Some troubling news for TERA fans out there, as NCsoft has filed another lawsuit against Bluehole Studios, but this time with the intention of squashing their North American launch of TERA. As a quick summary of the events thus far, TERA developers Bluehole Studios employs a large number of ex-NCsoft employees, and this is no odd concidence. Back in 2008, Lineage 3 project lead, Yong-Hyun Park, left NCsoft with a large number of employees in tow. Together, this group formed Bluehole Studios and created TERA, which NCsoft claimed at the time was very similar to Lineage 3 (in other words, NCsoft accused YHP of stealing L3's ideas).
Rumours run rampant from here, and Yong-Hyun Park has since left Bluehole Studios, citing stress from the NCsoft lawsuits and accusations. It was rumoured that NCsoft has since scrapped work on Lineage 3, instead releasing news of Lineage Eternal at this year's G-Star 2011 trade show. Regardless, NCsoft sued Bluehole Studios and won in 2009, but the case was appealed down the line. Now, with the announced launch of TERA, NCsoft is back at it again, as MMO Culture is reporting that another lawsuit has been filed, accusing Bluehole Studios of making off with "copious amounts of confidential and proprietary NCsoft information, computer software, hardware and artwork relating to Lineage 3." We'll keep you posted on how this turns out in the future.
[UPDATE 1/27/2012] En Masse Entertainment's Publishing Vice President, Chris Lee, had this to say on the subject:
"We are disappointed that NCsoft is attempting to mar the launch of TERA. Unfortunately we can't discuss much publicly due to the sensitivity of legal actions, but we do outright reject the NCsoft claims, and we are going to do everything in our power to defend and protect ourselves.
To all our supporters who have been anticipating the arrival of TERA – please know that this situation has no impact on our continuing efforts to realize the vision we have for our game. We are committed to making TERA awesome and delivering the game to you on time on May 1. Thank you for your patience and support."