Project Genom returns to Steam as spat is resolved

Project Genom [official site] the early access sci-fi MMO that was removed from the Steam store last week following a resentful argument between the development studio and one of its programmers, has been restored as those involved have come to an agreement over payment. Sorted.

The programmer who made the DMCA request to Valve to pull the game, Artem Stekhnovskii, agreed to meet the devs in Moscow and sign an agreement to resolve the conflict. It looks like that has gone to plan, as Steam has reinstated the game to the store front. It has been missing since November 23, leaving only bits and bobs of DLC (although the servers remained up, so players who had already downloaded it were still able to play).

“All questions regarding disagreements on intellectual property rights have been legally resolved in the pretrial order,” said developers NeuronHaze.

The disagreement began shortly after the game’s release on early access in October, Stekhnovskii was fired from the project. He claimed this was because the developer didn’t want to pay him the agreed 10% of sales from the launch month, which he claimed “exceeds by far” anything the game had made before. Meanwhile, NeuronHaze said they had fired the programmer for not doing enough work in previous months.

Whatever the case, it looks like the problem has now been fixed without any prolonged and debilitating court cases. That’s probably for the best. The developer also says that work is still continuing on the game, despite worries among players caused by the recent legal troubles.

“In the past few weeks we have done a lot of work and uploaded some important updates,” said a spokesperson for NeuronHaze, “for example, the game servers are now stable and FPS does not drop significantly even with a high load.”


  1. Ghostwise says:

    They’ve resumed tinkering with it ? So it’s more like Project Gnome, amirite ?

  2. Regularity says:

    So what was the role of this one programmer who managed to get the game suspended? Was he just some random guy who was subcontracted out to do some bits and bobs, or was he a vital player in developing the entire game?

    I’m just wondering now how his loss will affect future development of the game, if at all.

    • Don Reba says:

      He wrote 90% of the game’s code.
      link to

    • passionmeat says:

      In 2015-2016 he was the only, then the lead programmer. He was solely responsible for bringing the game from a custom made engine to UE4. As far as I know, he wrote >90% of current version code – that’s why he was able to convince Valve to take the game down. This is a troubled project that’s been in development since around 2009, and the devs changed tech twice: first from Torque3D to custom-made in 2012, then to UE4 in 2015. It made quite a drama in Russian gamedev community few days ago. Source1, Source2, Source3.

  3. sapien82 says:

    That is pretty good news, means I can continue playing woooooooo