Why Spoiling Persona 5 on Social Media Doesn’t Matter to Atlus
A recent post on the Atlus official website warned players about streaming too far and spoiling Persona 5 and the game’s storyline for others. In the post, which can be viewed in its entirety here, Atlus listed both video sharing and streaming rules and regulations, where they pointed out the dos and don’ts of sharing content from the latest installation in the Persona series. Although sharing features have been blocked through the native PlayStation 4 UI, Atlus is well aware of capture cards and other multimedia capturing devices that can be used instead of the PS4’s native features, and tagged on an additional threat towards players who choose to share or broadcast any gameplay that takes place past the in-game date of 7/7 (July 7th in Persona time).
The major points made are listed below:
In-game Content Limit: Please limit video content through the in-game date of 7/7.
- 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.
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.
The Persona 5 multimedia content restrictions have been met with a variety of responses from gaming communities, with one of the most prominent retorts being to just flat-out spoil the game over social media sites. This includes the Atlus official Twitter page where, if you want to spoil the entire game for yourself, you can go see replies to Tweets that will completely thrash the ending. Not only are real accounts doing this, people are even going as far as making bot accounts that search for anything involving “#Persona5”, or its affiliated hashtags, and replying to these posts with spoiler-heavy content.
So, in response to Atlus putting a halt to sharing their content, people are ruining the ending of Persona 5 for gamers who have absolutely no involvement with Atlus or their company other than buying their game. This is also being called an “act of protest” by some, which is absolutely ridiculous when you think about it, because in the end what’s happening has nothing to do with spoilers, but has everything to do with Atlus just not wanting people to broadcast their content.
In their post, something that they do address is that spoilers are a huge issue for them. This is actually a completely valid point they’re making, too. Once the game is done, it’s done. There’s one storyline. So, to minimalize the single playthrough value of the 80+ hour long JRPG (it can go past 100+ if you really want to get into it), they don’t want other players to openly broadcast this one, single time playthrough game, to everyone. Especially not to players who have been waiting almost 10 years to play it.
But, in retrospect, there are tons of Persona 5 spoilers that are already all over the internet, with or without Twitter bots and Facebook raids. The game has been out in Japan since September 15, 2016. That’s over half a year. If someone really wants to know what happens, a simple Google search will do the trick.
If the game were to be broadcasted in any form, people watching it generally know what they’re getting into. Most likely, they’re already well aware that they’re about to be seeing some pretty hefty spoilers, and it should be up to them if they want to spoil it, not Atlus, right? Well, it seems like Atlus has a bigger issue with the unauthorized broadcasting and redistribution of their multimedia content than they do with players just giving away too many spoilers.
If Atlus wants to block sharing of their content, which is only valued as a one-time playthrough, blocking streaming and otherwise limiting multimedia sharing is essentially the same thing as a film distribution company telling their customer that they can’t stream the entire movie they just bought on DVD, but it’s ok to post some clips. Even though Persona 5 might have been purchased from Atlus, either physically or digitally, the multimedia content within the game still doesn’t belong to anyone other than Atlus. Not one bit. As long as they have the license, they hold the rights to the game in whatever form it’s in now, and ever will be.
Even though the rules posted by Atlus are not particularly in a streamer’s best interest, purchasing the game still doesn’t mean that a player is entitled to broadcast multimedia content that doesn’t belong to them.
Just because you bought Game of Thrones doesn’t mean that it’s ok to upload it to YouTube or stream it on Twitch, regardless of spoiler content. What Atlus is telling you is that it’s also not ok to do that with Persona 5. It doesn’t matter if you bought it.
Atlus is actually being lenient, as they could have told all players that multimedia sharing for the game is entirely off limits unless permission was personally given by Atlus themselves. But they didn’t, instead, they gave the aforementioned rules.
They know people are going to talk about the game, they know that everything from walkthroughs to playthroughs will be made, they probably even knew that, once they posted those rules on their website, their social media pages were going to blow up with angry gamers that were utterly outraged that they couldn’t share the entire game online. They don’t care, they just don’t want you broadcasting their content on Twitch, or YouTube, or whatever.
So, vigilantes determined on spoiling Persona 5 over social media, Atlus already knows that there are spoilers-a-plenty all over the web. What they don’t want people doing is broadcasting their licensed content without their permission, so no matter how many spoiler-post bots are made, as long as gameplay footage that they don’t want being shared isn’t being shared, none of these hordes of spoilers are being taken seriously by Atlus, and punishing gamers for playing Persona 5 certainly won’t persuade Atlus into allowing players to stream their game any sooner.