Twitch Temporarily Banned Speedrunner Because His Speedrun Involved Not Playing
In the JRPG 'Baten Kaitos,' players must patiently wait for time to march forward in order to collect every item. It's weird.
342 hours might not seem like a "speedrun," but it's the current record for collecting everything in Bandai Namco's cult classic card-based JRPG, Baten Kaitos. It takes that long because speedrunners need to wait for items to "evolve" in real-time, meaning there's a lot of downtime. That downtime resulted in speedrunner Baffan, who I profiled in a story earlier this year, getting slapped with a very surprising 24-hour ban from Twitch over the weekend.
Twitch's argument was that simply having the game idle was a form of "non-gaming content." The streaming service would only tell me that it doesn't "comment on terms of service violations," which is standard procedure for Twitch. They never openly talk about bans.
"Don't get me wrong, I completely accept this 24-hour suspension, it's ok for me. I just expected a different kind of warning," said Baffan in a now-deleted tweet, according to Kotaku.
On Twitter, Baffan seemed eager to move on from the incident, calling it a "shit day." I got the same sense in talking with him earlier today, too.
The ban has since lifted, and Baffan has resumed playing Baten Kaitos on Twitch. He's 73 hours into the run, as of this writing. The current compromise is to stream the parts he's playing on Twitch, while letting the game idle on Hitbox, a competing streaming service that, so far, hasn't shown pushback to his speedrun.
Baffan's currently streams four hours every day and his goal is beating the game in under 341 hours. It's "way too early to tell," according to Baffan, to know if he's on pace for a record.