Frogwares has recently posted a blog update in regards to the so-called “hacking and pirating” of The Sinking City game. Frogwares says that the version of the game that is now on Steam is a hack of a build made for Gamesplanet and has been uploaded by Nacon illegally. This adds to the ongoing legal battle between Nacon and Frogwares.
Back in 2020, a contract dispute between The Sinking City developer Frogwares and its publisher Nacon led to the game’s removal on most gaming storefronts. That was until they re-released the game on PS5 last week. According to the French court, Frogwares terminated the contract unlawfully but ruled that the game should return to digital marketplaces while a ruling was decided.
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The game returned as an enhanced version for PS5 but at the same time, a Steam version of The Sinking City popped up online. Frogwares immediately urged users to no purchase this PC version of the game saying that Nacon “cracked and pirated” it in order to release it on Steam. Now, in a blog post, the developer has broken down how they discovered the Steam version was an illegal copy of the game.
Frogwares says that the Steam version of The Sinking City which is has been uploaded is a very specific version the studio once prepared to release on GamesPlanet. Nacon has cracked it and slightly modified the game by removing logos and other content. In addition, Frogwares says that Nacon decompiled the game version using a key to get around the Unreal Engine’s anti-tamper measures.
The developer claims that this work has not been done by a simple hacker. Instead, this was done by someone who knows the Unreal Engine quite well. Nacon had decompiled the game, modified the config files, made a few changes to the game code and recompiled it to publish the game on Steam. They discovered this by downloading a Steam version released by Nacon and by using an existing encryption key on the archive, the game worked.
The studio says:
“The hackers didn’t even care to use a different encryption key than the one we created when recompiling. We therefore opened the packages and we identified immediately in the config files the version that was stolen and hacked: it is a commercial version coming from the site Gamesplanet that was purchased by Nacon like any other player.”
Frogwares goes into quite a lot of detail regarding the hacking and pirating of the game. It is quite a comprehensive breakdown of all the asset violations and even how they uploaded the exploited system to get the game onto Steam.
“Nacon has proved they are willing to do anything possible to serve their interest, including illegal actions. They ignored the decision of the Justice and bypassed them, pirating The Sinking City in order to deceive their partners, Steam in the first place. There are long term damages we need to take care of, Nacon unpacked our data, stole our source code and used it. Nacon can create a new version of The Sinking City using our assets; they can resell, reuse, recycle our content and our tools etc. We have to take the measure of what happened now and follow the best path on the legal side to prevent anything like this happening again.”
Source: Frogwares Blog