Bluehole studio and its U.S. branch En Masse are readying the MMORPG Tera
for a U.S. release, but South Korea-headquartered MMO publisher NCsoft is hoping to put the kibosh on those plans.
In a January 9 complaint filed in New York federal court, NCsoft alleged that Bluehole, founded by ex-NCsoft employees, stole "copious amounts of confidential and proprietary NCsoft information, computer software, hardware and artwork relating to [major NCsoft MMO] Lineage 3
," according to a report on MMO Culture
"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's complaint continued.
In 2009, the former employees were convicted of stealing NCsoft trade secrets following a lawsuit in Korea. In 2010, they were barred from using proprietary NCsoft information, and ordered to pay damages to their former employer, although the damages ruling was overturned during the appeals process. Bluehole employees are appealing the other rulings.
Despite the legal proceedings, Tera
launched in Korea last year, and is slated for a U.S. release in May. NCsoft's suit seeks damages and temporary and permanent injunctions to block the release of Tera
in the U.S.