Indie developers Corecell have responded to UK-based publisher PQube with another statement this time critiquing PQube’s contention that they tried to return the console rights to action puzzler AeternoBlade 2. Corecell came forward last week with the second accusation made by an indie team against PQube in less than a month, following A Space For The Unbound devs Mojiken Studio’s claims in late August. Both studios claim PQube withheld money from them.
The console publishing rights to AeternoBlade 2 still appear to be held by PQube, although the game was published independently on PC by Corecell. PQube previously defended themselves in a statement issued to media after Corecell made their original accusations against the publisher, and you can read both in full here. However, Corecell have now responded to PQube's defence in a statement issued to RPS and on Twitter.
In it, Corecell deny that the console publishing rights to AeternoBlade 2 ever reverted to them, as PQube claimed. "Pqube's statement contradicts by themselves: The first contradiction is, if they already return the rights, why the game is selling in the store under their name?" Corecell said, linking to AeternoBlade II's Xbox store page, where PQube are still listed as the publisher.
"We never get publishing control back, we never insist to release in Oct 2019. Releasing the game requires mutual consent from both Corecell and Pqube," they continued, refuting PQube's claim that this was the release date "they [Corecell] requested" in the publisher's initial statement.
Corecell also went on address PQube’s claim that they’d agreed to provide the PC version to the publisher in March 2020. "The PC version is never in the contract," they said, adding that, "Pqube have only the first rights to refuse if we make another platform". Corecell also allege that PQube breached that contract by not paying them the minimum guaranteed money from the European publishing rights, even after presenting them with an invoice.
“We flew to the UK to discuss this in January 2020 but PQube offered to pay only 20% of the agreed amount separately for several months to end the conflict which is not acceptable for their predatory practice behavior,” Corecell said. “As a result, we terminated the contract in August 2020 before the PC version was released in September 2020.”
Corecell state they're still trying to reclaim the console publishing rights to AeternoBlade 2, but remain unsuccessful, even alleging that PQube have asked them to "give up the rights to sue them and keep secret of the matter".
"We reject to sign anything," Corecell said, "because the termination letter is already in effect and if Pqube continues to sell the game it is criminal to our intellectual property.
“Despite what PQube said in the statement, the fact remains unchanged that: PQube has not yet paid us the agreed amount. We have not received any revenue from PQube sales in EU stores. PQube did not return the publishing control in EU back to us. There is consistency in the truth and confusion in lies.”
I’ve reached out to PQube to see if they have anything else to say in response to Corecell’s latest statement.