Dark and Darker Has Been Removed From Steam

Dark and Darker, a popular hardcore action RPG developed by Ironmace, continues to face legal trouble as the game has been removed from Steam following a cease-and-desist order from Korean publisher Nexon. The DMCA takedown notice issued by Nexon is the latest in a series of legal moves against the embattled indie publisher which began with allegations of former employees using stolen assets and code in Dark and Darker.

Dark and Darker combines elements of classic dungeon crawling with survival extraction gameplay similar to Escape from Tarkov. The gameplay loop of Dark and Darker places players into a competitive dungeon where the goal is to survive until a portal opens, and the players can extract. The game is currently in open beta where it has surged in popularity and had quickly become one of the top games per Steam’s charts. This success has not gone unnoticed by the Korean publisher Nexon, however.


Why Has Dark and Darker Been Removed from Steam?

Nexon has alleged that the Ironmace founders were caught attempting to steal code and assets from the P3 project and used stolen assets to create the hit game Dark and Darker. While Ironmace officially has denied these allegations, the legal battle has escalated to Ironmace headquarters being recently raided by Korean police. On March 24, a cease and desist was issued resulting in the game being removed from Steam, seemingly overnight. Players first noticed that online functionality was removed from the game, assets and screenshots were removed, and as of now there is no trace of the game anywhere on the platform. Steam is one of the largest and perhaps the most important gaming platforms, Dark and Darker delisting is a potentially huge blow to the game still pushing through its beta testing.

In order to get the game relisted, Ironmace will need to file a Counter-Notice with Steam, consenting to the jurisdiction of a US Federal Court and explaining under penalty of perjury why Dark and Darker was improperly flagged. Nexon will then have fourteen days to sue Ironmace in US Federal Court. If no lawsuit is filed, the game will be relisted by Steam. However, it is likely that Ironmace and Nexon will resolve these issues in a settlement agreement to avoid expensive litigation.

Dark and Darker is a competitive and popular game considered by many to be an indie gem. These moves by Nexon delisting the game from Steam as well as high profile allegations of theft from the Ironmace team means that it has a lot a stake in this fight. Ironmace by contrast needs to prevail to demonstrate the legitimacy of its project and the studio itself. While there is a lot of uncertainty right now over the future of Dark and Darker, and Ironmace on the whole, one thing is certain, the RPG and dungeon crawling community will be watching this upcoming legal battle with bated breath.

Dark and Darker is in development for PC and is currently scheduled for a full release in Q3 of 2023.

Source: Discord

Source: Gamerant

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