[Updated] The Sinking City Developer Frogwares DMCAs Its Own Game On Steam

The developer has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with publisher Nacon over rights to the investigative horror game

Published: March 3, 2021 9:34 AM /


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Update 04/03 8:10AM: Nacon has responded to Frogwares' allegations that it pirated The Sinking City in order to release it on Steam. In a rebuttal posted on its official website, Nacon says Frogwares' accusations are "unjustified" and that it, and not Frogwares, is the "sole exclusive distributor" of The Sinking City on Steam. Nacon says Frogwares is "sabotaging our investments" in the game, and that it regrets Frogwares "depriving the gaming community of the unique experience" provided by the game by demanding its withdrawal. Original story follows below.

Original story: The Sinking City developer Frogwares has issued a DMCA takedown notice against the game on Steam. This continues a long, bitter legal battle between the developer and publisher Nacon regarding the rights to publish the game.

Why has Frogwares issued a DMCA notice for The Sinking City?

Speaking to Vice Games, Valve said that it received a DMCA notice from Frogwares for "the version [of The Sinking City] that Nacon recently shipped". Valve responded to the notice and removed the game from sale on its distribution platform. At the time of writing, The Sinking City is also unavailable on other digital distribution platforms including GOG and the Epic Games Store. It is, however, still available through EA's Origin service. Searching for the game does yield a Steam page, but clicking that page simply takes you to the Steam storefront.

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The Sinking City developer Frogwares is in the midst of a bitter legal dispute with publisher Nacon.

After a lengthy dispute, The Sinking City was reinstated on Steam earlier this year. However, subsequently, developer Frogwares said it hadn't created the page on Steam and wasn't involved in the game's reappearance on the platform. After that, Frogwares alleged that Nacon - the former (and, technically, current) publisher of The Sinking City - had pirated the game from the developer. Frogwares said it did not "recommend the purchase of this version". 

What is Nacon's response to Frogwares' allegations?

For its part, Nacon says it has already paid "more than 10 million euros" to Frogwares for the rights to publish The Sinking City. The company accuses Frogwares of "[playing] the victim" and says it wants the developer to "respect its commitments", in respect to the contract between the two companies and in respect to court judgments. The company hasn't specifically responded to Frogwares' allegations that it pirated The Sinking City, replaced some of the content in the game, and "illegally uploaded" it to Steam.

We'll bring you more on this situation as it develops. Given the acrimony between the two companies, don't expect this one to be resolved - or The Sinking City to reappear on Steam - anytime soon. The game is also available on last-generation consoles provided by Nacon, while Frogwares published a PlayStation 5 exclusive version of The Sinking City without Nacon's involvement.

What do you think about this ongoing Frogwares-Nacon dispute? Let us know in the comments below!

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Learn More About The Sinking City
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Release Date
June 25, 2019 (Calendar)
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