Unexpected development of the situation around the lawsuit between NEXON and IRONMACE. Krafton has awarded IRONMACE the exclusive rights to the global edition of the mobile adaptation of the PvPvE action game Dark and Darker. The new game will be developed by Bluehole Studio, Krafton’s in-house studio.
Krafton is a major South Korean game developer and publisher known for PUBG: Battlegrounds, Elyon, TERA. Tencent owns a large stake in this company and, according to South Korean media, has previously shown interest in the Dark and Darker project. It is likely that the Chinese giant plans to repeat the success of PUBG: Battlegrounds, which they publish.
But this deal carries risks. The decision of the South Korean court in the case of copyright infringement and unfair competition by IRONMACE is still pending. If the court sided with NEXON, Krafton could lose the money it already paid for the global license. However, if successful, the transaction will be very profitable, because due to the current situation, the amount may be lower than the market.
In a released statement, Krafton said it will abide by and respect the judgment as a third party. The deal is made entirely out of the value of the Dark and Darker brand and is independent of litigation between NEXON and IRONMACE. Krafton does not intend to interfere in the dispute between the two companies.
In any case, the conclusion of this deal in the current situation raises questions: are IRONMACE confident in their victory or are they collecting money to pay a fine? It is possible that the company has financial problems amid litigation and a temporary ban on the distribution of the game on Steam. The developers have started selling early access on a third-party Chafgames service and their website, but this cannot be compared with the release of the game on Steam or EGS.
The exact date of completion of the trial is unknown, but according to information from the South Korean media, a verdict may be announced in September.