SPINTIRES was a really interesting game. And we say “was” because the game was just pulled from the Steam Store. Not only that, but those owning the game are currently experiencing crashes and various issues due to some “timebombs” that were placed by its creator, Pavel Zagrebelny.
But let’s take things from the beginning. Pavel Zagrebelny, creator of SPINTIRES, signed a publishing deal with Oovee Game Studios. Apparently that deal was not ideal for Pavel who then asked for more money or a better contract (after seeing the success of SPINTIRES). Oovee Game Studios declined that request, and Pavel added “timebombs” in order to make the game unplayable.
Timebombs are code segments that make the game crash or stuff not work with set timers/dates.
Another theory suggests that Oovee Game Studios withheld Pavel’s payment, which resulted in this mess.
Valve decided to pull the plug on SPINTIRES and as a result of that, the game cannot be purchased right now from Steam. Oh, and around 720K PC gamers own now a broken title.
Even though we don’t want to take sides on this story, we find it extremely disappointing that a dev has resorted to making the game unplayable to its owners. Yes, Pavel can do anything he wants to protect his game, however his customers should be respected and should not be held hostages for such things!
Pavel issued the following statement to Gamasutra, claiming that he did not sabotage his game and that a fixed version should be live soon.
“Well, I dont understand who and why started the rumours of sabotaging – apparently they are based on reverse engineering Spintires code?
Anyways, publisher (Oovee) have the source codes so they know (they should) I didn’t sabotage Spintires – there is no such code!
But there is in fact a time-related bug (a self-check uses time functions to see if game wasn’t cracked by pirates) which was not fixed in time (because we have little to no communicating with Oovee.)
The bug was fixed a day ago and should be uploaded to Steam – I dont know what actually prevents Oovee from going with it now.
In regards to Eurogamer article – I didn’t actually know I was being interviewed when I gave my responses to the author of the article (I know Im being interviewed now hehe) – but yes – it’s true, they violated our contract from day 1 basically and still owe me lots of money. What makes it worse is that they dont ever comment on that if I ask if they plan to resolve the issue anyhow. I was compensated but not in full.
But I would never do something that would affect the gamers! In fact I do my best to make sure the game (Spintires) only brings joy to whoever plays it.
So like I said – fixed game version should be LIVE soon – and I will try to pick better partners next time.”
Oovee Game Studios stated that Pavel is helping them resolve the issue, and that he did not sabotage his game.
“We are aware of recent press speculation relating to sabotage of the spintires game by the lead developer Pavel. We wish to express our displeasure at this speculation and totally refute these and other recent allegations. It is a shame that some press are reporting this without talking to us, and even saying in some articles they are yet to talk to us.
The situation on the bug is that we became aware of a major bug last week that caused the game to stop for some users. We have been working on this with Pavel since it came up.
Progress on the next planned update has been suspended while we sort the bug issue.
We believe we have now identified the problem and are now testing at this very moment a hot fix provided by Pavel, who is also ready to help further if needed. We’re fully focused now on making the game work properly again, so please allow us to get this sorted first and we’ll then be able to explain what has caused this and then carry on with future updates we have planned .”