Atlus USA is warning, if not threatening, livestreamers and Let's Players who are considering playing Persona 5 for their audiences. In an official statement, Atlus USA says very clearly that those who record and publish video of Persona 5 past a specific point within the game will receive a take-down notice, content ID claim, or even a strike against their Youtube account. It must be said while some publishers have taken similar stances in years past, decisions like Atlus' with Persona 5 are extremely rare in this day and age.
Atlus has several specific provisions for what constitutes as "spoiler" within Persona 5, which video and stream producers should avoid. As a rule of thumb, however, they say that if it feels like a spoiler then content creators are better off publishing it. Here are the specific areas where Atlus wants spoilers to be avoided:
- Yasuke interactions beyond his initial introduction.
- Anything to do with a certain "Student Investigator"
- Ending segments of the first three Palaces
- Any boss fight except the Kamoshida fight
- Any content past the date of 7/7
Which is to say, it's probably best for streamers to avoid spoilers by not playing Persona 5 live at all. Any content creators may be better served making Persona 5 trailers, as most of the material that can be published has already been released by Atlus PR.
In all fairness to Atlus, they have a long history of hostility when it comes publishing of game footage online. Atlus Japan is known to hit YouTube channels with content strikes seemingly at random with games as recent as Persona 4 Dancing All Night.
Atlus USA, however, typically attempts to take make a more progressive push on this front. The company has mentioned in the past that it will help YouTube channels who get content strikes from Atlus Japan get those strikes removed, if possible.
Therein lies the root of the matter, it seems. Japanese companies often have a much more hard-line perspective on the concept of video recording and livestreaming, particularly due to concepts of ownership. In the West, a type of neutral ground has been established where video content producers can post whatever they want while acknowledging the publishers/creators retain ownership. Just who owns recorded footage, the player or the game publisher/creator, has never been put to a true legal test.
In Persona 5's case, it's apparent that Atlus USA favors the Western approach, but can't override Atlus Japan's decisions. Here's another quote from Atlus USA's statement that makes clear the situation:
"This being a Japanese title with a single-playthrough story means our masters in Japan are very wary about it."
Persona 5 is available now on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.