Atlus has long announced a Persona 5 streaming ban since its Western release last April 4. Fans are annoyed and frustrated as the ban also covers regular PS4 share functions. Meanwhile, Square Enix’s CEO Yosuke Matsuda raised a good point about allowing players to stream games.
Square Enix’s Stance on Streaming Bans
Matsuda told Nikkei in an interview [as translated on NeoGAF] that “when a user shares gameplay videos, it generates buzz, resulting in extra attention for game, this exposure is important for selling games.” This mindset is a complete inverse of Atlus’ streaming ban for Persona 5 and can possibly be a call out to it. Lately, the Persona 5 streaming ban has been making waves as many streamers and players reacted negatively.
Previous Streaming Ban Stint
As of late, Square Enix’s titles like Final Fantasy 15 and NieR Automata are fully streamable from start to finish. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have crawled with player’s screenshots that includes game progression, general guides, and even game glitches. Overall, both Final Fantasy 15 and NieR Automata fan coverage had improved the game’s visibility throughout the internet.
However, Square Enix has also done a streaming ban campaign for one of their previous titles. According to Kotaku, Square Enix has also drawn some flak for a streaming ban on the Dragon Quest Heroes on the PS4 last 2015. Many players who wanted to share their Dragon Quest Heroes experience must follow rules like muting its sounds which ruin the quality of showing the entire gameplay to other people. Overall, Square Enix may not want Atlus to commit a similar mistake regardless of their reasons.
As seen on Atlus’ post about its Persona 5 streaming ban rules, they’re doing this to prevent Persona 5 spoilers spontaneously leaking out. Players are only allowed to stream in-game content until July 7 in game time and aren’t able to show main bosses after the first one. Fans think that this move is “out of touch” with the modern times as it prevents players from freely sharing their experience with others. The spoiler embargo disables the PS4’s share button, forcing players to use other ways to get footage or snapshots.
Overall, the Persona entries often have major plot events that can potentially ruin any player’s first playthrough once spoiled. The strict streaming rules with violations leading to account suspensions may be Atlus’ attempt to help out its general fans, but angered many of them instead. Perhaps, we’ve yet to see if streaming bans are bad in general or just haven’t been pulled off correctly in which it doesn’t hurt its fans.
Worldwide Release Importance
Aside from Square Enix’s response to Nikkei regarding game streaming, the company also discussed the importance of having a worldwide release for games. According to Matsuda, consumers sometimes lose interest in a particular game when it has already been available for quite some time in another region, making gamers associate the newly released game to be “old”. This is more noticeable in RPGs and action adventure games that focus on storytelling, Matsuda said. This piece of information also applies to Persona 5 as the Japanese version of the game launched back in September 2016.
Regardless of what many think about the spoiler embargo and the game’s release date, Persona 5 managed to sell well outside Japan. The title topped the UK charts in the week ending April 8. Last week, the title has reportedly shipped 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Atlus has yet to announce if they will eventually lift the streaming ban. For more gaming news, keep it right here on The BitBag.