The legal battle between Ironmace Games and publisher Nexon continues. However, the studio has managed to carry out an alpha test by distributing the controversial multiplayer game Dark and Darker via torrent.
After Nexon filed a lawsuit against Ironmace, developer of Dark and Darker, the studio found another way to distribute the game outside of Steam.
The team made the unusual decision to share a torrent link to the latest alpha version and allow users from all over the world to test the project.
A torrent that is catching fire among gamers
On the game’s Discord channel, Ironmace recently announced that 457,181 players participated in the April test.
39.23% of users came from the United States, followed by Japan (7.67%), Canada (4.9%), China (4.22%), Germany (3.7%) and Russia (3.64%).
The study also shared other statistics, such as data on the most popular character classes, most played maps and in-game items.
While the results of this “torrent Alpha” are impressive, it is clear that Ironmace will not be able to legally distribute and sell Dark and Dark unless it resolves its issues with Nexon.
Brief chronology of the legal drama surrounding Dark and Darker:
- A couple of years ago, Ju-Hyun Choi and Terence Seungha Park worked at Nexon on a project codenamed P3. They both signed confidentiality agreements about the game’s development and the publisher’s intellectual property.
- In total, the P3 team consisted of about 20 developers. According to court documents filed by Nexon, the company spent $834,000 on the project that was in development for 11 months, from August 2020 to July 2021.
- In June 2021, Nexon discovered that Choi was stealing important files, builds, game source code and other data. As a result, he was fired, and Park voluntarily left the company shortly thereafter.Choi and Park founded Ironmace Games with the help of nine other Project P3 members.
- Together, they started developing their own title called Dark and Darker, a PvPvE FPS action game based on some ideas from Nexon’s unreleased project.
- Dark and Darker first came out in February 2023, when its demo surpassed 100,000 concurrent players during Steam Next Fest. Players loved the way the game combined classic RPG mechanics with extraction shooter elements.
- However, that same month, police searched the studio’s offices in Seoul. The developers were accused of stealing assets and P3 source code from Nexon.
- As a result, Dark and Darker was removed from Steam for copyright infringement. The game will not return to the Valve store unless the dispute between Nexon and Ironmace is resolved.
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