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Report: Former NCsoft Staff Suspected Of Lineage III Theft

Korean police officials are investigating a reported theft of game code by former employees from MMO publisher NCsoft, relating to the company's upcoming PC title Lineage III - authorities claim the tech may have been copied by a major Japanese gam

Jason Dobson

April 27, 2007

1 Min Read

Korean police officials are investigating a reported theft of video game code taken from Korean-headquartered MMO publisher NCsoft, one of the region's top computer game publishers. According to a new report by the online edition of major Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo, the Seoul Metropolitan Police are currently investigating the theft of source code relating to NCsoft's upcoming PC title Lineage III. According to the report, seven former NCsoft employees are thought to have shown and possibly passed on the code to an unnamed “major” Japanese game company. The report noted that the seven individuals left the company in February, and subsequently interviewed with the Japanese company. During the interview, police believe that the Lineage III code in question was presented, and possibly copied during the demonstration. In addition, these same employees are also suspected to have leaked the Lineage III program design via email or portable media last September. The report cites a spokesperson for NCsoft saying the potential damage resulting from the stolen code to be over a billion dollars. The report also notes that this is the latest in a road of unfortunate events for the MMO publisher following the firing of an unnamed senior game developer for "poor leadership skills," which, according to the newspaper, was later followed by the voluntary departure of most of the the company's 90 person staff.

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