While the idea of a developer deliberately breaking a game as an act of vengeance is a sexy one, it looks as if the truth behind yesterday's Spintires fiasco is entirely less dramatic.
It was claimed yesterday that Spintires creator Pavel Zagrebennyj had inserted a ‘timebomb' bug into existing copies of the game over a pay dispute with publisher Oovee, casuing it to crash for existing owners.
However, both Zagrebennyj and Oovee have strongly denied these claims.
We believe we have now identified the problem and are now testing at this very moment a hot fix provided by Pavel, who is also ready to help further if needed,” Oovee said in a forum post."We're fully focused now on making the game work properly again, so please allow us to get this sorted first and we'll then be able to explain what has caused this and then carry on with future updates we have planned.”
Zagrebelnyy himself told Gamasutra that a fix should already be in place, although he did take a moment to have another swipe at his former partner:
There is in fact a time-related bug (a self-check uses time functions to see if game wasn't cracked by pirates) which was not fixed in time (because we have little to no communicating with Oovee),” he insisted. The bug was fixed a day ago and should be uploaded to Steam - I don't know what actually prevents Oovee from going with it now.
It's true, they violated our contract from day one basically and still owe me lots of money. What makes it worse is that they don't ever comment on that if I ask if they plan to resolve the issue anyhow. I was compensated but not in full. But I would never do something that would affect the gamers! In fact I do my best to make sure the game only brings joy to whoever plays it.”
Oovee has also addressed the sabotage claims directly.
We are aware of recent press speculation relating to sabotage of the Spintires game by the lead developer Pavel,” it stated. We wish to express our displeasure at this speculation and totally refute these and other recent allegations. It is a shame that some press are reporting this without talking to us, and even saying in some articles they are yet to talk to us."