Dark And Darker Dev Tells Fans "No Stolen Assets Or Code" Were Used In Development
A recent rumor accused developer Ironmace of stealing assets and code from a canceled Nexon project.
Dark and Darker developer Ironmace has denied theft accusations in a statement published to the game's official Discord server, declaring "ABSOLUTELY NO stolen assets or code" were used to create the upcoming fantasy-themed extraction shooter.
The rumors started last week when Korean gaming news site This Is Game wrote that the Korea-based Ironmace consisted of former Nexon employees who were caught trying to steal assets and code for a canceled Nexon project known as P3. That project was reportedly canceled in 2021, around the same year Ironmace was founded.
Screenshots of the canceled P3 project do look similar to Dark and Darker, but Ironmace states that the assets, code, and game design documents used in the PvP-focused dungeon crawler were either built from scratch or purchased from the Unreal marketplace.
"This has already been audited by an outside agency," Ironmace's statement on Discord declares. "As far as we know you cannot copyright a game genre."
Korean news outlet YTN reported Nexon has sued Ironmace and that the studio is currently under investigation. According to Ironmace, the lawsuit is a "separate personal matter claimed on one of our team members," and that "no lawsuit has been filed against Ironmace."
"Building games is hard enough without all the rumors and distractions in our industry," Ironmace's statement reads. "This is why we chose to handle matters privately, in respect to our peers in the industry. We've reached out through our back channels and do not believe the recent rumors were intentional and believe they are likely due to a disgruntled 3rd party. For now this will be our final statement on this matter."
Ironmace's website describes its team as "a merry band of game developers disillusioned by the exploitative and greedy practices we once helped create." Developers at the studio have worked on some of the biggest games in Korea, the site declares, and seen "firsthand how corporate game companies sell their soul for the easy payday." In contrast, Ironmace states its mission is to create "games with soul" that can lead to "a renaissance of awesome video games direct from Korea."
Dark and Darker's potent combination of dungeon diving, melee-heavy PvP combat, and extraction shooter elements propelled it to over 100,000 concurrent players as part of its most recent Steam Next Fest playtest. Ironmace in its Discord statement mentions the studio has a lot of work ahead preparing the game's next playtest, and that the studio will "let our work do the talking." Dark and Darker does not currently have a release date.