The developer of 'Dark and Darker', IRONMACE, was seized and searched by the police in South Korea. On the morning of the 7th, the Gyeonggi Southern Police Agency conducted a search and seizure of IRONMACE's office. The police are expected to investigate whether the leaked data was used for game development based on the data they obtained.
In August 2021, Nexon sued someone who works at IRONMACE for violating the Act on Prevention of Unfair Competition and Protection of Trade Secrets and the Act on Aggravated Punishment for Specific Economic Crimes. 'P3' was a new game being developed by Nexon's New Development Headquarters. It was a dungeon crawler game where you explore dungeons with other users. However, someone who was leading the development of 'P3' suggested to other developers to leave the company and develop a game similar to 'P3'.
In response, Nexon conducted its own investigation in July 2021, and the person who was leading the development was fired. And A number of 'P3' developers, including the current CEO of IRONMACE, left Nexon. More than 50% of the P3 development team left the company, and most of those who left are working at IRONMACE.
Then, Nexon changed the development direction of 'P3' and started a new project, 'P7'. However, a year later, in August 2022, IRONMACE conducted an alpha test of 'Dark and Darker', which was very similar to 'P3'. The game has been very popular on Steam. If you compare 'P3' that Nexon released, it is very similar to 'Dark and Darker'.
Nexon pointed out that if 'P3' had been developed normally, it would have been released under the name of Nexon's sub-brand 'Mint Rocket'.
On the other hand, IRONMACE announced through its SNS that the development of 'Dark and Darker' was carried out without stealing source code or assets. They said, "We have also been audited through an external organization, and the lawsuit is a problem of the individual developer, not the company."
Nexon shared the current situation through an internal notice on the 8th. Nexon said, "A search and seizure of IRONMACE has recently been carried out, and the company has requested a strict and thorough investigation by the investigative agency for this case."
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