Lovecraftian detective game The Sinking City has been on and off Steam multiple times lately due to an ongoing dispute between developers Frogwares and publisher Nacon. Earlier this week, Frogwares accused Nacon of pirating the game in order to release it on Steam and issued a DMCA notice to Valve to get it removed from the storefront. Nacon have now responded, saying that they have acted within the rights of their contract to make a version of the game available for sale on the store.
Previously, the dispute between Frogwares and Nacon involved Frogwares' claim that Nacon breached their contract by missing payments owed to the developers. Frogwares removed the game from Steam, which French courts found unlawfully terminated their contract, and they were told to uphold it until the dispute could be settled.
The game returned to Steam last week, but Frogwares believe that version wasn't made by them. On Monday, they published the video below explaining that they believe Nacon had pirated a copy of The Sinking City in order to sell it on Steam.
In a new statement today, Nacon have addressed the accusations that their release of the game was based on a pirated copy. "Nacon is contractually the sole exclusive distributor of The Sinking City game on Steam," they say.
"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."
Nacon also claim that they have paid all amounts due to Frogwares. "By encouraging the gaming community via Twitter not to buy the game on Steam, Frogwares is once again sabotaging our investments in the game," they say.
At present, The Sinking City is unavailable on Steam.