NCsoft, the world-leading, publisher of massively multiplayer online games such as Guild Wars, Lineage II and City of Heroes, today announced that it was stepping up its fight against the growing menace of intellectual property theft. This action comes as a direct response to the rise of illegal online game servers throughout Eastern Europe, particularly in Greece and Russia where NCsofts fantasy-based online role playing game, Lineage II, is extremely popular.
The fraudulent servers in question are being used by players playing at home and in internet cafes, but such unauthorised servers often feature or require users to download illegally modified and potentially harmful game data, thereby changing the intended online experience.
NCsofts European office has identified several prominent illegal servers across Europe and is in the process of taking action against individuals and corporations deemed to be in breach of international copyright laws. In a lawsuit that was commenced last year in Greece, NCsoft successfully obtained a court order against Internet Cafe business, e-GLOBAL following which four of its cafes were raided and illegal software was seized. This led to the shutting down of illegal servers on which pirate copies of Lineage II software was loaded. Georgios Katostaris Chairman of the Board and Managing Director, Constantinos Zygouras Vice-Chairman of the Board and Managing Director, Athanassios Dobros Deputy Managing Director and Dimitrios Koutsoukos Administrator of the company under the name INTERNET DYNAMICS LLC have all been made personal defendants to the proceedings that are continuing in the Greek Courts in which NCsoft is seeking damages as well as criminal remedies.
Illegal game servers, such as those operating from e-GLOBAL, have a hugely negative impact on both NCsoft Europe and its customers, commented Max Brown, NCsoft Europes Sales & Operations Director. They seriously affect the players experience of our products and rob the company of potential revenue that is used to further enhance the player experience on official servers. NCsofts loss in revenue from e-GLOBALs operation is estimated in excess of six million Euros. We are defiant in our resolve to stamp out theft of NCsofts intellectual properties and are prepared to take the strongest measures to do so.
NCsoft has a proven track record in combating illegal servers, having worked with the FBI in November 2006 to shut down a substantial unofficial Lineage II server run by US-based website, L2Extreme.com. Following multiple raids across cities throughout the US, L2Extremes fraudulent servers which claimed to support 50,000 active users were taken offline, as was the L2Extreme.com website.
About NCsoft Europe
NCsoft Europe (NCE) is headquartered in Brighton, United Kingdom and is wholly-owned subsidiary of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online games. NCsoft operates publishing offices within North America, Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand and has development studios in Seattle, Austin, California (North America) and Seoul (Korea). NCE recently announced the formation of the first European development studio, based within the UK.
NCE began operations on 1st September 2004 and serves as a central hub for all NCsoft sales, marketing and distribution operations in Europe, via its European distribution network. The company has successfully launched multiple online titles and continues to support its franchises, which include Lineage II (November 2004), City of Heroes (4th February 2005), Guild Wars (28th April 2005), City of Villains (31st October 2005), Guild Wars Factions (28th April 2006), Guild Wars Nightfall (27th October 2006), Guild Wars: Eye of the North (31st August 2007) and Richard Garriotts Tabula Rasa (2nd November 2007). More information about NCsoft Europe can be found at http://eu.plaync.com .
NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, Tabula Rasa, PlayNC, Lineage, The Kamael, The Chaotic Throne, Hellbound, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, City of Heroes and City of Villains and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.