Roots of Pacha, the new adorable prehistoric farming sim, has experienced some drama following an abrupt pulling from the Steam online storefront following a dispute between its developer Soda Den and publisher Crytivo. Both parties have advised on social media that the title has been delisted while developer and publisher attempt to resolve issues regarding ownership of the rights to the game.
— Crytivo (@Crytivo) May 13, 2023
“We are sad to report that we have been engaged in a dispute with Crytivo over the rights to Roots of Pacha“, Soda Den has written on Twitter. “We worked hard to amicably resolve our issue with Crytivo internally. Instead of working with us to address the issue, Crytivo went to Valve and authorised them to remove Roots of Pacha from Steam without our knowledge or consent.” The developers intend to continue work on the game, with a plan for announcement of a roadmap next month, seemingly with or without Crytivo’s assistance.
The plot thickens, however, following a response from the publisher. Crytivo has alleged that it was in fact Soda Den who committed a contractual violation in unilaterally seizing the rights to the game. “On April 27, just two days after the successful release, we received an unexpected message from the Soda Den team, informing us they were claiming to unilaterally rescind the contract we had worked under for three years, treating it as void. This disregarded all of our work and the agreed-upon revenue-sharing contract terms. Shortly after, they removed our access to the Steam page for our team.”
The relationship between game developer and publisher can often be a fractious one, with both parties warring over rights if a clearly-worded and agreed-upon contract is not already in place. Similarly to the memorable case of The Sinking City, this dispute has caused Roots of Pacha to be removed from distribution, with no clear timeframe as of yet for when it will become available once more. As to which party is in the right and how this dispute will ultimately turn out, only time will tell.