Atlus Sets Restrictions on Persona 5 Video Streaming

Atlus has made it clear they don’t want player spoiling major story moments from Persona 5, as they’ve disabled the PlayStation 4’s built-in gameplay sharing and screenshot features. Now, they’ve detailed how much they’re allowing players to stream the game.

The developer shared a new blog post where they detailed the official restrictions on what you can and cannot stream from the game:

  • 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.

Atlus also specified that users should avoid discussing the game in “broad strokes,” providing good and bad examples of critiquing the game:

  • 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*

Finally, anything streamed beyond the 7/7 date in the game is entirely prohibited to avoid major story spoilers.

Persona 5 is now available for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.

Expect our review for the game soon, and make sure to follow our own video streaming for the game via our “Month of Persona” feature, where we’ll upload daily, lengthy videos of us playing Persona 5. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for when each video drops!


Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • alterku

    Sure. Good luck with that.

  • Mr0303

    I don’t know what Atlus is thinking with this one. These draconian restrictions can only hurt the game in the long run. I don’t think spoilers are much of an issue here – it’s going to be a 60+ hours long JRPG, so seeing a scene out of context won’t be much of a spoiler. Going as far as to restrict screenshots is lunacy.

    Streaming games is essentially free marketing and people who don’t want to be spoiled won’t watch playthroughs.

  • acidthorn

    “Since our translation got delayed because it sucked ass, please also follow these guidelines to not give us free marketing”.

    Thanks, Atlus. Fuck off.

  • Plus they plan to DMCA anyone who streams the game using alternative methods like digital cameras or whatever.

    Because of this, the money I’ve set aside for this game will now be going towards another game, because if they going to treat their customers like shit, then they’re obviously allergic to money.

  • I can understand why they want to stop spoilers spreading so quickly – this is a game that’s been anticipated for years – but really, there’s no need to restrict people like this. I managed to avoid spoilers the entire time P5 was being localized, so it’s not that hard.

  • FrankieL

    On one hand, I understand the “why” of these restrictions. Atlus is trying to retain the integrity of the story plot points so players are surprised when playing the game. No one likes spoilers.

    But on the other hand, I know that I don’t HAVE to tune into a stream of the game if I don’t want anything spoiled.

    Back to the other hand… I understand that Atlus really wants people to play the game. Not watch it played. It also helps their bottom line. To be fair, they are allowing some streaming of the content to a point. So it’s not like people can’t stream anything at all of the game. Atlus is trying to protect the story. I understand that. And actually respect it quite a bit because they believe in the story that much. So there is a middle ground compromise they are allowing which in my eyes is fair. From what I heard, you’re allowed to stream the first 3rd of the game for the most part. Anyone who is watching a stream to see if it’s a game they want to buy and play can easily get an idea of game mechanics and story from that first 3rd of the game. So, I think outrage over these restrictions is a bit of a “mountains out of mole hills” situation.

  • This seriously pisses me off. What a bunch of assholes.

  • Jumanji Joe

    Easy away around this is with a capture card.

  • Bitterbear

    And so it begins the slow decay towards its parent company’s corporate culture.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    I don’t know, this just seems like a reaction to the Fallout 4 spoilerfest that happened. Now, if this was Shin Megami Tensei…

  • sAy_YaS

    They should put these restrictions on all social media so i dont have to worry about Walking Dead spoilers.

  • Himegami Aisa

    Considering Atlus has the dubious disinction of publishing the only region-locked PS3 game in existence, it’s hardly surprising.

  • Travis Touchdown

    Nice to see Atlus joining Nintendo in their attempts at shutting down the streaming community.

  • Bitterbear

    Well.. Sega went crazy sending DMCAs to youtubers playing Shining Force games. Sega does what Nintendoes.

  • chocodino

    they are talking about the in game date, as in, once you reach 7/7 IN-GAME, you shouldn’t stream anything, because of the mayor spoilers.

  • catazxy

    Yep, they messed up with that one. At least the game is superb.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    The screenshot thing bummed me out, I really like taking those. I never post them anywhere either, so it’s not like anybody’s getting spoiled because of me.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    So everyone’s trying to take down lets players?

  • Mr0303

    Yeah, they are nice for a personal gallery.

  • Bitterbear

    So far, the Japanese publishers seem to be the only vocal ones.

  • AuraMaster DX (austin9568)

    Hopefully this doesn’t majorly bite them in the ass.
    >inb4 boycott or pirate.

  • artemisthemp

    This is really stupid since this doesn’t stop people with HDR from recording video

  • Personaknight

    Just another example of content creators over reaching their authority on their product. Control people experience something they made only the way they see fit (which is usually the way that makes them the most money.)

  • Uncle Ocelot

    I’m guessing this was Atlus Japan’s call.

