PERSONA 5, STREAMING, AND THE IMPACT OF SPOILERS IN STORY-DRIVEN GAMES

Posts

Pages: first 123 next last
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
In case you aren't aware yet, Atlus has threatened copyright claims on any streams or LPs that, among other restrictions, show content of Persona 5 after a certain in-game date:

from linked article
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.


As you can imagine, this did not go over well with the community.

What makes this case especially interesting to me is the fact that P5 is a highly linear, story-driven game. There was a similar controversy with the release of That Dragon, Cancer a while ago, and I wonder how many arguments applied to that game apply here as well?

I'm also curious about your opinions on player's reactions to this decision. Simply put, Atlus caused the Streisand effect to go in full swing: Comments on vids of certain Youtubers I follow complain that spoilers for P5 run rife, content creators are openly giving the middle finger to Atlus by posting endgame content and cutscenes, among other responses. Has anyone seen similar problems?

For the record, requesting that players refrain from spoiling Persona's story is not new behavior for Atlus. This has occurred with previous games in the series, including Persona 5's release in Japan. So why, then, is THIS instance causing an uproar? Well, I imagine it's because Atlus has outright THREATENED players with taking down their channels this time. In the past (from what I've seen), it was just kept as a kind request that players do not spoil the game. No one, especially those making their living on Youtube, likes having their channels threatened.


What are your thoughts on this whole debacle? If you were in Atlus' position, how would you have handled this situation? Would you give free reign to Youtubers and streamers to post whatever they want? Would you make a different request? Talk about it here.
The streaming ban is completely ludicrous. It's like holding story time at the library and telling the kids halfway through that the publisher said we can't read the rest of the book.

Review embargoes are one thing, as is not sharing content that you signed an NDA for. But releasing a game and specifically telling streamers and youtubers to piss off is just bizarre.
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
7283
they should ban reviewers as well, if they review the whole game. they're only supposed to review half of it
Well streaming is basically allowed only because the publisher tends to allow it.
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3065
I'm not too bothered by the streaming ban to be honest, but what gets me is the whole screenshot banning thing.

How else am I supposed to tweet funny, out-of-context images from the game? ;( I reckon the spoiler-potential from screenshots is nowhere near as high as for streaming video.
I'm pretty sure it's only for a few months, not forever. A fair few game companies have done the same in the past, where they asked that people refrain from showing past a certain point until x time so that sales aren't impacted and it doesn't spoil those who haven't had a chance to get a hold on the game. It's not a new thing.


However, where this differs is that ATLUS threatened to deliberately aim to copyright strike channels and get them taken down if this wasn't adhered to, where-as other companies just asked for peoples' co-operation instead. This is what really lit the fire under peoples' asses, especially as the Japanese version of the game has been out since September so there's been spoilers aplenty already floating around the internet. Unless they changed the English version up completely, people who were interested in the game probably either already know about the story or have deliberately kept away from it and will continue to do so until they get it for themselves, which ATLUS hasn't really taken into consideration.
spoilers palpatine's behind it all


It's tough, people have had stuff spoiled simply through Youtube's recommended videos sidebar of videos where it was posted "STAR WARS: PALPATINE'S BEHIND IT ALL" with the thumbnail being where Palpatine reveals he is behind it all. Players don't want to be spoiled on that shit but threatening the crook won't fix shit either, as Red Nova posted others will just flood the internet with palpatine's behind it all videos and tweets and other posts. I don't know how PS4 streaming works exactly, afaik you can watch others stream games via the PS4 which has the obvious potential to go "watching star wars first time" header with a stream of Palpatine revealing he's behind it all, but that was always possible outside of the PS4 anyways. Hell I don't stream but I have a HDCP stripper and HDMI USB capture device and it cost like $140 or so. Nevermind just posting Palpatine's behind it all on twitter via sockpuppets.

