Online games publisher NCsoft has filed a lawsuit against the developer of MMO game Tera in a bid to block its launch in the US.
According to court documents, NCsoft has taken court action against South Korea-based Bluehole Studio for trade secrets and unfair competition, reports MMO Culture.
The publisher argues some of its former employees started up Bluehole while they were working on Lineage 3 for NCsoft, and are unlawfully using software and hardware related to that game for Tera.
A complaint from NCsoft read: These individuals did not leave NCsoft empty-handed or with benign intent. To the contrary, they made off with copious amounts of confidential and proprietary NCsoft information, computer software, hardware and artwork relating to Lineage 3.
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.”
These aforementioned employees were allegedly previously convicted in Korea in 2009 for stealing trade secrets from NCsoft, though these convictions were mostly upheld at a court of appeals. NCsoft did win damages in 2010, but this was also later overturned in court.
The fresh lawsuit seeks to block the release of Tera in the US.
The PC MMO is already live in South Korea. It's due to launch in the US and Europe this May.