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Game streaming is a topic floating on choppy waters filled with legal and moral sharks. The latest whirlpool in the debate centers on Atlus' JRPG, Persona 5, with the developer offering some pretty harsh guidelines and penalties for folks who tried to stream the vast majority of the game. They're singing a different shanty these days, however, relaxing their concerns on the matter ever so slightly.
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.
Atlus' original concern for Persona 5 was that, unlike a lot of modern RPGs, the game doesn't offer oodles of branching paths that result in one of a dozen different endings. The story is fairly linear and not necessarily built to play more than once. In other words, if someone posted or streamed a big spoiler or the entire end of the game online, there was the potential it could ruin the fun and discovery for another player.
The original post made it clear that players were not to stream past a certain in-game date and, even then, there were restrictions on what could be shown off from the early portion of the game. If you were caught breaking those guidelines, Atlus threatened they could take legal action or even implement copyright strikes that can mean a world of trouble for regular streamers/posters.
Atlus' latest post explains that they simply wanted to get all of the details out there in black and white and, in the end, many folks found the tone to be a bit too aggressive and the guidelines to be unreasonable. The post claims that the developer still wants to protect their customers from spoilers but, given the reaction to their last post, they've decided to change things up a bit.
In in-game terms, Atlus has given players an additional four months' worth of gameplay to post/stream from Persona 5. In their opinion, the date of Nov. 19 is when the campaign starts to ramp up to the final act, which is when they ask everyone to cut off their broadcasts due to end-of-game spoiler potential.
We understand exactly why Atlus was concerned in the first place but, yes, we can also see folks' concern that the previous blog post sounded unusually aggressive. In the end, we're happy to see they've responded well to the feedback, and we hope fans can meet them halfway here and adhere to the new guidelines.