Game developer Frogwares has recently made its own game The Sinking City on Steam get shut down with a DMCA takedown after its recent conflict with former publisher Nacon.
Frogwares has issued the DMCA in order to force their game to be shut down on Steam after publisher Naco has allegedly uploaded a certain version of it for sale. The developers accused Nacon of cracking, hacking, and piracy of such title in order to be sold on the PC platform. Right now, it is now offline.
While Frogwares believes that justice is on their side, Nacon has denied the allegations and any wrongdoings. They are currently in a legal battle and no one knows who is winning.
Frogwares sent a statement to media outlet Eurogamers in regards to the DMCA takedown:
We believe in a very short time, we were able to collect extremely strong evidence to indicate this version of the game was pirated and contains content that Nacon has absolutely no rights to – namely The Merciful Madness DLC.
A DMCA notice proved to be our most effective tool to give us time to gain further potential evidence and to also start the required and lengthy additional legal processes to prevent this from happening again.
We are aware that a final ruling on whether Frogwares are obligated to deliver a Steam version has yet not been made and could take years. As it stands, we have an appeals court ruling saying, until further notice Frogwares do not need to deliver a Steam version to Nacon. In the meantime, Nacon decided to take justice into their own hands and release a pirated build.
We are also aware that the DMCA claim on this Steam version may only be a temporary fix and that the game may make a comeback – in this form or another. Providing partners like Valve with finalised rulings and third-party verified evidence so they can make their final decision takes time and resources. If in the meantime they decide they have to continue selling the game, we can only respect that while continuing to speak to them and provide them with more information.
A few hours later, Nacon responded with their own statement:
FROGWARES published an article on March 1st, 2021, accusing NACON of having “pirated” the game The Sinking City; NACON hereby wishes to set the record straight regarding these unjustified accusations.
NACON is contractually the sole exclusive distributor of The Sinking City game on STEAM.
NACON has contributed to the financing of development and the payment of royalties to FROGWARES to the tune of 8.9 million euros to date (including the full payment for a version of the game for STEAM), making the global investment far above 10 million euros when integrating the marketing costs. Contrary to FROGWARES’ allegations, NACON has paid all amounts due.
Today, unless FROGWARES is acting in bad faith, it has no reason not to make the game available to NACON on STEAM.
In the past, FROGWARES has improperly relied on accusations regarding a lack of payment to refuse delivery of the game on STEAM, at which point they tried to unsuccessfully terminate the contract. The Paris Court of Appeal deemed this action “manifestly unlawful”; ordering the continuation of the contract and encouraging FROGWARES to refrain “from any action which would impede such continuation”.
In line with the courts’ decision, NACON has repeatedly and unsuccessfully requested that FROGWARES make the game available on STEAM, failing which it would apply a clause in the contract wherein such a case, the game would be adapted by a third party. FROGWARES then attempted, without the knowledge of NACON and in violation of our rights, to make the game available on STEAM without mentioning NACON in its capacity as the publisher. This is, therefore clear proof that no technical impossibility prevents the game from being put back on STEAM.
Despite this blocking situation created exclusively by FROGWARES, NACON has allowed players to access the game on STEAM while still expressly indicating the ownership of FROGWARES’ rights to the game. FROGWARES will also receive the royalties generated by STEAM sales.
By encouraging the gaming community via Twitter not to buy the game on STEAM, FROGWARES is once again sabotaging our investments in the game.
NACON obviously regrets this conflict, for which it is not responsible, and for which it did everything possible to avoid.
NACON regrets all the more that FROGWARES has demanded the withdrawal of the game from STEAM, thus depriving the gaming community of the unique experience provided by The Sinking City.
NACON reserves the right to take legal action against FROGWARES for its aggressive and prejudicial comments. 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.