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The Sinking City returns to stores as legal dispute over publishing rights continues

The game was removed from a number of platforms in August 2020 due to a dispute between developer Frogwares and publisher Nacon.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 6, 2021

2 Min Read

Lovecraftian horror title The Sinking City has returned to storefronts after being pulled from sale last year. The game was removed from a number of platforms in August 2020 due to a dispute between developer Frogwares and publisher Nacon.

In an open letter, Frogwares alleged that Nacon had breached its publishing agreement by withholding payments and acting as the IP-holder for the title, and as such requested The Sinking City be removed from the Steam, Epic, Xbox One, and PS4 marketplaces until the dispute was resolved. 

Nacon, meanwhile, acknowledged that a dispute over the "interpretation" of the deal was indeed pending before the French courts, but said that Frogwares' open letter reflected a "personal and erroneous interpretation of the content of the agreement and the nature of this dispute."

Although the dispute has yet to be settled, the Paris Court of Appeal has agreed to let the title return to affected storefronts until a final decision is made. It explained that Frogwares' termination of the publishing contract was "manifestly unlawful," and as such ordered a continuation of the contract as a precautionary measure until a decision can be reached on the alleged breach. 

"A dispute between Nacon and Frogwares on the interpretation of the publishing contract for the video game The Sinking City is still pending before the French courts for several months. For the sake of transparency, Nacon wishes to inform its partners and customers that a first enforceable decision was rendered by the Paris Court of Appeal on October 28, 2020," said Nacon in a statement.

"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. 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."

The decision means The Sinking City is now back on sale on Xbox One, and will be heading back to Steam and PS4 in the near future.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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