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Game developer 'Atlus' issues a DMCA takedown against open source PS3 emulator

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Game developer Atlus, who make the popular Persona series have issued a DMCA take-down against the developers of popular PS3 emulator RPCS3.

From what Atlus put out publicly:

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.

They continued on, noting that they want their fans to get the best experience possible. It's a fair point, but this is likely the wrong way to go about it.

Essentially, Atlus are annoyed that people are emulating their games, like Persona 5. So they moved to contact Patreon directly to request they take down the Patreon pages of RPCS3 developers. This is without Atlus first getting in touch with those developers, which is a pretty blunt and nasty tactic in my opinion.

Thankfully, Patreon themselves have denied the request, given the fact that the Patreon page doesn't actually infringe on anyone's copyrights. As an act of caution, all mentions of Persona 5 from the official RPCS3 site and their Patreon pages have been removed.

The RPCS3 developers have said they don't "promote piracy nor do we allow it under any circumstances" and they've asked everyone to be nice about it.

They confirmed that they will continue to work on RPCS3, as I feel they should.

You can read what happened in the RPCS3 developers own words on reddit here. You can also see the official statement Atlus have put on their own site here.

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Comments
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elmapul 5 October 2017 at 11:28 am UTC
kuwangerso any argument about how other emulators may be inaccurate as well and "ruin" the experience is absurd--casual players don't care and hardcore players should learn well enough the trade-offs.
Atlus is not Nintendo, Nintendo not caring about accuracy dont mean Atlus not caring about accuracy.

kuwangerBut I'm not a Persona fan at all, so there's no risk of a lost sale if there's a decent PS3 emulator, regardless
you think that an good emulator born overnight?
it take years to make an good emulator, this ps3 emulator didnt born yesterday and now its perfect, it born years ago and only now some games were playable (with issues)
a lot of people volunter then selfs as beta testers or tested it not knowing about the issue.
what about those?
they had an imperfect emulation, not only an inacurate but one with tons of issues.

no risk of a lost sale?
if atlus port the game before there are an emulator of it, they may sell a lot.
if they port it after, they will sell almost nothing.
and why they dont port the game already before they make the game playable on PS3, you may ask? exclusivy deal with sony probably.
elmapul 5 October 2017 at 11:33 am UTC
qptain Nemo
Comandante ÑoñardoConsole gaming must back to cartridges and problem solved...

You rent it, you play it... You buy it, you own it.
I like your optimism but just look at optical discs. If big companies made cartridges now, half of the cartridge would be hardware DRM, a quarter would be filled with software DRM and the remaining quarter would contain the game.

switch is cartrigde based (or memory card, whatever)
kuwanger 7 October 2017 at 3:53 am UTC
elmapulAtlus is not Nintendo, Nintendo not caring about accuracy dont mean Atlus not caring about accuracy.

Granted, but then Sega (Atlus' owner) doesn't care about accuracy either. Honestly, very few game companies care about accuracy when it comes to emulators as a means of ports; and lots suck at making PC ports.

elmapulyou think that an good emulator born overnight?
it take years to make an good emulator, this ps3 emulator didnt born yesterday and now its perfect, it born years ago and only now some games were playable (with issues)
a lot of people volunter then selfs as beta testers or tested it not knowing about the issue.
what about those?
they had an imperfect emulation, not only an inacurate but one with tons of issues.

So Atlus should work to make the emulator better, given it's open source? It sounds like what you're really arguing is a possibly more valid argument: trademark defamation. The real problem with that is RPCS3's compatibility list explicitly mentioned that Persona 5 isn't playable. Nor Persona 4. Nor really a lot of games. So, yea, not only is RPCS3 not perfect but it's so far from perfect that no reasonable person would make the mistake and put the blame on Atlus.

elmapulno risk of a lost sale?

Yes, I can guarantee they didn't lose a sale with me. See, I can't make any guarantees on anyone else. Feel free to hand wave away me and the many other people who aren't interested in the Persona series.

elmapulif atlus port the game before there are an emulator of it, they may sell a lot.
if they port it after, they will sell almost nothing.

Yep, that obvious explains the success of the Wii VC line. Or the NES Mini and SNES Mini. Oh, right. Not everyone is a pirate. And even many pirates will go legit if there's sufficiently benefit to them vs the cost.

elmapuland why they dont port the game already before they make the game playable on PS3, you may ask? exclusivy deal with sony probably.

Meanwhile, exclusivity deals are slimy all around. Not sure why you presume that's the reason, though. It could be just as well they felt Sony consoles was where the fan base was.
elmapul 7 October 2017 at 8:04 am UTC
"So Atlus should work to make the emulator better, given it's open source?"
if they want an proper port, its pointless to use an emulator, they have the source code of the game and can port then selfes.
on the other hand, using an emulator might get then into trouble, like having to relase the source code of the game because they bundled it with an open source emulator (depending on the licence of the emulator and how they are merged togheter) or sony say this move as they promoting piracy.

