Japanese Visual Novel Fan Arrested for Uploading Gameplay Videos to YouTube

A 52-year-old resident of Nagoya has become the first person in Japan to be arrested for uploading video game gameplay videos to YouTube.

A 52-year-old resident of Nagoya, Japan is currently under investigation for the alleged unauthorized uploading and monetization of gameplay videos on his YouTube channel.

According to a report by Japan Today (via GamesIndustry.biz), Shinobu Yoshida is facing charges for supposedly sharing three gameplay videos of the Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace.

The game was initially launched on Xbox 360 in 2011 and later re-released for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Windows in 2019. Authorities claim that Yoshida monetized the videos on their YouTube channel, generating income from advertisements. Additionally, it is claimed that one of the videos disclosed the game's ending.

It has been reported that Yoshida uploaded videos from the Steins;Gate anime adaptation and the Spy x Family anime, although these particular videos do not seem to be connected to the charges being filed against them.

According to Japan Today, it is common to find non-monetized gameplay videos on Japanese YouTube, and accounts posting such videos do not usually face legal consequences. However, in this case, the rights holder of Steins;Gate, Kadokawa, deemed it necessary to press charges.

The reason behind this decision is that Steins;Gate is a visual novel intended to be experienced passively without direct player interaction which is why any YouTube upload, especially one revealing the story's ending, could be seen as a "far more viable substitute" to purchasing the game itself.

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