Why Nexon's DMCA might have killed Dark and Darker even before it could launch?
Dark and Darker’s future, ironically, might have become irrevocably “dark” following the latest incidents a couple of days back. According to reports, South Korean game publisher Nexon sent Ironmace a DMCA, which led to the game's delisting from Steam. The most recent action may spell the end of a game that had been showing great promise. The community has been eagerly waiting for the next set of beta tests after a couple of popular alphas. During those earlier tests, players loved the title's gritty nature.
Ironmace themselves were quite receptive to all the feedback, but incidents from their past have caught up. Dark and Darker might never see a release in the tussle between Nexon and the developers.
Dark and Darker’s future has been turned into uncertainty due to actions taken by Nexon
Dark and Darker don't have an official existence as of the time of writing. The Steam webpage has been deleted, the servers have gone silent, and it's unclear what will happen to the game next. Nexon has issued a public statement announcing their actions in the title’s Discord server.
"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 not to jeopardize our position. We ask for your understanding as we work to get the game back up as quickly as possible."
If Nexon is to be believed, the game might see an eventual release, but things look quite bleak. This is the latest escalation of a never-ending drama between them and Ironmace. It all boils down to a project titled P3. Many of the existing developers of Dark and Darker were part of the team developing Nexon’s project.
Nexon thinks Ironmace poached a handful of P3 characters for use in their next project. The developers had argued that there had not been any concept theft in response to a previous physical investigation of the offices, and there shouldn't be any issues.
What happens now?
Despite Ironmace’s earlier claims, there’s indeed a problem if Steam has delisted the game. Without getting into the specifics of the law, the case would not have even occurred if there had been nothing significant.
It is difficult to foresee the game's future roadmap and Ironmace's next course of action. The remarks made by Nexon regarding the game returning may be an attempt to gloss over the reality. To be fair, it appears quite doubtful that Dark and Darker will be released.
April was supposed to be a bright month for the upcoming title and developers, Ironmace. A public beta was scheduled to take place, which would have offered more chances to those who missed out on the alpha. Despite being exceedingly difficult, the alpha drew thousands of players and was among the most popular games on Steam. Such times appear to be behind us, at least momentarily.
As things stand, the April beta has been postponed, and Ironmace will focus on getting the game back on store shelves. That shouldn't be an issue if they are certain that their promises regarding the uniqueness of their characters are true.