Allegedly Stolen: Hyped Battle Royale Game Removed From Steam

The promising Battle Royale game Dark and Darker has been removed from Steam ahead of release, after publisher Nexon alleged that the game includes stolen material from them.

Dark and Darker keyart
Dark and Darker has been removed from Steam after a heated dispute. | © Ironmace

The Fantasy-Battle-Royale game Dark and Darker, which was slated to release in April this year, has been removed from Steam after controversy surrounding the game kept heating up in the last weeks. While the game showed a lot of promise and generated quite a bit of hype with a recently released demo, it has now been delisted from Steam after accusations of theft have been raised.

Dark and Darker Removed From Steam After Accusations Of Theft

This story is quite complicated, so let’s recap a bit: The game is developed by a South Korean studio called Ironmace and the team mostly consists of ex-employees of the big games company Nexon. These exes have apparently been working on a game for Nexon with the codename P3, before leaving and starting Dark and Darker.

Part of the accusation is, that Darker is very similar to P3, to the point where Nexon released a statement, claiming that there are “striking similarities with the concept for P3 in major gameplay, rules and arts, which could not have been made independently”. So, they’re basically claiming that major parts of Dark & Darker have been stolen from their unreleased prototype.

Dark and Darker might not come out this year after all, but there are still plenty of games we're hyped for:

This has now escalated so far, that Nexon filed a DMCA claim, citing “unauthorized use of Nexon’s trade secrets and copyrighted material” as the reason for this drastic step. This resulted in Dark and Darker being removed from Steam – for now.

Dark and Darker Gameplay
Dark and Darker seemed like a fresh spin on the Battle Royale formula. | © Ironmace

On the game’s Discord, Ironmace has released statement regarding these claims:

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. 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 jeopardize our position. We ask for your understanding as we work to get the game back up as quickly as possible.

Given the information presented, it is difficult to believe that Nexon, in good faith, could reasonably believe that Ironmace has infringed on the copyrights for their P3 project. They also provide no actual evidence that Ironmace misappropriated Nexon’s trade secret information in the creation of Dark and Darker, but instead base it on circumstantial claims.

This whole story can be summarized in one word: Yikes! It’s definitely messy, especially now that legal teams are involved. Let’s hope it gets resolved soon and that the right party wins this dispute.