NCsoft sues splinter studio over IP theft

Bluehole accused of 'stealing copious amounts of confidential information'
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A development studio formed from ex NCsoft employees has been thrown into a legal row with the Korea publisher, new legal papers show.

Bluehole, along with its US satellite studio En Masse, is accused of stealing "copious amounts of confidential and proprietary NCsoft information, computer software, hardware and artwork relating to [NCsoft MMO] Lineage 3".

The accused was planning to release its flagship MMO Tera across western markets, but NCsoft seeks damages and an injunction on Tera.

This comes two years after some of its ex-employees were convicted of stealing trade secrets in a Korean court, according to games website MMO Culture.

It is not clear how the legal dispute affects Tera’s launch plans. The MMO launched in Korea last year and appears to still be in operation.

In a lawsuit document lodged in January, NCsoft said Bluehole’s 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".