Update 2: The original publisher of The Sinking City, Nacon, has put out a formal statement in response to the game's removal from Steam.
In the statement, Nacon alleges that it's "repeatedly and unsuccessfully requested" that developer Frogwares make the game available on Steam - and that if it refused to do so, a clause in their contract would allow The Sinking City to be adapted for Steam by a third party. Nacon also alleges that Frogwares is deliberately sabotaging the company's investments in The Sinking City by encouraging customers not to buy the game on Steam.
"Nacon obviously regrets this conflict, for which it is not responsible, and for which it did everything possible to avoid. Nacon regrets all the more that Frogwares has demanded the withdrawal of the game from Steam, thus depriving the gaming community of the unique experience provided by The Sinking City."
Update: The Sinking City has now been delisted from Steam following a DMCA takedown request from developer Frogwares, which alleges that Nacon, the game's publisher, illegally uploaded an altered version of the game.
In a very detailed blog post titled 'How Nacon Cracked and Pirated The Sinking City,' Frogwares outlines its reasons for having its own game removed from Steam. According to the developer, Nacon's plan was to "steal and pirate" The Sinking City for its own financial interest, leaving "giant digital footprints" in its wake.
In its own statement (via Vice) published after the below report, but before this latest development, Nacon accused Frogwares of attempting to "revise the terms of the contract to their sole advantage."
"It's easy to play the victim, but all we seek is that Frogwares respect its commitments both in the contract and as demanded by the courts," the statement reads in-part.
It's all a very messy situation, and we sincerely hope it gets resolved to the benefit of both parties and of course, the players. Several Steam reviews from The Sinking City players complain of a Steam version with several missing features. "There's no DLC, no cloud saves, no achievements,... This is NOT the same version that got released by Frogwares early January," said one Steam reviewer.
Lovecraftian RPG game The Sinking City is once again available to purchase on Steam, but developer Frogwares is asking players not to buy it.
In a brief statement on the studio's social media channels, Frogwares said that while the storefront lists it as the game's developer, "Frogwares has not created the version of The Sinking City that is today on sale on Steam".
"We do not recommend the purchase of this version. More news soon," the statement concludes.
Frogwares has not created the version of @thesinkingcity that is today on sale on @Steam. We do not recommend the purchase of this version. More news soon.February 26, 2021
The statement comes after the game was pulled from Steam after a legal scuffle between developer Frogwares and publisher Nacon and BigBen.
Pressed further to also comment on "the version being sold at Fanatical" whilst being asked outright if "they're bad, too?", Frogwares replied on Twitter with a simple: "Yes".
The game – which returned to Steam just yesterday – has amassed a number of negative reviews, with some claiming it is "an old version of the game".
"There's no DLC, no cloud saves, no achievements,... This is NOT the same version that got released by Frogwares early January," opined one Steam reviewer.
ICYMI, The Sinking City PS5 version is now available. It includes a boost to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, with overall improved visual fidelity and significantly reduced loading times - up to six times shorter in some cases. The Sinking City PS5 version also bundles in support for DualSense features, too.
"Unfortunately, there’s a gigantic gulf in quality between the gameplay and the world of The Sinking City," we said in the GamesRadar+ The Sinking City review. "I loved soaking in its characters and atmospheric environments - it gave me the same surreal feeling as getting lost in one of Lovecraft’s short stories.
"Yet actually playing the game is a completely different affair. Thanks to a number of counterintuitive systems that often undermine each other, I felt like I was drowning in ambience without any good means to engage with it."
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