Due to COVID-19 knocking our society on its butt, some of the things that once represented order—video game release dates, for example—are currently limping around without a firm destination in mind. Some parts of the world, especially Australia, received Final Fantasy 7 Remake yesterday, whereas most of us are expected to wait until the official April 10 release date. Square Enix has since asked people who own Remake not to spoil the game, though the takedown of Twitch channels that stream Remake implies there's more "telling" going on here than "asking."
Yesterday, streamer Excessive Profanity had his account suspended for 24 hours after Square Enix issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violation. "Apparently, they're allowed to tell retailers to sell it, I'm allowed to go to a store and buy it, and without any official communication they're allowed to have my Twitch channel suspended for streaming it," he tweeted when his account was locked. His account has since been restored.
Looks like I just got auto-DMCA'd by @SquareEnix. Apparently, they're allowed to tell retailers to sell it, I'm allowed to go to a store and buy it, and without any official communication they're allowed to have my Twitch channel suspended for streaming it. Nice dudes. https://t.co/6tC5EJjTM7— Excessive Profanity (@CodyHargreaves) April 1, 2020
On March 31, the official Square Enix Twitter account requested that people who have Remake early refrain from spoiling the game until April 10 out of respect for its development team. It also posted a link to a "material usage license" that outlines what streamers can share of Remake before the release date. (It's not much.)
As the development team requested yesterday, if you get #FF7R early, please think of others and don’t spoil it for them.The official release date is April 10, please read our Material Usage License if you’re unsure of what that means.Read it here: https://t.co/kH5fgvrNop pic.twitter.com/WTMiYvdaHV— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) March 31, 2020
The material usage license clearly states streams are off-limit until April 10, but Excessive Profanity has since posted screenshots that suggest Square Enix added the date after his channel was suspended. "They didn't mention the revision. They didn't send warnings before taking action like they said they would," he tweets.
Either way, streaming Remake before April 10 is clearly a sure-fire way to incur Square Enix's wrath. A quick search on Twitch reveals a handful of rebels are trying, nevertheless. There are also channels that are streaming commercials for Remake and encouraging people to report anyone who's breaking embargo.
Can't blame people for being excited about Final Fantasy 7 Remake, I suppose. We already have some of our own (embargo safe!) impressions. Stick around for more as we move closer to the game's official release date.