Atlus issued a DMCA takedown for RPCS3 developers after they promoted their software having compatibility for Persona 5.
Atlus originally released Persona 5 worldwide for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles April 2017. Persona 5’s emulated version was launched in April as well using RPCS3, which is an open-source PlayStation 3 emulator. Atlus never gave RPCS3 developers permission to emulate Persona 5, and chose to issue a DMCA takedown order for the developer’s patreon page. In a statement on their official website, Atlus said
“We believe that our fans best experience our titles (like Persona 5) on the actual platforms for which they are developed. We don’t want their first experiences to be framerate drops, or crashes, or other issues that can crop up in emulation that we have not personally overseen. We understand that many Persona fans would love to see a PC version. And while we don’t have anything to announce today, we are listening! For now, the best way to experience Persona 5 is on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.”
They also state that they appreciate the “awareness generated by the emulation community for Persona 5” but that illegally circumventing the content with less quality than they intended, decreases their ability to deliver high quality content to new audiences.
This is not the first time Atlus gave warnings about the consequences of misusing their content by their standards; upon Persona 5’s initial launch, Atlus released a statement restricting gamers on posting certain content of the game during streams or reviews. Failure to comply to Atlus’ directions meant the streaming or reviewed content would be removed.
Atlus wanted the entirety of RPCS3’s Patreon taken down, however Patreon did not directly side with Atlus on their request. Patreon believed the emulation operated under the claim of “fair use,” and that deleting all of RPCS3’s content did not seem to be a reasonable course of action. Even though RPCS3 developers ensured their emulation of the game fell within the copyright and intellectual property laws of where they live, they decided to take down all content related to Persona 5 and have not announced if they will release anything else for the game or other Atlus titles.
In one thread, Reddit users have expressed disdain over Atlus’ decision regarding the takedown, arguing that Atlus issued a false DMCA claim without proper dialogue between their staff and RPCS3 developers. Others have sided with Atlus and believe emulations like this one may promote piracy.
Atlus has not issued anymore DMCA claims or issues with RPCS3, but developers who create emulations from big-name companies may have to be careful with how they create their content in the future.