The early access launch of the dark fantasy PvPvE FPS game Dark and Darker has been hindered by legal woes, but it finally happened.
The developers at Ironmace announced today on their Discord Server that the early access is now available through their own platform named "Blacksmith" on the game's official website and the Chafgames platform.
Obviously, the game won't be available on Steam, which removed it following a legal dispute with Korean publisher Nexon. Apparently, Ironmace is holding the line and isn't letting the legal woes completely block their plans.
At the moment, the early access won't be available in Korean language due to pending classification while in-game VoIP hasn't been implemented yet.
The game is currently available in a Standard Edition and a Founder's Edition. The latter includes access to a test version in the future, a Skeleton race, a Blue Torch item skin, and a "Hold the Line" emote.
Below you can read the full statement from Ironmace, which can be found in the Discord Server and includes relevant information about the early access, including the in-game shop.
The Dark and Darker Early Access has finally begun! It has been a long and arduous journey, but we have finally made it to our first major milestone. We would like to thank all our fans who believed in us and supported us through the many challenges.
Through many trials and tribulations, we have toiled ceaselessly to bring the game to our fans. We are happy to announce that fans can now access Dark and Darker through multiple avenues.
We have partnered with the wonderful folks at Chaf Games to make Dark and Darker available on their streamlined Chafgames platform. If you are interested in a platform with access to a large library of indie hits, please check them out! They also want us to note that ChafCash is only used to purchase in-game items. You do NOT need any ChafCash to purchase the Dark and Darker Bundle. Thus, please visit Chafgames to purchase Dark and Darker directly.
We have also worked hard on building our own platform, known as Blacksmith to directly service the game to our fans. Fans who wish to use Blacksmith to access Dark and Darker can purchase the game through our website at www.darkanddarker.com
Korean Game Support
Unfortunately, we encountered some challenges that couldn’t be overcome in time for the Early Access launch. As much as it pains us, we won’t be able to service the game in Korea because we are still awaiting a rating from the Korean Game Rating Board (GRAC). We will do everything we can to expedite this process as we have already been granted ratings from other globally recognized game rating boards, including the ESRB, PEGI, and CERO. We will officially support and service the game in Korea as soon as we can overcome this hurdle.
The in-game VoIP feature will also be temporarily unavailable at the start of Early Access. Our legal team wants to make sure all our agreements are absolutely perfect, especially when it comes to dealing with user data and third-party partners. We’ll let the lawyers do their mystical work, and once we get the proper agreements verified, everyone will be screaming through the Goblin Caves in no time.
We want to address the elephant in the room and talk about the addition of the in-game shop. 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. We want to offer players a fair way to support us while enjoying the game. Please let us know how you think we’re doing on this front. In addition to the in-game shop we’ve added a founder’s edition/add-on pack to show our appreciation to the loyal fans who’ve stuck with us through this crazy journey available through the platform you purchase the game.
A Work in Progress
Finally, we want to be very upfront and let users know that there will be many growing pains during the Early Access phase. Many key features are still missing and will be added in the upcoming months. We’ll be experimenting with the leaderboard system, and we’ll do our best to be transparent about the ranking schedules so players don’t get too stressed out. Just like our game, our launcher was built from the ground up, and they are both still a work in progress. Although we’ve been putting both the game and launcher through their paces internally, we know that there are bugs that may have slipped through the cracks. We ask for your patience and understanding as we do our best to respond and resolve these issues. Most importantly, we want to say thanks to all our fans around the globe, we couldn’t have done it without you!
Over the past few months, Ironmace has shared a large batch of documents about the development of Dark and Darker to bolster its case against Nexon. At the moment, information on the ongoing legal proceedings remains limited.