Sega Offers Half-Hearted Non-Apology For Massive Youtube Takedown; Promises Not To Do It Again (With Caveats)

from the it-wasn't-us,-it-was-the-'issue' dept

Remember last December when Sega was priming itself for a PSP Shining Force game and thought the best way to advertise the upcoming release was to take down anything and everything Shining Force-related on Youtube? Good times those, what with the takedowns and strikes against accounts and the hundreds of videos (some of which didn’t even contain footage of the game) replaced with the well-known slash-mouthed emoticon and a quick “Sorry about that.”

Now that the Shining Force game has been released, it appears that Sega is going to let things return to normal, or at least as normal as things can be after a massive takedown effort. Sega of America’s Brand Manager offered the following apology diversionary statement of contrition half-hearted thanks and not-quite-promises.

Hey everyone,

Thank you to all of our fans for waiting while we worked hard to get this issue solved. While SEGA may need to remove videos in rare cases, we’re happy to confirm that there are no further plans to remove Shining Force videos uploaded to Youtube by users living in North American and European territories. Additionally, if you live in these territories and your video was removed, please get in touch with us at so that we can look into it for you.

SEGA believes strongly in our fans and we apologize for any inconvenience. You all are what keep us going – thank you!

“Issue solved?” There was really no issue until the massive takedown effort began. Before that, everything seemed to be running fine. “Solved?” Once again, the issue was Sega’s own making. It hardly seems proper that it take credit for “solving” it.

And bully for “no further plans to remove Shining Force videos.” That’s rather specific, innit? “We have no further plans FOR THIS PARTICULAR TITLE, but we reserve the right to remove other videos of other games, but in rare cases only, mostly because our release schedule isn’t quite as packed as it was 15 years ago.”

This announcement was conveniently buried on the 28th page of the Sega forum post discussing the video takedowns. Not exactly shouting it from the rooftops, but I suppose whoever’s manning the Sega email inbox is probably not in any hurry to be bombarded with demands SoA un-strike their Youtube accounts.

All the damage done by Sega’s short-sighted IP March to the Sea isn’t going to be undone by a half-hearted non-apology that refers to Sega’s own destructive actions as an “issue” to be “solved.” Someone needs to inform those further up the chain of command that promoting a new game in an established series generally works better when you don’t antagonize fans of the previous games. Not only that, but Sega needs to start seeing these uploaders as useful allies, rather than the only thing standing between it and a successful video game release.

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Companies: sega

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Comments on “Sega Offers Half-Hearted Non-Apology For Massive Youtube Takedown; Promises Not To Do It Again (With Caveats)”

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Lurker Keith says:

How will this work in once PS4 launches?

How are things like this going to work in the PS4 “Share Button” era? The PS4 is promising real-time sharing in some instances, & easier sharing in general, if I understood parts of the Announcement Conference correctly.

Any takedown of game video once the PS4 launches is going to get nasty fast.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: How will this work in once PS4 launches?

I don’t plan to buy any console of the next generation especially Ps4 unless the following things happen: 1- the promisses of physical DRM stay as promisses (physical disk being tied to online account) 2- They stop with this online only idiocy and stop abusing “mandatory” DLC which can double the value spent in a game and 3-The consoles are unlocked.

Chances are I’ll not buy any console anymore. The bright side is I’ll spend less time gaming and much less money =D

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Re: How will this work in once PS4 launches?

I never said I was getting a PS4. Though, I don’t care for PC gaming either. My point is PS4 has been PROMISED to be optimized for sharing (which is why I think it is planned to have 8 Gigs of RAM), which is exactly counter to the current practice of taking down game videos. They even specifically stated having selected footage directly upload to YouTube, iirc. The 2 CAN’T mutually co-exist.

However, I love the Zelda games, so I’m stuck getting Nintendo consoles (managed to get by w/o buying my own Wii, & am waiting for the next Zelda or a price drop — if I can help it — before getting a Wii U). I still managed to get addicted to Skyward Sword, though. However, if Zelda is EVER crippled by Always Online DRM (which would be retarded for a purely single player franchise like Zelda), I’ll skip that game & more than likely write Nintendo to complain. If that requirement isn’t on the packaging, I’ll write the EFF or Popehat to see if I can get some Pro-Bono help to fight for my Property, First Sale, & other rights.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 How will this work in once PS4 launches?

Bleh… Zelda is the same story over and over…

Further, I’ve failed to catch on to how lazy Nintendo storytelling truly is. The only real storyteller was Shigesato Itoi and he’s “retired”, allowing the public to work on Mother 4.

The best thing you could do is honestly not buy any of the gaming consoles for these reasons:

Sony is horrible against tinkerers (remember their lawsuit against Geohot?)

Microsoft wants to end digital gaming by not allowing any used games to be played on their console (dumb move btw)

Nintendo has a weird relationship with social gaming by just pretending it doesn’t exist. Oh, and copyright laws.

I just honestly prefer the PC but that’s my own reason for enjoying an open system that is much better than consoles can offer now without being a PC.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re: Re:3 How will this work in once PS4 launches?

Skyward Sword is not the same Zelda that has come before. Not only is it a prequel to everything, but Ganon & the Master Sword don’t even exist yet.

The environments & characters that populate them were mostly new as well (or, to be more specific, were drastically different from previous Zelda Forests, Volcanos & Deserts). & some of those enemies required you coming up w/ different strategies for different enemies. Just blindly swinging your sword won’t work on most of them.

You’re also not just searching for Zelda, you’re literally a few steps behind her for much of the game.

It was an appropriate entry for the 25th Anniversary, as it took a different path & laid the ground work for a new Legend to explore.

