Although Aeon Must Die! finally came out on October 14, the game is still a subject of controversy. The whole story now looks really tangled, as the IGDA seems to have canceled an investigation despite publisher Focus Entertainment’s previously claiming it has been conducted.
Ahead of the Aeon Must Die! launch, Mishura Games (studio made up of former Limestone developers) issued a long statement, saying that neither Limestone nor Focus has full rights for the IP.
On top of that, the team also demanded to release the results of investigations that should have been conducted by the publisher. Mishura Games also said that the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) contacted developers about its own investigation.
It is worth noting that Focus Entertainment released an official statement on October 12, denying the studio’s claims and saying that two independent law firms “did not confirm any of the accusations leveled against the management of Limestone.”
The publisher also said that the IGDA “conducted an independent investigation on the basis of all available information, which also did not confirm the charges against management of Limestone, and calls into question their basis.”
— Aeon Must Die! (@Aeon_Must_Die) October 12, 2021
The IGDA Estonia previously confirmed that it has been investigating the situation around Limestone Games and its former developers. All these statements go against Mishura’s latest claims.
However, the IGDA executive director Renee Gittins stated on October 14 that the organization canceled the investigation and advised its Estonian branch to focus on supporting developers rather than being an investigative party.
“While the IGDA promotes ethics within our industry, we do not conduct investigations into legal disputes among companies and/or developers, as there are professional and government entities better suited for such tasks,” Gittins told GamesIndustry.biz.
Mishura Games still doesn’t believe that any of these investigations have ever happened. “And even if they did — an investigation of conflict that only investigates one side — is not an independent investigation,” the studio stated on Wednesday.
In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, Focus Entertainment once again denied all the claims, saying that it feels sorry for those former developers who seem convinced about their accusations. “However all claims remain unsubstantiated despite investigations led by two law firms and one Estonian authority — and Focus has no role in a dispute between ex-employees and their former employer,” the publisher stated.
Focus also denied Mishura’s claims for the Aeon Must Die! IP rights, saying that all employees who worked at Limestone signed a “contract providing a formal assignment of intellectual property rights for their work on the project.”
However, the drama around Aeon Must Die! doesn’t end here. Former Limestone devs are only mentioned in the Special Thanks part of the game’s credits