Dark and Darker Gets Taken Down by Cease and Desist

Dark and Darker, the extraction-style game where players control fantasy characters and pillage dungeons while trying to escape relatively unscathed, has been removed from Steam. It proved to be quite a hit on the platform during its test runs which was made even more impressive by the fact that it's not even out yet, but that success was not without scandal brewing behind the scenes. Nexon, the publisher of games like the MapleStory series, has allegedly hit Dark and Darker creators Ironmace Games with a cease and desist letter which resulted in the game being pulled (for now) from Steam.

If you've been keeping up with Dark and Darker only to learn of the dates for the next playtest and haven't looked beyond that, it's reasonable to assume you may not have heard of the heated conversations around the game as far as the two companies are concerned. Ironmace is made up in part of former Nexon employees who refer to themselves as "veteran game developers disillusioned by the exploitative and greedy practices we once helped create" in a statement on the studio's site. They don't specifically mention Nexon, but they do bemoan how companies employ exploitive practices and "sell their soul for the easy payday." 

Things got complicated when Nexon suggested that Dark and Darker looked a whole lot like P3, a canceled game Nexon once had in development. Nexon would go on to accuse the Dark and Darker devs of using stolen assets and was said to be reviewing legal options.

Fast-forward a month or so and it seems as though Nexon has chosen to pursue legal options after all. Following a police raid on Ironmace which was reported earlier in the month, Ironmace now said via Discord (and reshared on other socials) that it'd been hit with the cease and desist letter.

"To all our fans, we have recently been served a cease and desist letter and DMCA takedown by Nexon regarding Dark and Darker based on distorted claims," a statement shared within the game's Discord said. "We are currently working with our legal team to remedy this issue in the best manner possible. Due to the sensitive legal nature of this issue we must be careful with our statements so as to not jeopardize our position. We ask for your understanding as we work to get the game back up as quickly as possible. Please know that we will do that is possible for our fans. Thanks!"

Dark and Darker was supposed to have its next playtest in April, though the game remains removed from Steam at this time.