Dark and Darker, despite continued legal issues via a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Nexon, has entered early access. Developer Ironmace Games has created its own launcher and is selling the game independently.
Both companies are Korean, and the lawsuit alleges that Ironmace stole assets from one of Nexon’s projects and used them in the creation of Dark and Darker. Two high-profile Ironmace employees are former Nexon employees, who worked on the project in question, codenamed P3. The Ironmace team has denied the allegations, but Valve removed the game from Steam after the suit, which was filed in the US back in April.
The previously delayed Early Access launch from Ironmace is happening. Those interested can now purchase through the Dark and Darker website or through a digital platform, Chaf Games. However, the team is still waiting on approval from the Korean Game Rating Board, so they have not been able to release the game in Korea just yet.
In the official Early Access announcement, the team announced that there are still features that are missing, and acknowledged that the build someone purchases through the Early Access release is far from complete. Of course, that's part of the point of Early Access releases, so they're trying their hand at making some money to allow them to keep continuing on their project, especially since the legal trouble continues.
“Our assumption when we started this company was that you could still build a lucrative business while being true to your fans. The in-game shop is our attempt at being realistic with the business of running an online game but trying to find a way to do it without resorting to random loot boxes and FOMO items,” the announcement reads.
If you want to give Dark and Darker a chance, there’s both a standard and Founder’s Edition (with extra perks, like playertest access, the skeleton race, and cosmetics) available.