Dark and Darker has been removed from Steam after developer Ironmace received a cease and desist demand from Korean publisher Nexon.
Fans first noticed changes being made to the RPG’s Steam store page overnight, when assets like videos and screenshots were quietly removed. Then they realised that online co-op and PvP had stopped working, followed by the complete removal of all traces of the game. Now, if you attempt to load the game’s Steam store, it’ll take you to Steam’s front page.
“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,” Ironmace explained via the community’s Discord server (thanks, Reddit).
“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 jeopardise 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!”
As Victoria explained for us earlier this month, back in August 2021, a former Nexon employee was allegedly reported for leaking company data and assets while they were working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. This employee – known as Leader A – was heading up development of a project dubbed “P3”. However, after allegedly being caught leaking “thousands” of the project’s file, Leader A was fired from Nexon.
Since then, half of the 20-person P3 team quit Nexon and joined Ironmace to work on Dark and Darker. This included the developer allegedly caught – and subsequently fired for – leaking the P3 files. There have since been claims that P3 was used as a prototype for Dark and Darker.
According to Nexon, Dark and Darker has “striking similarities with the concept for P3 in major gameplay, rules and arts, which could not have been made independently” and the company confirmed that it would “take firm measures not only against Leader A but anyone else or any other company related to the data leak”.