This is a sad and confusing tale. It contains four of my (many) favorite things: Sega, YouTube, Shining Force, and figuratively punching people over the internet. Unfortunately all of these things are mashed together and it’s awful. Just Awful.
Shining Force III videos are being removed from YouTube by Sega. While this in itself is irritating, they seem to be flagging them at random and have stated no reason at all for the removals.
It’s natural to assume that they are just being heavy-handed in their attempts to control how consumers see the Shining Force IP, the types of videos and the order in which they’re being flagged for removal just doesn’t make sense.
What is Shining Force III, anyway?
Shining Force III (all three parts of it) was one of the best RPGs on the Sega Saturn. That may not say much to you, but the Saturn had a whole lot of quality RPGs over in Japan. Just to list a few off the top of my head:
- Tactics Ogre
- Panzer Dragoon Saga
- Ogre Battle
- Lunar Silver Star Story
- Lunar Eternal Blue
- Devil Summoner
I probably don’t need to tell you that the Saturn did far better in Japan than it did elsewhere.
Shining Force III was released in four parts. The first three parts discs were the game itself, with the final disc being a sort of fan disc. The first part of the game was released in North America, but the other two parts of the saga were never officially localized.
The series has continued on past III and has a moderate fanbase in NA/EU, so what’s going on here?
Video Flagging and Removal
Sega has been flagging videos of the game since early to mid November. The weird thing about it is the videos they are choosing seem to be random, though they are all related to Shining Force in one way or another.
Notice I say “related” and not “of”, because not all of the removals are of videos of the series. While a good chunk of the videos being flagged are of people playing one of the three parts of Shining Force III, some of them are just of people talking about the games.
Even stranger is that the videos being removed of actual gameplay are of the original Japanese and English version, as well as unofficially translated versions of the second and third parts of the game. So there is no discrimination based on location or version of the game, since anything mentioning Shining Force is being flagged.
Sega, plz. Plz bb dun do dis
There could be a lot of reasons for Sega acting like a dick. All of those reasons, frankly, suck. I bolded, italicized, and underlined that for extreme emphasis.
The newest entry to the series, Shining Ark, is launching in February in Japan — but would that really tie into this? Shining the Holy Ark videos have been flagged for removal as well, and the names are similar. But..
I just don’t see any of this making sense. Sega of America claims ignorance, but this really couldn’t be the work of a lone employee. Videos are being flagged en masse.
An explanation is the least they could do for the fans. The English-speaking Shining Force fanbase is small. Why kick your loyal and dedicated fans in the teeth? These are the type of people that will import new entries to the series and then buy them again if they’re localized. The type of people who buy fanbooks and soundtracks. The type of people who love Sega. Why make things even harder on them when you don’t give them the attention they deserve in the first place?