Red 5 Studios has filed for legal arbitration against publisher Webzen over the mishandling of development and publication of MMO Firefall. In the legal filing, Red 5 is seeking reparations of $5 million USD for Webzen’s “breach of obligations”. Webzen claims that it has done its part in fulfilling its duties and and obligations as the game’s publisher.
From Red 5 Studios statement today:
“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…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.”
An open letter has also been posted by Red 5 to the Firefall player community, explaining that Red 5 has shouldered much of the marketing burden. The deterioration of their relationship with Webzen is namely due to a change in executive leadership at the publisher, which has created a huge disconnect between the companies.
Read the Red 5 Studios press release here.