NCsoft Sues Over TERA

NCsoft Sues Over TERA

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The North American launch of TERA could be threatened by legal action filed by NCsoft, which claims that Bluehole stole Lineage 3 software and artwork to use in the game.

TERA is, at the moment at least, slated to open to North American gamers on May 1, but NCsoft is looking to put the kibosh on that plan. The MMO giant has filed suit in a New York federal court seeking an injunction against the game, claiming that the former NCsoft employees who left the company to found TERA maker Bluehole Studio "made off with copious amounts of confidential and proprietary NCsoft information, computer software, hardware and artwork relating to Lineage 3" on the way out the door.

"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," NCsoft said in the complaint, adding that a Korean criminal court convicted the former employees of stealing trade secrets in 2009. NCsoft filed a lawsuit against Bluehole in Korea in 2010 in which it won damages and an injunction against the use of its proprietary information, although the damages award was later overturned; both the civil and criminal cases are now awaiting appeal before Korea's highest court.

The lawsuit covers a lot of ground, ranging from the "secret discussions" held by dissastisfied NCsoft employees that resulted in the disclosure of proprietary Lineage 3-related information to third-party investors and the eventual founding of Bluehole, to similarities between various game elements like characters and political systems and even comments from beta testers remarking on the similarities and links between TERA and Lineage 2. The suit claims that Lineage sales and market share have declined in Korea since the launch of TERA and says the same thing "can reasonably be anticipated" in North America if the game is allowed to launch here.

"Bluehole unquestionably used NCsoft's copyright and trade secret information to develop TERA. It appears beyond doubt that Bluehole and En Masse [Bluehole's U.S. subdiary] are now also using NCsoft's copyrighted and trade secret information in its previews of TERA in the United States and will continue to do so after TERA is commercially released in the United States," the suit says. "These actions are unlawful, cause irreparable harm to NCsoft and NCI, and should be remedied pursuant to law."

NCsoft is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against the launch of TERA in the North America, an order to return all its proprietary stuff and "enhanced" damages due to Bluehole's "knowing and willful misconduct." Bluehole, entirely unsurprisingly, has only said that it does not comment on legal matters.

Source: MMO Culture, via Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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Ah, just when you think the legal scene was calming down for once.

Popcorn anyone?

I hate to sound miserable, but after a fashion, I almost hope NCSoft pull it off.

A: .. Well, that'll certainly teach them, if they really have been so underhanded.

B: Opens up the tiny, tiny, infinitesimally small chance that an imported version will come across that isn't 'westernized'. Ugh that word still makes me feel uncomfortable.

'Course I don't really hope it fails as such but.. still, it'd feel pretty.. karmic? after this whole 'westernisation' affair and how horrible it's all felt, even if the two issues aren't really related to one another.

goddamit! i want to play TERA. if this messes with the launch date i will rage so hard >.<

on the other hand, they do look a like. Tho to be fair, what scantly clad elf wouldn't look like another in a Korean MMO.

Wow, Tera is already I hear plummeting in it's fanbase in Korea. I wonder if such a lawsuit could even destroy the game.

Well, it's a real shame, because Tera looked kinda interesting. I'm also looking forward to Lineage 3, I hope to, someday, have both installed in my hard drive.

Its weird. I keep thinking these guy are Nsoft and when I find out their not, I loose all interest. Again Weird.

Because we've never had an MMO that completely and totally imitates another game/MMO?

Example: Monster Hunter and Hunter Blade.

If Bluehorn used resources that were the property of NCsoft, then yes legal action should be taken.

But I also have this feeling that a far more driving force in this suit is NCsoft trying to eliminate competition before it can even take hold.

The suit claims that Lineage sales and market share have declined in Korea since the launch of TERA and says the same thing "can reasonably be anticipated" in North America if the game is allowed to launch here.

That line's the most 'revealing' to me.
"Oh no, they're kicking our buts over there. How can we stop them from doing the same thing here?"
"SUE THEM!
"

Never heard of either. Coming in without any other knowledge, those drawings are kind of similar.

gigastar:
Ah, just when you think the legal scene was calming down for once.

Popcorn anyone?

Yes please.

I wouldn't know if NCSoft has got a strong case, but they did contact a strong lawyer company to settle the lawsuit.

In any case, I think the reason that NCSoft is sueing Bluehole Studios right now is because GW2 will have Public Beta Testing Weekends in March/April and TERA will launch in May. Them NCSofters are probably hoping to prevent TERA completely from interfering with GW2.

Pretty simple.

1. if they stole, sue them and make them pay harshly for being assholes.

2. if they didnt steal, counter sue to make NCSoft pay harshly for being assholes.

AlotFirst:
I wouldn't know if NCSoft has got a strong case, but they did contact a strong lawyer company to settle the lawsuit.

In any case, I think the reason that NCSoft is sueing Bluehole Studios right now is because GW2 will have Public Beta Testing Weekends in March/April and TERA will launch in May. Them NCSofters are probably hoping to prevent TERA completely from interfering with GW2.

Public Beta meaning you can sign up for it. Not that everyone can get on.

and yet

TERA looks more interesting then Lineage 2 actually is :p.

which makes this a bummer cause i want to play TERA

Lol, you don't mess with the guys behind Guild Wars =D

ResonanceSD:
Lol, you don't mess with the guys behind Guild Wars =D

That'll be Arenanet. NCSoon is just publishing.

See, in Korea they would simply let the more Popular MMO get more money while the others just imitate it.

Yet in America, we must sue anyone that thinks its a good idea to copy what we make(Oh wait, they dont make it they just translate it and reap copious amounts of money for shit they don't have any real connection to.)

Seriously, if they cared half as much about their customers and what they want as they do for their money then people might actually appreciate foreign (Especially Korean) MMo ports.

IlikeLolis:
See, in Korea they would simply let the more Popular MMO get more money while the others just imitate it.

Yet in America, we must sue anyone that thinks its a good idea to copy what we make(Oh wait, they dont make it they just translate it and reap copious amounts of money for shit they don't have any real connection to.)

Seriously, if they cared half as much about their customers and what they want as they do for their money then people might actually appreciate foreign (Especially Korean) MMo ports.

Copying is one thing. Stealing code is quite another.

Ideally, Bluehole will wind up settling with NCsoft and the game will get released anyways. Enough money can make the bitterest of rivals into BFFs.

THe question is going to be, "how much money will it take NCsoft to let Bluehole publish", because Tera has exploded on the MMO scene, I am certain that fatalist making doujins of the characters had nothing to do with it.

So when i said Tera looked a LOT like Lineage, everyone called me a fanfag, a douchebag and a idiot.

And then this new appears.... so to all that raged against me:

Note: Sorry Mods but i had to vent some of the rage. I tried to maitain the most civilized i could.

Honestly, fuck NCSoft.

Cancels Tabula Rasa for whatever reason, yet kept shit games like Dungeon Runners going.

Maybe it will do them some good to lose potential customers.

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
the one MMO that i think looks awesome, and this happens. great, just great.

DTWolfwood:
goddamit! i want to play TERA. if this messes with the launch date i will rage so hard >.<

on the other hand, they do look a like. Tho to be fair, what scantly clad elf wouldn't look like another in a Korean MMO.

Yeah I pre-ordered the collectors edition and playing the beta for Tera. It's a very fun and beautiful game so it would be really shitty if they had to close it down before it even took off.

And as you say, you could point to pretty much any game (especially eastern rpg's/mmo's ) and see lots of similarities. Whether or not they legitimately stole material I can't say, but it does seem like NCsoft is more than a little butt hurt.

 

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