Atlus Apologizes for Persona 5 Streaming Rules by Loosening Them

When Atlus launched Persona 5, they implemented some pretty strict guidelines as to what parts of the game could be livestreamed. Many fans weren’t happy, and still we streamed the entire game for our review (expect it very shortly!).

Now, the Japanese developer has issued an apology for their stranglehold over the game’s ability to be shared and livestreamed, and they’re now expanding what you can broadcast from the game.

Originally you couldn’t broadcast anything from the game beyond the 7/7 date – now they’ve expanded this to the 11/19 date, which is where the story picks up for the final arc.

Here’s their full apology:


When Persona 5 launched, we put out a set of video/streaming guidelines that we hoped would limit online spoilers for fans who have yet to play the game.

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.

FEATURED GAME

Brandon Orselli

About

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.

  • Ryo

    Great. Now let me take screenshots.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Still no screenshots.

  • Mr0303

    That’ like putting a bandage on an open wound. They should’ve simply
    removed the restrictions altogether and release an update that enables
    screenshots. At least they know that people are not happy with their
    tactics.

  • Valwin Mediaz

    No issue i already beat the game so meh

  • Etherblaze

    They should enable PS4 sharing too.

    Why can’t I take videos of Makoto trying to spy on Joker?

  • HowlJenkins

    This. I don’t really give a shit about what people are allowed to stream/upload. I just want my goddamn in-game 1080p wallpapers.

  • Matz

    At least it’s something, but I still want to take screenshots, seriously, I can’t get why some studios block a common function of the console. Because people would be spoiling everything to everybody? I don’t need the share button to do that, I can always use my phone to take a photo and put it in the Internet where anybody can see it.

  • OldPalpy

    The ultimate fix would be pushing on Sony to remove this restriction capability altogether, publishers will whine of course but ultimately Sony has them by this balls this gen.

  • Mr0303

    This doesn’t solve the issue of publisher DMCA-ing channels on a whim, but yeah – it would be better. Restricted scenes are rather annoying.

  • OldPalpy

    True I think a organized effort needs to be made to solve that problem, I’m talking on the level where publishers are afraid to DMCA channels, this can be done look at what happened with always on DRM in 2013 the backlash against that along with Sony’s tactical nuke at E3 made a lot of the industry terrified to use it.

    It doesn’t really matter what the legal mumbo jumbo is if a publisher’s PR departments is shitting bricks over the thought over having to deal with the fallout over a DMCA against a channel.

  • Mr0303

    This will never happen. Platform holders will always take the side of the corporations and most streamers wouldn’t have the means to combat that.

  • chaoguy

    The games not perfect (missed opportunity for comparisons between final boss & player, translation is iffy in a few minor places), but the “Persona 5 is bad localization (please let us do it)” articles are harming any genuine critique of the game, and the devs fuck-ups like this.
    Let people advertise your game for free you idiot!
    People will avoid spoilers better than you think.

  • ᚫᚱᚱᚫᛞᛟᚾ

    the funny thing is this isn’t affecting Japanese streamers/content creators. This is a major problem since these rules are not enforced the same across the board. Japanese companies need to join us in the 21st century or they are only going to keep pissing off their fanbase.

  • DrearierSpider

    Keep up the push back, they have an inch, now we just need to push them the rest of the mile.

  • DrearierSpider

    Being locked out of simply taking screenshots because some publisher has its head up is ass is a new level of peasantry.

  • ericniegel

    Not good enough. Let us stream the whole game.

  • sanic

    I support their anti spoiler goal, I hope they fully remove this restriction in a few months when the bulk of players have beat it.

  • Dago

    Can´t you Americans just sue ATLUS USA for this?
    I mean they are clearly breaking the US law here by not allowing video even under fair use pást that date dey set.
    Plus the game should be patched to accomodate the policy changes

  • Mr0303

    Man, what a fanboyish way to completely miss the issue.

  • Lavenza

    What happened to people just playing the game?

  • braneman

    I’ve actually managed to not spoil myself on Breath of the Wild pretty much at all, outside of trailers I think I’ve collectively seen less than seven minutes of footage from the game. And I watch people who are actively playing the game.

  • Claragsmiley

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  • DrearierSpider

    I own the Steelbook Edition, I’m just amazed at how easily the options and features you paid for when you bought your console can be taken away from you. It’s a complete joke.

  • Mr0303

    Yeah, Atlus DMCA-ing videos is an issue with the console. Brilliant. I could also point out that the Share functionality is specifically mentioned in the TOS and it has been always up to the publisher which content they’d allow to be streamed so you get what you paid for, but I doubt it will do any good.

  • DrearierSpider

    “It’s fine, bro. They can do whatever they want, they put it in their EULA.”

    I wasn’t even talking about streaming (I agree that’s a separate issue), just screenshots alone. Consoles finally get this feature ~15 years after PC’s, and the privilege of using it can be taken away by the snap of the fingers from your corporate overlords.

