Developers choosing to shut down fan projects is nothing new, Nintendo has been doing it for years. However a very interesting situation has arisen where a developer is actually choosing to sue a fan project based purely on it being a revival of a dead MMO, how odd.
Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Online is an old MMO developers by Atlus, a japanese game development company known primarily for the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games. This MMO was shut down in 2016 and a fan recreation of the game’s original servers was created and released in 2020 with Atlus taking legal action against this in 2021. According to them this mainly concerns the fact that they believe not only is the game causing “irreparable damage to Atlus unless restrained by this Court” but that a website that was created to promote this new server also added copyright information from the fan who created it alongside both Atlus and Sega’s copyright making it damaging to their companies.
It’s an interesting situation as on the one hand I can see why the company feels the need to protect it’s brand, especially when it comes to the website with additional copyright information, but on the other this is a matter of game preservation and fans of the series enjoying the games that were shut down by the original publishers. If this does end up fully going to court and Atlus wins this could set a dangerous precedent for other companies to start doing the same against other fan projects which could spark a massive blow to game preservation efforts. I for one hope that the owners of this fan server can come to some kind of arrangement to have this situation resolved without the law getting involved however it remains to be seen if this will end up being the case. This could be the start of some dark days…
That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.