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Paper Monsters released on Steam without developer's consent by Strategy First

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
8,097
0
0
Update: Game has been removed from Steam.

Crescent Moon Games
‏@CM_Games
The version of Paper Monsters that was released on Steam is NOT legit - and not authorized by us - DO NOT BUY. @MobotStudios
https://twitter.com/CM_Games/status/430472940958674945

http://store.steampowered.com/app/275370

Not sure exactly what's going on here, since that tweet is basically all the info they've said so far.

It seems like Strategy First has published the game elsewhere without incident, so they must have some sort of publishing rights:
http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/us/en/pc/games/indie/paper-monsters/

But the developers were working on a new version of the game to sell on Steam and Wii U and probably don't want the original popping up on Steam a month or two before the shiny new version "Paper Monsters Recut":
http://www.mobotstudios.com/

This was also a game that went through Greenlight, submitted by Crescent Moon Games:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92226289

So the issue seems to be that Strategy First was not involved in that Greenlight campaign. The developers decided to make a new version to release instead, but Strategy First saw that the game was Greenlit and got their version of the game submitted to Valve. They got it published on Steam without Valve probably even knowing the developers had other plans.

Wonder if there's anything they can even do or if whatever agreement they had with Strategy First allows for this to happen.
 

Mrbob

Member
Jun 7, 2004
63,747
2
0
This seems really shady by Strategy First. Trying to capitalize on some monetary value before the recut version is out. Also abusing the fact that Crescent Moon Games got the game Greenlit. This is definitely a case Valve should look into and remove ASAP.
 

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
8,097
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HoosTrax

Member
Nov 15, 2011
6,885
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steamcommunity.com
The question is, did Crescent Moon actually sign some sort of contract, that they're backing out of now, or is Strategy First overstepping the terms of their contract.
 

HadesGigas

Member
Apr 13, 2005
8,097
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0
The question is, did Crescent Moon actually sign some sort of contract, that they're backing out of now, or is Strategy First overstepping the terms of their contract.
Well I think either way it would make more sense to not have this outdated version of the game on Steam. Whoever has the right to be the publisher would be better off to have the new version published instead of this one.
 

HoosTrax

Member
Nov 15, 2011
6,885
0
0
steamcommunity.com
Well I think either way it would make more sense to not have this outdated version of the game on Steam. Whoever has the right to be the publisher would be better off to have the new version published instead of this one.
Oh I definitely agree; I would never buy this unless it has seen a modern update to add HD and the usual Steamworks features.

But I just don't want to commit to taking a side in this without knowing the exact details of the contract that they originally signed with Strategy First.
 

Ms. Tea

Member
Apr 24, 2012
244
0
0
Game seems to be gone from Steam - it's still showing up in "new releases", but the game link is redirecting to the front page.
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
Dec 7, 2006
27,115
0
1,290
www.vertigogaming.net
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
 

Riki

Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,879
0
0
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
Holy fuck! There needs to be legal action taken against this shit!
 
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
Holy shit, you've got to be kidding me. Scumbags! I loved The Oil Blue and I'll happily pay you directly for it.
 

BY2K

Membero Americo
Sep 12, 2010
37,302
0
0
30
Canada
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
Jesus Fucking Christ.
 

Oersted

Member
Mar 14, 2012
32,330
1
0
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
Sickening.
 

Amagon

Member
May 18, 2010
13,880
1
0
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
That is fucked up bro.
 

mre

Golden Domers are chickenshit!!
May 19, 2006
30,264
0
1,300
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
By the way, if you're interested in getting that $500 (or you just want to follow through on the principle alone) it's most likely not too late to sue them in small claims court. Breach of contract claims usually have long statutes of limitation.
 

enzo_gt

tagged by Blackace
Jun 7, 2009
78,147
0
0
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
Wow, what the fuck
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
Dec 7, 2006
27,115
0
1,290
www.vertigogaming.net
Holy fuck! There needs to be legal action taken against this shit!
Holy shit, you've got to be kidding me. Scumbags! I loved The Oil Blue and I'll happily pay you directly for it.
By the way, if you're interested in getting that $500 (or you just want to follow through on the principle alone) it's most likely not too late to sue them in small claims court. Breach of contract claims usually have long statutes of limitation.
Yeah I might do that at some point, but it's hard to know exactly how much they owe when I haven't gotten a single royalty report. And heck if I trust anything they give me at this point. It was a hard lesson, but a really good lesson...I made sure I didn't do the same mistake with my next game.

