The end of the MMO is a very sad moment, as not many people are able to continue enjoying a title they loved so much. Fortunately, the community ended up reviving some of these games, but the latest attitude on the part of Atlus could completely change this scenario.
As can be seen On the Court Listener websiteIn December 2021, the company filed a lawsuit against two groups that were willing to keep private servers for Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine. After debuting in the United States in 2008, the title developed by Cave and maintained by GungHo Online Entertainment ended its activities in 2016.
With his story between the events shown between the first and the second Shin Megami Tenseithe project was born as an attempt to add online elements to Shin Megami Tensei: Nine. With real-time battles and the possibility to recruit demons to fight on our side, the game puts us in a post-apocalyptic exploration of Tokyo.
According to the request from Atlus, the groups known as Rekuiemu Games and COMP_hack are violating US copyright laws, which can be seen on the website they maintain to distribute Imagine SMT.
They did this by creating and running a replica of the original website that Atlus used to distribute the game. imagine“reads an excerpt from the document.” By creating and distributing an exact or near-accurate copy of imagine, which users can download from the offending website and by creating and distributing an unauthorized server, this emulates the original server used by Atlus and allows users to view and play the offending game with other players. “
The lawsuit also says that by attributing copyright to his name and citing Atlus, Sega and Cave, Rekuiemu “caused and will continue to cause irreparable harm” to the company. Accordingly, the developer asked those involved to remove the site, as well as the server and even the GitHub they kept, in addition to awarding them monetary compensation of $25,000 for each violation they were convicted of.
Interestingly, another similar project, ReImagine, is not mentioned in the lawsuit, but its website is no longer functional. in purported message Posting on Discord, the person in charge of the group admitted the fear that he would also become a target of Atlus, and therefore decided to shut down the game server permanently. They even talked about editing the files so those interested can continue playing on their own, but this should only happen after the dust has settled.
If successful, Atlus could set a shocking precedent for those who just want to keep the history of some games alive. If it wasn’t for fan dedication, titles like Warhammer OnlineAnd the Star Wars Galaxies And the City of Heroes It could have disappeared completely, but fortunately, those who control such brands seem to have no problem with groups continuing to enjoy themselves in the virtual worlds they have created.
There are even those who argue that the DMCA should make an exception for these cases, such as Museum of Digital Art and Entertainment (MADE, its English acronym). It’s been nearly five years since the entity launched a campaign calling for us to be allowed to maintain servers for games that have been terminated, but without much progress in this regard.
On the other hand, it is understood that the company wants to protect its property in whatever way it sees fit, and if the law protects it, there are not many fans who can do that. It’s not a nice situation, asking to shut down a game server they didn’t want to keep, but if American justice proves Atlus right, I wouldn’t be surprised if other projects like this are abandoned.
The interesting thing is to think that this action was specifically taken by a Sega subsidiary. The publisher has always been quite tolerant of what fans do with their brands. take them to to accept the changes For Mega Drive games, what would have made Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Not receiving the same treatment?
Atlus may be secretly working on another MMO set in the franchise world, but for now, the studio has managed to garner attention that won’t help. What will come out of this process? Looking forward to the scenes from the following seasons.
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