TERA at E3 2011
NCsoft and its North American corporation NC Interactive have submitted a case to a southern district court in New York province, the U.S. for a prohibition of launching <TERA> in the U.S. as well as return of confidential information and a compensation claim on the 9th of January; the defendants of the case are Bluehole Studio and En Mass Entertainment, respectively the developer and the North American publisher of MMORPG <TERA>.
NCsoft has asserted that Bluehole Studio has violated the copyright on MMORPG <Lineage 3> which used to be ceased for a while as Bluehole Studio leaked core technology of it, also stating violation of business secrets, violation of Non Disclosure Agreement(NDA), unfair competition, and other reasons.
To help you understand this situation, NCsoft and Bluehole’s ill-fated relationship has developed since last 2007.
In 2007, NCsoft requested a police investigation over Bluehole for leakage of the business secrets of <Lineage 3> in Korea. In August 2008, it sued Bluehole for that <TERA> derived from its then next generation MMORPG and claimed US$5.8M for damage. In December of the same year, the prosecution charged five ex-<Lineage 3> developers for the leaked secrets.
In 2010, the Korean court ruled that the defendant’s firm is not guilty but the five are guilty.
But <TERA> in the U.S. has not even launched yet. Then why would NCsoft sue them there, not in Japan where the commercial service already started off? And why now?
Most of the industry officials deem that NCsoft is trying to interrupt the NA server which is scheduled to be open on May 1. Moreover, it’s drawing the industry’s attention as the lawsuit is taking place while a controversy over protecting copyrights, SOPA and PIPA for examples, is going on in the U.S. today.
Both companies are unforthcoming about the situation. “We are looking for a law firm in NA and will announce our official stance as soon as we find one,” said a Bluehole official. “Take this lawsuit as prolongation of the lawsuit in Korea,” said a NCsoft official.