Sega Goes Nuclear On YouTube Videos Of Old Shining Force Game

from the and-here-comes-the-fallout dept

Sega has a history of being less than friendly to their fans and customers. Recall that they were unable to respond to one customer’s concerns about SOPA, other than to ramble on about reboots and hard resets. Then there was their DRM fiasco when an iteration of their popular Football Manager franchise had DRM every bit as functional and effective as Congress.

Pictured: Constitutional DRM
Image source: CC BY 2.0

Well, Sega has apparently decided to buck their trend of being mildly annoying to their fans… by upping the ante and going full-blown fan-screw-crazy. They have apparently been going on a YouTube video take down blitz for anything related to their Shining Force franchise to somehow protect an upcoming PSP release in the series from being… well… maybe they think that… no, that doesn’t work… you know what? I don’t know what the hell they’re afraid of, but they’re pooping all over a bunch of fan videos.

Many YouTube channels have already been hit, including that of popular game critic TotalBiscuit, who has since removed all Sega content from his page out of disgust. No type of content was spared — Let’s Plays, walkthroughs, and random gameplay clips all got flagged. Hell, even videos of fans just talking about the Shining series with no accompanying game footage whatsoever are apparently copyright violations!

If you’ve spent ten seconds searching for any game on YouTube, you know that the plethora of fan videos, playthroughs, and Let’s Plays are more abundant than gold rings in a Sonic game. And if the rest of the gaming world is anything like me, and there’s a frighteningly good chance that it is, they use those kinds of things to either influence whether they purchase a game or not or to enhance their gaming experience via the walkthroughs. Either way, Sega, yanking those videos offline in some misguided attempt to avoid confusion with a new upcoming game (because everyone knows how easily fooled the rabid fanbase of an RPG franchise is), can only cause anger in established fans/customers and ward off purchases by potential customers who can no longer get a glimpse of what they would be buying.

At this point, I would usually make some kind of grand statement mixed with a little vulgarity to wrap all this up into a fine point, but the afore linked Destructoid does it as well or better than I could, so I’ll give them the final word:

Remember earlier this year when the Internet took a stand against SOPA / PIPA? This was the kind of nonsense we were fighting against. This is unbelievably bad form. It makes no sense either, because why are just the Saturn Shining games catching most of the heat? Why isn’t Sega going after the whole pie? If you are going to be a dick, don’t stop in mid-f*ck.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: sega

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Sega Goes Nuclear On YouTube Videos Of Old Shining Force Game”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not true. It’s been about a decade or so since they discontinued console production with the Dreamcast. Afterwards, they claimed that they would become the world’s #1 third-party, even surpassing EA. Needless to say, they never achieved that lofty goal. Since then it seems like practically every Sega franchise has taken a severe hit quality-wise. Heck, even their old 16-bit softs are a thousand times better than their current efforts. How the mighty have fallen.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

My exposure to the abysmal SegaCD which, I’m sure you’re aware, came out in North America in 1992, was a rental and it was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers FMV game that you never could seem to actually win. In fact if all I recall, it was the first episode and all they scored you on was your timing of hits compared to the video. The only games that came from Sega CD were the Sonic games…and they didn’t use FMV gameplay or cutscenes in them 🙂

Chris Forsyth says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Are you only talking about first-party Sega CD titles here? Because if you’re talking about the library as a whole, I’d point out the Lunar games, Vay, Willy Beemish, Wing Commander, and several other ones (I have that MMPR game, too, and semi-agree with you. Basically it’s a QTE game before QTE games were…well, they were never ‘cool’, overlaid on the video, laserdisc-game style. It was more fun to put in the cheat code, and end up with a really crappy-quality version of the show).

Anonymous Coward says:

Sega is totally allowed to do this because they obviously created all of that content. It is their content, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to take it down. Everyone who stole the content should have asked for permission from Sega and then when they were denied that permission would not have stolen the content and it would not have been taken down.

Sega should also not be punished because no one has ever been punished for taking down content that is their own content. Logic much?

Sega is not the bad persons here, it’s these lazy freehadists? who are nothing more than useful idiots for the Digerati?.

Cory of PC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Let’s just hope you’re being sarcastic. Otherwise a good portion of these people bought the game. They already bought a copy and they are free to do whatever they want with said copy of the game.

