Citybuilder removed from Steam allegedly due to DMCA from disgruntled player
Player claims ownership of in-game mode
Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic is a citybuilder about wrangling supply chains and logistics. Sin is a big fan. Unfortunately the supply of the game itself from Steam has been halted, and its developers allege that it's due to DMCA takedown notices filed by a "once a respected member of our community."
"THE GAME HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN DUE TO A DMCA REQUEST. The issue is described below. You cannot purchase the game at this time," begins the latest update to a news post on Steam. If you try to visit the Workers & Resources store page, it currently redirects to the Steam homepage.
Developers 3Division say that this is the result of a disagreement with a community member who wrote a this guide on Steam for "Cosmonaut mode", a more challenging way of playing Workers & Resources. 3Division later added a more challenging 'realistic' mode to the game itself which implements some similar ideas in-game.
3Division's Peter Adamcik says the guide writer wanted credit in-game, something that they would "probably do" alongside "other guys who made various guides/challenges or contributors" once the game was finished. The guide writer allegedly found this unacceptable and also issued DMCA takedown notices against a YouTuber who refused to link to his Steam guide. The developers write that they "became angry about this, and decided to never mention the name of the challenge he allegedly 'invented' again," which in turn led to the guide writer filing DMCA takedowns against the Workers & Resources official site and its prescence on Steam.
"He literally just created a guide with some possible way to play the game and called it Cosmonaut mode, but it is not helping the development process," concludes 3Division's post. "Only one thing he was helpful in, is that the popularity of his guide showed us how much people wanted to play the game in a realistic and more challenging way."
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act exists so that owners of copyrighted works can swiftly have that work removed from online platforms. Most platforms - YouTube and Steam included - err on the side of removing the work without much or any oversight, with a review process then undertaken afterwards to determine whether it can be restored.
In a statement to Kotaku about this particular instance, 3Divison further allege that the community member filing these reports is a lawyer. "It seems like he just abuse the fact he is attorney at law - he will definitively handle the suit cheaper than us, so he think he may get anything he wanted from us because we will not go for costly suit," writes Adamcik. "But legally he not have any ground under his foot to stay on and we will probably fight to the end!"
As it stands, it seems someone has also filed a DMCA notice against the Cosmonaut mode guide, although it remains online. Workers & Resources, meanwhile, is no longer available for sale, and only playable for those who already owned it.