I’ve been somewhat watching the situation around The Sinking City unfold. It began with a lot of back and forth between the developer and the publisher. For anyone unaware, The Sinking City released in June 2019. Developed by Frogwares and published by Nacon, the game was ultimately removed from all platforms in August 2020. This was the result of legal issues between the two companies. Frogwares terminated the publishing contract, citing violation of intellectual property and lack of payment as the reasons why.
The entire situation made it’s way to the courts, with a legal battle between the two begining. One that is still ongoing at the time of writing. However, things have recently escalted. The Sinking City recently re-appeared on Steam, without Frogwares go-ahead. The developer even went as far as to release a 9-minute video showing what they claim to be evidence of Nacon tampering with their game. The video is below and shows some admittedly compelling evidence that the game was cracked, and uploaded to Steam.
But things aren’t over just yet. As reported by VICE, Frogwares took to issueing a DMCA aginst their own own game. This resulted in Steam pulling the game from their platform. Frogwares told VICE that the DMCA was indeed done by them, but acknowledged thsi may be only “a temporary fix”.
_Regarding our use of a DMCA to remove the game from Steam. We believe in a very short time, we were able to collect extremely strong evidence to indicate this version of the game was pirated and contains content that Nacon has absolutely no rights to – namely The Merciful Madness DLC. A DMCA notice proved to be our most effective tool to give us time to gain further potential evidence and to also start the required and lengthy additional legal processes to prevent this from happening again.
We are aware that a final ruling on whether Frogwares are obligated to deliver a Steam version has yet not been made and could take years. As it stands, we have an appeals court ruling saying, until further notice Frogwares do not need to deliver a Steam version to Nacon. In the meantime, Nacon decided to take justice into their own hands and release a pirated build._
We are also aware that the DMCA claim on this Steam version may only be a temporary fix and that the game may make a comeback – in this form or another. Providing partners like Valve with finalized rulings and 3rd party verified evidence so they can make their final decision takes time and resources. If in the meantime they decide they have to continue selling the game, we can only respect that while continuing to speak to them and provide them with more information.
Only time will tell how this situation unfolds. That being said, the video from Frogwares certainly seems to point to the possibility that Nacon did indeed crack the game and re-upload it to Steam. How do you feel about this entire situation? Let us know in the comments below!