Video Games

Second Developer in a Week Calls Out Publisher PQube [Update: PQube Responds]

Publisher PQube has responded to a complaint from developer Corecell regarding the development and ownership of AeternoBlade 2.

In a statement provided to IGN (full text below), PQube appears to state that Corecell has self-released the PC version of the game and thus did not pay the developer the agreed upon minimum warranty. It states that it “sent numerous proposals and support contracts” to return to Corecell, but claims that the developer has not acknowledged it.

Last week, PQube provided a similar response to a complaint from another developer. We asked for an update on the situation, but the statement did not specifically cover it.

Here’s the full PQube statement:

AeternoBlade II developer Corecell has accused publisher PQube of failing to pay the full minimum guarantee of the game’s publishing contract. He’s the second developer in the past week to grab the attention of a publisher.

“PQube has been publishing AeternoBlade II for Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One in Europe since October 2019 and has agreed to pay a minimum guarantee under our publishing agreement,” said Corecell. In a statement on Twitter (below). “However, PQube only paid a small portion of the minimum guaranteed amount for the signing milestones at the time we sent the game in, and never paid the rest of the milestones.”

Corecell claims that it tried to resolve the situation amicably with PQube, but neither of them came to a resolution. The developer apparently decided to terminate the publishing deal in September 2020. However, Corecell has also refused to let PQube relinquish his AeternoBlade II publishing rights on consoles, claiming that it continues to sell on multiple platforms, thus refusing to release the game in Europe.

Corecell claims PQube offered to give back the console’s publishing rights, but only if the developers kept the situation a secret. “We knew something wasn’t right, but as a small independent developer we couldn’t afford the legal costs of filing a lawsuit in another country,” he says Corecell.

The developer has also contacted Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft about removing the AeternoBlade II from European digital stores, with only Nintendo and Sony responding.

Corecell has said it wants to work on the action-puzzle game by pushing out patches and new content updates, but the developer has decided to look elsewhere to recover financially, as there is no income from the sale of the game. It states that additional work had to be done in in Europe for the last three years.

IGN reached out to PQube for comment.

Screen – AeternoBlade II

This is the second time PQube has been accused of a publishing deal in the last week. Toge Productions has released a statement regarding his exclusive publishing deal with PQube on A Space for the Unbound. Toge claims that PQube withheld funds provided by diversity grants from Indonesian developers and used them instead to take advantage of higher revenue sharing. It has since postponed the game indefinitely.

Last week, PQube told IGN that it fully honored its publishing contract and that Toge Productions tried to enforce unreasonable revision terms.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey.

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