Following a drawn-out legal dispute with original publisher Nacon, Ukrainian studio Frogwares has announced that it is now the one true publisher of the Lovecraft-inspired detective adventure The Sinking City, and that a new version of the game “with all the latest bug fixes and optimizations” is coming soon.
“Frogwares is now the sole publisher of The Sinking City on all platforms, including Steam,” the studio announced on Steam. “We’re happy to finally put this whole thing behind us, and we look forward to sharing more news about the future of the franchise down the line.”
The “whole thing,” as Frogwares put it, was a messy legal dispute with Nacon that began after The Sinking City was released in 2019. Frogwares claimed Nacon was consistently late with payments during the development of the game, and at one point allegedly demanded that Frogwares turn over the source code to The Sinking City, which the studio refused to do.
It also said Nacon attempted to retroactively cancel previously-approved milestones after the game was out, meaning the studio would not earn any profits from sales of the game, and that it discovered numerous inconsistencies in how sales figures were being calculated after the suit was filed. Nacon “emphatically” denied the allegations and said it intended to take legal action of its own to “obtain redress.”
Frogwares ultimately requested the removal of The Sinking City from Steam, GOG, and other storefronts in 2020 in order to “halt any further sales going to BBI/Nacon.” In early 2021 Nacon brought The Sinking City back to Steam after a French court ruled that its publishing contract should be continued as a “precautionary measure” until the dispute was fully resolved; Frogwares responded by urging fans not to buy it, and a few days later filed a DMCA takedown notice forcing its removal from Steam yet again.
(Image credit: Frogwares (Twitter))
It’s been a real mess, but with the trouble now apparently resolved Frogwares seems set to start the whole thing over. An updated version of The Sinking City is on the way, and it’s changed enough that it won’t be compatible with saves from the original release, although owners of the original will have the option of carrying on with that version, and their existing saves, if they want.
New DLC called Merciful Madness is also on the way, and while it will also require the new version of the game, Frogwares says it will release premade saves so owners don’t have to replay the whole game just to get to the DLC if they don’t want to.
A release date for the updated version of The Sinking City wasn’t announced, but Frogwares said the old version will remain on sale until February 28 so my guess is that it’ll be sometime after that. If you’re curious, this wouldn’t be a bad time to pick it up: The Sinking City is currently 90% off—that’s $4/£3.49/€4—in the Steam Winter Sale, which wraps up on January 4.