I'll pretend there was no monetary or commercial interest in this decision and say that while it was a nice intent there's basically no way to control everything. Trying to control it just creates the reactive force Red Nova posted that just makes shit worse. Simply asking or reminding players to mark spoilers appropriately is the best approach but it's hardly airtight and relies on good will to even pretend to function at all. It's an impossible task to control spoilers and there'll always be a hive of assholes ready to spill all the beans.


that's my completely unfocused and incoherent stream of thoughts on the subject, signifying nothing
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
7283
author=Shinan
Well streaming is basically allowed only because the publisher tends to allow it.


when you've allowed it long enough so an entire class of workers is formed around lp-ing content and their lives and income depend on that, it is no longer publisher goodwill but obvious expectancy.
author=JosephSeraph
author=Shinan
Well streaming is basically allowed only because the publisher tends to allow it.
when you've allowed it long enough so an entire class of workers is formed around lp-ing content and their lives and income depend on that, it is no longer publisher goodwill but obvious expectancy.

Well the fact that a lot of people are doing something for money that is basically illegal means that either the laws should change or they should just expect to eventually lose that income.
To be fair, most people who watch LPs do so for the people LPing, not the game itself. That, and LPs actually boosts game sales which is why most people don't mind if people LP their games - it's free publicity. They don't have to pay for someone else to publicise their games for them, so usually they're more than happy to have people do it - so much so that big name companies will give away free keys/games to well-known LPers just so they can get that publicity.

They're the ones making real bank on it. Consider - you have to have at least 100,000 followers on youtube to make money enough to kind-of, sort-of live off. That's 100,000 prospective customers that the game companies didn't have to advertise for - all it took was one person playing their game in order to reach an audience that might not be all that interested in the actual game (again, they're mostly there for the person, not the game itself, though that can be a bonus in some cases), meaning that they just delivered the idea of their game to a ton of other people who might not know it exists or have considered getting it before hand.

Monkey see, monkey do is a phrase for a reason.


I mean, just playing RM games, I've noticed that people have played them themselves after watching me play them even though there's nothing new for them to experience. But they still do. Because there's a difference between watching and playing (something a lot of people who nay-say LPs and the like don't think about. It's the difference between watching someone do something and experiencing it for yourself.)

And most game companies are fine with tapping in on that. Even though Persona's story isn't changeable, it still has a lot of different routes to take. Different girls to date, monsters to challenge, actual gameplay. So playing the 'but the story will get spoiled' card is silly when the game has more to it than just the story. And even then, there's a lot of people who want to revisit stories and experience them for themselves without the exclamations and interactions of another individual, which is why VNs that get LP'd still get played and sales despite the fact that people have seen them before.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13715
Shinan
JosephSeraph
Shinan
Well streaming is basically allowed only because the publisher tends to allow it.
when you've allowed it long enough so an entire class of workers is formed around lp-ing content and their lives and income depend on that, it is no longer publisher goodwill but obvious expectancy.
Well the fact that a lot of people are doing something for money that is basically illegal means that either the laws should change or they should just expect to eventually lose that income.

you shouldn't be on rpg maker . net because rm2k3 was illegally used and you could be fired

edit: also atlus is r00d and i hope this backfires on them. that press release about it had so many spoilers in it anyway ;V
author=Craze
you shouldn't be on rpg maker . net because rm2k3 was illegally used and you could be fired

It's not like I'm against being illegal. I pirate so many movies and so many tv-shows that that would be hypocritical. But I'm not pretending what I do is legal. (I'm also not making a profit of it, except for that time when I charged 2€ for burning a CD back when not everyone had cd burners :))
kory_toombs
Live we shall, through moments both fleeting and eternal.
13356

I find it funny that people can complain when big companies decide to exercise their legal rights when it comes to content they own. I think the internet and this generation has created people who think they are entitled and that these sorts of laws just shouldn't exist. While there a lot of companies that simply won't pursue these claims, it doesn't mean it is not within their power to do so.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13715
kory_toombs
I find it funny that people can complain when big companies decide to exercise their legal rights when it comes to content they own. I think the internet and this generation has created people who think they are entitled and that these sorts of laws just shouldn't exist. While there a lot of companies that simply won't pursue these claims, it doesn't mean it is not within their power to do so.


settle down grandpa
@Kory(kinda) There are plenty of things within big companies' rights to do that are super skeevy. I wouldn't call people entitled. Like Jo pointed out, it's been allowed for a long time and people formed jobs around it. Telling people they can't LP it is potentially much more harmful than sucking the fun out of it.

