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Red 5 taking Webzen to court

Firefall developer to terminate deal with publisher over marketing

Firefall developer Webzen has filed for arbitration in a bid to end its relationship with publisher Webzen and recover marketing costs.

In a statement published on the official Firefall website, Red 5 accused the publisher of a "lack of motivation" which has negatively affected fans of the game in Asia.

"The crux of the matter is that the Webzen we see today is not the Webzen that Red 5 partnered with at the beginning of this project. The original executives are all gone, and new management has replaced them. Unfortunately, we do not feel the new management of Webzen has honoured their obligations towards Firefall, particularly in Asia," said the letter, written by Red 5 CEO Mark Kern and addressed to fans.

"We intend to stand up to Webzen, a large Korean publisher, and show them we expect developers to be treated fairly."

Red 5 argues alleges that Webzen has failed to market the team based shooter as agreed in the original contract, and so has filed for arbitration in California. Red 5 aims not just to terminate the contract, but claim back $5 million dollars for marketing. Webzen also currently holds the publishing rights for Firefall in Asia.

In response to the filing Webzen emailed MMORPG with the following statement.

"As the publisher of the game in territories other than North America and Europe, Webzen has patiently waited for the completion of the game for five years despite numerous delays in development. The game, for which Webzen has invested nearly $25 million, is not yet complete, and we are dismayed that Red 5 has initiated this dispute before we are able to enjoy the results of our investment."

Firefall is a free to play online shooter currently in production. Mark Kern, CEO of Red 5, worked on World of World Of Warcraft in 2005. It was announced in September 2010.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.