"Nor really a lot of games. So, yea, not only is RPCS3 not perfect but it's so far from perfect that no reasonable person would make the mistake and put the blame on Atlus."
there are some kids who purchased snes emulators for playstatio 2 without realizing they arent native games, so, yes, reasonable people might do just that, think its atlus fault when it isnt.
a lot of people arent really tech savy.

"Yep, that obvious explains the success of the Wii VC line. Or the NES Mini and SNES Mini. Oh, right. Not everyone is a pirate. And even many pirates will go legit if there's sufficiently benefit to them vs the cost."
nice IF there, sufficiently like what?
saying that NES mini sold a lot dont mean that it wouldnt sell even more if it werent for piracy.
i saw a lot of people on my countring complaining that its stupid for Nintendo to try to sell an emulator when they can get one for free (ignoring that they are pirating because nintendo made money on those games already years ago)
and Nintendo itself understimated the demand for Nes mini, probably due to the piracy.

"It could be just as well they felt Sony consoles was where the fan base was. "
so why they are complaining about their games being on pc due to emulators?
i dont see any sane company not porting their games because they think they cant expand their public by publishing in more platforms unless they are paid to think that way, or an really niche game.
kuwanger 7 October 2017 at 9:48 am UTC
elmapulif they want an proper port, its pointless to use an emulator, they have the source code of the game and can port then selfes.

Which isn't the topic at hand. The topic at hand is a claim that Atlus fears bad representation of Persona 5 because of a bad emulator. Obviously they could patch the emulator as an option. Whether they would rather, in some fantasy, that the emulator not exist isn't really relevant. Nor that they can, regardless of the emulator, make a port of the game.

elmapulon the other hand, using an emulator might get then into trouble, like having to relase the source code of the game because they bundled it with an open source emulator (depending on the licence of the emulator and how they are merged togheter)

RPCS3 is licensed GPLv2 and short of some degree of incredible stupidity (like merging a substantial part of the Persona 5 code base into the emulator) would there be any need to release said code if said emulator were released.

elmapulor sony say this move as they promoting piracy.

The only valid argument, then, is a fear of retribution from Sony for a perfectly legal act over fictitious claims? Yes, that does sound about right.

elmapulthere are some kids who purchased snes emulators for playstatio 2 without realizing they arent native games,

Again, we're talking about RPCS3 here. Or are you citing a specific example in the past where someone was commercial pirating Atlus SNES games on the PS2?

elmapulso, yes, reasonable people might do just that, think its atlus fault when it isnt.
a lot of people arent really tech savy.

Well, invariably when Persona 5 does come out someone is going to pirate it. And odds are good that if they use some sort of copy protection, at least one of the initial cracks won't be 100% effective. So, I guess when that happens, they can issue a DMCA against MS Windows for, you know, being incidentally involved in pirates not getting a good experience out of the pirated copy of Persona 5.

elmapulnice IF there, sufficiently like what?

Well, selling NES games for $39.99 each is probably not going to fly for pirates. Yet bundling 30 games for $58.99 was rather effective.

elmapulsaying that NES mini sold a lot dont mean that it wouldnt sell even more if it werent for piracy.

In the case of the NES mini, it literally couldn't sell more because Nintendo sold out. Having said that, yes of course in circumstances where there's a virtually unlimited amount of copies available piracy will result in less sales--presuming good word of mouth from pirates doesn't paradoxically lead to more total sales. Then again, lower prices also would have that effect.

elmapuli saw a lot of people on my countring complaining that its stupid for Nintendo to try to sell an emulator when they can get one for free (ignoring that they are pirating because nintendo made money on those games already years ago)

People also said Amazon would be a failure, BSD is dying, and no would ever pay for <insert popular product here>. People aren't clairvoyants on the future and lots of people don't appreciate that what they advocate may be illegal or not representative of the vast majority of people. Like the fact that while a lot of people pirate, a vast majority don't pirate most things when there's a ready means to buy things.

elmapuland Nintendo itself understimated the demand for Nes mini, probably due to the piracy.

(1) The Nintendo Mini was meant to be something of a limited edition collectors item and (2) Nintendo as a private business is very much run on the notion of very much limiting production even if it creates shortages because surpluses could bankrupt the company. They also have limited capital and ability to ramp up production beyond foreseeable long-term production; ie, they don't want to build out a lot of factories and then have to leave them idle. Meanwhile, they're closefisted enough to not be willing to readily sublet out most of their production because of a fear of corporate espionage.

tl;dr I don't think piracy had much to do with it.

elmapulso why they are complaining about their games being on pc due to emulators?

