The Sinking City Developer Watching Their Titles Sink
Frogwares is a small indie studio known for their Sherlock Holmes games and most recently The Sinking City. Their publisher, Focus Home Interactive, has a reputation as a friend to indie studios, but that might all change after today. In a tweet, Frogwares has accused Focus of removing their games from Sony and Microsoft’s storefronts, and possibly Steam.
The agreement between Frogwares and Focus has ended, but according to the devs, Focus won’t transfer the title IDs. In an official statement to Frogwares from Focus, Focus claimed a new policy as the reasoning. “Focus has put in place a policy in accordance with which they will not transfer any title –the content ID or title ID– belonging to any developer which has removed all of their games from the Focus catalog.”
The new policy hasn’t appeared in any previous or existing contracts between the devs and Focus. As a result of this new policy, only one Sherlock Holmes title remains purchasable and, according to the tweet, it will also be taken down September 29th. If this continues, players will have no way to buy or play the games from the studio. To be clear, this only applies to the Sherlock Holmes series, The Sinking City is still available.
Frogwares is attempting to set up new store profiles and is in contact with the console stores, but there are no updates on that front. The studio is concerned that this might take months, and some games will be lost between console gens. If this policy is true, it will be a devastating blow to the studio. In the tweet, Frogwares says “we are preparing ourselves for a significant loss.”
Focus Home Interactive has not posted any official response.
How do you think this will play out? Let us know in the comments.