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There was one main rule for Fight Club: Don't talk about Fight Club. Well, apparently that rule also applies to venturing across the galaxy in a cool looking spaceship, because anyone making videos even discussing or talking about No Man's Sky are getting hit with copyright strikes.
Game Informer is reporting that No Man's Sky has become such a prized property for Sony, that they're actually sending out manual copyright strikes on YouTube accounts to prevent them from even talking about No Man's Sky. The game is due for release tomorrow on the PlayStation 4, August 9th, and later in the week on August 12th for PC. Ahead of its release, Sony is trying real hard to keep leaks and any sort of gameplay from appearing on video media services online.
In one particular case, YouTube outlet The Know, a subsidiary of Rooster Teeth, actually got hit with a copyright strike for simply talking about No Man's Sky. The Know did a video about the copyright strike called "We Were Censored by No Man's Sky".
Given how big the channel is, Sony Computer Entertainment America managed to receive word about the copyright strike against The Know, and apologized for the mistake while retracting the strike.
Copyright strikes severely limit your options on YouTube, restricting you from using custom thumbnails, prohibiting you from live-streaming, and completely blocking you from monetizing videos. Essentially, if you make a living from YouTube, copyright strikes basically put an end to that for the duration of their employment.
Other YouTubers also discussing No Man's Sky were also hit with copyright strikes from Sony. A certain Steven Thomas explained that he wasn't even showing leaked footage of the game, only the old media assets that are already available publicly and still he got hit with a strike...
It's not illegal to play a game based on a retailer breaking street date. You've paid for it and streaming it online or uploading video footage is fair game. However, companies will likely step in to enforce their street date and send out copyright strikes to deter people from uploading footage early, which is what Sony is doing.
In the case of Thomas, he planned on doing a charity live-stream once No Man's Sky did come out, but that won't be possible now due to the copyright strike. He says he may use Twitch but he has no audience there. Word managed to reach Hello Games co-founder Sean Murray, who mentioned on Twitter that they would intervene on Thomas' behalf and contact Sony about having the copyright strike removed.
It seems unfortunate that so close to the game's release Sony is pulling these kinds of shenanigans, especially when gameplay footage going up a few days early actually helps undecided consumers gauge whether or not they want to spend $60 on a game.
Given that there were no pre-release reviews, it means gamers will have to go in blind when picking up a copy. For those out there who do have the game or have seen the leaked footage, they have to abide by the rules of Fight Club, and that means there's only one rule for No Man's Sky: you don't talk about No Man's Sky.