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Sega does about-face on "Shining Force" YouTube takedowns

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Sega has finally apologized to its fans months after the company went on a takedown notice spree over a 15-year-old video game.

Between 1997 and 1998, Sega released Shining Force III, a three-part role playing game for the Saturn console. Of these, only the first scenario made it to the United States. The other two were never ported into English from the Japanese editions.

After YouTube launched, fans began uploading walkthroughs and translations of the remaining two parts to the popular video sharing platform so as to give other Shining Force III enthusiasts the complete game experience. 

In November 2012, that all changed. Sega aggressively started sending notices of copyright infringement to any user who had posted a YouTube video related to the game. The likely reason, according to Destructoid, was that the video game publishing company was planning on releasing a new installment of the Shining series for the Playstation Portable in Japan in February 2013. 

And so Sega set out to make sure that YouTube was scrubbed clean of anything relating to the video game series, going so far as to issue takedown notices for videos where users simply talked about the game.

Flash forward to last Tuesday, about a month after Shining Ark—the new game in question— hit Japanese shelves. RubyEclipse, an associate brand manager for Sega of America, took to a post made on the company's forum to offer an apology.

"Thank you to all of our fans for waiting while we worked hard to get this issue solved," noted  RubyEclipse. 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 communityteam@sega.com 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!"

Some fans, like YouTube user HappyConsoleGamer, were pleased with the reversal.

Others weren't so quick to let Sega off the hook.

"Nice way to write a sugary paragraph and one sentence without so much as a hint of being aware of how much bad press this single event has nailed the entire company, or thinking that a simple apology will help in any way," opined MrHaru on the same forum thread where Sega made its apology.

As for YouTube users who received strikes against their accounts for uploading Shining Force content, at least one of them has confirmed that they have been reversed.

Photo via Jyoshiki/Flickr