- Ironmace has removed Dark and Darker from Steam after Nexon issued a DMCA takedown and served the developer a cease and desist letter.
- This happened after the police raid earlier this month and the news rumor that kicked things off in February.
- Ironmace denies any wrongdoing and is trying to get the game back up for its April playtests.
Dark and Darker, the dungeon adventure game, has been deleted from Steam by developer Ironmace in the thick of theft claims. These allegations first surfaced in February when a rumor declared that Ironmace stole materials from a Nexon game to make this PvPvE title. As you would expect, the indie developer denied any wrongdoing and said you “cannot copyright a genre.”
But Nexon has now issued a DMCA takedown and served a cease and desist letter to Ironmace regarding the game. The South Korean indie developer announced this on the official discord after someone on Reddit spotted the game’s removal. Ironmace also released a statement to explain this new development to the players:
To all our fans, we have recently been served a cease and desist letter and DMCA takedown by Nexon regarding Dark and Darker based on distorted claims. We are currently working with our legal team to remedy this issue in the best manner possible. Due to the sensitive legal nature of this issue we must be careful with our statements so as to not jeopardize our position. We ask for your understanding as we work to get the game back up as quickly as possible. Please know that we will do all that is possible for our fans. Thanks!”
The South Korean developer’s FPS dungeon adventure has had a lot of hype surrounding it since last year. Only early access playtests occurred until now, but Dark and Darker has been gaining momentum these past few months. It has been a phenomenon on Twitch and reached a peak viewer count of 265k during the February playtest.
However, one rumor on the Korean website This is Game ended this honeymoon period for the FPS title. You see, Ironamce consists of former employees of Nexon, a significant South Korean-Japanese video game company. As you can tell from the indie developer’s website, it did not part with Nexon on good terms. But, as allegations claim, during this break-up, current Ironmace employees took some assets that belonged to Nexon.
This included the code and materials from the canceled Nexon game called P3. Similar to Dark and Darker, this was going to be an FPS dungeon title before the company scrapped it. Nexon fired these current Ironmace employees, and the rumor alleges that it also caught them stealing material. Ironmace CEO Terence Seung-ha addressed these rumors last month on the game’s Discord and said the developers “built from scratch.”
He said that an aggrieved third-part was the source of this rumor and denied all of the allegations. Nexon had filed a complaint against Dark and Darker by using the “Trade Secrets Protection Act” back in August 2021. But, the company wanted a thorough investigation into the PvPvE game afterward, as its playtesting was garnering acclaim. And this resulted in a police raid on the Ironmace studios in Seongnam earlier this month.
Police searched to verify the allegations and took material concerning the game. Ironmace confirmed this search on Discord but said the police didn’t find anything, and there was nothing to worry about. The developer also said that there would be no delay in the game’s next playtesting, which was going to take place between April 14-19 on Steam.
Do not trust everything on the internet.
— Dark and Darker (@DarkandDarkerEN) March 8, 2023
The dungeon adventure title is still present on SteamDB, and Ironmace has said it is assembling its legal team to fight the DMCA and restore the game. But, seeing how the takedown has wiped the FPS title’s existence from Steam just before the early access release in the coming months, only time will tell what happens.
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