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Stardew-like Roots Of Pacha removed from Steam after the developer and publisher disagree "over the rights"

The Stone Age farming sim had a successful launch late last month

Prehistoric pixel people gather under a large tree to celebrate a wedding in a screenshot for Roots Of Pacha
Image credit: Soda Den

The up-and-coming farmlife indie Roots Of Pacha has been pulled from Steam, following a dispute “over the rights” of the game between developer Soda Den and publisher Crytivo. The game is a prehistoric take on Stardew Valley’s crop-growing, dungeon-exploring, people-romancing formula. Its PAX East demo caught our eye earlier this year, and the full release late last month charmed many fans on Steam for the short time it was available.

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“We are sad to report that we have been engaged in a dispute with Crytivo over the rights to Roots Of Pacha,” developer Soda Den said on Twitter. “We worked hard to amicably resolve our issue with Crytivo internally,” the statement continues, “Instead of working with us to address the issue, Crytivo went to Valve and authorised them to remove Roots of Pacha from Steam without our knowledge or consent.”

Publisher Crytivo replied to the situation a few hours later with their own statement on Twitter, accusing the developer of abruptly cancelling their contract a couple of days after a successful launch. Crytivo were apparently involved with the project - “providing support and guidance” - for the last three years.

Crytivo’s statement reads: “On April 27th, just two days after a successful release, we received an unexpected message from the Soda Den team, informing us they were claiming to unilaterally rescind the contract we had worked under for three years, treating it as void.” That would essentially nullify the revenue-sharing agreement set out before release.

“Shortly after, they removed our access to the Steam page for our team,” Crytivo continues. According to them, there was nothing underhanded about the game’s Steam removal, since Valve’s policy is to remove a game from sale if there’s a dispute between parties. The publisher’s final note says that “we’re not seeking anything but the benefit of the contract we worked hard under.” Soda Den have not yet responded to the publisher’s comments.

Crytivo say they’re working closely with all parties - including Valve - to ensure Roots Of Pacha returns to storefronts. Meanwhile, Soda Den say they’re “cautiously optimistic” about its return while they continue to work on the game and its post-launch roadmap.

Roots Of Pacha is no longer available for purchase anywhere, but its launch trailer (embedded above) shows off how weird (and fun) the Stardew-like can be. The RPS Treehouse has been awaiting the game since the Stone Age, so hopefully the situation doesn’t get any messier.

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