May 16, 2022

Frogwares Lovecraftian detective title The Sinking City has been removed from a number of online stores following multiple alleged contract breaches by distributor Big Ben Interactive. 

The news was revealed by a multi-page open document by developer Frogwares. They cited that the reason behind the game’s removal from stores comes from Bigben Interactive’s unwillingness to adhere to their contractual agreements.

Frogwares goes on to claim that the distributor purchased another competing studio. This studio was working on a different title based on a Lovecraft story. Frogwares were then told to hand over all of their source code despite their agreement that gave Bigben Interactive no ownership over the game.

Bigben Interactive allegedly invented damages that would result in less money for the developer, even going as far as to claim that console manufacturers had forgotten to pay royalties for five months for The Sinking City. 

Frogwares go on to state that copyright notices on box covers were legally incorrect. They were giving the consumer the impression that that Frogwares was not the owner of the IP. In some instances the Frogwares logo was not seen at all on some of the box covers of PS4 and Xbox One games.

Contract Termination

After a lengthy legal battle spanning many months Frogwares terminated the contract with Bigben Interactive, on 20th April 2020

In a strange twist of events Bigben Interactive decreed that the contract termination was unlawful under emergency laws that were presiding in France due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This matter was taken to court and on the 17th July 2020 a judge ruled in Frogwares favour and the contract was terminated.

Despite all of this Frogwares believe that the perception remains that The Sinking City is still owned by BigBen Interactive. Frogwares felt that they were left with no option other than to remove the game from all platforms.

Frogwares end their open letter with the gamers in mind:

To all the players that wish to buy The Sinking City – we are more than willing to have the game be present everywhere and we will inform you as we reappear on more platforms on our social channels. For now, you can now buy a DRM free PC version of the game from our website here, or through the partners that we ourselves dealt with such as Origin here or Gamesplanet here, or on Nintendo Switch here.

Source Frogwares


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