Pavel Zagrebelnyj appears to have embedded crashing time bombs into driving game after falling out with Oovee

Spintires creator sets game to ‘self-destruct’ after clash with publisher

The creator of vehicular sim Spintires has been accused of sabotaging his own game after an argument with its publisher.

As spotted by RPS, Pavel Zagrebelnyj has been in the midst of a battle with Oovee since last year, with the developer bluntly summarising the situation to Eurogamer this February.

“They owe me a shitload of money according to our contract,” he said. “But I don’t have any leverage because my judicial skills are zero. I haven’t had a meaningful communication with Oovee for many months (maybe a year).”

Meanwhile, Oovee insists that Zagrebelnyj “has been paid as in his contract”.

Now, players have started reporting instances of Spintires crashing in specific situations, accusing Zagrebelnyj on Reddit and the game’s forums of placing ‘time bombs’ designed to deliberately damage the title. One user reported that he had neutralised more than 53 payloads set to corrupt the game’s files.

While fans have issued their own fixes to the problem, including a date-alteration programme to fool the base spintires.exe file into bypassing the periodic crashes, neither the developer nor publisher have issued any further detail on the problems’ cause or offered a resolution.

Spintires currently boasts around 750,000 owners on Steam, and Zagrebelnyj has himself pledged to continue working on the game for “at least one or two years”. Whether that vow holds true now is uncertain.

Oovee’s Tony Fellas said of the dev in December: “Pavel is often upset, I’m afraid that geniuses are often like that.”

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