Over the weekend, several sites posted reports on Left Alive’s reception in Japan, compounding it with the mention that streaming of the game has been disabled.
The report on the streaming lock originated from a Japanese blog known to be among a category of local ones that can be fast on the news but are often sensational or incorrect. The information was picked up by a western Japan-centric website which relayed the alleged connection between the game’s poor reviews on Amazon Japan and the issue with streaming.
Those reports are partial and pretty much incorrect, especially because most of them came way after Square Enix commented on the issue on the official Left Alive Twitter account on March 3 at 1:23 PM Japan time, which translates into 11:23 PM on March 2 EST. You can find the tweet below.
— LEFT ALIVE (@leftalive_jp) March 3, 2019
The announcement mentions that the publisher is aware of the issue that blocks streaming from the PS4’s built-in feature on YouTube, and they’re investigating the cause. It also promises that it will inform players as soon as there is progress and apologizes for any inconvenience caused to the users.
The tweet also mentions only YouTube, and that’s a rather relevant point. Streaming from PS4 to Twitch has never been disabled and has been possible without interruption since the game’s release. This excludes cutscenes, which have always been blocked as a normal procedure by many Japanese developers to avoid spoilers.
As an example, you can check out the archived videos on the channel of Twitch user Origami_Crane, who has been streaming the game perfectly fine across the weekend. The recorded videos clearly show the PS4’s streaming interface.
If there was any attempt from Square Enix to hide the quality of the game as the reports pretty much imply, it’s rather obvious that they would have blocked all streaming platforms and not just YouTube.
While it’s true that the reception for the game in Japan appears to be cold, it’s not exactly proper to depict the situation as even worse than it already is via clear misinformation.
Considering that the developer’s official response has been available for over a day and a half, the fact that several of the reports have been posted way after it was issued, and that they have not been updated by the moment of this writing, this is a good lesson on the value of proper and independent fact-checking, which should definitely be performed when reporting from sources known to be sensationalistic and often misleading.
In this case, it wouldn’t have been exactly difficult considering that Square Enix’s response is easily visible on the game’s official account. While it’s in Japanese, even Google Translate does a good job of conveying it. Checking official channels should be the first thing to do when reporting about this kind of issues.
The implication of an intentional intervention on Square Enix’s part appears to be even more incomprehensible considering that the publisher has not made any effort to hide Left Alive’s gameplay, and has hosted several livestreams which, if anything, put the game in an even worse light by starring unskilled celebrities who clumsily blundered around the levels while getting repeatedly killed.
If you want to read more about Left Alive, you can read our recent interview dedicated to the game. We also recently saw the launch trailer and a gameplay video with the Director explaining how the game works.
Left Alive launched a few days ago (Feb. 28, 2019) in Japan for PS4. It’ll come west tomorrow (March 5) for PS4 and PC.