Nacon Responds to Piracy Allegations on The Sinking City – Further Legal Action Ahead?
The tumultuous relationship between Publishers Nacon and Frogwares Interactive over The Sinking City is only escalating. August, last year, the rift opened when Frogwares Interactive filed a lawsuit against Nacon in August 2019, eventually having the game pulled from storefronts in August 2020.
What followed was a ruling from The Paris Court of Appeal stating that Frogwares, the Ukrainian developer (with offices in Ireland), had acted in a "manifestly unlawful" way in their actions against the French publisher, Nacon. This saw the game return to Steam and other stores. However, no information was given to the validity of Frogwares allegations that Nacon has not honoured their financial obligations as per the contract.
Finally, we end on the allegations of piracy from earlier this week. Frogwares alleged that Nacon pirated the version on Steam following the courts' refusal to enforce demands that Frogwares deliver a new master copy of the game for distribution on Steam.
Nacon has responded to these new claims, stating that they are contractually the sole exclusive distributor of The Sinking City game on Steam. Interestingly, Nacon openly indicated that they used a third party to create the Sinking City version released on Steam, though it technically wouldn't be piracy.
In line with the courts’ decision, NACON has repeatedly and unsuccessfully requested that FROGWARES make the game available on STEAM, failing which it would apply a clause in the contract wherein such a case, the game would be adapted by a third party. FROGWARES then attempted, without the knowledge of NACON and in violation of our rights, to make the game available on STEAM without mentioning NACON in its capacity as the publisher. This is, therefore clear proof that no technical impossibility prevents the game from being put back on STEAM.
Despite this blocking situation created exclusively by FROGWARES, NACON has allowed players to access the game on STEAM while still expressly indicating the ownership of FROGWARES’ rights to the game. FROGWARES will also receive the royalties generated by STEAM sales.
Nacon also indicates that they have paid all royalties owed to Frogwares. The publisher states that they have paid €8.9m to Frogwares in development costs and royalties. Nacon also states that they reserve the right to take legal action against Frogwares while strangely stating that all court decisions have gone in their favour, contradicting claims that the courts have refused to enforce Nacons demands upon Frogwares.
No doubt that these legal battles will continue until the courts render a final decision. As it stands, The Sinking City cannot be purchased on Steam.