At this point, ATLUS’ video & streaming guidelines for Persona 5 are old news yet, no matter how much time passes, I can’t help but be upset about them.
On one hand, I understand that they are free to request whatever they want and current copyright law gives them the tools to enforce their request. On the other hand, it is bullshit: their argument about spoilers is nonsense as you can simply go to Youtube and search for every single major plot point up there for everybody to see; more than that, it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding on how the western audience has been evolving. Streaming platforms have been growing steadily, and Youtube has been the de facto video platform for a few years now, the audience ever growing and the way games are consumed has changed and will continue to change as a result of these (and other) platforms.
It isn’t just about playing anymore, and in the case of Persona 5, a PS4 exclusive, playing isn’t even a consideration if you don’t own the console. I, however, was definitely looking forward to watching a very specific streamer go through the game and engage with it in a more critical way than merely just a playthrough – and much more than any reading I might be capable of. Yet, as per guidelines, that discussion cannot take place anymore as you can’t point at something specific and talk about it. That would be a violation of the guidelines and for people whose livelihood depends on it, which is the kind of people who tend to have the more interesting things to say, the potential punishment is simply not worth risking it.
And, to be quite honest, it wouldn’t be much of an issue if the game was terrible. It would doom itself to obscurity and irrelevance, ridiculed in passing for its decision to stifle whatever conversation might have brought some attention to it. But the game is good, interesting and worth talking about which makes it a shame that we are essentially told we cannot celebrate it the way we know how to celebrate it, and the way the game deserved to be celebrated.