Fans Will Need To Torrent Dark And Darker For Its New Playtest
The fantasy-themed extraction shooter is currently banned from Steam, causing developer Ironmace to go "old-school" for its latest playtest.
After weeks of radio silence, the developers of Dark and Darker have announced that a fifth playtest previously scheduled to start today is indeed happening, but fans will need to go the extra mile in order to play.
Due to a DMCA takedown from Korean gaming giant Nexon, the fantasy-themed extraction shooter Dark and Darker is no longer available on Steam, where all previous playtests have taken place. Instead, developer Ironmace has posted a download for the game client via a torrent site in the official Dark and Darker Discord server.
Plan Z- Release the playtest on torrent.— IRONMACE (@IronmaceGames) April 14, 2023
Please check our Discord.
"Rest assured that we are working around the clock to safeguard the continuance of Dark and Darker," Ironmace writes in an announcement. "Unfortunately, due to the complexities of our situation, especially across international lines, it is taking time to resolve the Steam situation. In order for us to keep our promise to our fans we've had to go old school this time."
Ironmace warns that users should only receive the torrent from links officially posted by Ironmace. The developer states that future patches over the course of the playtest will be distributed in the same manner. As the game isn't on Steam, Ironmace has clarified that users will need to create an account with an ID and password when logging in to the playtest.
The playtest is scheduled to last until April 19. This specific playtest looks to only be for English-speaking players, as Ironmace apologized for the game being unavailable in Korean due to "Korean game regulations" and the lack of localization for other regions in the current playtest build.
After rising to popularity during the most recent Steam Next Fest, where the game's fourth playtest regularly saw more than 100,000 concurrent players, Dark and Darker was recently removed from Steam in the midst of a legal dispute with Nexon. Ironmace, which is based in Korea, is composed of numerous developers who previously worked at Nexon on a canceled project named P3 that Nexon says shares numerous similarities with Dark and Darker.
Nexon recently filed copyright claims against Ironmace as well as a lawsuit against a specific Ironmace employee as a result, arguing that Dark and Darker was built using stolen code and assets from P3. Ironmace has denied those allegations, claiming that Nexon cannot copyright a game genre and that Dark and Darker has been built from the ground up using Unreal Engine assets and handmade code.
The current playtest was originally slated to be Dark and Darker's final test before entering Steam Early Access sometime later this year. It's currently unclear if the ongoing legal situation has changed those plans and if fans can expect additional playtests in the future.