Honestly you want to be just like every other troll that comes here and blames these people for rightfully buying a copy of a game series (I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of Shining) for being a bunch of pirates. Yeah, this proves your point all very well! Hey, keep this up and people will flood to Sega and beg to use all the games they have to offer!

Grow up.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

Don’t be a tool. Creating YouTube videos of playthroughs and discussions related to a video game in no way causes harm to the company. If it did, every single VG developer would be in dire straits right now.

Sega’s sudden hard-line stance against their fans is no accident; this is what happens to companies that’ve fallen from grace. It’s well-known throughout the gaming world that Sega is a mere shell of their former selves. They went from being the #1 first-party developer in the US, highly respected by gamers, to a lousy third-party which seems to screw up everything they touch. Since they failed to make a substantial impact in the industry, they resort to playground bully tactics with YouTube users.

Yeah, that’s real smart Sega — piss off your few remaining loyal fans, a genius business decision if ever there was one. Why not go a step further and sue people for posting fan art on the internet? That ought to work wonders for your name brand.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Don’t get me wrong: Kicking game reviewers and other positive commercial content from is gonna hit their sales in itself while the reputation they loose from articles like this is small compared to the commercial value.

But, playground bullying is fine and you can do it as much as you like. It is still unclear if sequences of a person playing a videogame is actually copyright infringement after the Starcraft 2 court-case fiasco, so they are definately in legal gray area. However, if they want to try that in a court-room they have the right to do so.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, playground bullying is NOT fine and you proceed at your own risk. In this case, Sega is alienating their fanbase by targeting their videos. Just because someone uploads a video of themselves playing a certain game, this doesn’t cause anymore *harm* to a VG company than a movie being aired on cable causes harm to a movie studio or a song being played on the radio causes harm to a label/artist. It’s a ridiculous assumption on its face.

If Sega feels like litigating against YouTube users on the basis that they uploaded their “copyrighted content” without expressed permission, so be it. But they should know that such actions will inevitably have undesirable consequences.

Then again, with the current sorry state of affairs over at Sega, it doesn’t seem to matter much what they do either way…

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Just because Sega created the content in question, does not mean they have the right to issue a takedown notice at the mere mention of “Shining Force” from critics which they asked to review the game. As for the Let’s Play, and video footage reviews for the game from critics, it’s blatantly obvious Sega made the game when their logo shows up in the opening sequences of the game.

Sega may not have always been bad, note have they been perfect angels, but it seems they have fallen beyond the depths of sanity and Hell itself just so they can protect their content.

Before anyone bawks and cites Microsoft for bans from XBOX Live for people playing pirated versions of Halo 4 before it was out, just remember that Microsoft and 343 Studios wanted to legitimately keep the plot line a mystery.

anon says:

Re: Re:

I dont want to ever see them, out of sight out of mind comes to mind here. The less people know about there rubbish games the better.

And just to point out if I buy a game I can do whatever I want with it, crack it hack it or burn it. Sega can do nothing as I have purchased it, the law even says if I want to put up a video of me playing it I can , it is not illegal and is in no way infringing on any copyright,
But I guess they will get the idea when every single games site refuses to advertise or even comment on the new game,simple economics, you mess with your fans you mess with your income. I wonder whose head is going to roll when the game is ignored by every single game site.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

they obviously created all of that content.

While I’m sure you’re being sarcastic, I see potential of an interesting discussion here.

Let’s forget about the obviously incorrect takedowns of people talking about the game, and fair use videos with short clips for a minute.

Say someone records large portions of a play-through of a video game. Would Sega have the right to take that down? I don’t think so. They may have created the game, but they did not create the video, nor the exact sequence of that play-through. (Let’s also assume that the person who made the video removed cut-scenes or other direct thematic elements not directly related to playing of the game.)

Look at it this way. Adobe creates the Photoshop program. But they do not own the copyright of something created using Photoshop.

Under current law, I don’t dispute that Sega would have the right to takedown the game code if it was up on a filesharing site. But how is a video of a play-through of a game fundamentally different than the content created through the use of a program such as Photoshop?

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Say someone records large portions of a play-through of a video game. Would Sega have the right to take that down?”

I could see an argument for recording a play-through of a game being “copying”. Although the player is controlling the order in which things happen, the developer created all pieces of the content. It could be argued that any play-through is simply a mash-up of the content by the player. Nothing that was not programmed to happen can actually happen, so the player is not really creating anything.

