FromSoftware’s Parent Company Gets Man Arrested For Uploading Gameplay Videos To YouTube

Japanese media conglomerate Kadokawa arrested a man for illegally uploading gameplay videos.

Story Highlights

  • Kadokawa, the majority owner of FromSoftware, charged a man with illegal uploads of YouTube videos leading to his arrest.
  • Shinobu Yoshida became the first Japanese man arrested for such a crime after he uploaded clips of Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace and the anime Spy x Family.
  • The 52-year-old admitted to his crime and said he knew it was wrong.

Shinobu Yoshida has become the first Japanese man to be arrested for uploading gameplay videos after being charged by FromSoftware’s parent company Kadokawa. The 52-year-old Nagoya resident was apprehended for uploading three gameplay videos of Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace, a 2011 visual novel. Yoshida admitted to the charges and said that he knew it was illegal.

According to the Japan Today, the genre of Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace is the key reason for Yoshida’s arrest. FromSoftware co-owner Kadokawa thinks that as a visual novel, there is more appeal in watching the story unfold than actually playing it. Hence, due to the low amount of gameplay, watching for free is a good alternative to buying the game.

YouTube video

Unlike other genres, visual novel games don’t feature much interactivity and instead focus more on reading. Players only have to give a few directions, making this genre of gaming more like a movie. Hands-on action gameplay and decision-making, like we see in FromSoftware’s Elden Ring, isn’t this genre’s forte. Therefore, you won’t be missing out on much by just watching YouTube gameplay of Steins;Gate.

As a result, Kadokawa does have a point regarding the nature of the YouTube videos. Besides the gameplay, Shinobu Yoshida also uploaded videos of the game’s anime adaptation and TV Tokyo’s Spy x Family. Even though these weren’t full episodes, they included what the Japanese call “fast content” or netabare. Basically, this is a term that describes videos that sum up the plot of a media product in a condensed form.

As per Japan Today, netabare literally translates to “spoiler” in the Japanese language. But, even in criminal discussions, it means videos that show endings of entertainment products instead of revealing some plot points. Yoshida’s videos contained the ending of Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace and the 52-year-old was collecting money from these monetized uploads.

I knew it was illegal, even as I was doing it.

Following the arrest, CODA, the Japanese content distribution watchdog, asserted that any use of gameplay videos requires permission from the owner. Kadokawa, who owns 69.66% of FromSoftware, was the former parent company of Mages, the developer of the Steins;Gate series. Hence, even though the developer is no longer under Kadokawa, the conglomerate has ownership of the games that came out under its leadership.

Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace is part of the Steins;Gate sub-series of visual novels. The sub-series is a part of the bigger franchise called Science Adventure, which is primarily developed by Mages. It consists of interconnected science-fiction stories from several mainline entries like Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head. My Darling’s Embrace came out way back in 2011 as an Xbox 360 original.

Later, the developer ported it to PSP and PlayStation 3 in 2012, and PS Vita and iOS in 2013, and then to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC in 2019. Hopefully, Yoshida stays away from the FromSoftware owner’s properties like Steins;Gate in the future.

Similar Reads: FromSoftware Is Developing Multiple Projects; Hopes To Release Games In Short Periods

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Japan Today

Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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