Shin Megami Tensei Imagine, the Shin Megami Tensei MMO game, continued living long after Atlus shut the servers down thanks to two fan groups called Rekuiemu and COMP_Hack, and now, it turns out Atlus wasn’t very pleased with these efforts. The Persona maker is suing the fan group for multiple instances of copyright infringement, including the website and launcher Rekuiemu created for players to access SMT Imagine, and using Atlus’ game without permission or any alteration.
Twitter user MarshSMT first posted about the proceedings and court documents (which VGC spotted originally). Atlus initiated the suit in December 2021, but on September 22, 2022, Atlus issued summons notices to the two parties involved, named in court documents only as John Doe and Jane Doe, as Atlus and its representatives were unable to find the legal names or even addresses of the fans who run Rekuiemu and COMP_Hack.
Atlus’ lawyers provided multiple screenshots of SMT Online and Rekuiemu’s version of the game to prove it was the same and said Atlus’ rights of ownership extend to the graphics, text, and any other asset connected to the game.
Atlus issued a DMCA notice and removed the site and game. The publisher will also consider seeking damages of up to $25,000 per infringement and other damages dependent on what the court deems appropriate and the cost of attorney fees. How many counts that will end up being in total remains to be seen, considering Atlus was pointing out separate screenshots as proof of copyright infringement.
At the time of publication, there was no official update about whether the courts were able to identify John and Jane Doe or what the next steps are in pursuing Atlus’ case.
The court proceedings and updates are available on CourtListener, with all publicly available documents, including Atlus’ initial suit and follow-up complaints.