The developer of The Outbound Ghost has asked players not to buy his game after a dispute with his publisher.
Conrad Grindheim – lead developer of The Outbound Ghost – stated on YouTube that his relationship with his publisher Digerati had “dissolved” and wanted the publisher to give him back the publishing rights.
Explaining that the indie title “doesn’t live up to the quality standards of the games I make and what you’ve come to expect from me,” he asked fans to steer clear of the game and said he was taking legal action to “protect our company, our name, reputation and consumer rights”.
“The last few weeks have been incredibly stressful due to many factors, but the main reason is that my relationship with the game’s publisher has been dissolved,” said Grindheim (Cheers, PC gamer). “My priority will always be to do the right thing for the fans of the game.”
Publisher Digerati first released a statement In early December, he acknowledged issues with the Switch version, saying, “Hopefully [a patch] won’t be long.” Three days later it was told his Twitter followers that it was aware of “performance issues” on Switch and said a patch would come “in the coming week”.
The Outbound Ghost’s own Twitter account said it was “incredibly disappointed” with the game’s performance on console and urged players to stay on Steam as “the Steam version is the one I approved”.
A few days later, Digerati released another one expression on Twitter and said that “in addition to the day 1 patch that was available for the PlayStation versions, an additional update went live on Tuesday 6th December”.
“The patch for the Switch version is still under review by Nintendo but is expected within the next seven days. We will provide more information on this as soon as possible,” it said, urging users who are still “experiencing issues” to get in touch.
“Digerati has released over 50 different titles on console and launches with situations like this are the exception,” it concluded. “We are fully committed to making further improvements to The Outbound Ghost as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.”
Following that update, Grindheim posted his statement on YouTube on December 8th, prompting Digerati to respond with a video of his own. The game was also withdrawn from sale on Steam, presumably by Digerati, after Grindheim allegedly destroyed their own game’s store page.
A statement on the current situation surrounding our recently released title “The Outbound Ghost”. pic.twitter.com/niYsH0dJHO
— Digerati (@DigeratiDM) December 9, 2022
“I’d like to clarify some recent activity surrounding the Outbound Ghost,” said Sarah Alfieri, owner of Digerati and widow of the recently deceased founder Nick. “We’ve been largely silent for the last few days, as we were caught off guard by the sudden negativity from Conrad, the game’s developer.
“Up until literally hours before the console launched, we had a cooperative and mutually agreeable working relationship with Conrad and we saw no sign of dissatisfaction on his part.”
The statement adds that the publisher provided Grindheim with “significant funds” to develop his “passion project” and in return “he licensed us full rights to distribute the game.”
“Unfortunately, he has now falsely informed us that he is terminating our contract, even going so far as to use my husband’s tragic and sudden death as a reason for termination,” Alfieri added. “Additionally, Conrad unlawfully tampered with the Steam site and attempted to shut down the console versions as well.
“It’s not fair to us, and it’s not fair to you either.
“Our goal is to support The Outbound Ghost and always has been to support our developers. We are actively trying to make improvements and release patches, and have repeatedly faced attempts to sabotage our efforts and smear our name.
“Despite all of this, we still hope to come to a resolution and work together to continue to support The Outbound Ghost, with its lead developer by our side, and we want to provide you, the consumer, with the best possible version of the game you deserve.” .”
At the time of writing, there have been no further updates from either side, and in a statement to PC Gamer, Grindheim merely reiterated that it is considering “appropriate legal action to resolve this situation and protect the game.”