Toge Productions announced a delay for A Space For The Unbound alongside severing ties with publisher PQube, whom they accused of predatory practices.
The gist of the accusations from Toge claim PQube used their status as an Indonesian studio to obtain money from a “diversity fund” from a “well known console platform.” The fund, like most of these grants that never go to their intended recipient, was reportedly obfuscated and hidden from Toge.
PQube denied the accusations (via GamingonLinux) by noting they have “honored all obligations of our publishing agreement” and that they have “supported Toge Productions at every stage of product development throughout their delays and difficulties.”
The publisher noted this included “significant further funding, over and above grant funding, to support development, porting and marketing.”
PQube added that Toge reportedly tried to “unilaterally enforce unreasonable revised terms to our agreement” and while they tried to accommodate this, it has resulted in the original notice below.
Whatever the truth behind the matter with this disagreement, PQube said they “will respond through the appropriate channels.”
Here’s the full original message from Toge:
Dear space divers,
We are sad to announce that we will be delaying the release of A Space For The Unbound until further notice.
Earlier this year we discovered that PQube Games, a UK-based publisher that we signed for the console publishing of A Space For The Unbound for western regions had done certain things which have left us feeling manipulated and exploited, and so we have had to terminate our agreement with them.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020, PQube Games used our position and heritage as developers from Indonesia to obtain a diversity fund from a well known console platform. The diversity fund was a grant fund intended to help underrepresented game developers, especially during the pandemic. However, instead of giving those funds to the developers as the grant was intended, PQube Games intentionally withheld information about the grant and used it as a leverage for their own commercial gain. Rather than paying the grant money to us, PQube Games hid the facts about the grant’s award and added it as a recoupable minimum guarantee and then used it to negotiate the increase of their revenue share. We have only uncovered the true amount of these funds and their intended purposes in March 2022.
We are absolutely heartbroken that a party we worked with would do this and a project we have worked on for 7 years has been taken advantage of in such a way. Since the uncovering of this issue, we clearly cannot trust PQube Games nor continue to work together for the release of A Space for the Unbound as PQube Games has fallen considerably short not only of reasonable decency, but also of their obligations to us due to these predatory practices.
We have to make a stand against exploitative publishers and speak up about this to stop things like this from happening again in the future. Thus, we are also announcing that we have terminated our contract with PQube Games.
As of this moment, PQube Games is still refusing to hand over publishing control on console platforms back to us. It is with a heavy heart that we must hold back the release of A Space For The Unbound so that we can make new arrangements and ensure that it is published as intended and in a way that is consistent with our and our community’s values.
Toge Productions and Mojiken Studio
A Space For The Unbound was set for a 2022 release, only now its release is TBA. Whenever A Space For The Unbound does release, it’ll be available for Windows PC (via Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.