Russian MMO Project Genom has been pulled from Steam after launching on Steam Early Access on October 12 unexpectedly, with only those who’ve currently purchased the game able to access it due to strife within the development team.
PCGamesN dove into the middle of all of it in an attempt to make sense of it, and also worked to prove the validity of the story with multiple screenshots. I’d recommend heading there for the full story.
The story all centers on one man, Artem Stekhnovskii, better known to fans of Genom under his handle CodeSpartan.
Stekhnovskii alleges that he coded the entire MMO single-handedly before burning out and leaving the project in September this year, a month before the MMO released on Steam Early Access. In exchange, he says he was denied the 10% of the project he was promised and when negotiations to resolve the issue broke down he filed a DMCA request which caused the game to be removed from Steam.
Meanwhile, the development team, NeuronHaze, has taken to the forums to give their own opinion on the proceedings: "Friends, we are writing this letter with great regret – Project Genom was removed from the sales on Steam," said the Project Genom community manager, known by his handle of Bacterial. "But we know whom to thank for this! Thank you, Artem Stekhnovskii, better known under the nickname CodeSpartan."
NeuronHaze are accusing Stekhnovskii of blackmail, and it’s gotten quite nasty because it seems while Neuronhaze didn’t have Stekhnovskii sign over his code to them, and the repository was hosted on his domain, so he can prove ownership of the game. This was good enough for Steam, and they pulled the game from sale.
You can find out more on the PCGN website.