NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown

A statement from NACON follows-up on allegations from Frogwares that the publisher pirated The Sinking City to the game on Steam, which led to Frogwares getting a DMCA takedown of its own game. NACON says it's the sole distributor of the game, that it has made all the appropriate royalty payments to Frogwares, and that the developer is acting in bad faith:
FROGWARES published an article on March 1st, 2021, accusing NACON of having “pirated” the game The Sinking City; NACON hereby wishes to set the record straight regarding these unjustified accusations.

NACON is contractually the sole exclusive distributor of The Sinking City game on STEAM.

NACON has contributed to the financing of development and the payment of royalties to FROGWARES to the tune of 8.9 million euros to date (including the full payment for a version of the game for STEAM), making the global investment far above 10 million euros when integrating the marketing costs. Contrary to FROGWARES’ allegations, NACON has paid all amounts due.

Today, unless FROGWARES is acting in bad faith, it has no reason not to make the game available to NACON on STEAM.

In the past, FROGWARES has improperly relied on accusations regarding a lack of payment to refuse delivery of the game on STEAM, at which point they tried to unsuccessfully terminate the contract. The Paris Court of Appeal deemed this action “manifestly unlawful”; ordering the continuation of the contract and encouraging FROGWARES to refrain “from any action which would impede such continuation”.

In line with the courts’ decision, NACON has repeatedly and unsuccessfully requested that FROGWARES make the game available on STEAM, failing which it would apply a clause in the contract wherein such a case, the game would be adapted by a third party. FROGWARES then attempted, without the knowledge of NACON and in violation of our rights, to make the game available on STEAM without mentioning NACON in its capacity as the publisher. This is, therefore clear proof that no technical impossibility prevents the game from being put back on STEAM.

Despite this blocking situation created exclusively by FROGWARES, NACON has allowed players to access the game on STEAM while still expressly indicating the ownership of FROGWARES’ rights to the game. FROGWARES will also receive the royalties generated by STEAM sales.

By encouraging the gaming community via Twitter not to buy the game on STEAM, FROGWARES is once again sabotaging our investments in the game.

NACON obviously regrets this conflict, for which it is not responsible, and for which it did everything possible to avoid.

NACON regrets all the more that FROGWARES has demanded the withdrawal of the game from STEAM, thus depriving the gaming community of the unique experience provided by The Sinking City.

NACON reserves the right to take legal action against FROGWARES for its aggressive and prejudicial comments. FROGWARES has been careful not to indicate that all court decisions in the dispute between NACON and FROGWARES have thus far been favorable to NACON.
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22 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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22.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 23:03
22.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 23:03
Mar 4, 2021, 23:03
 
Having worked for a mediocre game publisher for a good while that routinely dealt with indy developers - I'd take Frogwares side. A small developer is likely going to make one or two games and fold, unless they are really good; which is where the smarmy publisher finds out how employing mediocre lawyers to write their legal contracts get them taken back to law school by an actually good legal team, and the dev decides to punch upwards.
21.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 22:27
21.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 22:27
Mar 4, 2021, 22:27
 
Kxmode wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 21:07:
Burrito of Peace wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 16:38:
Kxmode wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 14:59:
As Captain America says, "I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from." In my opinion, Nacon is acting like a bully.

OK, fine, but how does this affect you as a gamer? How does this affect the industry as a whole? If you're that concerned with bullying in the industry, surely there are better targets for your ire than some previously unknown French publisher and French game developer.

It is not cool to tell someone to redirect their attention to "better targets" (your words, not mine). That's condescension, and it isn't polite. I wouldn't do it to others, so I expect others not to do it to me.

You directly quoted me. There was no direct call for you to do anything by me. Also, in this case, semantics and context matters. "surely", in English, is inquisitive in nature and not a directive.

Even so, you did not address the two questions I asked you. I'd prefer we dispensed with the linguistic non-sequitors and actually dealt with the issue at hand.
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

There are two types of computer users: Masochists and Linux users.

