Dark and Darker Developers Embroiled in Chaos and Legal Battle with Nexon

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Ironmace, the developer behind the upcoming MMO Dark and Darker, is facing legal battles and chaos, including being delisted from Steam and accused by Nexon of stealing thousands of files, including source codes and builds for an unreleased game.
Ironmace denied the allegations and claimed that the game was made from scratch, but the legal battle with Nexon continues to cast a shadow over the future of Dark and Darker.
Despite its legal troubles, Dark and Darker has managed to build a substantial fanbase through public playtests, with the recent playtest during Steam Next Fest attracting over 102,000 concurrent players, making it one of the biggest games on Steam.
The next Dark and Darker playtest is scheduled for April 14, but there is uncertainty surrounding its availability and how it will be conducted.
The ongoing legal dispute and chaotic community events have cast doubt on the future of Dark and Darker, but the game's impressive playtest numbers and growing fanbase suggest its potential to become a major success in the gaming industry.

 

Ironmace, the developer behind the upcoming MMO Dark and Darker, has faced a series of challenges, including a police raid at its Seongnam, South Korea offices and being delisted from Steam.

Nexon, the publisher of MapleStory and co-owner of Korean publishing rights for Final Fantasy XIV, accused Ironmace of stealing thousands of files, including source codes and builds for an unreleased game.

The alleged theft led to Nexon issuing a DMCA takedown notice to Valve, resulting in Dark and Darker’s removal from Steam.

Ironmace has denied the allegations, stating that the game was made from scratch.

Terence Seung-ha, CEO of Ironmace, claimed that the police raid found no evidence of stolen code.

However, the legal battle with Nexon continues to cast a shadow over the future of Dark and Darker.

Discord Drama and GoFundMe Campaign

Adding to the confusion, a now-deleted GoFundMe campaign was launched to support Ironmace’s legal battle against Nexon.

An Ironmace developer named Luci took to the game’s official Discord to accuse Nexon of using its resources to target the smaller studio unfairly.

Luci shared a GoFundMe link, which reportedly raised at least $30,000 before being taken down.

However, conflicting messages followed, with Ironmace deleting Luci’s post and claiming Luci’s account may have been compromised.

Later, Graysun, another admin on the Dark and Darker Discord server, confirmed that the GoFundMe link was legitimate but had been posted prematurely.

The admins assured the community that the official fundraiser page would be announced when it was ready to be relaunched.

An Ironmace developer named Luci took to the game’s official Discord to accuse Nexon of using its resources to target the smaller studio unfairly.

Growing Fanbase Amid Legal Troubles

Despite its legal troubles, Dark and Darker has managed to build a substantial fanbase through public playtests.

Many fans view the dispute as a David and Goliath story, with a small indie studio battling a massive publisher.

The situation has generated chaos within the community, with speculation and uncertainty surrounding the game’s future.

The game’s unique blend of dark fantasy dungeon crawling and player competition has attracted a growing number of enthusiasts.

As a three-player squad, players choose from various classes, such as a bow-wielding ranger or party-buffing bard, and infiltrate unfriendly territories filled with monsters and treasures.

Impressive Playtest Numbers and Wishlist Popularity

Dark and Darker’s recent playtest during Steam Next Fest attracted over 102,000 concurrent players, making it one of the biggest games on Steam.

The game is currently in alpha, with no clear indication of when the final version will be released.

Nonetheless, the rising numbers suggest a solid foundation for the game, which has been described as a mix of Skyrim and Escape from Tarkov.

The game’s success is further demonstrated by its position as the ninth-most wishlisted title on Steam, surpassing popular games like Ark 2, Kerbal Space Program 2, and Hades 2.

This achievement highlights the growing anticipation for Dark and Darker’s eventual release.

Uncertainty Surrounding Upcoming Playtest

However, the next Dark and Darker playtest, scheduled for April 14, has raised concerns as previous playtests were conducted through Steam, where the game is no longer listed.

This uncertainty has left fans unsure of how the playtest will be conducted and whether the legal battle with Nexon will impact its availability.

In conclusion, the ongoing legal dispute and chaotic community events have cast doubt on the future of Dark and Darker.

Nevertheless, the game’s impressive playtest numbers and its growing fanbase suggest that the MMO has the potential to become a major success in the gaming industry.

As the legal battle between Ironmace and Nexon unfolds, the ultimate fate of Dark and Darker remains uncertain.

However, the passion and support demonstrated by the community showcase a strong desire for the game’s development and eventual release.

It remains to be seen how Ironmace will navigate these challenges and whether Dark and Darker will ultimately emerge triumphant from this turmoil.

Craig Miller

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