Dark and Darker legal dispute gets more and more confusing after a GoFundMe campaign is deleted
"We don't have an infinite supply of money like Nexon."
A GoFundMe fundraiser launched to help Dark and Darker developer Ironmace raise funds to fight a copyright claim against publisher Nexon has been deleted.
The fundraiser - which hoped to secure half a million dollars to pay for legal costs and developer salaries whilst the dispute persisted - was only live for about an hour before it was taken down.
"Support the Ironmace team in light of the known ongoing legal circumstances," the fundraiser begins. "All donations will be used as supplementary funding towards the known legal circumstances and also provide continued salary towards the development team".
According to PC Gamer, the fundraiser raised £37,000 ($46,000) of its £405,000 ($500,000) goal before it was deleted.
"We aren't a big ass studio, and we don't have an infinite supply of money like Nexon," wrote Dark and Darker Discord admin Luci in an open letter, reportedly shared intentionally and without consulting Ironmace leadership. "The reality of the situation is that their end goal is to bleed us dry in court fees. Internally, we know this, they know this, the lawyers know this."
But then a moderator called Mellie-Mellow urged fans not to donate amid concerns it wasn't legitimate, forcing another admin, this one called Graysun, to intervene and confirm that whilst the fundraiser was real, it had been set up "without approval due to a passionate member of the team taking matters into his own hands".
"We have currently paused the campaign for now as it was prematurely announced," Graysun explained. "We appreciate the enormous amount of support shown in such a little amount of time!
"We are very sorry for the confusion and will take the proper steps to resolve this within the next few hours. We will make another announcement on how the GoFundMe will be handled."
As Victoria explained for us earlier this month, back in August 2021, a former Nexon employee was allegedly reported for leaking company data and assets while they were working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. This employee - known as Leader A - was heading up development of a project dubbed "P3". However, after allegedly being caught leaking "thousands" of the project's file, Leader A was fired from Nexon.
Since then, half of the 20-person P3 team quit Nexon and joined Ironmace to work on Dark and Darker. This included the developer allegedly caught - and subsequently fired for - leaking the P3 files. There have since been claims that P3 was used as a prototype for Dark and Darker.
Since then, Ironmace was served a cease and desist letter and DMCA takedown by Nexon, something the developer said is "based on distorted claims". As a result, Dark and Darker was removed from Steam. It then used ChatGPT to try and prove it hasn't infringed any copyright claims.