Nexon sues creators of “Dark and Darker” game over copyright infringement
Japanese-South Korean video game publisher Nexon has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a gaming studio and creators, accusing them of stealing trade secrets.
The defendants in the lawsuit are Ironmace Studios, the developers behind the multiplayer looter Dark and Darker, Ironmace’s founder Terence Seungha Park, and Dark and Darker developer Ju-Hyun Choi.
The two Korean companies recently made their conflict public, but Nexon has now filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, seeking a jury trial.
Park and Choi were Nexon developers who worked on a comparable fantasy game codenamed P3 between 2020 and 2021. Nexon accused Choi of stealing assets while still employed by the company, claiming that Dark and Darker was developed with stolen resources.
In the lawsuit, Nexon claims that the “defendants stole P3 source code, audiovisual, and other materials that Nexon developed,” and allegedly used these materials to develop the “substantially similar” game.
Nexon included images of both P3 and Dark and Darker for a side-by-side comparison in its complaint, alleging that Ironmace copied in-game actions such as characters "[moving] their hands in a distinctive circular motion over chests without physically touching the chest."
Nexon states that its former employees Choi and Park signed a "one-year-non-compete clause" as part of their Employment Agreements which "prevents employees from working in the same line of business that could potentially infringe on Nexon's trade secrets, without Nexon's prior consent.”
Nexon is asking for "monetary relief including damages sustained by [Nexon] in an amount not yet determined... [including] costs of suit and attorney's fees" and "further relief as this Court may deem just and appropriate.”
The lawsuit also states that "condoning the Defendants' conduct would threaten Nexon, the video game industry, and all of the consumers who enjoy playing sophisticated video games."
"Video game developers would not be able to invest years' worth of person-hours in developing video games if their employees could simply transfer their employer's project files to their own personal servers and start a new company," the lawsuit reads.
However, Ironmace quickly responded on their Discord server, calling the claims “distorted”. Rest assured we are working around the clock to safeguard the continuance of Dark and Darker.
Pitchmark covered a story about the Gaming company Activision Blizzard being accused of stealing the concept of an NFT design that gaming studio Midnight Society was planning to introduce in its own game Deadrop. Although Activision acknowledged its mistake in using the skin design in Call Of Duty without the artist’s permission, it did not accept the plagiarism allegations.
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