Paper Mario-style indie RPG The Outbound Ghost was deleted from Steam by Valve, after lead developer Conrad Grindheim issued a statement claiming that its relationship with publisher Digerati had “dissolved”. Grindheim posted a video on YouTube and Twitter which claimed that the publisher’s recent business practices towards the game were not “morally correct”. Digerati later shared their video response to Facebook Twitterwith owner Sarah Alfieri saying Degherati was “shocked” by Grindheim’s statement.
“The past few weeks have been incredibly stressful due to many factors, but mainly because my relationship with the game publisher has been resolved,” Grindheim said in his video. “They refuse to take back control of the relevant pages and take advantage of the situation.” On the flip side of that, Digerati claims that Grindheim “illegally tampered” with the Steam Outbound Ghost page and attempted to interfere with the game’s console versions pages. Grindheim says he’s trying to get the copyright back to The Outbound Ghost back, promising an “extra bonus” to Kickstarter backers if he does.
Grindheim said that Conradical Games is “currently considering appropriate legal action, and will do whatever is necessary to resolve this situation and protect the game.” The developer has also recommended that people not buy the game at this time, describing the available versions as “not up to the standards” of what it believes players can expect from Conradical Games. Grindheim suggested that anyone unhappy with their copy of The Outbound Ghost should seek a refund, but he made it clear that he was unable to grant it.
Alfieri said that Digerati was trying to improve the game with patches, but claimed that Conradical Games made “repeated attempts to sabotage” that, disparaging the company. Digerati’s statement also noted that although Grindheim had begun work on The Outbound Ghost with Kickstarter support, publisher Conradical Games had given “significant funds to fully develop the game”. All of this money was paid to Grindheim prior to the game’s console launch, Alfieri said, with Grindheim giving Digerati “full rights” to distribute the game in return.
You can see the full data from Grindheim and Alfieri below:
This has been happening lately with The Outbound Ghost.
Please retweet so everyone involved can see this message. pic.twitter.com/fAna9J2U0f
Outbound Ghost December 8, 2022
A statement regarding the current situation includes our recently published title, “The Outbound Ghost”. pic.twitter.com/niYsH0dJHO
– Digerati (DigeratiDM) December 9, 2022
This seems like a messy situation that could get messier. Currently, The Outbound Ghost can no longer be purchased through Valve’s storefront, but the game remains available for purchase on GOG and the Epic Games Store.
Update (December 12th, 4.54pm GMT): The original title for this story said The Outbound Ghost was removed by the publisher. Digerati has since clarified that it was Valve who removed the game without any request from Digerati.
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