En Masse Entertainment, the startup responsible for bringing TERA from Korea to North America, released a statement pertaining to some controversy stirred up in recent weeks. Specifically, the statement focuses on a lawsuit filed by NCSoft against En Masse here in the United States, but also touches on Korean cases related to Bluehole Studio -- the original TERA developer.
The Korean cases have to deal with some fallen-from-grace NCSoft employees who reportedly stole Lineage trade secrets. A similar case was brought against Bluehole Studio for using these trade secrets, and even game assets, to develop TERA. At least one former NCSoft employee has been found guilty so far, but the case against Bluehole floundered:
"For the record, after extensive Korean proceedings, Bluehole Studio was NOT found to have made any use of any NCsoft trade secrets in the form of source code or game design. In fact, TERA didn’t even exist when the Korean case against the former NCsoft employees arose, and neither did En Masse Entertainment. In Korean civil proceedings, Bluehole was also found NOT to have been responsible for the exodus of NCsoft developers."
The United States case is derivative of the Korean one -- a case borne from NCSoft's belief that TERA is built on stolen work and would cause damage to NCSoft's interests. As En Masse notes, the complaint filed by NCSoft reads more like a press release than the legal document. It's also worth noting that the premise of the suit is that NCSoft would be irreparably damaged by TERA's release, but NCSoft has not even filed an injunction to prevent the launch.
Sadly, En Masse's entire statement reads like a small company scared of a bully. It appears to have had little effect on their dedication to TERA and its fans, though:
"To our fans and followers, we want to let you all know that we are not going to let a corporate bully or baseless rumor mill derail us from focusing our efforts on delivering TERA to you on May 1, 2012."
It's all quite silly that this sort of corporate weight-throwing is happening in our gaming industry. MMOs unfortunately suffer more from direct competition than other genres, but there should be more than enough room for two great games in the same season. Let Guild Wars 2 and TERA speak for themselves, leave the lawsuits and PR wars to the movie industry and politics.
TERA's open beta begins today for preorderers, and tomorrow for everyone. I'd heartily recommend trying it, because it's does some impressive things with combat, PvP and group composition that you won't see in other MMOs.