Dark and Darker developer Ironmace has said that a preliminary injunction filed by Nexon for trade secret and copyright infringement was dismissed by the court.

The information was shared by a member of staff known as ‘SDF’ on the studio’s Discord server yesterday, Eurogamer reported.

“The court ruled that ‘Iron Mace’s game cannot be viewed as infringing on Nexon’s copyright or trade secrets’, thus rejecting the claims and suspicions that Dark & Darker was developer by using Nexon’s trade secrets and infringing on its copyrights,” the statement read. “It wasn’t. In addition, the court ruled that Dark & Darker’s service should not be suspended based on Nexon’s claims and evidence alone.”

The lawsuit will follow its course following this initial victory for Ironmace, with the message also noting a “disappointing” outcome about “the court’s decision regarding unfair competition.” It added that Nexon “did not even submit the P3 game itself as official evidence,” referring to a prototype Nexon had reportedly developed and which it said was used by Ironmace to develop Dark and Darker.

“If sufficient and thorough evidence is investigated in the main lawsuit, the truth about the unfairness of Nexon’s claims and the innocence of Ironmace will be revealed,” the message continued.

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Nexon for comment and to confirm the preliminary ruling.

Allegations that Ironmace had stolen code and assets from Nexon to create Dark and Darker emerged in February 2023. The studio, composed of former Nexon employees, denied accusations that the title began as Nexon prototype P3.

The situation escalated in March 2023, with Ironmace’s offices raided by the Korean police and Dark and Darker removed from Steam soon after when Nexon issued a DMCA.

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