Copyright lawsuit over Shin Megami Tensei MMO brings rogue server project to a halt

    
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We’re not sure how many of our readers recall that the RPG series Megami Tensei had an MMORPG, but it did. It was called Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine, and it cast players as a Demon Breaker trying to fight back the demonic incursion of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The MMO launched in Japan in 2007 and in NA in 2008 before it was closed in 2016 in Japan and in 2014 in the west. As is often the case, the game’s shutdown prompted players to create rogue servers for the game.

Two of these rogue servers are the focus of this story: the COMP_Hack project and the ReImagine project. Atlus, the license holder of the Megami Tensei franchise, issued a lawsuit in December 2021 that was later amended in August 2022 against the operators of the COMP_Hack server for copyright infringement, pointing out in the complaint that the two server operators created an exact copy of the Imagine game’s original website and used it to connect to the rogue server. The suit seeks a shutdown of all websites and servers related to the project and $25,000 “per incident” in damages.

This court action has, in turn, caused the operators of the ReImagine project to permanently close it down to protect themselves. “While ReImagine hasn’t been served any sort of notice (that we know of), Atlus’ decision to outright sue instead of issue a C&D has made us worry about the safety of the users who helped keep the game alive,” a shared image from the project’s Discord reads. Incidentally, the ReImagine website has been taken offline.

sources: Court Listener (1, 2) via Reddit, Twitter via MMOBomb
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