Popular fantasy extraction game Dark and Darker is down due to a copyright claim from gaming company Nexon. This claim happened just before another playtest for Dark and Darker went live. For fans unfamiliar with Nexon, they are a Japanese and South Korean publisher known for games such as Maple Story.
After this claim went through, local police went through IRONMACE’s office and their game was removed off Steam.
Dark and Darker faces DMCA takedown
As revealed on the Dark and Darker Discord, this DMCA takedown was based off of “distorted claims” according to IRONMACE. The claim stated that IRONMACE used both code and assets from Nexon in development of Dark and Darker. The angle that Nexon is going for revolves around a failed project known as P3 under development by Nexon. This fantasy dungeon crawler had one of the IRONMACE employees formerly work on it.
Then, after moving to IRONMACE, the founder Terence Park knew of this, at least according to Nexon’s claim.
Recently, on the Dark and Darker Discord, the team at IRONMACE went into a lot of detail for why this claim is false. An over fifteen paragraph explanation is still in the announcements page on the Discord channel. In summary, the three major claims revolve around the former Nexon employee, the founder of IRONMACE knowing of the stolen code and assets and the similarities from P3 and Dark and Darker.
Park himself stated his perspective on why each of these claims were wrong. Plus, throughout the post, he mentioned upcoming evidence that will be shown to disprove the claim.
A statement to end it off
Towards the end of the Discord post, Park included a statement to conclude the news for now.
“Given the information presented, it is difficult to believe that Nexon, in good faith, could reasonably believe that Ironmace has infringed on the copyrights for their P3 project,” Park said. “They also provide no actual evidence that Ironmace misappropriated Nexon’s trade secret information in the creation of Dark and Darker, but instead base it on circumstantial claims. Finally, they accuse Ironmace of a flagrant breach of Valve’s SSA and SOCR, restricting our ability to provide our game to players on the largest mainstream PC game platform and severely obstructing our ability to do business. Ironmace requests that Nexon renounce their baseless claims. If they would like to compete on merit, we welcome Nexon to promptly accommodate the comparison of source code, custom assets, and design documents with the police to quickly and decisively put an end to this matter.”
As of right now, Dark and Darker is no longer available, with no timeframe of when it will return.
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Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.