If you would like help or further details on a technical discussion we're having, email me at bnhelp (at sign) keepusiel.net .
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20.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 21:07
Kxmode
 
20.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 21:07
Mar 4, 2021, 21:07
 Kxmode
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 16:38:
Kxmode wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 14:59:
As Captain America says, "I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from." In my opinion, Nacon is acting like a bully.

OK, fine, but how does this affect you as a gamer? How does this affect the industry as a whole? If you're that concerned with bullying in the industry, surely there are better targets for your ire than some previously unknown French publisher and French game developer.

It is not cool to tell someone to redirect their attention to "better targets" (your words, not mine). That's condescension, and it isn't polite. I wouldn't do it to others, so I expect others not to do it to me.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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19.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 16:38
19.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 16:38
Mar 4, 2021, 16:38
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 12:52:
Isn't it the point of sites like bluesnews to read about tangentially related video game topics and get outraged, excited, or at least interested?

It is but this is getting to absurd levels like the lead up to No Man's Sky which was breathlessly commented on at least twice a day as being the holy grail of all things gaming related.

I understand the deep coverage on the Epic and Apple lawsuit because that has ramifications for an entire industry. This thing between the publisher and the dev is nothing more than a pissing match being carried out in the open.


Kxmode wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 14:59:
As Captain America says, "I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from." In my opinion, Nacon is acting like a bully.

OK, fine, but how does this affect you as a gamer? How does this affect the industry as a whole? If you're that concerned with bullying in the industry, surely there are better targets for your ire than some previously unknown French publisher and French game developer.
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

There are two types of computer users: Masochists and Linux users.

If you would like help or further details on a technical discussion we're having, email me at bnhelp (at sign) keepusiel.net .
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18.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 14:59
Kxmode
 
18.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 14:59
Mar 4, 2021, 14:59
 Kxmode
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 11:40:
I have to ask...why do we care? Or is this a metaphorical flaming, six car pileup that we're all virtually rubbernecking at?

As Captain America says, "I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from." In my opinion, Nacon is acting like a bully.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
Avatar 18786
17.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 14:54
Kxmode
 
17.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 14:54
Mar 4, 2021, 14:54
 Kxmode
 
Prez wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 11:00:
Personally I'm wondering how any contract could possibly leave something like *who owns the property* up to interpretation.

This case isn't about IP ownership. It's about distribution ownership as in "Now that the distribution contract is terminated, who owns the distribution?" I take it the language of the contract never stipulated who gains owner if the agreement gets terminated. The courts need to decide whether Nacon retains that or if it reverts to Frogwares.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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16.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 12:52
16.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 12:52
Mar 4, 2021, 12:52
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Mar 4, 2021, 11:40:
I have to ask...why do we care? Or is this a metaphorical flaming, six car pileup that we're all virtually rubbernecking at?

Isn't it the point of sites like bluesnews to read about tangentially related video game topics and get outraged, excited, or at least interested?

I never played any of their Sherlock games, but now I think I am emotionally invested enough to buy Sinking City off of yet another online store. I am leaning towards Frogwares being in the right here, but I guess we'll find out months from now, who the courts believe.
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15.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 11:40
15.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 11:40
Mar 4, 2021, 11:40
 
I have to ask...why do we care? Or is this a metaphorical flaming, six car pileup that we're all virtually rubbernecking at?
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

There are two types of computer users: Masochists and Linux users.

If you would like help or further details on a technical discussion we're having, email me at bnhelp (at sign) keepusiel.net .
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14.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 11:30
El Pit
 
14.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 11:30
Mar 4, 2021, 11:30
 El Pit
 
This ship has sailed city has sunk.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
13.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 11:00
Prez
 
13.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 11:00
Mar 4, 2021, 11:00
 Prez
 
Personally I'm wondering how any contract could possibly leave something like *who owns the property* up to interpretation.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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12.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 09:54
12.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 09:54
Mar 4, 2021, 09:54
 
Thing is this is still in the French courts. So speculating on who is or isn't in the right is kinda pointless.
Avatar 12670
11.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 02:38
11.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 02:38
Mar 4, 2021, 02:38
 
At this point, I'm tempted to buy Sinking City off of Gamesplanet to support Frogwares directly; I enjoyed the Resident Evil games back in the day, and The Evil Within series. I haven't gotten around to playing the RE remakes yet; maybe I'll work Sinking City into the queue first.

