The scandal surrounding The Sinking City’s release on Steam continues. Frogwares claims that the publisher pirated their game, while Nacon says that the developers just ”play the victim.”
On March 1, Nacon responded to Frogwares’ warning to not buy a new version of The Sinking City on Steam. The publisher posted an official statement on the game’s page.
According to Nacon, it released The Sinking City for the fans, who were disappointed with the lack of cloud savings, achievements, and DLCs. The company says it can’t integrate these Steam features due to a “lack of cooperation with Frogwares.”
“Now that the game has been fully developed, and published, largely thanks to Nacon’s money and work, Frogwares would like to revise the terms of the contract to their sole advantage,” the statement says. “It’s easy to play the victim, but all we seek is that Frogwares respect its commitments both in the contract and as demanded by the courts.”
Nacon also claims that it has already paid Frogwares more than €10 million and invested millions in The Sinking City’s marketing and promotion. The company also wished it would have preferred to keep a respectful and cooperative relationship with the developers.
Frogwares’ position and statement
The studio published a video on its YouTube channel and a text version on its official website. Here’re key points from Frogwares’ statement:
- Developers claim that Nacon CEO Alain Falc issued an ultimatum on December 28th 2020, giving the studio 48 hours to upload a new Steam master copy. Otherwise, the publisher promised to use other solutions;
- Two days later, Nacon bought The Sinking City on the Gamesplanet website and tried to upload it on Steam. Frogwares thought it was a breach of the contract and managed to prevent the release;
- The studio claims that the version of The Sinking City released on February 26 is also a pirated copy. The publisher allegedly asked its employees to crack and modify the game files;
- Frogwares noticed that Nacon removed the Gamesplanet logo and changed the loading screen. The publisher also removed an advertisement of Frogwares’ other game from the main menu and deleted the “Play More” option that led to external servers and was also needed to check the game’s license;
- The studio said that Nacon changed the executable file of The Sinking City. The game’s size also equaled the Gamesplanet version — 17Gb versus 30Gb of the original version;
- Due to the “poor” modification and repackage, Nacon couldn’t integrate achievements and other Steam features;
- Frogwares also noticed that the modified version of The Sinking City has been uploaded by Filip Hautekeete, a founder and managing director of Belgian studio Neopica. Nacon bought this company in October 2020.
You can read Frogwares’ full statement, with all the screenshots and explanations, here. The studio now hopes to bring Falc and Nacon to account, but the whole dispute is set to be judged in the court “in the next months or even years.”