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Update: Steam Delists The Sinking City After Developer Alleges Publisher Pirated the Game

Update: Steam has now delisted The Sinking City after developer Frogwares alleged yesterday that the game’s publisher, Nacon, bought a copy of The Sinking City, altered it to include Nacon logos, and reuploaded the game to Steam to sell to customers without Frogwares’ permission.

Original story:

In a post to Steam, The Sinking City publisher Nacon has said that the version of The Sinking City currently on Steam under its name is “an official and complete version,” and that the only issue with the release is a lack of Steam-specific features such as cloud saving and achievements — a problem it attributes to a “lack of cooperation” with developer Frogwares.

This comes in response to various player complaints that the Steam version was lacking the aforementioned features, coupled with Frogwares recently urging players not to buy the game on Steam.

Frogwares has since elaborated on its stance, attesting that while a legal battle over whether Nacon has the rights to publish The Sinking City was underway in French courts, Nacon purchased a copy of the game from Gamesplanet, altered certain elements such as splash screens and logos to make it appear as though the game was licensed to Nacon, and then re-uploaded it to Steam as an official version.

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The Sinking City was first removed from multiple storefronts back in August 2020, with Frogwares saying at the time that the publisher had breached its contract with the developer, stopped providing owed payments, and tried to mask the involvement of Frogwares in the versions of the games it was licensed to distribute. The dispute, which also involves a number of other similarly-published Frogwares titles such as the Sherlock Holmes games, has gone before French courts. A decision is still pending.

First launched in 2019, we reviewed The Sinking City at launch and found the game compelling in its storytelling, though clunky in certain mechanics such as open-world travel and combat.

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Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed Nacon’s response, but it was in fact a prior response to an earlier accusation. We have updated the story to reflect this and regret the error.