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Dark and Light is a former pay to play fantasy MMORPG developed in Reunion Islandmarker by NP Cube. It now is undergoing legal issues and the servers have shut down.

Development

Development on Dark and Light started by NP Cube in 2002. Later, under the "pressure from its investors and from the gaming community", it was released underdeveloped to retail and on the internet in 2006 after a prolonged beta testing. On August 14, 2006, the publisher, Farlan Entertainment, stated that the game was released prematurely and has experienced problems due to its early release.

"Farlan Entertainment now acknowledges that the game was released prematurely due to pressure from its investors and from the gaming community."


"[We are] embarking on a new initiative to correct and improve various operational aspects of Dark and Light. While worldwide play in the Internet game will not be interrupted during this period, Farlan is nonetheless offering a thank you to the hundreds of thousands of Dark and Light subscribers who have signed on thus far by offering three months of play with no monthly subscription fee."


Farlan Entertainment signed with SnailGame Entertainment, the distributor in China, to provide additional help with the graphics. All of the current subscribers are given a free 3-month period to play the game.

Farlan also offered 2 payment schemes: free to play (after initial purchase) and 9.99 USD per month. Restrictions were imposed on the free to play account relating to character development with the intention being that a casual player may never be affected by the restrictions or it would take several months for them to hit the f2p level cap.

Bugs

The initial release of client and server were both crippled by bugs. The problems involved repeated roll-backs (reversion to the last correctly saved copy of the players data) in which entire guilds were disbanded as the data associating the players was not recorded correctly. The client had compatibility issues with ATI cards, giving many ATI users unacceptably low frame rates.

Publicity

There were many communication problems between the developers and the community. The developer spokesman, nicknamed Vuuar, spoke poor English and made many statements that alienated players that were already unhappy with the game state, he also kept ruining GMs' events (i.e. by killing all attendees). The game's forum was extremely heavily moderated and had a high turn around of staff leading to many "Gung-Ho" moderators that blocked any criticisms of the game.

Silenced users found other forums to spill into with many migrating to the mmorpg.com forum and using it as a chance to ward others off the game. Prior to Farlan admitting the true reasons for the games failure many fans of the game and 'Vuuar' accused hateful gamers of ruining the game by generating such bad publicity that supply of new users dried up.

The game was also surrounded by an intellectual property dispute with one of the games ex-developers, Vincent Pourieux, who claimed intellectual rights to the terrain generation engine. The dispute used publicity to gain momentum via the DnL and mmorpg.com forums.

On April 27, 2007 VWORLD filed a lawsuit against Reunionese developer NPCube, and jointly against Mauritian publisher Farlan Entertainment and Mr Cesar Jacquet, on the grounds of software and technology counterfeit, non-respect of the right to being credited and paternity, unfair competition and parasitism.

NPCube then sued VWORLD before the Commercial Court of Clermont-Ferrand during September 2007 on the grounds of unfair competition and damage to NPCube's reputation.

NPCube was accusing VWORLD of being liable for the difficulties it faced in the development and commercialization of its Dark and Light MMORPG. NPCube was also accusing VWORLD of having interfered with and damaged both partnerships signed between NPCube and the University of Reunion Island, within the framework of the first phase of the E-Campus project, which was financed by European structural funds (ERDF), and between NPCube and the Chinese company SnailGame in order to carry out the development of the Asian version of the Dark and Light MMORPG.

NPCube also claimed it was using a technology called SCAPER for the development of the seamless terrain client part of its Mafate game engine, used in Dark and Light, the Asian version of Dark and Light and E-Campus.NPCube was demanding €710,000 of damages.

On March 13, 2008, NPCube has been entirely dismissed of all its claims by the Commercial Court of Clermont-Ferrand, which ruled that the various failures encountered by NPCube were by no means imputable to VWORLD. The Court also ruled that the Mafate game engine was making use of the V-world technology, rebranded VWorldTerrain in 2004, and not of a « SCAPER technology».

NPCube is convicted and fined €50,000 in damages to VWORLD. Because of these legal issues, the company NPCube went bust and could not afford to run the Dark & Light game servers.

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