MMOG publisher NCsoft has announced it is stepping up its efforts against illegal online game servers, particularly in Eastern Europe.

The company says the problem is especially acute in Greece and Russia, where NCsoft’s Lineage II MMOG is extremely popular. The servers in question often require the use of illegally modified and potentially harmful code, the company said, which can result in a considerably different game experience. NCsoft says it has identified several prominent illegal servers across Europe, and is taking action against both individuals and corporations who are in breach of international copyright laws.

“Illegal game servers, such as those operating from (internet cafe chain) e-GLOBAL, have a hugely negative impact on both NCsoft Europe and its customers,” said NCsoft Europe Sales and Operations Director Max Brown. “They seriously affect the player’s experience of our products and rob the company of potential revenue that is used to further enhance the player experience on official servers. NCsoft’s loss in revenue from e-GLOBAL’s operation is estimated in excess of €6 million ($9.4 million). We are defiant in our resolve to stamp out theft of NCsoft’s intellectual properties and are prepared to take the strongest measures to do so.” NCsoft launched a lawsuit against e-GLOBAL in Greece last year which has led to raids against four of its cafes and the seizure of illegal software.

NCsoft has previously taken a strong stand against unauthorized servers, working with the FBI in 2006 to shut down fraudulent game servers run by the website, which claimed to support 50,000 active users.

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