Webzen has published its own response to Red 5's claims, stating that it is "undisputable" that it has "fulfilled all of its obligations" to the studio. The publisher also mentions that Firefall has undergone numerous development delays. Webzen also references its own "disputes" with Chinese game operator The9 – majority shareholder in Red 5 – though it makes no direct allegations toward the company. The publisher states further that Red 5 Korea has "infringed Webzen's rights as the publisher in Korea," though no specifics are mentioned. Regarding the arbitration, Webzen says it will comply with the final decision, but plans to "firmly seek all of its remedies under the law."
Red 5 Studios files arbitration, seeking to terminate agreement with Webzen and recover $5 million.
As developers, we must take a stand and show publishers that we will hold them responsible for their dealings.
Irvine, CA (PRWEB) June 24, 2011
Red 5 Studios today announced it has filed for arbitration against publisher Webzen. Red 5 seeks a legal determination confirming its right to terminate its agreement with Webzen because of Webzen's alleged multiple breaches of the agreement. Red 5 also seeks to recover $5 million due to Webzen's alleged breach of its obligation and refusal to commit that money to market the game in the United States. The arbitration will take place in California and is governed by California law.
"We are deeply disappointed that Webzen has forced us to react this way," said Red 5 CEO Mark Kern. "Since day one, our goal has been to craft a revolutionary gaming experience, get that game into the hands of as many people as possible, and do so utilizing the free to play model. Sadly, we do not believe that Webzen has lived up to its obligations under our agreement, which isn't fair to our passionate team at Red 5 or to our supportive fans in Asia." Kern confirms that the arbitration will not disrupt Red 5's continued development of the game. Red 5 still plans to self-publish the game in the United States and Europe and will offer Firefall as a free digital download that's free of any monthly fees. Webzen continues to hold publishing rights in Asia as well as a few other territories.
"We reached out to Webzen several times to resolve this and other issues, but came away without any progress," Kern acknowledged. "It's a modern day story of David versus Goliath: Small developer versus giant, disconnected publisher. As developers, we must take a stand and show publishers that we will hold them responsible for their dealings. What upsets us the most is that gamers end up paying for a publisher's poor business practices and, to me, that isn't right."
About Red 5 Studios:
Red 5 Studios is an online game developer located in California, founded by Mark Kern, former team lead for World of Warcraft. Red 5 Studios is dedicated to bringing together millions of gamers across the world by creating immersive worlds, intriguing stories and compelling characters. They believe that online games and persistent worlds are the future of video games.
Firefall, Red 5 Studios and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red 5 Studios, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Arbitration case 18029/VRO filed with the ICC International Court of Arbitration.