Funny thing is, even though I've given them three takedown notices regarding my game for sale on their site, it's still there, sold at a higher price than I ever priced it: http://www.strategyfirst.com/games/2524-the-oil-blue.html

Never ever buy anything from SF. They don't pay devs and I wouldn't trust them with any of my personal info, that's for sure.

Strategy First is known for not paying royalties to their developers (link, link, link, link).
Ugh, wow, I didn't know it was that bad.
 

Kifimbo

Member
Jun 9, 2004
11,367
0
0
Strategy First was a decent company back in the Disciples/Disciples II days. It's been all downhill since then.
 

mre

Golden Domers are chickenshit!!
May 19, 2006
30,264
0
1,300
Yeah I might do that at some point, but it's hard to know exactly how much they owe when I haven't gotten a single royalty report. And heck if I trust anything they give me at this point. It was a hard lesson, but a really good lesson...I made sure I didn't do the same mistake with my next game.

Funny thing is, even though I've given them three takedown notices regarding my game for sale on their site, it's still there, sold at a higher price than I ever priced it: http://www.strategyfirst.com/games/2524-the-oil-blue.html
In your limited communication with them, have they admitted that your game has sold *some* copies?
 

HoosTrax

Member
Nov 15, 2011
6,885
0
0
steamcommunity.com
Strategy First was a decent company back in the Disciples/Disciples II days. It's been all downhill since then.
I remember buying the Strategy First bundle during a Steam sale years ago. Loads of good titles; Sacred, Jagged Alliance 2, Disciples, Darkstar One, to name a handful.

I think the original company went bust later and got resurrected into what it is now.
 

Blizzard

Banned
Jan 23, 2008
36,028
0
0
I remember buying the Strategy First bundle during a Steam sale years ago. Loads of good titles; Sacred, Jagged Alliance 2, Disciples, Darkstar One, to name a handful.

I think the original company went bust later and got resurrected into what it is now.
Yeah it's really sad to me too. I seem to remember Strategy First having a good many decent adventure game titles too (assuming they were treating the developers properly then).
 

gngf123

Member
Jan 27, 2013
8,380
3
0
Jesus that's bad. I think I've bought a few Strategy First published games in the past as well.
 

Cody_D165

Banned
Sep 22, 2009
6,447
2
0
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
christ

this is fucked.
 

mclem

Member
Jan 16, 2007
42,665
3
1,060
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
So, out of interest, is there a way we can buy The Oil Blue to guarantee you actually see some of the revenue from it?
 

Blue Ninja

Member
Dec 5, 2009
19,040
1
0
Belgium
twitter.com
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
They should be ashamed.

In all seriousness though, there has to be something you can do about this, because this is just plain awful.
 

JaseC

gave away the keys to the kingdom.
Jul 30, 2009
73,803
6
1,030
Western Australia
Shameless cross-post:

Crescent Moon got back to me about the whole Paper Monsters thing. The long and short of it is that they don't yet know if they can claim the app Strategy First submitted, and SF hasn't paid them a dime over the past two years.
 

CassSept

Member
Jun 7, 2007
10,614
0
0
I remember buying the Strategy First bundle during a Steam sale years ago. Loads of good titles; Sacred, Jagged Alliance 2, Disciples, Darkstar One, to name a handful.

I think the original company went bust later and got resurrected into what it is now.
They also made a great Robin Hood game that nobody on GAF sadly remembers.

