Dark and Darker Devs Ask Valve to Allow the Game Back on Steam

In the latest step in the developer’s ongoing legal battle against medieval multiplayer game Dark and Darker, Ironmace’s lawyers have written to Valve asking to allow the game to return to Steam. Dark and Darker was removed from Steam late last month after South Korean publisher Nexon issued a DMCA takedown notice claiming that the fantasy-themed battle royale game used stolen assets.

With its dark fantasy setting and gameplay loop that blends elements of dungeon crawlers and battle royale games, Darkness and Darkness quickly caught the attention of some gamers looking for a break from the plethora of military-themed shooters. While the game’s “Escape from Tarkov” action was well received by many players during the alpha playtest, developer Ironmace ran into legal trouble after former publisher Nexon accused it of stealing assets from the canceled game P3. The dispute between the two companies escalated dramatically, with Dark and Darker developers being raided by South Korean police in early March, with reports that the police seized Ironmace material as part of the investigation.

As part of the latest round of legal wrangling over Dark and Darker’s future, GamesRadar reports that Ironmace’s lawyers have written to Valve disputing Nexon’s DMCA takedown notice and requesting that the game be allowed back on Steam. Ironmace’s attorney, Aaron Moss, responded to the developer’s recent statement that the Dark and Darker DMCA allegations are baseless in a letter to Valve, which was based on “completely unsubstantiated statements and contained Dark and Darker knowledge and material misrepresentation” violates Nexon’s copyright interests. The letter goes on to state that Nexon is engaging in “anti-competitive bullying tactics” designed to put Dark and Darker developers out of business.

dark  and  darker  barbarian  cleric  and  wizard  party In support of Ironmace’s legal defense against the DMCA notice, Moss asserted that claims of copyright infringement are baseless, as P3 is “a game that Nexon never made and does not exist.” The letter also reiterates Ironmace’s previous comments, claiming that most of the assets used in the creation of Dark and Darker were obtained legally from Epic’s Unreal Engine asset store. Ironmace’s lawyers further argued that since the copyright infringement claim involves only one employee, rather than the entire studio, Dark and Darker should be allowed to return to Steam while the Korean courts resolve the claim.

The legal battle between Nexon and Ironmace over the future of Dark and Darker has proven to be as brutal as the battle over the game itself, and the latest salvo from Ironmace’s lawyers suggests that the spat is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. With Ironmace even asking fans with legal concerns to download Dark and Darker ahead of the latest playtest, it’s clear that this is a battle the indie studio is determined to win.

Dark and Darker is now available for PC.

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