have commentary.

Streaming Content

This being a Japanese title with a single-playthrough story means our masters in Japan are very wary about it. Sharing is currently blocked through the native PS4 UI.

However, if you do plan on streaming, video guidelines above apply except length.

If you decide to stream past 7/7 (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT DOING THIS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED), you do so at the risk of being issued a content ID claim or worse, a channel strike/account suspension.

That being said, Persona 5 is a super special case for us and we're in ongoing discussion about how our policies may evolve in the future. Thanks for reading and good luck in the Metaverse.[/quote]

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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