The only thing stranger about The Sinking City than its Lovecraftian tale is the debacle surrounding it. The game debuted on Steam, only to be removed. It remained available on the Epic Games Store and Gamesplanet. However, according to developer Frogwares, that Gamesplanet version of The Sinking City was stolen by the game’s former publisher Nacon. In fact, you may have briefly seen The Sinking City on Steam. Frogwares claimed that version of The Sinking City was pirated from Gamesplanet by Nacon and uploaded illegally. With a DMCA notice, Frogwares was able to get Steam to take down the game. However, Nacon is now responding, saying it acted within its rights.
I won’t go over the entire story (you can find a recap here), but here’s a short version. Frogwares and Nacon had a contract in which the developer would retain ownership of the IP, get funding for development, and receive profits for meeting milestones. According to Frogwares, Nacon missed many of those payments and eventually refused to pay the company for meeting those milestones. Following a legal spat, The Sinking City ended up back on Steam.
However, this was a surprise to Frogwares, as the company had not put the game up itself. The developer then published a blog and video explaining that it believed that Nacon had hacked, cracked, and pirated a version of The Sinking City to then put up on Steam.
Nacon responds to allegations of theft
In a response posted to its website today, Nacon denied any wrongdoing. The publisher stated that it was in fact “contractually the sole exclusive distributor of The Sinking City game on Steam.” Nacon goes on to claim that it has paid Frogwares “all amounts due” for development costs, including a version of the game for Steam.
While Frogwares mentioned bringing more litigation forward against Nacon, the publisher seems to welcome the challenge. It ended its response by saying “Frogwares has been careful not to indicate that all court decisions in the dispute between Nacon and Frogwares have thus far been favorable to Nacon.”
However, throughout its statement, Nacon did not address the claims levied against it by Frogwares. Instead, the company seems to be saying that it was within its rights to reupload the game. Nacon does not clarify where the version that was uploaded to Steam came from or how it was obtained.