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Atlus hits emulation group with copyright claim over Persona 5

The best way to experience the game is on consoles, studio says

Images of Ryuji, Ann, Joker, and Morgana in Persona 5 Atlus

Atlus has issued DMCA takedown notices to the developers of RPCS3, a popular PlayStation 3 emulator for PCs, after they promoted the program’s compatibility with Persona 5. Both the emulator and the developers’ Patreon page are affected, according to Atlus and the RPCS3 team, with Atlus urging Persona fans to play the game on consoles as intended.

“We believe that our fans best experience our titles (like Persona 5) on the actual platforms for which they are developed,” Atlus wrote in a statement on its website. “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.”

RPCS3’s website heavily promoted that it could be used to play Persona 5 on PCs, making it a visible target for Atlus. While emulators are not liable to copyright claims, Atlus said that Persona 5’s compatibility with the program is an infringement on its IP. That’s the argument it made to Patreon when the platform pushed back against the takedown notice issued to the RPCS3 creators’ account.

“We kindly ask that you remove both for this reason — to make Persona 5 work on the emulator, the user has to circumvent our DRM protections,” Atlus told Patreon, according to the RPCS3 creators, then linking to a blog post that explained how Patreon helped support the emulator.

In a Reddit post addressing the copyright claims, the RCSP3 team said it was skeptical of Atlus’ argument that Persona 5 should not be available to players on PC, even if they’re dumping their own legally acquired copies of the game to use with the emulator.

“Why Atlus would choose this time to target this project will probably never be known,” the developers wrote. “We choose not to speculate about the reasons at this time and hope for there to be open communication with Atlus. We firmly believe we operate within a legal framework and will continue to work on RPCS3, undeterred.”

The RPCS3 website and Patreon account both remain active, although references to Persona 5 have been removed. This isn’t the first time that Atlus has scared fans of the series away from playing its games as they choose. Before Persona 5 launched in April, the studio issued a streaming restriction that barred video uploads from beyond a certain part of the game, as well as disabled the share functionality of the PlayStation 4 version.

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