Bluehole Studio, Creator of TERA, NOT Guilty in Criminal Trial
Over the last couple of years, we've been working to release TERA. We're close to getting the job done right, as TERA closed beta test players can attest. But since February, we've been subjected to entirely too much innuendo related to a lawsuit filed against our startup by NCsoft in the United States—a suit that seems designed to disrupt the launch of TERA in North America. The latest round of that innuendo even goes so far as to try to drag in a separate case that was brought in Korea not against Bluehole, but against certain former employees of NCSoft.
In the event you've read the court filings here in the US, you'll find that they're remarkably easy to read for legal documents; they certainly appear to have been written with an eye toward public opinion. NCsoft is a billion-plus dollar corporation, so they can afford to have a team of high-priced lawyers spin out reasonable-sounding documents. These baseless accusations have led to unfounded rumors, which is disappointing and unfair. But that doesn’t mean the rumors are true.
It is no surprise that the latest spin on the story has it that "TERA is guilty." That is wrong. 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.
What is a fact: If you're a legal scholar, you'll note that NCsoft hasn't filed a motion (known as an injunction) here in the US to prevent the launch of TERA. That's kind of surprising, because their legal documents originally said they would supposedly suffer grievous harm if TERA is launched.
Another fact: If you read NCsoft’s complaint, they actually admit that their motive in bringing the suit is to prevent Bluehole and En Masse from competing with them: "Since the release of TERA in Korea, NCsoft's Lineage sales and market share have declined, as have sales and market share of other NCsoft products."
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.