Everyone was excited to hear the good news when En Masse Entertainment announced the North American release of TERA being on May 1st, 2012. Everyone but NCSoft.
For a while now, NCSoft has had some beef with TERA’s development team, Bluehole Studio. The reason? TERA’s foundation was allegedly built upon NCSoft proprietary information and software. Furthermore, a majority of the staff members of Bluehole Studio are actually former (read: disgruntled) NCSoft employees, which explains a great deal as to how Bluehole supposedly acquired such materials. Thus, NCSoft is at it again, but this time they’re suing to ensure that TERA never gets released.
To be fair, assuming that their claims are true, I can understand NCSoft’s disposition. One of the major things that companies should be concerned about are company trade secrets and intellectual property being illegally shared, sold, or used. It hurts the company business when something unethical such as this occurs. It is a serious legal matter and I do agree that NCSoft has the right to pursue it.
But politics and economics aside, let’s look at some core issues.
For one thing, why did some staff members leave NCSoft to begin with? I’m afraid I don’t have the exact answer to this question, but for sure it wasn’t because they were having a great, cooperative and prosperous time with their former employer. No, instead it would’ve most likely been the opposite. It seems to me like NCSoft should’ve taken better care of their employees.
Let’s also keep in mind that NCSoft is a major, well-established company. With awesome games like Guild Wars and Lineage II at their disposal, they’ve netted quite a bit of profit and revenue over the past years. So much so, that they can easily afford to sue both Bluehole and En Masse Entertainment.
But here’s the big question: If NCSoft has all this time and money, why not take this opportunity to develop an even better game than TERA? Like, you know, an actual Lineage III? Or hell, focus on Lineage Eternal to make it the best top-down MMORPG of this generation. It’s shameful to see big companies led by head honchos bickering amongst each other as if they’re little kids at a playground. I mean, really, that’s what they’re willing to spend their time and money on? I know there are things called “budgets”, but a loss is a loss, regardless of whether there’s a “budget” for filing lawsuits.
Maybe because I’m not the wealthiest guy in the world and maybe because I feel like 24 hours in a day isn’t enough for me, but a really big pet peeve of mine is corporations wasting time and money like they’re nothing and quarreling over pointless crap, as in what’s happening here between NCSoft and Bluehole. (Again, this is just a personal opinion.)
Thing is, most players don’t really give a damn about a company’s “personal” issues. They just want the games. I think NCSoft, as well as Bluehole to be fair, are totally missing the point and are forgetting the reasons as to why they’re working for the gaming industry in the first place. For all we know, they could have just sold toothbrushes and back massages instead. But no, they’re part of the gaming industry and who else would care more about them than the actual players? (Well, probably shareholders and investors, but let’s not get into that…)
In the end, it all boils down to who’s the better man. And so far, neither company is showing signs of understanding and restraint. If this keeps up, I fear it’s just going to further alienate everyone else from both sides of the conflict.
TERA may possibly never see the light of day. And if that happens, I’ll be really pissed.