Frogwares, the developer behind the Lovecraftian mystery game The Sinking City, is at odds with another publisher. The studio released a statement today, confirming that The Sinking City is being delisted from various storefronts due to an ongoing feud with Nacon over an alleged breach of contract.
In a statement published directly on Frogwares' site, the developer outlines its partnership with Nacon for publishing The Sinking City. According to Frogwares, The Sinking City would be the sole intellectual property of Frogwares, while Nacon would provide some funds for development in exchange for selling and commercializing The Sinking City on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, and the Epic Games Store.
However, over the course of development, it seems like the partnership fell to pieces. Frogwares says payments from Nacon were behind and figures for sales were inconsistent. At one point, the studio says Nacon "dictated" that Frogwares give its source code for The Sinking City to another, competing studio under Nacon for work on another Lovecraft-themed game.
When The Sinking City launched in July 2019, Frogwares says it received a letter from Nacon indicating previously approved milestones had been canceled, "meaning [Frogwares] would not receive any profit from the sales of the game." The studio filed a lawsuit against Nacon the next month, and a legal battle ensued.
Frogwares terminated the contract over a number of continuing issues, including allegedly attempting to launch a pirated version of The Sinking City on another platform, which has led to the delisting. The studio notes that The Sinking City is still purchasable through its own website, as well as storefront partnerships it negotiated itself—including Origin, Gamesplanet, and the Nintendo Switch eShop.
This is not the first time Frogwares has tussled with a publisher over the rights to its games. Last year, Frogwares' Sherlock Holmes games were being gradually delisted as part of a feud with Focus Home Interactive. Though Crimes and Punishments was eventually saved, other platform listings were lost in the process.
We've reached out to Nacon for comment, but did not hear back by publication.