Frogwares have released The Sinking City on Xbox Series X|S, but ongoing legal issues are preventing the next-gen free upgrade.
As stated in the press release, the Xbox Series X version comes with various improvements; including 4K resolution, 60 fps, improved graphical fidelity, improved loading times, and additional quests via the Merciful Madness DLC. Keeping with Frogwares adjusted price approach, the game launches on Xbox Series X|S at $49.99 USD (and $64.99 USD for the Deluxe Edition).
The game was briefly available on Xbox Series X|S, but ongoing legal issues with Nacon caused the game to be pulled. “The Sinking City on previous and current generation of consoles have different IDs and different publishers on record,” Frogwares explained on February 18th.
“On Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, Frogwares is the developer and publisher of the title. So, due to the ongoing legal and technical situation, this game is currently not eligible for a platform upgrade.” The new press release links back to the February statement.
You can find the Xbox Series X|S release trailer below.
The Sinking City is available on Windows PC (via Gamesplanet), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
As previously reported, The Sinking City had been pulled from major retailers in 2020 including Steam, due to a legal dispute with publisher Nacon. In an open letter, Frogwares accused Nacon of withholding royalties, presenting incomplete sales data, and misrepresenting The Sinking City intellectual property as belonging to Nacon among other allegations.
It was due to Nacon’s alleged mishandling of The Sinking City intellectual property, that Frogwares decided to remove the game from sale from some retailers.
They assured consumers that the game would still be available through retailers they directly work with; including Gamesplanet, Nintendo, and Origin. Nacon accused Frogwares of “seeking to discredit [them] in the eyes of the public and professionals alike,” and took legal action against them.
Nacon later released a statement, confirming The Sinking City had returned to the Xbox Store; and would return to Steam and the PlayStation Store later. At that time, the Steam store page for The Sinking City listed its release date as January 5th.
That statement came after the Paris Court of Appeal ruled in October 2020 that Frogwares had “terminated [its] contract in a ‘manifestly unlawful’ manner” when they removed the game from sale. The court stated the terms of the contract must be continued until after it had been decided if Nacon had breached it or not.
The game finally launched on February 26th on Steam, along with an announcement the game would be 60% off until March 5th. However, Frogwares soon tweeted that this was not their game. “Frogwares has not created the version of @thesinkingcity that is today on sale on @Steam. We do not recommend the purchase of this version. More news soon.”
Frogwares later elaborated that Nacon had allegedly “stole, hacked, changed the source code [of the game], and tried to cover up the reporting trail.” They claim Nacon had purchased The Sinking City from Gamesplanet, then modified it using an obtained encryption key to scrub nearly all traces of Gamesplanet. This version was then uploaded to Steam, under their own name.
Nacon claimed they utilized their contract’s clause to have The Sinking City “adapted by a third party,” after Frogwares allegedly refused to put the game on Steam. They further claimed that Frogwares “would like to revise the terms of the contract to their sole advantage,” and that the missing Steam features (cloud saves and achievements, allegedly removed to prevent online piracy checks) are “due to a lack of cooperation with Frogwares.”