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, 22:56
Re: NACON Responds to The Sinking City Takedown Mar 3, 2021, 22:56
Mar 3, 2021, 22:56
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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