Ironmace Games has suddenly launched its upcoming PvPvE dungeon crawler Dark and Darker into Early Access. Still unavailable on Steam due to a legal battle with publisher Nexon, the game is now being sold through another platform.

Ironmace finds new publisher to launch Dark and Darker outside of Steam

What happened?

  • On August 7, Ironmace Games announced its partnership with South Korean publisher Chaf Games, which also operates a subscription-based game platform of the same name.
  • “Through many trials and tribulations, we have toiled ceaselessly to bring the game to our fans,” the announcnment reads. “We are happy to announce that fans can now access Dark and Darker through multiple avenues.”
  • Dark and Darker is still unavailable on Steam, but Ironmace is now distributing the Early Access version via the Chaf Games platform and its own website. The base version of the game costs $35, and Founder’s Edition is sold at $50 (with an exclusive Skeleton race and some other bonus stuff).
  • Ironmace also currently can’t sell Dark and Darker in South Korea, because the Korean Game Rating Board still hasn’t rated the game.
  • Interestingly, Dark and Darker will also feature an in-game shop. The developer noted that it is the studio’s “attempt at being realistic with the business of running an online game but trying to find a way to do it without resorting to random loot boxes and FOMO items.”

What is going on between Ironmace and Nexon?

  • The hearing in the Ironmace v. Nexon case ended on July 19, and the court is expected to rule on it later this month. This is the main stumbling block preventing Ironmace from selling Dark and Darker on Steam.
  • Nexon filed a lawsuit against the studio in April, demanding monetary damages and accusing the devs of stealing its intellectual property. One of the main defendants in the case is Ironmace co-founder Ju-Hyun Choi, who worked at Nexon on Project P3, an unreleased game with similar concept and style to Dark and Darker.
  • The police even requested an arrest warrent for Choi, which was eventually denied because “there is no fear of the suspect fleeing.”
  • After being delisted from Steam, Ironmace distributed an Alpha build via torrent, attracting over 450,000 players during the playtest globally.
  • The studio’s CEO Terence Park told PC Gamer that the team is working on getting back on Steam as soon as possible, but there is little chance that it will happen without resolving the legal dispute with Nexon.

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