Persona 5 Locked Down

Want to stream, review, or even talk about Persona 5? Be sure to follow the rules.

ATLUS recently released Persona 5 in the west, and while I’m not a fan of the series, the genre, or really Japanese games in general, something caught my attention.

Apparently, if you’re caught streaming or creating videos of Persona 5‘s content past the in-game date of July 7th, you’re going to be considered to be violating ATLUS copyright. While I can understand spoilers being a concern for a story-heavy game, ATLUS is ready to go as far as to issue content ID claims, channel strikes, or even account suspensions (their words, not mine) for recording gameplay past the date they’ve chosen.

Sharing the game is impossible through the normal share functions on the PS4, meaning smaller reviewers who don’t have capture hardware will be unable to take their own videos or screenshots. That won’t stop players with the proper hardware from taking screenshots and creating videos however, so it doesn’t really stem the tide of content all that much. Additionally, no reason has been given by ATLUS for their refusal to allow players to record content other than their “masters in Japan are very wary about it”.

It sounds like the Japanese arm of ATLUS is worried that potential players won’t buy Persona 5 if they end up watching recordings of it, which is pretty asinine if you ask me. What’s worse is that Sony apparently is willing to allow these restrictions, since they’re catering to ATLUS by letting the company lock down an entire system feature of the PS4 while the game is running.

So, if you’re planning on streaming the game, be very careful to not breach the terms of use that ATLUS set up. They’re evidently being extremely serious about spoilers, and won’t bat an eye at shutting you down.

Here are their video and streaming rules:

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.

What are your thoughts about this news? Is ATLUS being reasonable about their game, or is this taking their copyright license too far?


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15 thoughts on “Persona 5 Locked Down

  1. This seems a bit harsh. I can understand not wanting to have the game spoiled though. I could see them being concerned it impacts sales, but I think that’s a backwards belief and to me being able to spread the word about a game through such streams gets it to a bigger audience.

    I’m normally not into watching let’s play because if I plan to play the game, I won’t watch it to avoid spoiling it. But I don’t know the mindset of people who watch these regular and if in reality majority of the people who watch streams do it so they don’t have to buy the game. I would like others to say if that’s true simply because I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s certainly a tough situation to be in, though I would think that games from Telltale would be a great example of how narrative focused games can be streamed and still sell well. If there was evidence to back up the suspicion that streaming hurts sales, I could understand. It just seems like another case of publishers trying to control the market.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another example of a Japanese games company refusing to keep up with the times. I want to play this game, but there’s no way I can commit the length of time needed for it. Stunts like this cement my choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t interested in covering Persona 5 personally, but I know now that I wouldn’t be interested in trying it at all at this point. The vast majority of screenshots and videos I use in my reviews and impressions posts are ones that I take personally through the native capture software on consoles and PC, and ATLUS apparently doesn’t want that to happen.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Though they technically have the right to do this, they’re being a bit harsh with their punishments. I get that they’re trying to prevent spoilers, but channel strikes and account suspensions are serious matters. They’re going to turn off people streaming any of their stuff out of fear.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Based on how Atlus US handled the announcement, it seems like they aren’t in agreement with it but the Japanese higher-ups are calling the shots. To me it is just silly and more indication that the old guard in Japan does not understand how gaming and the internet work together.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, well I only have personal anecdotal evidence on this, but watching a game usually makes me want to play it more unless I’ve decided it’s too difficult for me to handle, and that’s usually why I wind up watching it in the first place. But more than likely, I’ll decide to play the game I’m watching if I haven’t already so that I can experience it for myself. Sometimes these are games I had no intention of playing (like Mass Effect due to the action RPG qualities), so I think this is pretty asinine. I’m curious about what the results of a study on this would be, because as said, I’ve decided to play more games through watching an LP than not.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that would be an excellent idea. Have an independent, outside source do some research. Like I was saying before, any game I’m going to only watch, I wouldn’t play anyway, so they’re not losing a sale, and if I’m going to play something, watching it won’t dissuade me. I’d be very interested in those results.

        Liked by 1 person

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