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Firefall Developer Red 5 Takes Publisher Webzen To Court

Game developer Red 5 Studios is seeking to terminate its agreement with publisher Webzen over its online team-based shooter Firefall, claiming the latter failed to meet its marketing obligations.
Game developer Red 5 Studios is seeking to terminate its agreement with publisher Webzen over its online team-based shooter Firefall, claiming a breach in its marketing obligations. According to Red 5's complaint, Webzen -- which will publish and operate the free-to-play game in territories outside of the United States and Europe, primarily Asia -- has failed to fulfil its obligations to market the game as contractually agreed upon. "The crux of the matter is that the Webzen we see today is not the Webzen that Red 5 partnered with at the beginning of this project," Red 5 CEO Mark Kern said in an open letter. Red 5 has filed for arbitration in California, seeking a termination of its publishing agreement with Webzen as well as the recovery of $5 million unspent dollars. In a response sent to MMORPG.com, a Webzen representative said that the company is still "patiently waiting" for the completion of the game. "As the publisher of the game in territories other than North America and Europe, Webzen has patiently waited for the completion of the game for five years despite numerous delays in development," the statement reads. "The game, for which Webzen has invested nearly $25 million, is not yet complete, and we are dismayed that Red 5 has initiated this dispute before we are able to enjoy the results of our investment." Red 5 was founded in 2005 by former members of Blizzard's World of Warcraft team. The studio was acquired by Chinese MMO operator The9 in 2010, following a reorganization that saw an undisclosed number of employees laid off.

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