While Atlus makes some of my favourite games of all time, they definitely need a little schooling on handling the business and customer support side of things. Many of their practices are archaic and are incredibly tone-deaf to the point of worry. They made headlines earlier this year when Persona 5 released and they expressly prohibited streamers and YouTubers from playing past a certain point in the game. They also frequently have region restrictions and botched stock allocations for their games and it’s getting pretty annoying to deal with them.
Another crusade that Atlus is now on is against the popular PS3 emulator RPCS3. The emulator doesn’t have malicious intent as it is expressly against piracy and you still need to buy physical versions of the games in order to run them on the emulator. When Atlus caught wind that the emulator could be used to play Persona 5 on PC, they filed a DMCA claim against the emulator as well as their Patreon.
Here’s the official statement by Atlus for why they did this:
You might have heard earlier today that we issued a DMCA takedown notice involving emulation developer group RPCS3 and their Patreon page. Yes, it’s true. We settled upon this action for two reasons: 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.
We appreciate the awareness generated by the emulation community for Persona 5 and know that it is a fantastic example of how much people are loving our game. We want to keep bringing you titles like Persona 5. Unfortunately, when our content is illegally circumvented and potentially made available for free, in a format we do not think delivers the experience and quality we intend, it undermines our ability to do so by diverting potential support from new audiences.
We want to continue having a dialogue about where and how you would like to play our games. Please let us know what you think.
When asked for a comment by GameInformer, Atlus PR Manager, Jacob Nahin, said the following:
It isn’t the emulator itself we object to, it is the use of Persona 5, including methods of circumvention, that we took issue with. That said, no further action is planned at the moment.
The initial belief was that Atlus wanted to completely shut down the emulator as well as their source of revenue. However, it seems that Atlus was more concerned with the use of Persona 5 on the emulator’s website, forums and so on, that featured discussions and tips on how to get the game running on PC. Because of that, RPCS3 has removed all mention of Persona 5 on their website and their community forums.
Like with all reckless DMCA strikes, this might cause more damage than anything else. People are now aware of RPCS3 because people like myself are reporting on this and since there is no official and clean way of using Persona 5 with the emulator that requires you to purchase it, what do you think is going to happen? Atlus might need a lesson in what the Streisand Effect is.
It is important to protect your intellectual property and this might be Atlus’ overall goal, but the way they try to accomplish that can be seen as misguided. It’s reckless and it doesn’t seek to have a peaceful resolution, just a fire brimstone strike on whoever they please. Maybe they should just release Persona 5 on PC, finally. The more people who play that masterpiece of a game, the better. I just wish its dad wasn’t running around with a belt all the time.