After being pulled from most online retailers earlier this year, The Sinking City is returning to Steam, the Microsoft Store, PlayStation Store, and other digital retailers, but this isn’t quite the happy ending it seems. Despite this return, the legal dispute between The Sinking City developer Frogwares and publisher Bigben Interactive/Nacon is far from resolved.
Earlier this summer, The Sinking City disappeared from online storefronts, with Frogwares alleging that Nacon was holding back financing and royalty payments, refusing to share sales info, and essentially trying to claim the game as their own, despite Frogwares owning the IP. Frogwares’ statement painted Nacon in a pretty unfavorable light, but the publisher has rejected the allegations, claiming Frogwares was simply “seeking to discredit Nacon in the eyes of the public and professionals alike.”
As usual in these sorts of back-and-forth legal battles, it’s hard to know who’s telling the truth, but it seems French courts are siding with Nacon thus far. The Paris Court of Appeal has ruled that Frogwares was in the wrong when they terminated their contract with Nacon, and thus, the publisher has the right to continue selling the game on Steam and other storefronts…
The Court ruled that Frogwares had terminated the contract in a “manifestly unlawful” manner and, as a result, ordered, as a “precautionary measure, the continuation of the contract (…) until its term or until a decision is made on the breach of this contract and ordered Frogwares Ireland to refrain from any action on the breach of this contract…”
The Sinking City is can be bought now on the Microsoft Store, and should available for purchase via Steam and the PlayStation Store soon. The Microsoft page lists Bigben Interactive as publisher, while the game’s Steam page lists Frogwares, so it’s unclear who will be reaping the rewards from these sales. If you want to make sure Frogwares gets paid, the game was never pulled from Origin or the Nintendo Switch, as those versions were distributed by a different partner.
We’ll keep you updated on this story as it develops. In the meantime, Frogwares is working on and self-publishing Sherlock Holmes Chapter One for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5.