  • Obbliglol

    I agree really. People go out of their way to spoil films and games these days, and there’s not a lot these companies can do. I expected Atlus to lighten the restrictions after a few weeks anyway.

    I do think restricting screenshots was a bit far though. Hopefully this is put an end to in a later patch.

  • Mr0303

    “”It’s fine, bro. They can do whatever they want, they put it in their EULA.”” – yes, they can. You are signing a contract when you are purchasing a product. If you agree to the terms in there then that’s that. So why exactly were you so “amazed” and found it a “new level of peasantry”? Did you not read it for 4 years? Or did you just want to fanboy out when the issue at hand is completely separate?

    “I wasn’t even talking about streaming (I agree that’s a separate issue),
    just screenshots alone. Consoles finally get this feature ~15 years
    after PC’s, and the privilege of using it can be taken away by the snap
    of the fingers from your corporate overlords.” – and I’m just pointing out that out of the whole article you decided to shift blame and go for a fanboy post. Let’s see if you are a hypocrite – what level of peasantry is the fact that you could lose access to any of the digital games on Steam “by the snap of the fingers from your corporate overlords”?

  • DrearierSpider

    I’m not gonna excuse that bullshit either, which is why I buy any games I can from GOG. But when the choice is between Steam or cheap, proprietary hardware that charges you for multiplayer, it’s a pretty clear fucking answer.

    As for the EULA, I wasn’t arguing that they can’t do it, just that it’s some bullshit that they do it at all.

  • Mr0303

    So you are not a complete fanboy, just an occasional one. Got it.

  • DrearierSpider

    Pointing out the draconian restrictions of a specific platform makes me a fanboy, even when I’m perfectly willing to do it to my platform of choice too? Whatever floats your boat, sweetie.

  • Mr0303

    No, bringing up all the “peasantry” crap in an article that talks about something completely different does that.

  • DrearierSpider

    Peasantry is at the heart of the issue, it’s the only reason this screenshot thing is even a problem in the first place.

  • Mr0303

    It is a derogatory term that fanboys use. It’s no different than when ChocoISIS uses PCucks or something similar.

  • DrearierSpider

    >Derogatory term

    It’s video games dude. Seek therapy if that shit bothers you.

  • Mr0303

    It doesn’t bother me. I simply explained why your behaviour was fanboyish.

  • Why do I get the feeling both of you guys completely talked past each other?

  • Mr0303

    I don’t know. Why? It seemed like a normal exchange to me.

  • It looked like you were both actually in agreement with each other, but for some reason, you both missed that along the way.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    What’s there to be spoiled about in Zelda games?

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Stop watching streams and going on Chans.

  • Mr0303

    I wouldn’t say so. I criticised him for his fanboy post and for shifting the blame from Atlus to consoles. I think that’s the core of our disagreement – I think that the publisher is responsible and he blames it on “peasantry”. I’m afraid that something in your analysis of the situation is amiss.

  • DrearierSpider

    I never said the publisher wasn’t responsible. But the idea that Sony can lock you out of features as basic as taking screenshots is equally an issue. And yes, it is peasantry regardless of how much that triggers you.

  • DrearierSpider

    It could go either way in court, honestly. Maybe not with Persona, but I can imagine a good lawyer being able to convince some old judge that uploading video of a story driven game is a substitute for playing it, even though it clearly isn’t. I’d much rather see Nintendo get sued from claiming monetization for reviews of their games, which is a clear cut breach.

  • It didn’t come across as fanboy behaviour to me – I recalled him being critical of the streaming restriction.

  • Mr0303

    Well in an article about Atlus dealing with the consequences of their restrictions going after the console with the inflammatory peasant/master race crap is fanboyish in my book.

  • Mr0303

    “But the idea that Sony can lock you out of features as basic as taking screenshots is equally an issue.” – so if you agree that the publisher is responsible, then it’s not Sony that locks you out of that option, but Atlus. They are responsible for the software they created.

    “And yes, it is peasantry regardless of how much that triggers you.” – on the contrary – I find your fanboyism amusing.

  • Snorlaxation

    After waiting more than half a year for this game, and with twitch and other streamers having been around for quite a while now, this really was the dumbest (initial) move they could’ve made.

    I just want to screenshot the funny moments, the badass moments, the moments where they actually say ‘Fuck’ in text boxes.

  • DrearierSpider

    “So if you agree that the publisher is responsible, then it’s not Sony that locks you out of that option, but Atlus.”

    Sony put in place the system that allows publishers to disable that feature in the first place. They could have very easily implemented screenshots system wide with no exceptions. This is pretty basic.

  • Kevin Conner

    Post to dailymotion. DailyMotion does not abide by DMCA.

  • Mr0303

    So by your logic a gun manufacturer is responsible for every murder committed by their weapons.

    “They could have very easily implemented screenshots system wide with no exceptions.” – oh, really? Do you have the contracts and agreements they have with the different publishers?

