Corecell has hit back at publisher PQube, disputing its defence over withheld funds.
Last week, PQube was under fire once again from a developer (Corecell) releasing a damning statement against the publisher. It followed earlier accusations from Coffee Talk developer Toge Productions that left the team "feeling manipulated and exploited".
With regards to its game AeternoBlade 2, Corecell claimed that PQube "only paid a small part of the minimum guarantee of the signing milestone by the time we sent them the game and they never paid the remaining milestones", among other issues over publishing control.
PQube responded to Corecell's statement, stating that while it was "prepared to pay the full guarantee for the game", this was held back by "significant quality issues" it identified.
It also noted that PQube "proposed and sent numerous proposals and supporting agreements to revert rights to Corecell in line with their request but these were not acknowledged by Corecell.
"Nevertheless, despite all of the challenges and the lack of communication from Corecell, PQube released its rights to the console versions back to Corecell well before the end of the agreement term."
Now, Corecell has responded once again, stating that AeternoBlade 2 remains available on Xbox with PQube listed as publisher.
"Everyone can click and check it. We never got publishing control back, we never insist to release in Oct 2019. Releasing the game requires mutual consent from both Corecell and PQube," reads the Corecell statement.
Pqube's statement contradicts by themselves— CORECELL OFFICIAL (@AETERNOBLADE1) September 3, 2022
The first contradiction is, if they already return the rights, why the game is selling in the store under their name?https://t.co/SHmIOdyATB
Everyone can click and check it. we never get publishing control back pic.twitter.com/qe2bMgYmRX
Responding to quality issues, Corecell states: "We always involve PQube in the process of QA until we think the game is good to go. Moreover, the process of manufacturing NSW, PS4 boxes requires 2-3 months and publisher money. Have you ever heard that the game developer controls the release date over the publisher?"
PQube's previous statement also noted it "remained prepared to pay the full guarantee for the game, despite the very poor reviews and sales, and to publish the PC version in line with PQube's option in the agreement. Corecell agreed in March 2020 to provide the PC version to PQube but then proceeded to list and then release the PC version itself without further discussion with PQube."
Corecell's response says the PC version was never in the contract.
"The contract says PQube have only the first rights to refuse if we make another platform, unfortunately, they breach the contract by not paying the MG. After we sent the invoice, PQube never answered for four months. We flew to the UK to discuss this in January 2020 but PQube offered to pay only 20 percent of the agreed amount separately for several months to end the conflict which is not acceptable for their predatory practice behaviour. As a result, we terminated the contract in August 2020 before the PC version was released in September 2020."
The Corecell statement heatedly continues: "We keep asking, begging PQube to return the game after we sent the termination letter. We don't want any money from them anymore, just want our fans to get the new update when we update, fix bugs, and make any new content and we can get revenue from Europe to support the team to work on. PQube requests us to sign the addendum to give up the rights to sue them and keep secret of the matter. We reject to sign anything, because the termination letter is already in effect and if PQube continues to sell the game it is criminal to our intellectual property. Unbelievable that they never contact the platforms to return our game.
"Despite what PQube said in the statement, the fact remains unchanged that: PQube has not yet paid us the agreed amount. We have not received any revenue from PQube sales in EU stores. PQube did not return the publishing control in EU back to us. There is consistency in the truth and confusion in lies."
Eurogamer has contacted PQube for further comment.