Lovecraftian RPG The Sinking City is available to buy again, after an ongoing legal dispute between developers Frogwares and publishers Nacon saw it removed from digital storefronts back in August. According to a statement from Nacon, the dispute is still pending in French courts. But, for now at least, The Sinking City is back for sale on Xbox One, and will be available on Steam and PS4 again soon.
Back in August, Frogwares claimed in an open letter that Nacon (formerly Bigben Interactive) tried to claim copyright of the game after its release, allegedly withheld payments during development, and owed Frogwares around 1 million euros in unpaid royalties (about £900,000).
The devs said they terminated their contract with Nacon in July 2020. The Sinking City then started disappearing from digital stores due to, what Frogwares believes, was confusion over the game's ownership. The developers then removed it from other storefronts to try and stop further sales going to Nacon.
At the time, Nacon rejected Frogwares' claims. In a new statement released by the publisher yesterday, they say the dispute is still pending in the French courts, and in October, the Paris Court Of Appeal ruled that Frogwares unlawfully terminated their contract with Nacon. Now, the developers have to stick to the contract until the legal troubles are settled.
"Confirmed in its expectations by this decision and regardless of the time needed to resolve this dispute definitively, Nacon is continuing its action in defense of its rights and has proceeded with the execution of this court decision by asking platforms and sites to put The Sinking City game back online so that no one is held hostage to this situation," Nacon said. "It is however specified that insofar as some of the game's online stakes depend on the goodwill of Frogwares to perform, their absence cannot be attributed to Nacon."
At the time of writing, The Sinking City is available to buy on Xbox One. It has a Steam page up too, with all the DLC bits and pieces listed, though isn't on sale there just yet. It'll hit PS4 at "a later date" as well.
In her The Sinking City review, Alice Bee though it was an alright detective game, held up by its Lovecraftian themes: "Without the weird Lovecraftian bits, this is a slightly janky, slightly grindy detective game that does some interesting things in a very atmospheric depiction of a profoundly depressed town."