Publisher pulls game from Steam following a rights "dispute" with its developer

Publisher pulls game from Steam following a rights “dispute” with its developer

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Co-op farming and life simulation game, Roots of Pacha, has been removed from Steam by its publisher following a “dispute”.

Developer Soda Den took to social media over the weekend to claim that the game was removed “without [its] knowledge or consent” following “issues” with publisher Crytivo.

“As you may have noticed, the Roots of Pache Steam page is temporarily offline,” the statement begins. “We are sad to report that we have been engaged in a dispute with Crytivo over the rights to Roots of Pacha. We worked hard to amicably resolve our issue with Crytivo internally. Instead of working with us to address the issue, Crytivo went to Valve and authorised them to remove Roots of Pacha from Steam without our knowledge or consent.

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“While we work out our issues with Crytivo, we’ll continue developing Roots of Pacha with the same energy we’ve always put into it,” the statement continues. “We couldn’t be any more thankful for the overall reception of the game. We’re currently working on a roadmap and are excited to say it’ll be ready for you next month!

“We’re cautiously optimistic that Roots of Pache will return to Steam very soon.”

As you may well expect, publisher Crytivo has a different perspective on the dispute, and shared a statement of its own in the replies to Soda Den’s tweet.

After promising that it was “working diligently” to resolve the situation, the publisher said that it had worked hard on “making Roots of Pacha a success” and closely collaborated with the development team for three years, “providing support and guidance throughout the journey leading up to the game’s launch” last month.

“Just two days after the successful release, we received an unexpected message from the Soda Den team, informing us they were claiming to unilaterally rescind the contract we had worked under for three years, treating it as void,” it explains. “This disregarded all of our work and the agreed-upon revenue-sharing contract terms. Shortly after, they removed our access to the Steam page for our team.

“Per Valve policy, if there is a dispute between parties, they remove the page until the dispute is resolved,” it goes on. “We sincerely appreciate your support and understanding during this challenging time. Rest assured, we are committed to resolving this situation and ensuring that Roots of Pacha returns to Steam.”

After insisting that it will continue to work to reach a “satisfactory resolution”, the statement adds that the Crytivo team “have so much more to share about this incredible journey”, and it “stands proudly behind the services [it has] provided”.

“We’re not seeking anything but the benefit of the contract we worked hard under for three years. This is an extremely challenging time for our team.”

There’s no further word on how both parties aim to settle the dispute, nor when – or even if – the sim will return to sale on Steam.

The dispute follows a similar issue with The Day Before developer Fntastic. The Day Before was originally meant to release in March. In a bizarre series of events, however, it transpired that Fntastic had failed to trademark the game’s name, which had since been contested by the company behind a calendar app. All traces of the game were subsequently removed from Steam and all was quiet until last month, when the team popped up to share news that a beta would be available ahead of its November release.

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