Frogwares, the developers of the Sherlock Holmes games and The Sinking City, has issued an official statement regarding the status of some of their games that were published by Focus Home Interactive. Currently, many of these games are being delisted from Steam, Sony and Microsoft’s official stores and without the approval of Frogwares, the IP owner of these titles.
According to Frogwares, Focus Home Interactive, the licensee (or “publisher”) that was in charge of commercializing some of its games on these platforms, refuses to transfer the title IDs to them, the creators and IP owners of those titles, even though their Publishing and Distribution Agreement has expired.
Focus Home Interactive states that it 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.
Below you can find the rest of Frogwares’ official statement:
“As it stands right now, the only game left is Sherlock Holmes Crimes & Punishment which only has until September 29th. It is possible that it will be taken down at this date or earlier if nothing is done. The players will no longer be able to buy and play the game. We will also lose all our wishlists and every other bit of information on those store pages. As the creators and IP owners of all those games, we have no control and no say in this. The decision of Focus Home left us voiceless.
We are in the process of setting up new store profiles, and we are contacting console stores and hope to try and rectify the situation. However, we are unable to confirm if this can be done and already know that it will be impossible for certain games on previous gen, and very costly for others as we will have to update the SDK and that takes months. We are certainly not going to give up, and will pursue this issue through the appropriate channels.
We have always been an independent studio. We worked with many licensees on the grounds of mutual interests and benefits, but it’s the first time in 20 years we have encountered such a situation. We are losing all revenue attached to these games, for some – for an unknown period of time and for other games, forever. This new policy from Focus Home towards former contracted developers will land a serious blow to our studio, threatening our future games and the people who develop them.
Right now, we are in a tough situation. We are preparing ourselves for a significant loss. To those parties that can help us and have influence over the situation – feel free to contact us.”