Of course, taking that argument to the absolute limit, nature is the only actual creator and everything man has created has simply been a mash-up of things that came before.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Human culture is an ecosystem, like a spectrum, of ebbs and flows and jumps and starts, of creation, of destruction.

?Moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world?s champions.? – Bluebeard, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” – Shakespeare

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Nothing that was not programmed to happen can actually happen, so the player is not really creating anything.

The same argument applies equally to Photoshop. There are thousands of how-to-use-Photoshop videos on Youtube – all showing the “developer created content” – the layout, icons, graphics, etc. of the Photoshop interface.

While there may be some games that fit much more into the definition, there are lots of others that do not. Someone already brought up an open world game like Skyrim. What do player-created mods change in this situation? Does the mod-developer have the right to takedown a game video that has content from their mod? What about SimCity type games?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Sega’s logic is probably along the lines that they own the copyright on the characters and graphic elements of the game, and the movies use these in their production making them derivative works. This is tha same as Authors preventing the publication of fan fiction set in their universes.
While reviews of a game are fair use, can the reviewers afford to fight the case, or would they wanr to given Sega’s attitude.

Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well, a really good example of this in practice is Red Vs Blue. A show made entirely in Halo. So who really has the rights to it?

There is the group that made the game. They made the character models and the world it takes place in. The show though is something totally new though. They just built upon Halo as a base.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Very good example. Can’t believe RvB didn’t occur to me.

When Bungie released Halo, they released it as a game, and intended that people play it in certain ways.

But a group of people took the game, and used it as a tool to tell a story.

Is taking a game and using it as a tool to show other people how to play it, or showing others how good/bad you are at it, or some other completely different thing that the creators of the game never considered a potential violation of the law?

I guess this is my fundamental core problem with copyright (the economics is just a handy way to phrase it) – once you create something and put it out into the world, exercising your copyrights take away what someone else can do with that thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

what is annoying to me is that there will probably be all hell let loose over this, with sales dropping drastically for all Sega stuff. as far as i am concerned, bloody good job! Sega will then issue some sort of absolute bullshit statement/apology, expecting fans to accept what is said and go back to what they were doing, buying and how they were playing the games. and guess what? that’s exactly what will happen! the way Sega is behaving will be brushed aside and the only harm that will be done is not only miniscule but temporary. until, of course, everything quietens down and they do the same bloody thing all over again! talk about taking the piss and the ‘fans’ helping them to do it!

The Real Michael says:

Re: Boycott

I say we give these corporates what they want: eliminate ALL of their content from the internet! Then let them sit and twiddle their thumbs while nobody buys anymore of their products. They can’t have both sides of their bread buttered and expect the government (on the taxpayer’s dime) and private entities to go around policing their content, just because they feel like being whiny brats who want everything their way.

The Real Michael says:

Re: Shining Force?

I played both 16-bit installments and SFCD. It was a great series back in the day.

Don’t let your emotions blind you. Just because the NEW Sega is acting like a spoiled brat doesn’t detract from all the good stuff the OLD Sega accomplished. Considering their recent failures, they’ll likely be absorbed into another Japanese VG firm at some point during this decade. It’s been a recurring trend within the industry, what with VG dev costs skyrocketing into the stratosphere.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Piracy of Sega is rampant...

“Surely Sega needs to focus on getting those games removed from the Play Store – otherwise people may be encouraged to download and play them!”

Hasn’t Sega used that kind of marketing scheme before?

I bought Sonic 2 for my iPod and have come to the conclusion they never intend to fix things. Sonic 2 hasn’t worked since iOS6 and I think it has something to do with their DRM because they relied completely on the now dead UDID system tying to the the app.

Wally (profile) says:

Sega has always screwed their customers over. The Dreamcast may have had great titles, and was possibly the easiest console to emulate after the NES, but it had very few viable titles to keep it afloat or to save Sega’s already, by then at least, soiled …all I’m saying is that the Dreamcast was Sega at its friendliest. Once their lead game designer left for Nintendo a couple of year ago, they’ve gone bad.

As for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis vs Super Nintendo debate, Nintendo may have had a less powerful processor, but it did allow for higher resolution graphics by using a separate chip. Nintendo had better sound processing too…they have the same sound chip that you find in a Sony PlayStation 2 (The PS2 version is just clocked at a higher rate).

