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General Discussion

General Discussion 

News & Features Discussion  » Firefall: Red 5 and Webzen Enter Legal Dispute

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28 posts found

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16289

OP  6/30/11 8:54:45 AM#1

According to a pair of press release statements, global publisher Webzen and Red 5 have entered into legal wrangling centered around the development and publication of Firefall. Red 5 Studios has filed for arbitration against Webzen for "alleged breach of obligations" and is seeking to recoup $5 million. Webzen has responded by saying that it has more than fulfilled its obligations and vigorously denies the allegations.

From Red 5:

“We are deeply disappointed that Webzen has forced us to react this way,” said Red 5 CEO Mark Kern. “Since day one, our goal has been to craft a revolutionary gaming experience, get that game into the hands of as many people as possible, and do so utilizing the free to play model. Sadly, we do not believe that Webzen has lived up to its obligations under our agreement, which isn’t fair to our passionate team at Red 5 or to our supportive fans in Asia.” Kern confirms that the arbitration will not disrupt Red 5’s continued development of the game. Red 5 still plans to self-publish the game in the United States and Europe and will offer Firefall as a free digital download that’s free of any monthly fees. Webzen continues to hold publishing rights in Asia as well as a few other territories.

From Webzen (via email press document):

As the publisher of the game in territories other than North America and Europe, WEBZEN has patiently waited for the completion of the game for five years despite numerous delays in development. The game, for which WEBZEN has invested nearly $25 million, is not yet complete, and we are dismayed that Red 5 has initiated this dispute before we are able to enjoy the results of our investment.

We'll keep you posted on this developing situation.

UPDATE: An open letter has been posted by Red 5's CEO Mark Kern to fans of Firefall.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7209

6/30/11 9:25:17 AM#2

Sueing people that are funding you is never a good idea.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/09
Posts: 22

6/30/11 9:54:02 AM#3

so this game may disappear for awhile then huh


Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/03/03
Posts: 448

6/30/11 10:12:37 AM#4

Sounds like this is all about Asia and not worldwide. Still hoping it is released soon. Tired of waiting for the crumbs that we have seen.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/05
Posts: 382

6/30/11 10:44:03 AM#5

So what exactly is that Webzen did or did not do that is causing Red 5 to seek legal action?

Because flying a Minmatar ship is like going down a flight of stairs on an office chair while firing an Uzi.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 2586

6/30/11 10:50:38 AM#6
Originally posted by Unshra

So what exactly is that Webzen did or did not do that is causing Red 5 to seek legal action?

 Yeah, it would be good to know what's behind the dispute.


Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16289

OP  6/30/11 10:54:00 AM#7

According to all the information we received from Webzen, they haven't even gotten a copy of the arbitration documents yet so are reserving further comment. We'll keep you posted as we hear more.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/04
Posts: 43

6/30/11 11:31:15 AM#8

Looks like this game may not come out at all if they dont win. Tho I was looking foward to this game to. Maybe either some one else picks it up or they win and go with a better pub.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

6/30/11 12:10:39 PM#9

A pathetic grab for more money to publish in NA & Euro on Red 5's part. Seriously, who the heck sues someone funding their company?! What did Webzen not do, give them MORE money for development?


Seriously, Webzen has been advertising the CRAP out of Firefall in Asia for the past couple months, and Webzen's press release just gave me a sadface since they sounded sad (lol?).

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/05/10
Posts: 5

6/30/11 12:13:12 PM#10

If none of you remember, go look up Huxley: The Dystopia, a game that Webzen put into development in 2006, and cancelled in 2010 after holding a shit load of betas for the game and gathering so much hype. I was a serious follower of that game. I'm just letting people that are unaware, Webzen is one of the least dependable game Publishers/Developers with loads of shit history and many failure to launch games.

If Red5 breaks free and does it themselves, or gets another company. Seriously, anything is better than Webzen.

That was Legit.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/03/04
Posts: 581

6/30/11 12:15:48 PM#11

if they filed for arbitration they arent suing.  arbitration isnt the same thing as suing.


arbitration basically means (for those that dont know this), there is a disagreement that one of the two parties doesnt feel can be resolved on its own and said party wants a third party to moderation a discussion to resolve that issue. 

