This article is not about spoilers, I will not be spoiling anything.
(Bruce Willis’ character in The Sixth Sense is dead the entire movie)
This rant is not dedicated to spoilers themselves, rather the ideology game companies have when it comes to YouTubers and Twitch streamers playing games and letting the public view them and thus creating the “risk of people seeing spoilers” that so many (usually Japanese) game developers get really salty and downright angry about.
Obviously the biggest example has been Atlus and Persona 5 in terms of streamers being “asked” not to stream after the 7/7 date in-game, which by the way isn’t anything special, I’ve played through it. There were other things as well, but that was the big one. As someone playing on the PS4 though, I’ve noticed I can’t even do as much as take a screenshot of a single thing in the game. I can’t screenshot a funny moment, I can’t screenshot a great moment in a cutscene, I can’t even take a screenshot of the fucking pause menu. WHAT AM I SHOWING THAT’LL AFFECT SOMEONE NEGATIVELY, ATLUS?!!!
(Sephiroth kills Aeris at the end of Disc 1 in Final Fantasy VII)
It’s another thing that just goes to show you how behind the times and how downright inept and insane Japanese gave publishers and developers are. We’ve seen SEGA ban anyone who talks about Shining Force (ironically enough, popular YouTuber TotalBiscuit just ended his 5-year long ban of SEGA games on his channel [here]), Nintendo just banning anyone for doing anything in general (see everyone) and the current offender is Atlus, another case where the non-Japan sectors of the company don’t agree with what they’re doing and wish they could change their minds, but their Japanese overlords once again could not care less about anything going on outside of Japan.
For those unaware, if you thought America thinks highly of themselves, Japan literally gives zero fucks about anyone who is not inhabiting their island. Something could sell ten times as many copies outside of Japan, but if it’s not doing well in Japan, they’ll shut the whole thing down. They only care about what’s within their own little bubble, if it’s not something originating in Japan, to some it doesn’t even exist. It’s an extremely self-righteous and idiotic way to look at things, let alone an absolutely horrendous way to do business.
But let’s get to the much more pertinent issue, shall we?
(Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father in Star Wars)
It’s no secret that for some, spoilers is a major issue. Every time an episode of Game of Thrones or Walking Dead airs, people completely stay away from all social media to avoid anything that could spoil the episode for them. People tread carefully through walkthroughs and articles about games they’re playing, so they don’t come across information they might find that has something to do with something they haven’t gotten to yet. It’s completely understandable that people want to avoid that sort of thing, obviously when something is story-driven, we don’t want to know what happens before we see it ourselves.
But here’s the thing. When it comes to YouTube and Twitch, let’s be completely honest here. The people that watch these videos and streams fall into one of three categories:
- People who watch the first little bit of the game before the story truly kicks in as a way to decide whether they like the game or not and if they’ll end up buying the game or not.
- People who are already playing the game or have finished the game and want to see what other players did, such as alternate routes, different strategies and even alternate scenes/endings.
- People who do not intended to play the game at all and are just watching it because they like the person playing the game.
The majority of people usually fall into either #1 or #3 and the latter is where Japan falls victim to the oldest fact in the gaming industry that anyone with half a brain knows, going all the way back to the piracy days: If someone pirates a game, they weren’t going to buy it in the first place. This also falls in line with spoilers, the majority of people that are watching a Let’s Play series on YouTube or a Twitch stream that is late into a game, they’re not intending to play the game themselves and if they are, it certainly won’t be at release when it’s full price, they’re definitely waiting for the game to drop to under half-price.
(Sheik is really Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
It’s pretty simple anyways, folks, if spoilers bother you, don’t go looking for it. It actually isn’t that hard, I know in this day and age of social media and the internet that it seems difficult, but in actuality it’s quite easy to avoid spoilers. Just don’t go on the sites you usually go for to see articles about the spoilers you just watched. Stay off of social media, or at least don’t spend hours going through every post you see. Most importantly, don’t Google shit about it! Google is the worst for hiding spoilers!
So yeah, Atlus and every other company are out of their minds if they think “preventing spoilers” will do anything. There are always work-arounds and people will come across them anyways, no matter what you do to try and stop it. At the end of the day, just worry about how good your game is.
Persona 5 is such a good game, I could care less if I knew a spoiler here and there.