Update [Wed 24th Aug, 2022 16:35 BST]: PQube Games has provided us with the following statement responding to Toge Productions' Twitter post:
“We have honoured all obligations of our publishing agreement and have supported Toge Productions at every stage of product development throughout their delays and difficulties. This support has included offering significant further funding, over and above grant funding, to support development, porting and marketing. Toge Productions have sought for some time to unilaterally enforce unreasonable revised terms to our agreement and it is disappointing that, as a result of not achieving that and despite PQube's significant efforts to accommodate this, they have sought to deal with the matter in this way. We will respond through the appropriate channels".
Original story below...
Toge Productions and Mojiken Studios have announced that their gorgeous pixel art adventure game A Space for the Unbound has been delayed on consoles "until further notice" due to issues with the game's western publisher, PQube Games.
The Indonesian-based companies have accused PQube Games of using their position and Indonesian heritage "to obtain a diversity fund from a well-known console platform" which is a grant that's meant to help out underrepresented game developers. This was set up during the pandemic. However, Toge and Mojiken state that PQube "withheld information about the grant and used it as a leverage for their own commercial gain".
PQube is reportedly refusing to hand back console publishing rights to the developers, so Mojiken has made the decision to withhold the console release while it "attempts to make new arrangements".
Here is Toge Productions and Mojiken Studios' statement in full from Twitter:
Dear space divers,
We are sad to announce that we will be delaying the release of A Space for the Unbound until further notice.
Earlier this year we discovered that PQube Games, a United Kingdom-based publisher that we signed for the console publishing of A Space for the Unbound for western regions had done certain things which have left us feeling manipulated and exploited, and so we have had to terminate our agreement with them.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020, PQube Games used our position and heritage as developers from Indonesia to obtain a diversity fund from a well-known console platform. The diversity fund was a grant fund intended to help underrepresented game developers, especially during the pandemic. However, instead of giving those funds to the developers as the grant was intended, PQube Games intentionally withheld information about the grant and used it as a leverage for their own commercial gain. Rather than paying the grant money to us, PQube Games hid the facts about the grant’s award and added it as a recoupable minimum guarantee, and then used it to negotiate the increase of their revenue share. We have only uncovered the true amount of these funds and their intended purposes in March 2022.
We are absolutely heartbroken that a party we worked with would do this and a project we have worked on for seven years has been taken advantage of in such a way. Since the uncovering of this issue, we clearly cannot trust PQube Games nor continue to work together for the release of A Space for the Unbound as PQube Games has fallen considerably short not only of reasonable decency, but also of their obligations to us due to these predatory practices.
We have to make a stand against exploitative publishers and speak up about this to stop things like this from happening again in the future. Thus, we are also announcing that we have terminated our contract with PQube Games.
As of this moment, PQube Games is still refusing to hand over publishing control on console platforms back to us. It is with a heavy heart that we must hold back the release of A Space for the Unbound so that we can make new arrangements and ensure that it is published as intended and in a way that is consistent with our and our community’s values.
Toge Productions and Mojiken Studio
A Space for the Unbound was due out on Switch sometime this year. You can find out more about the game below:
- Further reading - 'A Space For The Unbound' Brings Mysteries And Self-Discovery To Switch
We'll update you as soon as we hear more about a new western release or publisher.