UPDATE, OCTOBER 4: Following the initial surprising removal of Frogwares titles from all digital video game marketplaces, it seems that 9 out of 10 games in question have now been permanently delisted. According to Frogwares CEO Wael Amr, "The outcome is pretty bleak, and we are now fighting an uphill battle."
To commemorate the games that have been made unavailable for sale, Frogwares released a special digital booklet as a free DLC for the one game that's not been affected, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment, which is now available on both GOG and Steam. Frogwares is thankful for the support from the community, and they hope to regain the lost listings in the near future.
ORIGINAL: Frogwares, the developers of The Sinking City, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, and other Sherlock Holmes games, have now issued an official statement on the recent removal of their titles from digital storefronts.
Games in question were originally published by Focus Home Interactive, and the newest affected release is that of Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, which hasn't yet been removed from Steam, but will be this Sunday, on 29th of September.
According to Frogwares' official statement, the issue lies in the transfer of licenses from the publisher to the developer: "Focus Home Interactive, the licensee (or “publisher”) that was in charge of commercializing these games on these platforms, refuses to transfer the title IDs to us, the creators and IP owners of those titles, even though our Publishing and Distribution Agreement has expired."
Frogwares claims that Focus Home Interactive 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," which resulted in the removal of a selection of Frogwares games from all digital storefronts. Since Frogwares self-published the majority of their games on Steam, this leavels Crimes and Punishments as the sole affected release on PC. As it stands, it will be delisted on the 29th.
"We are in the process of setting up new store profiles, and we are contacting console stores and hope to try and rectify the situation," said Frogwares. "Right now, we are in a tough situation. 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."
We've reached out to Focus Home Interactive for comment.