Gaming News

Dark and Darker dev says Nexon’s “trade secret and copyright” lawsuit against it has been dismissed

Ironmace says a court has dismissed its former publisher Nexon’s request for an injunction following the publisher’s claim that Dark and Darker has been written with stolen code from a game the team had been developing for Nexon.


In a statement to players on its Discord server, an Ironmace developer – known as SDF – reported that a court has dismissed Nexon’s injunction for “trade secret and copyright infringement”, “thus rejecting the claims and suspicions that Dark & Darker was developed by using Nexon’s trade secrets and infringing on its copyrights”.

The court also reportedly ruled that Dark and Darker’s service “should not be suspended based on Nexon’s claims and evidence alone”, paving a potential return to Steam for the game.

Let’s Play Dark and Darker – TRY NOT TO DIE! Dark and Darker Steam Next Fest Demo

Let’s Play Dark and Darker – TRY NOT TO DIE! Dark and Darker Steam Next Fest Demo.

“Nexon’s request for a preliminary injunction against Ironmace for trade secret and copyright infringement was dismissed,” Ironmace’s SDF wrote in a statement that was posted to the official Discord server and translated from Korean via Google Translate.

“The court ruled that ‘Ironmace’s game cannot be viewed as infringing on Nexon’s copyright or trade secrets’, thus rejecting the claims and suspicions that Dark and Darker was developed by using Nexon’s trade secrets and infringing on its copyrights. It wasn’t. In addition, the court ruled that Dark & Darker’s service should not be suspended based on Nexon’s claims and evidence alone.”

SDF says that Nexon did not enter its own game, codenamed P3, as evidence, even though Nexon alleges Dark and Darker was developed from P3’s code, but admitted the court’s decision about Nexon’s unfair competition claim was “disappointing”.

“The court’s decision regarding unfair competition is disappointing in that it came from a situation where Nexon did not even submit the P3 game itself as official evidence, SDF added.

“However, this is due to the limitations of evidence examination in the provisional injunction procedure, and according to the provisional injunction decision, one of the reasons why the court dismissed Nexon’s application for a provisional injunction was the need for a faithful investigation of evidence and hearing in the main lawsuit.

SDF finished by saying that “if a sufficient and thorough investigation of evidence is conducted in the main lawsuit”, then “the truth about the unfairness of Nexon’s claims and the innocence of Ironmace” will come to light. They also thanked players across the world for their support, adding that Ironmace hoped “to invest and do our best to develop Dark & Darker into a solid game that can be serviced for more than 10 years”.

Nexon has yet to comment publicly on the ruling or confirm if it intends to appeal (thanks, TheGamer)

As Victoria previously explained, the Korean developer behind the mediaeval looter Dark and Darker had its office searched after allegations the studio created its game with stolen code, and Ironmace was served a cease and desist letter and DMCA takedown by Nexon, something the developer said is “based on distorted claims”. As a result, Dark and Darker was removed from Steam. It then used ChatGPT to try and prove it hasn’t infringed any copyright claims.

Now, however, Dark and Darker is back online, albeit in early access, with Ironmace having opted to create its own launcher, known as Blacksmith, and sell the game directly from its own website and via digital storefront Chaf Games.

ICYMI, Dark and Darker is coming to mobile. PUBG: Battlegrounds publisher Krafton has acquired the rights to bring the RPG to mobile devices, lauding the game’s “potential and distinct creativity” and stating developer Ironmace had “tapped into something compelling”.

Oh, and did you know Dark and Darker even has its own coffee now?


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