In this particular situation, I'd probably like more transparency. Like, "this is only going to last until x date irl" or "we're only doing this because of how plot-oriented it is". Companies CAN form a procedure for this so they're not riling people up and they CAN be crystal clear about why and how long they are doing it. Also, not threatening people would be nice. That is super disrespectful to people you're expecting to consume your product.

I do wonder how much truth there is to the theory that LP's = increase in sales. I'm sure in some cases that's true, but what's the most common trend for this sort of thing? Logically, I'd think it'd add exposure and thus increase sales, but I dunno! ^.^; How much does exposure matter when you're already such a big fanchise?
Every time this conversation comes up on youtube LPs, there's a plethora of different people saying they bought x or y or z game because of someone else LPing a game. Like, a LOT of people. This comes up pretty often too. I mean, sure there are people who just watch an LP and don't purchase but quite a few times they're people who weren't going to purchase the game in the first place.

See, a watch doesn't automatically mean a sale lost. There's a lot of idiocy when people think that - it's just not true as there are a lot of people who were never going to get the game LP'd in any case because they just don't have the money for either the game or console and were never going to splash out on one. BUT seeing a game LP'd has made people who had consoles consider buying the game instead of not buying it. It's something you hear quite a bit in the youtube scene - "I wasn't going to get this game but after seeing x play it I'm gonna go and get it next payday/for my birthday/for Christmas/etc"

Besides, again, free motherfucking advertisement to a lot of eyes. I don't for a second believe that the people who watched PewDiePie ever thought that Pom was their ideal kind of game, but goddamn if they didn't wreck the site algorithms when he played it. Because even though he played it to completion and it's a story-based game, people wanted to play it for themselves. That's how LPs very often work (unless the game is crap). Even when a game doesn't have variable storytelling.

Again, I've noticed this even with my small audience. Play a game and do everything in it and people still go and download and play the game. Because that's the kind of community thinking that happens with Let's Plays.

What games have I personally bought from watching LPs? Lemme get a list:
- 7 Days to Die
- Don't Starve
- Flame in the Flood
- Game Dev Tycoon
- HuniePop
- The Long Dark
- Oxenfree
- RimWorld
- Secrets of Grindea
- The Witcher 1/2/3
- Duck Game
- Gary's Mod
- PICO Park
- Rocket League (plus a friend rec)
- Rust
- The Ship
- STARWHAL
- Terraria
- Minecraft
- Blues and Bullets
- Darkest Dungeon
- Hand of Fate
- Shelter
- Stonehearth
- Stranded Deep
- This is the Police
- Turmoil
- 3D Ultra Minigolf Deluxe
- 80 Days
- 60 Seconds
- Banished
- The Banner Saga
- Bastion
- Black Closet
- Child of Light
- The Curious Expedition
- Dangan Ronpa 2
- Desktop Dungeons
- Dishonoured
- Dragon's Dogma
- Evoland 1/2
- Firewatch
- The Forest
- Forge Quest
- Goat Simulator
- Half Minute Hero
- Hitman: Absolution
- Invisible Inc
- Jackbox Party Pack
- Kholat
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
- Knights of Pen and Paper
- Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
- Legend of Grimrock 1/2
- Long Live the Queen
- Never Alone
- One Way Heroics
- Ori and the Blind Forest
- Papers Please
- Pixel Piracy
- Prison Architect
- Reigns
- Rollercoaster Tycoon 1/2/3
- Scribblenauts
- Skyhill
- Spacebase DF-9
- Sunless Sea
- Tap Heroes
- This War of Mine
- To the Moon
- Tomb Raider 1, 2, 3, original
- Two Brothers
- Undertale
- Va-11 Hall-A
- The Witness
- The Yawhg

Add to that that about 45 games on my wishlist are ones I put there from seeing LPs. Some I'm not so happy with, others I love to pieces, most I would never have bought if I hadn't seen them LP'd because I just wouldn't know about them or would have ignored them since I'd never seen them played. A lot of the ones I already knew about I never considered getting because they just didn't really interest me until I'd seen them played by someone else.

See, most of the time LP's make a game look fun - and when you see someone else having fun playing a game your mind goes "Oh, that looks like fun... I wanna play that too." It's just how human brains work. Ever watched a good sports game and then thought "I wanna play x now."? That's psychology at work. It's why advertisements try to make their product look fun or cool - because then people want it. The same applies to someone having fun playing a game while you watch.

author=Gourd_Clae
I do wonder how much truth there is to the theory that LP's = increase in sales. I'm sure in some cases that's true, but what's the most common trend for this sort of thing? Logically, I'd think it'd add exposure and thus increase sales, but I dunno! ^.^; How much does exposure matter when you're already such a big fanchise?

