The live stream began with an audible sigh. The pink-haired Gothic girl was not thrilled and within a few moments it became clear why.
“Atlus, please let me play Person 3, “Started Mori Calliope, an English speaking VTuber under the Hololive agency for digital anime entertainers who are currently taking the internet by storm. On her screen was a comic book representation of herself with two exclamation marks – a graphic that anyone who has played a Japanese role-playing game will immediately recognize Person 3.
Released in 2006 by Atlus, the game is known for its vivid portrayal of Japanese high school elegantly combined with demon-infested dungeon crawling. In this game, a close-up is created when characters launch a devastating attack. The sign then says a signature line. In this case, Mori’s sentence was “I’ve been waiting for this” – a clever game of the fact that Mori apparently cannot live stream despite her urgent requests Person 3
“Atlus, please, I beg you, please, let me, please, let me play, Person 3and please stream it live, ”she continued. “I ask you to let me play your game, please.”
That was the entirety of the livestream – Mori pleaded repeatedly for over 90 minutes while thousands of fans cheered. As of this point, 250,000 people have tuned in to hear someone say the same thing over and over. At one point, Mori’s plan was even announced on Twitter.
Why can’t she play this old game? In the past, Atlus has been restrictive on what players can or cannot show during livestreams – but for the latest game in the series, Person 5. Would the Japanese developers even care if a VTuber plays a game that is now 14 years old? A representative from Atlus tells Polygon that the trending hashtag was the first they heard of Mori’s request and that Atlus, to their knowledge, did not refuse a livestream. The representative said they were “investigating” the situation. But it’s also possible that a lot of what’s going on here affects the Japanese side of Hololive, Mori’s parent company, and Atlus, the game developer. Hololive did not return a request for comment in time for printing.
While Mori never fully explains why she can’t play the game, the main assumption among fans is that everything is implicated in Japanese copyright law, which is extremely strict – and doesn’t have a fair use clause like American law does. So, the theory goes that sometimes VTubers have to take the extra step of asking permission to play a game first. Which theoretically means that companies can say no. While it’s unclear what exactly is going to be seen behind the scenes, fans are more than ready to support Mori’s cause. Namely, There is a hashtag on Twitter, # CallioP3This is where viewers broadcast fan art, screenshots, and other ephemera hoping to increase visibility, and ideally, pushing Atlus to say yes.
ATLUS PLEASE LEAVE CORIOPE MORI FROM HOLOLIVE EN PLAY PERSONA 3, AN OLD GAME WE ALL LOVE AND TRY. WE WANT THIS TITLE TO GET MORE LOVE, PLEASE LET YOUR PERSON PLAY 3 PLEASE ATLUS. PLEASE GUARANTEE YOUR DESIRE. It’s all that she wants. PLEASE WE OFFER YOU EVERYTHING.# CallioP3 pic.twitter.com/KoLUwcdpdr
– Axel Diamandis (@AxelDiamandisEN) 3rd December 2020
During the live stream, Mori even promised that she would not “spoil” the game and said that she was ready to stop streaming at a set point. After that, she said, she would encourage people to buy the game instead. This was apparently a reaction to Atlus’ rules about Person 5where the developer was unusually careful when livestreams showed too much of the game to their viewers.
Part of what makes the whole thing remarkable is the fact that Mori managed to say the same thing over and over to people watch. Sure, it was repeating itself, but it also made use of the camera and the absurd graphics that flashed in the background and that grew wilder the more desperate it sounded. It’s no wonder VTubers are making waves right now – and if they do so with such limitations, I can only imagine the heights they will reach in 2021.
If nothing else, this particular VTuber deserves it: Person 3The slogan is “Memento Mori”. your Surname is Mori Calliope. The two were meant for each other.