NCsoft Lawsuit Working to Block TERA’s Release in U.S.
There’s bad blood between TERA developers Bluehole Studio and En Masse Entertainment and NCsoft, which has resulted in NCsoft filing a lawsuit in New York that could block the release of the MMO in the U.S.
Bluehole was founded by several developers who left NCsoft and were formerly part of the Lineage III team, with TERA being their first project. In the filing, NCsoft claims that the assets that went into making TERA weren’t created by the new studio, but were taken when the devs left their old jobs.
From the filing:
These individuals did not leave NCsoft empty-handed or with benign intent. To the contrary, they made off with copious amounts of confidential and proprietary NCsoft information, computer software, hardware and artwork relating to Lineage III.
Their business plan was simple and audacious: create a competing product using the very work they had done while at NCsoft, launch it themselves to great fanfare and acclaim, and, in the process, deal a crippling blow to their former employer.
This isn’t the first time former NCsoft employees have been accused of stealing from the South Korean company. Seven former employees were arrested in 2007 after being suspected of selling the Lineage III source code to a Japanese company, and employees were convicted in 2009 of stealing trade secrets.
In April 2007, Seoul Metropolitan Police arrested seven former employees of NCsoft who were suspected of selling the Lineage III source code to a major Japanese game company. In 2009, the former NCsoft employees were convicted in Korea for stealing trade secrets from the company, and the majority of the convictions were upheld by an appellate court.
TERA is already online in Korea even though legal issues are on-going. The game is set to come to the U.S. in May.