  • just another reason why not to support atlus.

  • DrearierSpider

    Why are Japs so stupid about streaming?

  • InfectedAI

    I wouldn’t be surprised if people with alternative recording methods ended up getting DMCA’d.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Weird, seemed like something AAA would be the first ones to. Guess it’s only shitty newspapers fighting against them.

  • artemisthemp

    Atlus should be careful not to end up like Nintendo

  • No_Good_Names_Ever
  • el Fabio

    Said it once, will say it again: They are in their right to limit the amount of information about their product, is it a good practice? IMO yes, considering the kind of game it is chances are that the majority will not go for a second playthrough.
    Oh but Fabio – you may ask- isn’t going for a DMCA a bit too extreme? Yep it is, but again read the statement, they did NOT tell you that you couldn’t stream, they asked nicely to avoid it.
    -But its censorship bro, we need to be up in arms.- Not really, considering that they could have blocked sharing as a whole.
    -But its free marketing for them!- That will be an interesting thing to see, specially with Twitch upcoming changes you know, the whole buy a game while you are watching someone stream it thing we will get to see exactly what is the share of games that is sold and get insights to that claim.
    Finally, the “ok I won’t buy this game ’cause I have to follow rules” argument, a couple of days ago I saw a screenshot of a ebay page of some guy selling a game in mint condition since it was used for a stream, while I don’t condemn this in any way it makes me wonder do people actually buy/get games with a prospective ROI? What happened to getting a game just to have some fun?

  • braneman

    I guess even negative press is press, makes me want to not even look into buying the game at all, I guess I can just tell people to buy it used.

  • Izzy Lichi

    i agree with Atlus 100% on doing this. Besides, streaming video games is a waste of time, and anyone that spends their time watching streams other then video guides on finding things they missed, could probably find much better use of said wasted time.

  • 2501

    You know what, i agree with this. I do think streaming and LPing can encourage spoilers, especially with story driven games like Persona. There have been times where there are games that i wanted to buy but because i watched a full playthrough of it – i saw no need to get it. These days i just avoid the streaming so i can experience the game for myself.

  • Sean Sharpe

    Can someone explain to me how this is a big deal?

    It’s not exactally anti-consumer; consumers still have ways of seeing if the game is right of them; rental, gameplay videos fitting their guidelines, borrowing it from a friend, etc.

    I don’t really get the free marketing thing, either. For some indie, I can buy that, or even some niche retro game… But this is a pretty hyped up game, that while not mainstream, isn’t really that obscure.

  • EvaUnit02

    Cool story.

  • EvaUnit02

    Conversely, can you explain how streaming the game is a big deal? For many of us, streaming is a way to share in the game, just like how our friends used to sit on the couch with us and experience these games together in the long, long ago. Except now, we can get together whenever we want at whatever distances apart.

    For example, I certainly have no interest in playing Mass Effect: Andromeda for myself. However, I would enjoy sitting and watching a friend play it while we chat about it together.

  • it was the same with the japanese version since day one of the release, i believe. i’m not surprised and i understand both side, Atlus made their choice it’s their rights and i’ll stick with it.
    Every game is so easily spoiled now . so yeah i agree to this too.

  • Keyt

    Oh goodness..You have repeated this incorrect, unqualified, and irrationally idiotic comment more than once?

    I can tell you one thing for sure, nobody is ever going to respond to you with “Oh but Fabio” over one of your uneducated opinions…

    You’re clear as day not qualified to diagnose any sort of legitimate real world legal issue, just read your first sentence….That…That literally killed a few of my brain cells and made my eyes bleed..Please don’t reproduce, or at the very least, finish Junior High first…

  • Zero Eternity

    While in their rights to do, it is still stupid. First because people will still do so anyway, and second because if a person does not want to get spoilers they are not going to be watching a play through of it, more than once to see if they really want the game.

  • Verus

    something must be shit about it then if they don’t want it getting out.

  • Leandro Teixeira

    Persona 4 Arena 2 right? Why did they do it anyway? Never understood the story behind that one

  • Leandro Teixeira

    Next time, don’t go Tales of on our asses and leave a 6 month gap between realeses, this isn’t the 80’s people can import shit now, spoilers were bound to appear via people that either imported the game or read japs talking about it in forums

  • KiTA

    We had some discussion about this in KIA, and one of the Japanese posters on there had some interesting things to say about it. Apparently this is standard practice in Japan (he showed off the Nier and FF15 agreements) and they actually have had people arrested in Japan for breaking these rules. More worryingly are the unhinged Authoritarian Japanese players from 2ch that hound and false flag anyone they consider as having “broken the law.”

