Frogwares, accuses their publisher Nacon of hacking their own games and uploading it to Steam without their permission. This fight between the two companies has been going on for a long time and the controversy flared up again when the studio published a blog post yesterday.
Frogwares accuses its publisher of piracy
This time, annoying and interesting news was shared from the game world, where we have often heard good news lately. The Sinking City plays the developer end against the publisher. In the past weeks, the developer of the game made a statement on his Twitter account that he didn’t develop the Steam version of the game and that users should not buy it.
The claim made in a blog post published on their website yesterday is quite interesting. Frogwares said that Nacon, the former legitimate publisher of the game, altered the game, cracked the files and uploaded it to Steam without their knowledge. In other words, they claimed that the version of the game on Steam was pirated content and not developed by them.
This problem between the two companies has been going on for a long time and the issue has been brought to the court. Even during the judicial process, the game was withdrawn from the stores and its sale was stopped. Later, with a decision taken by the Paris court, the game was resold and the players were able to buy the game. What’s interesting is that Nacon released the game itself, while the two companies were looking for a common path to stream the game on Steam.
Frogwares claims the game has been modified
One of the claims the studio has made for its own game is the change. As proof of the claim, it offers the removal of GamePlanet logos in the game, the promotional film of Sherlock, the studio’s new game, and the watermarks. In fact, allegedly, Nacon even changed the menu options. Nacon made these changes by breaking the Unreal Engine encryption, the studio claims.
Using this encryption method, game content can be archived and it can be possible to navigate between game files. Using this, Nacon modified some of the game files and adjusted them for resale. Then they took it to the store without notifying the real developer of the game. However, the game is still featured on Steam without features and pure.
So, how did the publisher crack the game files?
One of the main concerns of those who are not very familiar with the subject is how Nacon broke the game files. Frogwares detailed this in the blog post with screenshots.
In the article published by the company, the first visible differences between the two games are as follows:
- The Nacon Logo has now replaced the Gamesplanet logo; an official Frogwares licensee.
- The loading screen is different; once again the Gamesplanet logo is removed.
- When on the main menu
- the advertisement for Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is not present on the lower left screen,
- the mention of the distribution platform on the lower right screen is also absent.
- the “more games” menu option is not present.
The company also claimed that they took a look at the data that the Steam version made available for sale on February 26th, and noted that:
- The folder names and structure is identical to any of Frogwares versions (Gamesplanet; EA origins, Etc…
- The executable has a similar name but is of a different size than any of our own versions implying modification of the file.
- The packages are 17Gb, this size corresponds to the versions created around summer 2020 when we switched to a new compressing method to reduce the game size for download purposes. Before this date the only available PC version – on the Epic Game Store – was around 30Gb in size.
There was only one way to do that, the company claims; to decompile or hack the game using a secret key created by Frogwares since the totality of the game’s content is archived with an Epic Unreal Engine encryption system. The company noted that this is a hacking and if money is made, it will also be piracy or counterfeiting.
As can be seen in the image above, the names of GamesPlanet and even the logo can be easily seen in the files of the version on Steam by Nacon. However, the GamesPlanet texts and logos in the game have been completely removed. It can also be seen in these files that Nacon took their own file and named it exactly like the Gamesplanet logo file.
Publisher Nacon explained that we wish we had a nice and respectful relationship with Frogwares, just like with other studios. The issue is currently in court, and it seems like the developer and publisher fight will continue for a long time.