Games i'm playing right now...

"In short, I thought NGE was a very bad idea" - Raph Koster talking about NGE on his blog at


Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7948

6/30/11 12:16:53 PM#12

Such a shame, this game looks pretty cool.


It sounds like Red5 was promised X dollars and Webzen isn't giving the full amount?  


Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/10
Posts: 8

6/30/11 12:47:57 PM#13

I can't comment on a lot of this, but I would like to ask that you please keep in mind that there are two sides to every story. Our CEO, Mark Kern, posted an open letter to our community last Friday regarding this issue. You can read that letter at the following URL...


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/15/06
Posts: 191

6/30/11 1:02:17 PM#14

Ok, as a former Criminal Justice student, Phobos, I read the article.  From your perspective:


quote:  "The crux of the matter is that the Webzen we see today is not the Webzen that Red 5 partnered with at the beginning of this project. The original executives are all gone, and new management has replaced them. Unfortunately, we do not feel the new management of Webzen has honored their obligations towards Firefall, particularly in Asia. The current management of Webzen is a stark contrast to the original CEO and executives who were once so excited to work with us on the game.  To date, Red 5 has been shouldering the burden of marketing in the US by itself, without assistance from Webzen."

-Unless this is specified in your contract, this is going to be a very weak argument.  You're making the game.  It's YOUR game.  "Feeling" they aren't fulfilling thier obligation isn't actaully proof they're vioalting contract.  You need hard evidence that they are intentionally breaking contract.

quote: "In the US and Europe, we will continue to develop, market and operate Firefall. Unfortunately, in Asia, what we feel is Webzen’s lack of motivation leaves much to be desired in our opinion. We regret that Webzen’s actions, or lack of actions, are causing undue stress among Firefall fans in Asia and elsewhere. By seeking a termination of the agreement, we hope we can find a better way to ensure that Firefall reaches everybody in Asia in the manner that gamers deserve."

-Again, "Feeling" is going to be a weak argument.  Unless, again, it's specified that Webzen hasn't been specifically doing what is said in the contract. Hard evidence, my boy.  Also, if the contract is vaguely worded or allows for minor loopholes (which is what they MIGHT be doing if what your suggesting is true), then you might run into trouble in that respect.


Just my two cents.


Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16289

OP  6/30/11 1:18:21 PM#15

Originally posted by r5s_Phobos

I can't comment on a lot of this, but I would like to ask that you please keep in mind that there are two sides to every story. Our CEO, Mark Kern, posted an open letter to our community last Friday regarding this issue. You can read that letter at the following URL...


Thanks for the link! It's been noted in the news article.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/02/05
Posts: 3047

Haggis Humper

6/30/11 1:36:49 PM#16

The further they distance themselves from Webzen the better. People associate money grubbing F2P companies with those like Perfect World, yet don't realise that webzen are even worse. They are an unscrupulous bunch who stop at nothing to ensure maximum revenue.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/17/11
Posts: 462

6/30/11 2:11:29 PM#17

I'm not a lawyer and haven't read the details of the contract, but it's going to be hard to prove Webzen failed to fufill certain marketing obligations for a game with a 'late 2011' release window unless the contract is incredibly vague and allows the developer to use the marketing funds whenever and however they like.

It's also going to hard prove Webzen doesn't have a major long-term interest in this game especially if they really have already spent $25 million in development costs. A publisher with that much already invested is going do to everything to recoup their intial investment and make a profit. So for them to blatently violate their contract and abondon their marketing duties would seem idiotic on Webzen's part (and easy to prove if in clear violation of the contract).


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4744

6/30/11 2:43:53 PM#18

Oh dear...............

If I invested $25 Million in a game sure as hell I'd want some return

Having said that I am still excited about Firefall


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/15/07
Posts: 145

6/30/11 3:22:30 PM#19

Awww. sadface. I mean yes by all means I would want a return on investment too, but it is sad to see a possible gem of a game delayed like this.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 1990

firefighter lvl90

6/30/11 3:31:14 PM#20

Webzen got Ponzi schemed.

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