    I still think it’s extremely shitty behavior, and as another KIA member noted, since they are intentionally refusing to recognize Fair Use law, that means they don’t have a leg to stand on, but goooooood luck getting Twitch / Youtube to respect your rights as a consumer.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    This is so ass-fucking-backwards about how the internet works in 2017 that it makes Nintendo’s online services look like they’re ahead of their time.

  • Himegami Aisa

    The first one, and they flat out admitted it was because they were worried about parallel imports.

  • RichardGristle

    Laaame. Get fucked, Atlus.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    You do understand that they aren’t keeping you from streaming, right? Its only major spoilers they want avoided, things they want people to actually play the game to experience.

    JRPGs are one kind of game a lot of people play to see the story unfold, and sharing that can ruin it the same way it does for TV and movies.

    Unlike sharing the experience at home, its not limited to a few people experiencing it in chunks. They can’t make an exception because it creates a double-standard, one that only benefits the self-proclaimed non-customers. Its counter-intuitive.

    That makes the “free advertising” a moot point. You’re not supposed to give away the key plot points in your ads, nobody does that, you leave it on a cliff-hanger.

    That’s exactly what people are upset about though. They want the benefits of being an advertiser without the accountability that goes along with it apparently.

  • RichardGristle

    “I like when companies put arbitrary limits on how I can use the products I pay for.”

    t. true cuck

  • Leandro Teixeira

    Now that’s just stupid. Didn’t they say at the time that the probability of it coming over was low?

  • EvaUnit02

    They *are* keeping people from streaming. It’s literally the title of this article.

    I’m not really sure where your “ads are accountable for keeping key plot points secret” argument comes from but I feel it’s beside the point. I’m not exactly what you mean when you talk about double standards, either.

    However, if streaming a game is a problem due to potential spoilers, people have the ability to, you know, not watch them. When a new game, book, movie, or TV show comes out, it’s not the creator’s responsibility to keep people from spoiling them for me. It’s my own responsibility to avoid spoilers, if that’s something that is important to me.

  • LaserCatsAreAwesome

    I hope this causes a Streisand Effect of nonstop massive spoilers everywhere with the blame solely on Atlus.

  • LaserCatsAreAwesome

    Publisher/Developer worship- not even once.

  • sanic

    Meh its shitty but so far I’ve avoided being spoiled unlike persona 1, 2, 3, 4, Q.
    Why not just release a patch unlocking streaming after a month or 2 when fans have wrapped up their playthroughs?

  • what for real? That’s even worse. Seriously, what the hell Atlus…

  • Zombie_Barioth

    No they aren’t, they’re keeping people from revealing major plot points. Unless that’s ALL you plan to stream, then you aren’t being kept from doing so.

    That’s also not what I was getting at. If you’re an advertiser, which is what streamers like to say they’re doing “for free”, then you have to deal with the IP owner and their rules for handling it. They don’t want that though. That is one such double standard.

    The other was was if they were to make an exception for those who, as you suggested, wouldn’t play the game either way.

    This isn’t a matter of personal responsibility on the part of the viewer, its about how the actions of the streamer effects the creator’s control over their work and the ability to maintain and market it.

    In short its a copyright issue, and streaming anything besides gameplay with commentary over it conflicts with it.

  • EvaUnit02

    Dude, the streaming feature of the PS4 is disabled for the duration of the game. They have literally taken measures to attempt to prevent you from streaming.

  • Mr0303

    Relevant piss take from Devolver Digital:

  • Eli Wintercross

    Kind of a dick move from Atlus to disable the sharing options.

  • Eli Wintercross

    Yeah, it’s not hard to avoid spoilers.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    They did that because there’s no way for players to actually edit anything through it.

    That doesn’t stop people from using other services though.

    If they wanted to shut down streaming they wouldn’t bother with these guidelines to begin with, they would put the kibosh on the the whole thing.

  • el Fabio

    That’s fine, its your opinion and I respect that. Too bad you weren’t able to provide any kind of legitimate argument to support that opinion , but hey, it is what it is

  • This announcement has actually affected LPers, as well.

  • LaserCatsAreAwesome

    That’s Sonic Twitter level shitposting!

  • braneman

    They explicitly say, and I’m quoting from their blog post on this.(they’re talking about ingame dates for reference)
    “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.”
    They’re willing to pull the DMCA card if you stream or post anything past a certain date ingame, I’m pretty sure that sends a very clear message about what they think of streaming.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    Yeah, I’ve read that, and it doesn’t really send the message you seem to be implying.

    As I said, they could have easily put a lid on the whole idea.

    They know people want to stream everything, they don’t want that, so instead they came up with something they’re comfortable with.

    That’s how compromise works.:P

    Most companies don’t even bother, they just go on the offensive claiming videos left and right, potentially earning them an account strike for having too many violations.

    This way saves both parties the headache.

