Dark and Darker Dev Dives Deeper into Legal Debacle
It was revealed a few weeks ago that Dark and Darker, a hardcore dungeon title with PvPvE elements not unlike Escape From Tarkov’s mechanics, was removed from Steam following a DMCA claim. It was alleged that the developer, IRONMACE, had stolen code from Nexon, a development studio that many of IRONMACE’s employees once called home.
Following a police raid on IRONMACE’s offices in South Korea, DMCA strikes were issued against the firm, and all traces of the game were promptly stripped from Steam. In the latest update, it has been revealed that Nexon has officially sued IRONMACE, citing copyright infringement and breach of contract.
But it doesn’t end there.
Buckle In, This is A Wild One
IRONMACE turned to torrenting to disseminate the most up-to-date version of its game, Dark and Darker, following the Steam-wide takedown of the in-development title. Despite Nexon launching a legal tirade against the Korean developer, IRONMACE remains resolute in the goal of delivering promised playtests to eagerly awaiting gamers around the world.
Before that, at the start of the month, someone labelling themselves a Dark and Darker developer decided to launch an ambitious GoFundMe campaign, seeking to raise half a million dollars to support the legal battle against Nexon. It was thought to be a gigantic scam – until it was proved that it was indeed legitimate.
Reportedly, that GoFundMe campaign flew up to $46,000 in donations in less than one hour before it was taken offline, for some reason. It was later confirmed by IRONMACE that one employee had gone rogue, acting with good intentions but starting the fundraiser without any approval whatsoever.
Now, IRONMACE faces another chapter in the ongoing legal dispute, as Nexon has officially filed a lawsuit against the firm, citing a breach of contract. In a report by Eurogamer, it was highlighted that the ten-or-so employees that had gone over to IRONMACE from Nexon had signed a ‘one-year-non-compete-clause’ that prevented them from potentially infringing on Nexon’s precious trade secrets without prior consent.
In terms of copyright infringement, which is the primary basis of the lawsuit, Nexon has claimed that IRONMACE stole elements from the former’s title, P3, to use in Dark and Darker. There were mentions of a belt carrying glowing potion bottles and a mechanic used to unlock chests in-game.
Ultimately, Nexon has demanded that IRONMACE ceases development of Dark and Darker and that the developer also pays for damages incurred – whatever they may turn out to be.
Given the relative success of the game in recent months, IRONMACE is sure to go down swinging.