The Real Michael says:

Re: Re:

“Nintendo had better sound processing too…they have the same sound chip that you find in a Sony PlayStation 2 (The PS2 version is just clocked at a higher rate).”

Not to mention used far more sound channels than the 8-channel SNES soundchip allowed. But, yeah, the SNES soundchip was indeed excellent, showcased at its best with games like Super Castlevania IV, Axelay, Actraiser 1 & 2, etc.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It allowed for Dolby ProLogic to be used when utilized by the SuperFX (graphics and sound enhancement apparently) chip inside StarFox…or StarWing as Europeans called it. I hooked my SUPER NES to the TV, plugged the audio into my stereo, and booted up StarWing/StarFox to find this out. Other notable games are Earthbound/Mother 2, Chrono Trigger, the entire Donkey Kong Country Series.

I laugh at Sega’s attempt with putting the VR chip in some of their games too, you didn’t get bitmapped polygon surfaces and to top it off….those games cost almost US$200 a pop. Sega was known for screwing customers over and the VR chip inside their cartridges was just an example.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

That’s true too. I mean you have real gems where the composers did take advantage of the various sounds you could create. Best known example is Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and 3. Michael Jackson was a master of taking advantage of the equipment and resources he had to make various noises into music.

There is one thing, in my mind, that trumps the sound processor in a Sega Genesis that the Super NES was capable of doing. Making a full out symphony sound like you were there at the opera house. This was done for the Zelda games on the SatelliteView.

Anonymous Coward says:


“This is unbelievably bad form. It makes no sense either, because why are just the Saturn Shining games catching most of the heat? Why isn’t Sega going after the whole pie? If you are going to be a dick, don’t stop in mid-f*ck.”

I will speculate here, but I believe Sega doesn’t have the money to pay the lawyer whores that they will use to enforce that crap for everything so they target just little bits and pieces. They probably hired a company specialized in the new market of “IP protection rackets”.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Which leads to two possible conclusions:

Possibility 1:
It is in fact sega doing the takedowns, in which case someone has obviously flipped their lid and has no idea the level of bad PR this will bring.

Possibility 2:
It isn’t sega doing the takedowns, in which case this would be proof positive that the takedown system on youtube is completely and utterly broken, if individuals are able to cause this much damage merely on a whim.

If this is the case, sega better go above and beyond fixing the situation, doing their best to get the videos reinstated, and issuing a public apology for the havok someone has caused in their name, as well as a statement that they would never do something like this, otherwise for all intents and purposes they might as well have done it themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Which leads to two possible conclusions:

Here’s a TorrentFreak article relevant to possibility #2:

Movie Studios Ask Google To Censor Their Own Films, Facebook and Wikipedia (Updated)

The MPAA claims that the group that sent out takedown notices in their name weren’t actually acting on their behalf. Either the MPAA hired some idiots and is now backpedaling, or there’s at least one group of people out there sending out takedown notices simply because they can.

Anonymous Coward says:

So they can shut down extensive Shining Force Let’s Plays (even though it’s been ages since the last real SF, not counting a remake of the first) and well-made Streets of Rage fan games (despite not even releasing anything new SoR games since 1994), but they’re still giving us the blue balls in regards to Shining Force 3 Scenarios 2 and 3 all these years later (which they could at least just easily remake from scratch… then again, the last time they tried that on the first Sonic game, they still screwed it up)? Moments like this make me glad they lost the Console Wars.

Daniel Delgado says:

I bet it's those stupid trolls or Tsuyoshi Sawada did it.

I bet it’s those stupid YouTube trolls did it or Tsuyoshi Sawada. YouTube trolls can easily pose as any corporations and take down videos just to get attention or Sawada himself hates the classic Shining games and took it down himself. This proves the the trolls like MariotehFailure and Sawada are nothing but crooks. Sawada curse out the fans on Twitter by calling them “Heartless Trolls” before he erase his Twitter. Boycotting Sega won’t solve anything. The only company I boycott is Capcom.

Jeffery Jansen (profile) says:

Backlash can change companys opinion.

Just another way to get bad press. They will be going the way of the new xbox one. Amazing how popular influence changes a companies tune. xbox was forced to change there plans when the backlash happened and now have taken the no offline game play without internet connection off. You only need to do it to start the xbox the first time to register it.(still think that is BS. What if you do not have internet access. I know most do but still).

Back to sega… If you have a bad game deal with it. Learn from what people are saying and make one that is better that the people will like.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...