I don't think I've used Gamesplanet at all, I'm assuming their cut is far less than Steam's infamous 30%. (Not to start an argument about Steamware support, etc.)

PS. Offtopic, Apparently there won't be an Evil Within 3 anytime soon, Tango Gameworks is making Ghostwire: Tokyo instead, which actually looks pretty interesting.
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10.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 00:37
Kxmode
 
10.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 00:37
Mar 4, 2021, 00:37
 Kxmode
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 3, 2021, 23:33:
A DCMA claim doesn't mean anything. One of the biggest problems on the internet today are spurious DCMA claims that have no legal validity. Anyone can file a claim.

Both sides are claiming the courts have ruled in their favor for this, that, and the other thing yet in the grand scheme of things that doesn't mean anything. An injunction is a powerful legal remedy that's enacted immediately if the judge feels you actually have a case. If you want to stop anyone doing anything immediately an injunction is what's required. In this case that would mean Frogwares lawyers going to a judge, presenting the contract and explaining why NACON is in breach and they want an injunction to prevent them selling the game. Seeing as they haven't done that or were flat our rejected amounts to the same thing, their claims are just that, only claims.

While you're correct about the spurious misuse of DMCA, this is not one of those cases. Frogwares is within their rights to do this to stop Nacon from engaging in the unlawful profiting of pirated goods, which is uniformly illegal in most countries.

Besides, the point is irrelevant now. Frogwares succeeded in getting their game delisted. At this point, it behooves Nacon to wait for a court decision, which may prove challenging given their latest action is likely admissible evidence.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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9.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 4, 2021, 00:18
Nucas
 
9.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 4, 2021, 00:18
Mar 4, 2021, 00:18
 Nucas
 
Kxmode wrote on Mar 3, 2021, 19:38:
Further, like the subject matter of the game they published, Nacon seems disconnected from the legal reality of the situation.

i am really enjoying these summaries you've been posting
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8.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 3, 2021, 23:33
8.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 23:33
Mar 3, 2021, 23:33
 
A DCMA claim doesn't mean anything. One of the biggest problems on the internet today are spurious DCMA claims that have no legal validity. Anyone can file a claim.

Both sides are claiming the courts have ruled in their favor for this, that, and the other thing yet in the grand scheme of things that doesn't mean anything. An injunction is a powerful legal remedy that's enacted immediately if the judge feels you actually have a case. If you want to stop anyone doing anything immediately an injunction is what's required. In this case that would mean Frogwares lawyers going to a judge, presenting the contract and explaining why NACON is in breach and they want an injunction to prevent them selling the game. Seeing as they haven't done that or were flat our rejected amounts to the same thing, their claims are just that, only claims.

The end result of this is one of the parties is going to be found liable of breach and owe the other party a whole schwack of dough. And from the looks of it so far my money is on Frogwares being the losing party.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
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7.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 3, 2021, 22:56
Kxmode
 
7.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 22:56
Mar 3, 2021, 22:56
 Kxmode
 
MacLeod wrote on Mar 3, 2021, 20:46:
Kxmode wrote on Mar 3, 2021, 19:38:
I think a little bit of context is in order. The following comes courtesy of a Frogswares blog post on August 25, 2020:

"The agreement is, therefore, terminated without further formality. Moreover, on July 17, 2020, Nacon attempted to oppose the termination in court, but the judge rejected the demand, and the contract is now terminated in the eyes of the law."


The Frogwares blog says that, but every article I've seen on the topic all say a variation of below - so it sounds like things should have remained as-is before Frogwares had everything delisted initially:

"The Court ruled that Frogwares had terminated the contract in a 'manifestly unlawful' manner and, as a result, ordered, as a 'precautionary measure, the continuation of the contract (...) until its term or until a decision is made on the breach of this contract and ordered Frogwares Ireland to refrain from any action on the breach of this contract and ordered Frogwares Ireland to refrain from any action that impedes this continuation (...)'"

