There's enough going on here to give anyone visions of Old Ones.
What you need to know
Lovecraftian horror game The Sinking City, which initially debuted just over a year ago, has gone missing. It’s no longer available to purchase on Steam, nor on the Epic Games Store, Xbox One,. The Sinking City was removed from Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the digital storefronts of Xbox One and PS4 on August 25, 2020, following Frogwares' legal disputes with publisher BigBen. Lovecraftian horror game The Sinking City has once again been pulled from Steam as part of the ongoing (and increasingly ugly) publishing dispute between the game's developer, Frogwares, and its publisher, Nacon. Now, a month later, Nacon has put The Sinking City back on Steam, and already it's being review-bombed, with customers complaining that the latest release appears to be an old version of the game.
- Frogwares is the studio that developed The Sinking City.
- Frogwares initially had a publishing relationship with French publisher Nacon (formerly Bigben Interactive).
- Ongoing legal drama over the last two years has seen Frogwares accuse Nacon of attempting to pirate The Sinking City.
- Today, Frogwares published a blog post explaining in detail how the studio believes Nacon pirated the version of The Sinking City currently available on Steam.
The ongoing drama between The Sinking City developer Frogwares and publisher Nacon (formerly known as Bigben Interactive) isn't likely to end soon. Since 2019, the studio has been embroiled in legal battles with Nacon over the publishing rights of The Sinking City, a game heavily inspired by the works of Lovecraft. These legal problems have even seen The Sinking City delisted from multiple platforms, including Steam.
On Feb. 26, Frogwares made a post on Twitter, explaining that the studio was not responsible for publishing The Sinking City's return to Steam, promising more information to come.
Frogwares has not created the version of @thesinkingcity that is today on sale on @Steam. We do not recommend the purchase of this version. More news soon.— Frogwares (@Frogwares) February 26, 2021
Today, Frogwares published a lengthy breakdown explaining how the studio believes Nacon pirated The Sinking City, resulting in the version of the game currently available for sale on Valve's PC storefront.
The main crux of Frogwares' argument hinges around how the Nacon logo was uploaded and replaced the Gamesplanet logo that Frogwares included on some of the screens. Other 'digital footprints' picked up on include how the version of the game on Steam lacks Frogwares' electronic signature, while also noting that it was the Deluxe version of the game that had been pirated. Frogwares has also found evidence in Steam's credentials tracking that the person who uploaded the Steam version of The Sinking City is technical director of Neopica, a studio acquired by Nacon in October 2020.
'Nacon decided to steal and pirate our game and they did so while leaving giant digital footprints,' the post reads. 'Nacon has proved they are willing to do anything possible to serve their interest, including illegal actions.'
The post goes on to explain that this is the third time that Nacon has attempted to force Frogwares to push a new version of the game — once in July 2020 and again in October later that year. This is also the third time that Nacon has attempted to publish a pirated version of The Sinking City, according to the post.
Frogwares notes that it is seeking further legal action against Nacon and to prevent further damages, as well as dealing with the theft of its source code.
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The Sinking City developer Frogwares has said the version of its game currently on Steam was not made by Frogwares.
In a tweet posted today and shared over to the game's newsfeed on Steam, Frogwares is asking users not to purchase the game.
'Frogwares has not created the version of [The Sinking City] that is today on sale on [Steam]. We do not recommend the purchase of this version. More news soon,' reads the statement.
The studio has not published any additional updates as of the time of this writing. We've reached out to both the developer and the publisher, Nacon, for comment.
The Sinking City was pulled from shelves by Frogwares amid a legal dispute between the studio and Nacon in August 2020, after it alleged Nacon -- formerly Big Ben Interactive -- breached several clauses of the licensing agreement for the game, and allegedly owed Frogwares around €1 million in payments.
Sinking City Steam Key
It was returned to digital platforms last month, following a decision in the Paris Court of Appeal that Frogwares had 'terminated [its] contract in a 'manifestly unlawful' manner.'
Sinking City Pc Steam
In a statement last week coinciding with the release of The Sinking City on PlayStation 5, Frogwares stated that it was both the developer and publisher of the PS5 version, but the PS4 version had a separate publisher and different game IDs due to 'an ongoing current legal and technical situation,' preventing a platform upgrade for PS4 owners.
Sinking City Steam
As it stands, The Sinking City is currently available for sale on the PlayStation Store, Xbox storefront, Nintendo eShop, and various PC storefronts including Steam.