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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Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown
Mar 3, 2021, 19:38
Kxmode
 
1.
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 19:38
Mar 3, 2021, 19:38
 Kxmode
 
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."

Nacon is no longer the legal distributor of The Sinking City. However, the courts need to decide who to give legal distributorship to. So while that's pending, the court said Frogwares couldn't delist Nacon's version until then. Nacon's version is the base game, not the Deluxe edition, which Nacon pirated and uploaded to Steam. The court's decision did not grant Nacon carte blanche to sell pirated versions of content outside their original contract scope.

Nacon's response appears to ignore the facts of the case as they stand today. Further, like the subject matter of the game they published, Nacon seems disconnected from the legal reality of the situation.

Case in point:

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.

They legally cannot take action against Frogwares because the case is pending a judge's decision on WHO owns the distribution. The courts already terminated the distribution contract last year. The language used in the video and blog isn't aggressive and prejudicial. They are also not judging the situation. They are merely presenting evidence and facts that are available. So what exactly would they sue Frogwares for? It is foolish credulity.

This comment was edited on Mar 3, 2021, 19:52.
"There are times when I would rather have some Kahlua instead of a clue." - Mr. Tact (May 27, 2021)
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