Generally speaking, DMCA notices are sent by rightsholders to prevent third-parties from sharing their work without permission.
These are often pirated copies of movies, music, or games. However, a takedown notice game developer Ammobox Studios sent to Steam recently is far from typical.
The company asked the game platform to remove their own game “Eximius: Seize the Frontline” after it ran into trouble with its publisher. According to the game developer, the publishing partner, TheGameWallStudios, went dark and stopped making payments.
“Long story short, we had to file a DMCA against our very own game on Steam to wrest it off the Publisher. The DMCA has just kicked in resulting in the game being taken off the Steam Store Page,” Ammobox explained.
Both companies had a publishing agreement, but this was breached according to Ammobox, which notes that no payments were made for the sales of their game on Steam.
Without a publishing agreement, the publisher would indeed violate the DMCA, transforming the previously legal copy on Steam into a pirate version. While this isn’t a typical takedown notice, it certainly had the desired effect.
The game was removed from the store for over a week. While it was no longer for sale, people who previously bought it could still pay it. Then, after nearly two weeks, the developers regained control of their own game, with help from Steam.
“The fraudulent publisher Thegamewall has been removed as publisher in our Steam store page. We would like to thank Steam for assisting us during this terrible ordeal,” Ammobox announced this week.
Back in store
The game developer is pleased with the outcome but the dispute with the publisher is not over yet. There are still payments pending and legal action may follow, the company says.
“We will be working on the possibility of further legal proceeding to recover the money that was and is still currently being withhold for no reason given.
“It’s not over yet until we recover all our stolen money. We won’t go down easy. We will fight the unjust,” Ammobox adds.
TorrentFreak reached out to the publisher to hear their side of the story but at the time of publication, we hadn’t heard back.