  • braneman

    I don’t know what twitch’s policy for DMCA takedowns is, but I know with youtube it’s three strikes and that’s it you’re gone. That’s not a compromise that’s an ultimatum “either you don’t post spoilers or we’ll put you at 1/3rd of the way to deleting your entire channel”. That doesn’t sound like a reasonable option for anybody.
    Another thing is that they announced this POST LAUNCH so people didn’t know about this pre-ordering the game and they’re probably going to catch people with this. Despite the same rules applying to the Japanese version which launched last year.

  • patyos

    Nice XD

  • Don Tworry

    Pretty sure it’s well within Atlus’ rights to do this. However, it’s an incredibly stupid PR move.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    Do you understand that they didn’t even have to say squat beforehand, that they could have just waited until after people post those things and THEN hit them with DMCA notices?

    So instead of being warned, its just wham, bam, done unless you manage to overturn it, or however Twitch does it.

    Sure its not the most ideal, but it IS the more reasonable situation.

    They didn’t announce it after launch either, they announced it the day of, so they wouldn’t be able to get very far to start with.

    People with Japanese copies might run into some issues, by Atlus should be able to distinguish between Versions.

    Chances are they’ll either ask to remove offending videos, or ignore it.

  • SZRayn

    I guess the Phantom Theives’ next target would be the execs at Atlus.

  • artemisthemp

    TheRadBrad haven’t been DMCA yet and he have 2 video out already

  • Izzy Lichi

    ” i stream videos of games because i cant get a dayjob because im a betacuck”

    dont call me somthing im not thank you

  • SiliconNooB

    This is heavy handed and ridiculous.

  • Shinobuden

    I’d like to know who at Atlus thought this was a good idea. They’re literally causing the very concept of Persona 5, rebellion, to sprout in people due to this (which, in a way, is cool when you think about it). What good did this do? Spoilers were aplenty anyway. Did they really think this would prevent spoilers? Besides, avoiding spoilers is easy. Just avoid any form of social media or website that has to do with the damn game. It’s that simple. Anyone who intentionally goes on message boards, streams, youtube or any other form of social media regarding the game only have themselves to blame and they know what they’re doing. Why can’t Atlus comprehend this?

    More than that though, I don’t like a developer dictating what I can and can’t do on my PS4 that I paid for with my own hard-earned money, and they’re disabling an expected native feature on the PS4 no less. I don’t, and never will, condone this kind of action. It’s ridiculous and they are the only developer I know of that has done this. It’s just so horridly counterproductive that it’s laughable and lunacy.

  • Nathan Wallace

    Well that’s a highly illogical conclusion. It’s actually so good they feel it’s best off not having spoilers be so easily accessible. I get where their coming from but if people don’t want it spoiled they could just not watch…

  • Verus

    how is it “highly” illogical when there’s clear evidence of it happening in the past?
    plenty of publishers didn’t hand our review copies or put up stream embargos to not negatively impact sales.

    spoilers not being easily watchable by putting up a streaming embargo actually is however, highly illogical.
    “person dies in ‘x’ game.” there, didn’t have to stream for that.

  • Nathan Wallace

    There’s plenty of the opposite happening too. No review copies and the game turns out great.

    What I’m saying is that there’s nothing in their actions that leads to your conclusion logically. It’s just fallacious. Because they don’t allow streaming it must be bad? That’s not a logical conclusion. It’s called Cum (Yes CUM) hoc ergo propter hoc.

    “There can be no conclusion made regarding the existence or the direction of a cause-and-effect relationship only from the fact that A and B are correlated. Determining whether there is an actual cause-and-effect relationship requires further investigation, even when the relationship between A and B is statistically significant, a large effect size is observed, or a large part of the variance is explained.”

    You correlate games that have restricted streaming or no review copies (Value A) with games that are bad (Value B) cause bad games (Value B) often restrict streaming (Value A.) However, Even though Value A may have correlation to Value B, Value B is not always the causative factor of Value A. It’s illogical to imply otherwise.

  • Verus

    you need to hardcore chill the fuck out. it was a shot from the hip tier comment.

  • Nathan Wallace

    I’m fine. “Chill,” Calm. Just explaining my point and how you got it wrong. Don’t mistake verbosity for butthurt.

  • Malvin Dang

    The reason it was region locked was a matter fully of sales and regional pricing. Games in Japan for that generation retail for the ball park of 80-90 USD while it was closer to 60 USD in NA. The content of both disks was entirely the same with all the voice options and menu language options intact. But the money for each copy goes to different branches of the company US sales to Atlus USA and JPN sales to Atlus JPN. Without the region lock it would have been easy to pick up an NA copy for 75% of the cost and cut out any money that Atlus JPN would have made on the game.