One of the down sides most people point to (which didn’t really bother me, because I rarely sequence break) was that SS is more linear than previous Zeldas. Some also see it as a Beta for the next title in the franchise, which may be why it was more linear (though, you did still have a lot of freedom to explore once you have the right items, as is true of most, if not all, Zeldas).

Also, I’m not a Social Gamer (believe it or not, I’m not on ANY of the Social Networking sites, at all; I post here & on one forum for one of my hobbies, & that is it). I prefer the one player games; I won’t refuse to play 2 player, but I prefer my opponents in the same room w/ me.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re: Re: How will this work in once PS4 launches?

Why do you want a game console anyway? At present, the best option is a PC or Linux computer. The update of graphics or sharing pales compared to whatyou can do with Steam and Raspberry Pi.

Yes, especially since Steam doesn’t force you to use online DRM to play single-player games! Oh wait…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 How will this work in once PS4 launches?

At least steam has a nifty little ‘Offline Mode’ feature. Don’t see that on any of the other online only DRM thats come out lately. Not to mention that steam has given me a massive game library for very little cost, offsetting the inconvenience with significant value.

Anonymous Coward says:

promises not to do it again, until the next time. if there were some reasonable consequences for doing this sort of thing, companies would, perhaps, be less inclined to do it. cue the thick fuckers in Congress who, hush my mouth, wouldn’t consider doing such a thing in case their ‘incomes’ were reduced or their ‘friends’ were hit. dont matter about the ordinary people, the legitimate web sites or those doing nothing wrong at all, though!! they dont have to be protected, it’s just the assholes that do!!

out_of_the_blue says:

Any publicity is good publicity.

It’s an old theory. As this same scenario occurs over and over, consider whether it’s done by intent, sheerly to gin up publicity to bring in new potential buyers. Sega could spend a fortune and not get the same notice.

So who’s playing who, here?

It is however clear that Minion Cushing is playing with himself in imagining he’s the valiant paladin up against evil overlord Sega. Put it in graphics, and that’s the basic premise of nearly every video game. — At least notice that Mike and Minions just LOVE to present themselves as able to offer advice to mega-corporations. They do it nearly daily, and the record of it being taken and acted upon? … Near as anyone can say, zero.

Ed C. says:

Does anyone have a number on how many vids got taken down? The effected users should band together and file a mass copyright fraud claim against Sega. These DMCA shakedowns have to stop, it’s time for copyright abusers to get a shakedown for a change. The DMCA explicitly states that takedowns are issued under penalty of perjury. If the laws barring copyright fraught are not exercised, they might as well not exist at all.

CK20XX (profile) says:

And I thought being a Sonic fan was hard.


As a person who lauds Sonic 3 & Knuckles as one of the best games ever made, I just don’t feel anything anymore. I burned through my last emotion years ago.

Maybe Sega fears being replaced? I mean, I can’t count on Sonic games anymore for my high speed platforming fix, so I’ve moved on to other games like The Fancy Pants Adventure and Freedom Planet. There’s a painful irony in how Sega’s fans carry the torch more skillfully than Sega does now.

Lurker Keith says:

Re: Re:

No, no. You missed a step.


Step 1: Take down videos of old game

Step 2: Apologize and allow videos of new game

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit

I guess a FTFY goes here…

Though, in this case, I know what Step 3 is: Get fans to actually like the game enough to upload videos of it or at least do a Let’s Play of it… erm… or in Corporate-ese: advertise it for free

anonymous coward says:

Hey Sega,

Thank you to all of your staff for waiting while we worked hard to get this issue solved. While we the people may need to pirate your gamnes on rare cases, we?re happy to confirm that there are no further plans to pirate Shining Force, for users living in North American and European territories. Additionally, all of the people who live in these territories, accept your apology for treating us poorly, even though it’s our money that fuels your company.

We believes strongly in SEGA and we apologize for any inconvenience. You all are what keep us going ? thank you!

relghuar says:

Hey Sega,

I accidentally found this email address in one of the many forums I used to be watching, with your kind request to get in touch with you. Unfortunately that will not be possible, because by now I’m so far out of touch with you that I wouldn’t know where to start looking.
Thank you all for waiting while I figured out what’s your real priority and how it relates to me. While I may have been a huge fan of your products, and in rare cases even shared my great personal experience with others via youtube, I’m happy to confirm that I have no further plans to ever touch anything even remotely Sega-related in any territory ever again. Additionally, as I live in one of the territories you like to terrorize with your business model, please stop trying to get in touch with me, so I don’t ever have to look at any of your products anymore.
I believe strongly in owning what I bought as well as in my right to share my personal experiences with anyone and in any way I wish and I apologize for ever thinking you might actually be happy that someone really enjoyed your products.
You are what keeps me going away from you and other “IP-intensive” companies like you. Thank you!

Best regards,
no longer your fan

Koinzell says:

Not an apology

I was seriously pissed off over here. Sure I didn’t have any Shining videos to take down, so I was mostly untouched by this. But I honestly find this kind of attitude to be DEPLORABLE!
There’s no words for this.
Sega took down tons of accounts, got many accounts banned. Just to ”get the trailers up on the search rankings”..
And now they say ”Hey we’re sorry, but now that we’re planning to take the strikes off from your account we’re cool, right?” .. No things don’t work that way. I think the community should say that ”THIS KIND OF MARKETING ISN’T ALRIGHT”. I’ve seen many people go ”oh they apologized. Now they’re cool again”. Those guys are just way too naive, and gaming companies feast on their cash.
I for one will NEVER plan on buying another sega product. I’m sorry. The guys who suffered cause of selfish marketing ideas by sega should get more than a half-hearted ”apology”.

And many fans of the ”shining series” were banned and called names cause they didn’t take it sitting down.

This is the most anti-consumer thing I have EVER seen, and I think this thing was far worse than day one DLC or any of that shizz.

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