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News Frogwares Removed The Sinking City from Stores Due to publisher BIGBEN Breaching Contract

TheCockatrice

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"During production, BBI/Nacon was hundreds and hundreds of days behind in payments in total. Each sum due on average being 40 days late, while our milestones were always on time and approved by the licensee. We had to issue formal notices multiple times so that we were able to receive the money that was owed to us."
"Once BBI/Nacon bought out a competing studio working on another Lovecraftian game, they dictated that we give them our source code for The Sinking City. Once again, BBI/Nacon does not own the IP - they are a licensee. They sell the game - not develop and co-create it. After we refused to comply, we stopped receiving financial contributions for over 4 months."
"Nacon had to pay immediate royalties on the first euro and invented a reason to not do so. They wrote us about theses cancellations on July 4 2019 or one week after the release of the game. They invented damages that they would self-compensate, on our revenue, for around 1.5 Million euros. They came with cancelled milestones for the game; when the game was already out, making money. "
"We tried to contact BigBen/Nacon for 11 months and resolve these issues, but we have not received any satisfactory response from their representatives. So during a lengthy and exhausting legal battle, we finally decided to terminate the contract on April 20th, 2020, because of the numerous above-mentioned issues."
"Frogwares have already declared we’re going to be self-publishing all our future titles. It’s what’s best for the studio, our games and our fans. We started out already down this path by releasing The Sinking City on Nintendo Switch which is entirely our doing and now with Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, we’re set to release it ourselves across the board."

Publishers man..always scummy af...Hopefully going independent will allow them to focus more on making their games...less janky/buggy/rushed.
 

Archvile82

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May 20, 2020
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Really bad look for the publisher, really shitty behaviour. Hope the self publishing works out for them.

I didn't mind what I played of Sinking City, I just think they should have scrapped the combat and just stuck with investigation side of it.
 
Aug 28, 2019
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Big ben ticks everyone off.

 

Geki-D

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Dec 6, 2017
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This is why the game didn't actually appear on PS Now this month. It was meant to but all this nonsense happened.
 

aries_71

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Didn't they have a similar problem with their Sherlock Holmes game? Was with the same publisher too?
 

Hargate

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Wait... am I going to be able to get this game at some point? Wanted to play it.
I was looking to buy it at some point. I guess not.

OP should have added this part for info.

In the short term, the aim is to bring the game back on as many stores as possible while making sure that the revenue heads straight to Frogwares.

To this extent, the game is available on Origin, Gamesplanet and as a DRM-free copy on the developer's website, which is where you'll also find the full letter detailing the issues surrounding The Sinking City.



Its not gone they removed it so they can put it back up and get paid instead of the publisher. If you want to support them buy it direct or wait for it to go back up.
 
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namekuseijin

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Jun 10, 2020
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man, I watched this story unfold because I happened to really enjoy Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments and so I followed Frogwares when they revealed they were working on a Lovecraft game.

I was very baffled by their publisher going with another Lovecraft game. Interesting look at the background story, too bad for the final outcome though.
 

Noncanon Ship

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Dec 11, 2020
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So i have to buy it In Steam? 🤭.


What happend if I buy in steam store?

None of the money goes to the developer - the publisher pockets it all.

You get an older unpatched version of the game, no dlc, no cloud saves, and no achievements. It will probably also be deleted from Steam soon so it won't be supported.

I've never seen publisher-developer relations this messy.
 

johntown

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Eh $16 was too hard to pass up. I’m sure the day 1 version will be good enough. If I really like it I will buy the PS5 version for the DLC.
 

MrA

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switch version is published by frogwares themselves,
Would like to know this too. I bought the PS4 version during a sale a week or three ago.
xbox one is bigben, I don't know about ps4
 

TheCockatrice

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johntown

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They touch on that in the article.
Yeah I have been reading up on the issue from both sides. It seems legally Frogwares didn't terminate their contract properly. I won't even begin to try and say I understand contract law but it does look like the law is on Nacon's side.

They are both pretty scummy IMO. It is entertaining though. I had to grab the steam version while I could because who know how long it will stay there.
 

jaysius

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Oct 3, 2019
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Nacon the same rubes that make those overpriced piece of shit controllers?

Sometimes when you're partnering with people you need to assess who you're making deals with, even if it's a sink or swim thing, sometimes it's better to sink.
 

Noncanon Ship

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Frogwares is lying. The Steam version includes the DLC. I don't believe anything they say now.

Yeah I have been reading up on the issue from both sides. It seems legally Frogwares didn't terminate their contract properly. I won't even begin to try and say I understand contract law but it does look like the law is on Nacon's side.

They are both pretty scummy IMO. It is entertaining though. I had to grab the steam version while I could because who know how long it will stay there.

That's so weird it includes the dlc when the listing doesn't even mention that. Seems like a very lazy cash-grab by Nacon.

