It was over a year ago now that developer Frogwares brought up a detective story based loosely on the works of H.P. Lovecraft with The Sinking City. The game combined elements of the studio’s previous Sherlock Holmes titles with the cosmic dread of the author’s style. The game was quite the success for the company, but it seems unfortunately, it’s become caught in something of a dispute.
If you aren’t familiar, the game was often listed as having Big Ben Interactive (now renamed to Nacon) as the publisher, but they were actually something closer to a licensee for the game and played the role more of a distributor than a traditional publisher. The game has now disappeared from a lot of major storefronts due to what Frogwares is alleging is a breaching of contract. They released a 4-page letter on the removal, which you can see from their official Twitter below.
There’s a lot here, but the biggest allegations come to Nacon seemingly causing confusion about them having ownership of the IP as opposed to Frogwares . There’s a few very odd stories, such as Nacon demanding the source code for The Sinking City for another unrelated project. It’s all well worth reading, but the most important part is here, and thankfully there are still ways to obtain the game:
“However, while there’s no need for BBI/Nacon to formally acknowledge the termination, the former licensee has created a perception that it is they who still own The Sinking City, and so various partners and platforms are sometimes confused, overly cautious or preemptively delist the game themselves while dealing with our requests to return full control of the game to Frogwares.
“Given these breaches, ongoing hurdles and an unwillingness to cooperate, Frogwares last resort was to request the removal of The Sinking City from any remaining stores to at least halt any further sales going to BBI/Nacon.
“Faced with this situation, we have decided to explain to you why you cannot find The Sinking City on certain platforms today.
“To all the players that wish to buy The Sinking City – we are more than willing to have the game be present everywhere and we will inform you as we reappear on more platforms on our social channels.”
It’s a strange situation, and hopefully one that can be resolved so the game can be returned to major storefronts soon. In the meantime, you can still purchase The Sinking City from the links above, and it seems in some regions the game has not been delisted as of writing this.
An important message from our studio:— Frogwares (@Frogwares) August 25, 2020
The Sinking City has been taken off Steam and from other platforms. The reason for the take-down is due to the actions of our Distributor BBI/Nacon. Here is our full statement.
For clickable links visit: https://t.co/t7UDTVGA2z pic.twitter.com/rIUFGHkSkd