I see they did have some financial difficulties several years back so maybe that's it, yeah. Shame, what they are doing is downright despicable and illegal, I'm surprised they're still doing it after so many reports.
 

JaseC

gave away the keys to the kingdom.
Jul 30, 2009
73,803
6
1,030
Western Australia
It looks as though SF did the same with Sentinel 3: Homeworld, too:

Speaking of Scammers First: they're also listed as the publishers of that Sentinel 3 game which also came out yesterday. I wonder if the devs are even aware it's on Steam. There's no mention of it on their site, and they (Origin8) are listed as the publishers of the GamersGate and Shinyloot versions.

...I might tweet at them.
Hmm, well, it and Paper Monsters were added to the registry back-to-back, so it's not looking good. Maybe I'll pick up a few spares -- if I get lucky and the game is pulled I may be able to get my mittens on Paper Monsters after all.

Edit: Origin8 submitted it to Greenlight in August 2012... and it hasn't been greenlit.
Toddhunter tweeted Origin8 about 10 minutes ago so we'll have confirmation soon enough.
 

toddhunter

Member
Apr 14, 2010
22,300
2
615
38
Australia
Toddhunter tweeted Origin8 about 10 minutes ago so we'll have confirmation soon enough.
I'm actually pretty salty about it if it is not a proper release. I really enjoyed Sentinel 3 and have often recommended it to mobile owners. I'd hope it does well on steam and the developers do well out of it.
 

Sendou

Member
Aug 8, 2011
15,408
0
0
Finland
Strategy First picked up my first game for publishing (the Oil Blue) and proceeded to never pay me, ever. I went up the wall trying to get a hold of someone, no luck.

A kind dev on GAF knew one of the higher ups, and finally someone at SF contacted me saying they'd pay...but only if I hit the $10k payout minimum, which funny enough is not in a single one of my contracts. And then I never heard from them yet again.

Strategy First is a bunch of con artist scumbags. I doubt they made much with my game (maybe $500 or so) but that was a lot of money for me at the time, and it hurt that I didn't have it.
The fuck

The kind of stuff you hear here but there is always someone with something that manages to exceed all others.
 
Oct 9, 2005
7,823
1
0
Wow. Had no idea. Seemingly like many others, I thought they were solid based on their heritage. I'll make sure to steer clear of any games sold/published by them from now on.
 

erpg

GAF parliamentarian
May 10, 2009
15,207
1
0
Ottawa, Canada
I think I'd be a good idea to make a Strategy First, scum of the earth compilation thread with all those links. Disgusting practise.
 

Tempy

don't ask me for codes
Feb 6, 2005
13,695
0
1,285
It was a hard lesson, but a really good lesson...I made sure I didn't do the same mistake with my next game.
What did you have to do to make sure you didn't get scammed by another publisher?
 

alstein

Member
Aug 4, 2010
9,309
0
0
This seems really shady by Strategy First. Trying to capitalize on some monetary value before the recut version is out. Also abusing the fact that Crescent Moon Games got the game Greenlit. This is definitely a case Valve should look into and remove ASAP.
They are shady. They royally screwed off Paradox and Stardock in the 90s, and that's a big reason Impulse and Gamersgate were launched- both companies said never again.

Also, they screwed over Timegate, which led to them producing Kohan: GOTY edition, which was basically just a repeat of Kohan, just to get out of the contract.

As for Oil Blue, it's on Desura at least.
 

chubigans

y'all should be ashamed
Dec 7, 2006
27,115
0
1,290
www.vertigogaming.net
So, out of interest, is there a way we can buy The Oil Blue to guarantee you actually see some of the revenue from it?
vertigogaming.net works, as does Gamersgate and Desura. Thanks!

What did you have to do to make sure you didn't get scammed by another publisher?
Self publish, hah.
I think I'd be a good idea to make a Strategy First, scum of the earth compilation thread with all those links. Disgusting practise.
Well I do have some good news... Thanks to this thread this may get some coverage outside of GAF. We'll see! :D