In a move that can only be described as bold, Sony Computer Entertainment of America has filed a trademark claim for the phrase “Let’s Play.” The phrase is frequently used to refer to a popular style of video content in which a videogame is played and broadcast in its entirety, often with accompanying player commentary. The trademark claim specifies the use of the phrase in “Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks.”
At this point, the claim remains unfulfilled, though the particular reasons are unknown. If the claim is not altered or updated by June 29th, it will be dismissed. Let’s Plays are an overwhelmingly large constituent in the online gaming space, with millions participating in streams on a daily basis. If Nintendo’s decision to alter their YouTube policy was any indication, this claim could have resounding effects on the online community. Without knowing the extent of the claim, it’s hard to predict an outcome, but with such a broad and far-reaching trademark, there could be a real impact.