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The Outbound Ghost dev alleges fractured relationship with publisher

Conradical Games and Digerati are going to war over the publishing rights for The Outbound Ghost.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 9, 2022

2 Min Read
Cover art for Conradical Games' The Outbound Ghost.

Developer Conradical Games released a statement on Twitter alleging its recently released game The Outbound Ghost was released without its permission. Following the game's recent release on consoles, studio head Conrad Grindheim wrote that he "never wanted this version of the game to come out," but it happened due to "circumstances out of my control." 

The Outbound Ghost released on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, along with Nintendo Switch, at the start of December. Grindheim's statement at the time was in response to the game's reported issues, particularly the Switch version, but the situation has now further escalated. 

In a newly released Twitter video, Grindheim claimed that his relationship with publisher Digerati has "been dissolved," and it's currently withholding the rights to Outbound Ghost from the developers. He added that Conradical was considering pursuing legal action against the publisher to reclaim the rights and self-publish an updated version of the game. 

"For now, I suggest you don't buy any publicly available version of The Outbound Ghost," he advised. "My priority will always be to do right by the fans of the game. I will keep you up to date as much as I can."

Before Grindheim's video, Digerati released a statement promising that the game would be patched to address its issues, and said it remained "firmly committed to making further improvement to The Outbound Ghost as quickly as we can." 

Earlier today, Digerati owner Sarah Alfieri published a video dismissing Grindheim's claims, saying there was a "cooperative and mutually pleasant working relationship" with him before their relationship eroded. She further argued that the publisher provided him with "substantial funds" to fully develop The Outbound Ghost

"Conrad has unlawfully tampered with the Steam page and has attempted to take down the console versions as well," continued Alfieri. "We are actively trying to make improvements and release patches, and have been met with repeated attempts to sabotage our efforts and sully our name." 

Disputes over a game's publishing rights are nothing new 

Unfortunately, what's happening between Conradical Games and Digerati over The Outbound Ghost's rights has been something a running theme this year for smaller developers.

Back in August, Indonesian developer Mojikin accused publisher PQube Games of holding hostage the console publishing rights to the developer's title A Space for the Unbound. Not long after, developer Corecell levied similar allegations against PQube for its action game AeternoBlade II, and specifically said it only spoke out after Mojikin chose to do so. 

PQube dismissed the claims of both Mojikin and Corecell in separate statements. In October, Mojikin announced it recovered the rights to A Space for the Unbound, which will now be published by Chorus Worldwide. 

Corecell, at time of writing, doesn't appear to have reclaimed its rights for AeternoBlade II.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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