Having a good and helpful partner in marketing surely is a dream for every developer. Especially for a developer who doesn’t have any expertise in marketing, partnering with a publisher is the right choice to help them publish their game.
We’ve heard many developers gained success after finding the right publisher for them. Sometimes, the partnership becomes a long term partnership, even the publisher become their co-developer or invest to them.
But, what happens in this Malaysian developer, Ammobox Studios is the opposite. They are now facing a serious problem with their publisher, TheGameWall Studios after releasing their debut on Steam, Eximius: Seize the Frontline. Ammobox Studios will submit a legal battle after the rogue publisher took all of the revenue and suddenly disappeared.
And now, Ammobox is seeking help from the public to help them fund the legal battle’s fee in the UK.
What has happened?
Back in September 2018, Ammobox partnered with a UK-based publisher, TheGameWall Studios to release Eximius: Seize the Frontline in Steam after 8 years in the development. Short story, Ammobox didn’t receive any revenue from the Early Access launch from the publisher. They tried to contact the publisher, but the publisher suddenly disappeared. TheGameWall Studios took all the money and cut all forms of communication to public, press, even with the developer itself.
After they know that their publisher going rogue, Ammobox Studios then launched a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) to take down their game from Steam. This is because the game is still under the publisher name, so Ammobox didn’t have any rights to control the financial flow (even the revenue) from the game.
Thankfully, Steam helped Ammobox to regain the access after some legal notice and demands that they’re initiated. Although they’re still in process to fight the rogue publisher, Ammobox didn’t want their game got a premature death. They still support the Early Access version with some patch and updates.
According to the post in GoFundMe, Ammobox Studios said that they have lost the Launch Sale, Halloween Sale, Autumn Sale, a big portion of Winter Sale and 6 months worth of operating funds because of the rogue publisher. “All funds from other digital stores have also been cleaned out by the time the DMCA hit,” said Ammobox in the post.
At the moment we cover this story, all of the publisher’s social media and website has been taken down. But if you try to search their game in Steam, there is one title, Spy Bugs that is still under their name.
What can we do to help them?
“With all our money missing and no revenue, we could not afford to further our legal cause to fight it in the UK,” they continued in the post. “Although the case was a straightforward one, the entry point legal expenses itself is more than a year worth’s salary for one person in our country,” they ended.
To submit a legal battle in the UK, Ammobox said they need at least around 7,000.00 GBP to 15,000.00 GBP (around USD9,200 to USD20,000). But in their GoFundMe campaign, they add USD5,000 buffer for a contingencies cost that could arise in the process. If they can reach more than USD25,000, they will use the fund to cover the delayed salaries and the debt of the team.
You can help them to afford the legal battle fee by visiting their GoFundMe campaign and donate through that page. Ammobox said that their main priority now is to procure a judgment against TheGameWallStudios and the director Eduardo Monteiro personally.
One of the best Southeast Asian games in 2018
Besides this problem, we already named Eximius: Seize the Frontline as one of the best games from Southeast Asia in 2018. This game is an FPS/RTS hybrid game that focuses on squad-based combat.
The game features an intense 5v5 multiplayer experience with one player on each team leading as a commander. If you choose to play as the commander, you can do some things like building a base, training infantry squad, and assisting them to players. You can also command vehicle, air support, and acquire powerful abilities. The main purpose of your tasks is to support your team to win the battle against the enemy.
Ranging from mobile, PC to console, here are our best picks of 10 best Southeast Asian games in 2018. Which one is your favourite?
In single-player mode, you can switch from RTS mechanic to FPS (or vice versa) anytime. With this ability, you can directly jump into the battlefield like other FPS, or go back to arrange a strategy.
The game now is in Early Access state. But you can buy it through its official page on Steam and get involved in the development.
Edited by Devi