Dark Souls 3 doesn't come out until April 12, but three weeks before its release, streamers could start sharing their experiences. As I recently observed, that didn't over so well the series' passionate fans. Now, Bandai Namco is trying to put the genie back in the bottle. The embargo for Dark Souls 3 asked people to stop streaming after a certain set of bosses, but what came before was a decent chunk of the game.
Recently, Bandai Namco asked everyone to stop streaming -- period.
"Our community team has asked streamers to stop streaming the PC version of Dark Souls II I provided to them from us as we start to send the game out to a wider set of streamers," the company told me in a statement.
I picked up on this when certain streamers were told to hold off.
Apparently now we're not supposed to release DKS3 content between April 1st and 11th (launch), so prepare for a spate of DKS3 vids tmrw
— Ryan Letourneau (@NorthernlionLP) March 31, 2016
So, I can no longer do Dark Souls 3 on the 7th/8th. Earliest I can stream it is now April 11th at 5pm CST. See you then for it, I guess?
— LobosJR (@Lobosjrgaming) March 31, 2016
"As more and more of these content creators receive Dark Souls III from Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc." the company told me, "we are asking all content creators to wait until the launch of the game to continue their videos to avoid any confusion and create an even playing field for streamers and YouTube creators on April 12."
There's a good reason Bandai Namco lifted the embargo so early: Dark Souls 3 is already out in Japan. But the company was faced a dilemma. Spoilers for the new game were going to float out no matter what they did, so why not let people get a glimpse of the Western version coming out in April?
As it turned out, for some fans, the Japanese version was one thing, this was another. So while Dark Souls 3 ended up getting a bunch of exposure, the early, early, early access wasn't entirely positive. (Lots of reviewers receive games ahead of time, but video is usually held closer to release.)
Will this stop everyone from streaming? Hard to say. It's not the original embargo that people agreed to, and some didn't get the memo. Bandai Namco could wave around copyright takedowns, if they want to get stingy about it. Hopefully, it doesn't have to get that ugly. We're so close!