Why do you say Frogwares was scummy?
 

johntown

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That's so weird it includes the dlc when the listing doesn't even mention that. Seems like a very lazy cash-grab by Nacon.

Why do you say Frogwares was scummy?
First they did the EGS exclusively. Even though I understand more for smaller devs they are part of the problem. The negative reviews, going all over the Internet trying to get ppl to not buy the Steam version and even posting a video on the Steam page about all this. Stating the Steam version was some early build with no DLC was a lie. There is some but not all DLC. It’s scummy.
 

Noncanon Ship

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Dec 11, 2020
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^ ACG is now boycotting Nacon titles until this is resolved.

First they did the EGS exclusively. Even though I understand more for smaller devs they are part of the problem. The negative reviews, going all over the Internet trying to get ppl to not buy the Steam version and even posting a video on the Steam page about all this. Stating the Steam version was some early build with no DLC was a lie. There is some but not all DLC. It’s scummy.
I just want to clarify that it was Nacon that said it was just the base game with no dlc: "Thus, this version contains only the base game, without any additional content." It seems Nacon wasn't even familiar with what they were uploading to Steam.

Frogwares' video addressing it states correctly that it contains the dlc (and something about how Nacon didn't finance the dlc, so they effectively 'stole' content that they weren't entitled to.)
 
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johntown

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^ ACG is now boycotting Nacon titles until this is resolved.


I just want to clarify that it was Nacon that said it was just the base game with no dlc: "Thus, this version contains only the base game, without any additional content." It seems Nacon wasn't even familiar with what they were uploading to Steam.

Frogwares' video addressing it states correctly that it contains the dlc (and something about how Nacon didn't finance the dlc, so they effectively 'stole' content that they weren't entitled to.)
No they did say there is no DLC, cloud saves etc. just Google it for yourself and you will see many sites saying the same thing.

https://linustechtips.com/topic/131...-game-on-steam/?tab=comments#comment-14520015

 
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Noncanon Ship

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No they did say there is no DLC, cloud saves etc. just Google it for yourself and you will see many sites saying the same thing.

https://linustechtips.com/topic/131...-game-on-steam/?tab=comments#comment-14520015

Both of those sources are based on the Steam reviews, not a quote from Frogwares.

I also checked both Frogwares twitter accounts and nowhere did they state that it lacks the DLC. In the video Frogwares made about it they state that it contains the dlc. I think some Steam users assumed it didn't have the DLC because Nacon had no legal right to distribute it, so surely they hadn't included it...
 
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Noncanon Ship

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ManaByte ManaByte yeah the PS5 version is good. Basically anything that actually attributes the game to Frogwares is legit lol. My PS4 copy of the game doesn't have their logo on it.
 

CuNi

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Damn such a bummer. I hope they get through all instances in court and drag nacon through hell. If they say the truth obviously. But things like not even changing encryption keys just made me laugh for a second. How do you go to such lengths to fuck someone over that you Crack their game and then you just half ass it by not even correctly hiding your trail lol.
 

JSoup

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Damn such a bummer. I hope they get through all instances in court and drag nacon through hell. If they say the truth obviously. But things like not even changing encryption keys just made me laugh for a second. How do you go to such lengths to fuck someone over that you Crack their game and then you just half ass it by not even correctly hiding your trail lol.

Claim they did use their own in encryption and claim Frogwares cracked it.
Check mate, quid pro quo, e pluribus unum.
 
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johntown

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I also checked both Frogwares twitter accounts and nowhere did they state that it lacks the DLC. In the video Frogwares made about it they state that it contains the dlc. I think some Steam users assumed it didn't have the DLC because Nacon had no legal right to distribute it, so surely they hadn't included it...
You really think that review was not from Frogwares? I would bet 90% of the negative reviews could be traced back to them. They are doing everything they can to try and sabotage the Steam version.
 
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Noncanon Ship

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Dec 11, 2020
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You really think that review was not from Frogwares? I would bet 90% of the negative reviews could be traced back to them. They are doing everything they can to try and sabotage the Steam version.

This was the first steam account to leave a negative review saying it doesn't include dlc. This is the first foreign language review saying it (then correcting it). This was the first person on the steam forums saying it. You really think these are sock accounts of Frogwares?

You're grasping at straws here. You know, you don't need to morally justify to anyone having bought the steam copy. :messenger_winking_tongue:
 

Kerlurk

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May 1, 2020
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I sympathize with the developer if they were not paid fees that they were owed, but unfortunately their legal position comes down to the contract, and the courts will have to decide on that.

This is always a problem with developers that sign contracts with publishers. They lose a lot of control, and are at their mercy dependent on the wording of the contact.

Nice to see that the PS5 version is clear of all of this.
 

Harry Tung

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I bought this game twice now. Not only because it's an incredible game, but I want to support the developers, now that they are battling scumbag publishers trying to fuck with their livelihood. I hope Frogware recovers from this mess and produce a sequel. The PS5-version of the game is so good. No chance of it being pulled either, since they are self publishing it.