Sherlock Holmes Developer Dropped Publisher For The Sinking City

Frogwares, the Ukrainian game development studio known for their investigative Sherlock Holmes games, recently reclaimed the publishing rights to their 2019 game, The Sinking City, after a significant legal tussle with former publishing partner NACON. The game, which delves into a Lovecraft-inspired horror world, had been at the center of a contentious dispute leading to its removal from digital stores in 2020. The developer made the announcement through social media, indicating that an agreement had been struck with NACON, thus putting an end to the legal conflict that had escalated considerably. The exact details of the agreement haven't been disclosed, but it was evidently a major issue that prompted the game's withdrawal in the first place. Frogwares shared their relief at the resolution of the dispute and their enthusiasm about leaving the issue in the past. The studio also teased possible upcoming developments for the franchise, suggesting that fans may soon hear updates regarding additional content or expansions for The Sinking City. At the heart of the dispute were allegations by Frogwares that NACON had violated their contractual obligations by not paying royalties in a timely manner, stalling payments, and improperly attempting to assume control of the game's intellectual property — serious allegations that could severely damage a business relationship. NACON, for their part, refuted these allegations strenuously, resulting in a drawn-out courtroom struggle. The culmination of the settlement has enabled Frogwares to once again distribute The Sinking City on various gaming platforms. Gamers can anticipate an updated version of the game, complete with improvements, bug fixes, and potentially new content, to be made available on platforms such as Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, and Gamesplanet in the upcoming weeks. A critical note for current players is that their progress, saved in existing game files, won't be transferable to the new version of the game. Those using Steam have the option to continue with the older version until February 28, 2024, or can choose to start anew with fresh save files provided by Frogwares. Similarly, players on the Epic Games Store will have fresh save files made available to them. The successful reacquisition of The Sinking City's publishing rights marks an important win for Frogwares, giving them the reins to steer the future trajectory of the game. Despite the resolution, the fallout from the conflict with NACON suggests that the possibility of any future collaborations between the two has been conclusively ruled out. Taking over as their own publisher is no small feat, requiring a mix of financial resources and industry connections. As Frogwares embarks on this new journey, the gaming community awaits to see how they will fare in their new role.

  • author
  • Ava Martinez 04 Jan 2024