  • DrearierSpider

    “So by your logic a gun manufacturer is responsible for every murder committed by their weapons.”

    Are you fucking retarded? I’m arguing for LESS restrictions, not more. Sony unnecessarily lets publishers restrict taking screenshots, the issue starts with them.

    “Oh, really? Do you have the contracts and agreements they have with the different publishers?”

    Sony does not need publishers’ permission to implement their own features on their own platform as they see fit. If this were the case, you wouldn’t have Steam, Galaxy, Origin or UPlay enable their screenshot hotkey on every game in their service. Show me an instance where a publisher sued over the goddamn print screen key.

  • Dago

    I´m surprised Nintendo hasn´t been sued for this yet.

  • Mr0303

    “Are you fucking retarded? I’m arguing for LESS restrictions, not more.” – that was not my point. Sony created the tool and it is Atlus who is misusing it. So again – do you think a gun manufacturer is responsible for the crimes committed with its guns?

    “Sony does not need publishers’ permission to implement their own features on their own platform as they see fit.” – that’s true, but when a console is in the development stages the publishers are consulted of what features they’d like to see in it. Sony may have an agreement with the publishers, so that it’s up to them whether to restrict or not the share functionality (which is currently the case).

    “Show me an instance where a publisher sued over the goddamn print screen key.” – well, if you look at the article above Atlus would be quite happy to issue DMCA takedowns over streamed footage. Plus why would you need to see a lawsuit? How does this change the argument? What are you suggesting is the solution? When Atlus explicitly restricts screenshots Sony should go against them and unlock the function as a whole? How in the hell do you see this happening?

  • Eden

    That was the funniest shit I ever saw in a Persona game lol

  • Jack

    Justice has prevailed

  • Eden

    What’s really stopping someone from simply posting about the various endings on Twitter? All Atlus did was threaten competent gamers for actually liking their games because incompetent gamers will spoil themselves.

  • Obbliglol

    Nothing, but I don’t go on Twitter so I don’t care too much. Thing is, I can avoid Twitter. The same can’t be said for something like YouTube (the fact Atlus has to step in here is telling).

    The first thing I did after completing P5 was come off my self-imposed internet hiatus and just load up the front page of YT. I hadn’t even typed anything to do with Persona 5 in, and yet there, right on the front page, was a boss guide for the fifth Palace. Right there, name in the title and everything. Due to the fucking botnet knowing everything, and YT’s batshit algorithms, you can be spoiled even there. It’s not even idiots in the comments anymore, it’s bloody Google itself.

    I’m not saying Atlus were 100% correct in their decision (I want all-out attack wallpapers!), but goddamn.

  • It sounded to me he was in favour of loosening restrictions on PS4.

  • Mr0303

    He didn’t say anything of the sort in the first 4 posts, but rather continued to shit on consoles. It could be argued that him saying the restrictions were draconian in the 5th post was an expression of his stance that he’d rather Atlus remove the restrictions, but he chose the route of “consoles suck” instead.

    And again – he places the blame of Atlus’ actions on Sony naming them as the core of the problem, which is not the case in this situation in my view. This is where we fundamentally disagree.

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  • Gotcha.

  • Hliceath

    They shouldn’t apologize, it was a good move from them. Some people wants to go into a game without knowing anything about it.

  • Phasmatis75

    Make a game about crappy adults abusing their authority to screw people over often for money.
    Proceed to do exactly that.

  • Phasmatis75

    No it wasn’t a good move. Every story detail has been on the wikia for months before the game released.

  • Hliceath

    Your point?

  • Phasmatis75

    Screwing the customers for very retarded reasons is wrong and a good way to alienate your core audience when you are a niche developer.

  • Hliceath

    I don’t think streamers are the core of the audience. People should just stop complaining about every little things and play the game.

  • Phasmatis75

    Why? I’m a long time SMT fan, and even I think the average person has zero incentive to play this game till they have a chance to look at footage.

  • Hliceath

    I don’t think the game is for the average person since the game is only in english, and not every person in the world speaks english. Moreover, looking at footage of the game would be a waste since it relies heavily on a plot.

  • Phasmatis75

    Highly disagree on it being a waste. Footage helps you know if the animation is good, if the plot is presented coherently, how the plot unfolds, and many other vital details a prospective consumer might want to know.

  • Michael Anon

    Except if they didn’t say anything about streaming before the released of the game, and didn’t include anything about it in the EULA, they have no legal grounds at all.

  • Mr0303

    The moment you start your PS4 it specifically mentions that the Share functionality is up to the publishers, so you agree to that right away.

  • Hliceath

    Looks like you and I can’t agree on that, so it’s a matter of taste I guess.

  • Phasmatis75

    No, preference would be whether you want to use them or not. We’re discussing objectively whether footage can be useful to some people and that answer is simply yes.

  • Hliceath

    Right, footage but you don’t especially need streamers for that. You can have gameplay videos on professionnal websites. I won’t answer anymore but I’ll just say that some people like to entirely discover the game, and that is my case.