The Sinking City is the latest game from developer Frogwares, and has been delisted from multiple store fronts like Xbox, Playstation, and the Epic Games Store on PC due to ongoing legal battles between Frogwares and their contracted publisher, BigBen Interactive / Nacon. In order to bring to light some of the issues the studio has been facing in regards to their newest project, Frogwares has published an open letter to the public.
According to the letter, the reason the Sinking City has been delisted from multiple platforms is due to multiple breaches of agreement from BBI / Nacon, including late or incomplete payments, lack of documentation, removal of proper credits from game art, storage pages, and box art, and the inappropriate usage of Frogwares’ IP. When the game was officially launched on June 27, 2019, BBI / Nacon reportedly informed Frogwares that sales milestones that were previously approved had been canceled, and therefore Frogwares would not receive profits for any sales of the game.
Frogwares apparently began to take legal action in August, 2019, although Frogwares issues did not end there, with BBI / Nacon reportedly buying dozens of domain names for Frogwares IP’s without informing the studio, and even publishing a tabeltop RPG with the Sinking City name for free, and despite the studio now receiving payments, the documentation was incomplete and not able to be verified.
Due to all of these issues and more, Frogwares was forced to delist their game from multiple platforms while they attempt to resolve their legal battle with BBI / Nacon, which is still ongoing. Until then, Frogwares has made the game available directly from them and a few other storefronts without any DRM, so if you wish to support the developer directly by purchasing their game, you can still do so.
Unfortunately, this is sometimes the truth of the games industry, and the relationships between publisher and developer. Frogwares made the decision to go public with this information because they “only have one goal: helping to banish bad practices by speaking freely about them, instead of remaining subject to the code of silence.” Hopefully they’ll be able to resolve these legal issues and reclaim full control of their IP, the Sinking City.