Personally, while I'd like to side with Frogwares, there seems to be a history of them always having an issue with the publisher they use that ends in litigation.

I'm not privy to the legal ins-and-outs, but it seems to me this case is about a sizeable publisher flexing its muscles on a small indie studio, and the studio fought back. Perhaps that says less about Frogwares and more about how larger publishers treat smaller studios, especially when one or the other, or both go rogue.

One thing is certain, it is an entertaining drama. Popcorn
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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6.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 3, 2021, 22:37
6.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 22:37
Mar 3, 2021, 22:37
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 3, 2021, 19:39:
Well there you go. Unless NACON is lying through their teeth - and they're not - Frogwares is the problem here. As I stated before it wouldn't take much to get an injunction against NACON selling the game if they're in breach as Frogwares claims and seeing as that hasn't happened it leads me to believe Frogwares is full of shit. They don't like the contract they signed and now they're trying to weasel out of it.


That's your interpretation? Interesting. Nacon doesn't even deny Frogwares' main claim, that Nacon downloaded the game from Gamesplanet(?), removed or altered various aspects, and uploaded that version onto Steam. That's illegal in the EU and USA, at least, regardless of contract disputes. Nacon apparently got too impatient waiting for the French courts to fully resolve previous issues, and went ahead and put their hacked version on Steam, to sell it for $12 and earn some quick money. I can almost understand, because I'm sure it'll take years (especially now) to resolve this set of disputes fully in court, but that lack of resolution is extremely weak reasoning to allow putting literally a hacked version of the game up for sale.

Also, I wonder if it's outside the various contracts to sell the game for $12 instead of $60, but I'm sure that'll get lost in the shuffle. Based on this Nacon press release though, it seems like they are guilty of most of the claims in Frogwares' videos; and previous monetary disputes still weren't fully resolved. I'd think (with no personal knowledge of French courts/French Judges) that this hacked shit would negatively effect other court decisions for Nacon.

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5.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 3, 2021, 21:30
Jim
5.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 21:30
Mar 3, 2021, 21:30
Jim
 
tl:dr; who the f knows.... 8 million is a hefty sum. if that money was actually paid then... yeah. The original posts made it seem like the devs got nothing but a publishing scam.
4.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 3, 2021, 20:46
4.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 20:46
Mar 3, 2021, 20:46
 
Kxmode wrote on Mar 3, 2021, 19:38:
I think a little bit of context is in order. The following comes courtesy of a Frogswares blog post on August 25, 2020:

"The agreement is, therefore, terminated without further formality. Moreover, on July 17, 2020, Nacon attempted to oppose the termination in court, but the judge rejected the demand, and the contract is now terminated in the eyes of the law."


The Frogwares blog says that, but every article I've seen on the topic all say a variation of below - so it sounds like things should have remained as-is before Frogwares had everything delisted initially:

"The Court ruled that Frogwares had terminated the contract in a 'manifestly unlawful' manner and, as a result, ordered, as a 'precautionary measure, the continuation of the contract (...) until its term or until a decision is made on the breach of this contract and ordered Frogwares Ireland to refrain from any action on the breach of this contract and ordered Frogwares Ireland to refrain from any action that impedes this continuation (...)'"

Personally, while I'd like to side with Frogwares, there seems to be a history of them always having an issue with the publisher they use that ends in litigation.
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3.
 
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 3, 2021, 19:47
Kxmode
 
3.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 19:47
Mar 3, 2021, 19:47
 Kxmode
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 3, 2021, 19:39:
Well there you go. Unless NACON is lying through their teeth - and they're not - Frogwares is the problem here. As I stated before it wouldn't take much to get an injunction against NACON selling the game if they're in breach as Frogwares claims and seeing as that hasn't happened it leads me to believe Frogwares is full of shit. They don't like the contract they signed and now they're trying to weasel out of it.

They don't need the courts to issue an injunction against a company unlawfully selling their game. A simple DMCA is all that is required.

See my comment above if you'd like more details.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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