I've seen a lot of people commenting on games like Mass Effect: Andromeda and Persona 5 videos that they didn't think they'd enjoy the games or want to play them, but now they're gonna get them. You'd be surprised how many people watch Let's Players just for the person and then decide to purchase a game because that LPer makes it look fun.

Like I said, a large amount of the games in that list I already -knew- about but never considered buying, but an LPer changed my mind about it since they made the game look like fun. Hell, I've been watching Nico's Kingdom Hearts LPs and I'm considering buying KH2 soley because he makes it look hella fun. And I hated KH1 and swore I'd never bother with the series. The only reason I'm watching the videos is because it's Nico playing them - I'm there for Nico, not the content, but I'm still affected in a way that makes me want to purchase a game from a series I swore off. It's, uh, kinda doing my head in a bit to be honest. XD


Besides, there's also the fact that a lot of people who watch LPs are those who have already bought and played the games because seeing others' reactions to a game you've played before is fun. Especially if it's someone who you enjoy watching. You want to share that experience and interact with them about the game and fangirl about x and y - and the internet allows you to do that from all over the world.
@Libby That line of thinking makes the most sense to me personally and observationally a lot of my friends (and myself) do the same. I wish someone would collect data/statistics on this though so that we could make some headway on doing something about this. ;w; Observation and personal experience doesn't do much for most big companies but if they had some data to look at maybe they could go about standardizing an approach to this (even if it's just to leave LPers alone).

Unless there's a study I don't know about somewhere then WELP. XD
Yeah, I've thought that someone should be doing research on this so that we'd at least -know- for certain, but there's a lot of things to factor in too. Game type, amount watched, whether a series is dropped or not, monetised or not, ads or not... just to name a few.
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
7283
illegal != immoral
laws aren't perfect, society is constantly mutating and so new things need the law to accompany them. that's why most countries' legal system is so organically expanding, with new bills and laws being proposed every day.

See, my mother's the person that made being a tattoo artist a legal thing in Brazil. Before her, tattooists were ignored by the government -- not pursued -- they didn't pay taxes, their inks had no regulamentation, there was no sanitary norms for tattoo parlors. Surely if the government wanted they could be complete assholes and absolutely fucking wreck a whole class of workers, but thankfully since we're civilized people the law made sure to accomodate this rising profession instead. (and did so with her help, as she was the one who initiated and engaged in the legalization process)
This happened before my very eyes. It is just one of uncountable examples of new professions and situations outside of the estabilished scope of law that need to be accounted for and have the law adopt them properly. LPs didn't exist before youtube, I'm fairly sure, and youtube itself has what? 10 years? 15 years in its lifespan?

By the way if we're examining things by the scope of right or wrong, trying to paint LPers look wronger than your piracy by saying they make money out of it is pretty stupid. They're creating content, they're promoting whatever they're LPing. When you pirate something, what are you actively doing?
Denying your sales? and nothing else. Piracy is wrong, LPing is not. : P
@JosephSeraph your mom is awesome.

Usually if I find spoilers for something it's either through someone posting a picture of the game or through someone talking to me on or offline about it. I tend to avoid spoilers from videos since usually they're labeled "Let's Play This Video Game: Part 24", and that spoils nothing unless there's a fantastically click bait-y title or title card on it. I won't know anything about any plot twist unless I click on them on purpose, and if I don't want spoilers, well, I won't click on them.

I'm not sure why they went to all this trouble to keep the game spoiler free on Youtube. I would understand it more if it was a plain old visual novel with few moral choices and no gameplay: watching an LP of that is basically experiencing the game without paying for it. Persona has much more to experience in it than that, so restricting people from seeing spoilers of later sections of the game is just silly.

...maybe they just want people to have a taste of the game and then go out and buy it for themselves to see how the plot ends with the let's play restriction? Like, end it on a cliff hanger as if telling the viewers "You want more of this? Go out and buy it!" *places tin foil hat on head*
Pages: first 123 next last