Given that their games don't even run on the emulator, that's a good question. My obvious guess is they pay some lawyers on an on-going basis and said lawyers are pursuing various potential legal avenues to in some fashion provide value to their client. Like how American Greeting went after Penny Arcade for the Strawberry Shortcake comic.

elmapuli dont see any sane company not porting their games because they think they cant expand their public by publishing in more platforms unless they are paid to think that way, or an really niche game.

Most sane companies realize that their best option is, in theory, to write a game that is trivially portable to most platforms. In practice, though, most games are not trivially portable to most platforms. Hence, we see tons of games that are not available on Linux because the cost to support Linux is greater than the perceived risk of the cost of porting.

If you think this same formula doesn't apply for porting console games to Windows in general, you're mistaken especially as ports are, by their very nature, re-releases of a game. The people who wanted the game are likely to have already bought it and be disinclined to buy it again on the PC without substantial reason. And if it becomes the norm that the later PC port of your games are substantial better, you're effectively discouraging your fan base from buying the console version which will deny you the funding to make said PC port.

Btw, RPGs like Persona 5 are a relatively niche game. Persona 5's actual sales figures of 1.8 million (as of Aug 6, 2017) are an anomaly to the series. Not to say the sales figure isn't impressive, but across the board the top selling tend to be racing (Grand Turismo, Mario Kart, etc) or Open World (Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, etc). Action RPGs, especially western, tend to do better.

*shrug* Perhaps Atlus is flush with cash and wants to risk a big PC port. Certainly if you go by their list on Steam, they've not attempted such things in the past.
elmapul 9 October 2017 at 6:54 pm UTC
kuwangerWhich isn't the topic at hand. The topic at hand is a claim that Atlus fears bad representation of Persona 5 because of a bad emulator. Obviously they could patch the emulator as an option
yeah, someone decided to make our game work in some platform that it shouldnt supose to, so lets help then and get nothign in return.

if you made an game for android and someone try to port your game without your consent and Q/A would you work for then for free in order to make sure the quality is good?
that dont make any sense, generate an expense for the company without any revenue.

kuwangerWhether they would rather, in some fantasy, that the emulator not exist isn't really relevant. Nor that they can, regardless of the emulator, make a port of the game
as i said they might be waiting for an exclusivity deal to finish or soemthig like that.

kuwangerRPCS3 is licensed GPLv2 and short of some degree of incredible stupidity (like merging a substantial part of the Persona 5 code base into the emulator) would there be any need to release said code if said emulator were released.
they will use the emulator as an launcher for the game, and probably hide all the unecessary stuff as sega did with their emulators on steam:

so the licence aplies:
https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html
"b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License."



kuwangerAgain, we're talking about RPCS3 here. Or are you citing a specific example in the past where someone was commercial pirating Atlus SNES games on the PS2?
cant you extrapolate an example?
dammit, if someone where stupid enough to not notice that the game he/she were playing were not an native PS2 game, why the hell do you think that everyone who plays persona5 on an pc, would know its not an native game?


kuwangerWell, selling NES games for $39.99 each is probably not going to fly for pirates. Yet bundling 30 games for $58.99 was rather effective.
yes, lets compare games that were made by teams of 1~3 persons in the 8 bit era with games made by over 200.
games that by the time costed a few thousand to make (counting inflation) to games that cost millions.
lets make a bundle of 30 games that are few years old because nintendo did an bundle with games that are 30 years old.
are you stupid?

kuwangerThe only valid argument, then, is a fear of retribution from Sony for a perfectly legal act over fictitious claims? Yes, that
and fear that sony will not make future exlcusivity deals with then?
fear that they cant make games for ps3 anymore since they can be emulated and pirated now?
kuwangerIn the case of the NES mini, it literally couldn't sell more because Nintendo sold out.
why do you think nintendo understimated the number of NEs minis they could sell?
and that harmed their pockets since they could make more nes minis to save more on economic of scale.


kuwangerPeople also said Amazon would be a failure, BSD is dying, and no would ever pay for <insert popular product here>
hell, im not saying that piracy will kill an certain product, but it affect the sales, it can harm the sales

kuwanger(1) The Nintendo Mini was meant to be something of a limited edition collectors item and
that is why they are making it again? i dont think so.
if its aimed at collectors only they would keep it rare, collectors rely on their procut being scarce thave any value.

kuwangerHence, we see tons of games that are not available on Linux because the cost to support Linux is greater than the perceived risk of the cost of porting.
do you really want to compare 1% of an market with 90%?

hell even with 90% of the marketshare windows had problems to be an sustainable ecosystem for games, valve saved it.
now that the windows ecosystem is profitable for games everythird party is porting their games, except the ones who are paid to not do it.
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