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Frogwares goes public over rights dispute with publisher Focus Home Interactive

Sherlock Holmes developer Frogwares has hit back at Focus Home Interactive for refusing to hand over the rights to its games following the scheduled termination of its distribution deal with Focus.

In a statement shared across the developer’s social media channels, Ukrainian studio Frogwares reports Focus conveyed via a statement to the developer only last week that it “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”. 

Consequently, the developer says the addendum – “a policy that is not in any of our previous or existing contracts with Focus and that has never been applied to us in the past” – has seen Frogwares’ games pulled from sale from a number of storefronts. 

Whilst Frogwares is working to create “new store profiles” and is “contacting console stores and hope to try and rectify the situation”, it “will be impossible for certain games on previous-gen” to be restored, and “very costly for others as [it] will have to update the SDK and that takes months”.

“Right now, we are in a tough situation,” the company said. “We are preparing ourselves for a significant loss. To those parties that can help us and have influence over the situation – feel free to contact us.”

“As it stands right now, the only game left is Sherlock Holmes Crimes & Punishments which only has until September 29th,” Frogwares said. “It is possible that it will be taken down at this date or earlier if nothing is done. The players will no longer be able to buy and play the game. We will also lose all our Wishlists on those store pages. As the creators and IP owners of all those games, we have no control and no say in this. The decision of Focus Home left us voiceless.”

As yet, Focus Home Interactive has not responded to requests for comment.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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