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Nacon accuses Frogwares of "sabotaging our investments" in The Sinking City

Publisher asserts it has contractual rights to Steam version, and that the developer has no reason to block sales

The conflict between Nacon and Frogwares continues, with the former claiming The Sinking City's developer is "sabotaging our investments" as the game is once again removed from Steam.

Earlier today, it was reported that Frogwares had issued a DMCA takedown to pull Lovecraftian adventure The Sinking City from Steam just days after it urged users not to buy it, claiming the version for sale was not created by Frogwares.

The studio later accused Nacon, the game's publisher, of pirating The Sinking City from another storefront in order to sell it on Steam.

Nacon has now replied with its own statement, declaring these to be "unjust allegations" and asserting that it is "contractually the sole exclusive distributor of The Sinking City game on Steam."

"By encouraging the gaming community via Twitter not to buy the game on Steam, Frogwares is once again sabotaging our investments in the game," the company wrote.

The dispute began last year when Frogwares pulled The Sinking City from all stores, accusing Nacon of missing payments, holding back €1 million in royalties and claiming IP rights to the game -- something Frogwares insists have always belonged to the studio.

The developer claimed it was compelled to delist the game in order to prevent Nacon from accruing further royalties while it sought legal action against the publisher.

However, in today's statement, Nacon asserts that it has paid all amounts due.

The publisher claims it has paid Frogwares €8.9 million, including royalties, financing of the game's development, and full payment for the Steam version.

When factoring in marketing costs, Nacon claims to have invested over €10 million into The Sinking City.

"Today, unless Frogwares is acting in bad faith, it has no reason not to make the game available to Nacon on Steam," the publisher wrote.

The company also pointed to a decision made by the Paris Court of Appeals -- which ruled that Frogwares terminating its contract was "manifestly unlawful" -- and says that all court decisions in the dispute so far have been in favour of Nacon.

Back in October, the court urged Frogwares to refrain from any further action that would affect this contract until a decision had been made as to whether Nacon breached the agreement, as the studio alleges.

Nacon claims that since this ruling, it has "repeatedly and unsuccessfully" asked Frogwares to make the game available on Steam again. Since it did not, a clause in the contract allowed the publisher to turn to a third party to adapt the game.

It claims the new version on Steam still indicated that Frogwares was the owner of the IP rights, and that Frogwares would receive royalties generated by sales.

The publisher also claims Frogwares attempted to return The Sinking City to Steam again without mentioning Nacon as the publisher, pointing to this as proof the developer could put the game back on Steam if it wanted to.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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