When Persona 5 was released earlier this month, the gamer darling of the RPG world, Atlus, created a fecal swimming pool of extremely restrictive streaming regulations and threw themselves into it. The internet reacted as anyone could have guessed, and Atlus was in the crosshairs of the same people who had previously worked to evangelize their wares.
Originally, Atlus had placed limits on how long you could stream (90 minutes), what you could stream as far as key moments/spoilers, and streaming after July 7th in the game was completely forbidden.
Many companies restrict what you can show or tell, but, after a game is in the wild, there is not much they can do. Unless you are Atlus. They threatened streamers with content ID or channel strikes for violating their rules, and they blamed their “masters in Japan” for the unusually harsh constraints.
After the previously mentioned outpouring of hate, Atlus has decided to soften its rigid stance. In a new post on their blog, Atlus said,
“To our surprise, we then saw numerous reactive news articles go up, opinion videos post, and received many emails asking us to please change our Persona 5 streaming/video policy. We recognize that our fans are the reason why the game is the major worldwide success it is, and we continue to want them to be able to enjoy the game without fear of being spoiled. However, we also heard your issues with the guidelines and have decided to revise them. Because we want to give players the most access to the game while respecting the original goal, we’re now asking players to refrain from streaming or posting video past the end of the in-game date of 11/19—when the main story gears up for the final act.
We also want to apologize to those of you who saw the previous guidelines blog post as threatening. 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. It was never our intention to threaten people with copyright strikes, but we clearly chose the wrong tone for how to communicate this.
Lastly, we want to thank our fans around the world for supporting Persona 5 and ATLUS. The game is a global success because of your passion for the series, and we’re happy that so many of you are enjoying it.”
This should be a lesson to all companies that believe they cannot run afoul of their fans, especially when a company has such passionate players. It is easy to see what they were trying to accomplish, when the plot is a major part of their games, but the heavy-handed approach was unnecessary.
People have a certain expectation when they watch streams of a game, and, if they absolutely have to place restrictions (they do not), we think no streaming after 11/19 is a much better place for them to make their case. We also hope they reconsider their position entirely and realize that their fans will and can make their own decisions about a product they purchased with their own money.
Does this put Atlus back in your good graces, or is it too little too late? Let us know in the comments how you think Atlus can repair its damaged reputation in time for the unannounced fantasy RPG that is currently in development.