Frogwares games are being removed from digital distribution platforms due to a dispute with publisher Focus Home Interactive, as a policy states that the games cannot be transferred back to a developer that has ‘removed all of their games from the Focus catalog’.
Frogwares is the developer of the Sherlock Holmes series of video games, and released the Lovecraftian adventure game The Sinking City earlier this year. In an official statement, Frogwares explained that its games are being delisted from digital stores due to a dispute with Focus Home Interactive.
Focus Home Interactive was responsible for the release and licensing of a collection of Frogwares games as multi-platform titles. Although the two companies’ Publishing and Distribution Agreement has since ended, Focus Home Interactive will not return the title IDs of the developer’s games to it. This refusal is in keeping with a policy that Focus Home Interactive communicated to Frogwares last week. ‘Focus has put in place a policy in accordance with which they will not transfer any title – the content ID or title ID – belonging to any developer which has removed all of their games from the Focus catalog,’ it read.
Frogwares claims that this policy was not included in its contracts with Focus Home Interactive, but because of it, the developer’s games will be taken down from all storefronts. Frogwares is attempting to create new store profiles and liaising with console stores to return the games back to the platforms. ‘We are unable to confirm if this can be done and already know that it will be impossible for certain games on previous gen, and very costly for others as we will have to update the SDK and that takes months,’ Frogwares’ statement explained. ‘We are certainly not going to give up, and will pursue this issue through the appropriate channels.’
At present, Sherlock Holmes versus Jack The Ripper has been removed from the Xbox 360 store, and The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and Magrunner: Dark Pulse are gone from PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Sherlock Holmes Crimes & Punishments is expected to disappear from Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on September 29 when its availability expires.