The developer of The Outbound Ghost has asked players not to buy his game after a fight with his publisher.
Conrad Grindheim – lead developer of The Outbound Ghost – reported on YouTube that his relationship with his publisher, Digerati, had “dissolved” and wanted the publisher to return the publishing rights to him.
He stated that the indie title “does not meet the quality standards of the games that I make and that you expect from me”, asked fans to avoid the game and said that he was taking legal action to protect “our company, our name, our reputation and consumer rights”.
“The past few weeks have been incredibly stressful due to many factors, but the main reason is that my relationship with the game’s publisher has broken down,” said Grindheim (cheers, PC gamer). “My priority will always be to please the fans of the game.”
Publisher Digigerati initially published a statement in early December acknowledged issues with the Switch version and said “hopefully [a patch] won’t be long.” Three days later, the told his Twitter followers that it was “aware of performance issues” on Switch and said a patch would be coming “in the next week”.
The Outbound Ghost’s own Twitter account said it was “incredibly disappointed” with the game’s performance on console, urging players to stick with Steam because “the Steam version is the one I approved”.
Digigerati published another one a few days later pronunciation on Twitter, saying that “in addition to the day one patch available for the PlayStation versions, an additional update went live on Tuesday, December 6”.
“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 continued, inviting 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 remain committed to making further improvements to The Outbound Ghost as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.”
Following this update, Grindheim posted their statement to YouTube on Dec. 8, prompting Digerati to respond with a video of their own. The game has also been pulled from sale on Steam, presumably by Digerati after Grindheim reportedly trashed their own game’s store page.
A statement about the current situation regarding our recently published title ‘The Outbound Ghost’. pic.twitter.com/niYsH0dJHO
— Digerati (@DigeratiDM) December 9, 2022
“I want to clear up some of the recent activity surrounding the Outbound Ghost,” said Sarah Alfieri, owner of Digerati and widow of the company’s recently deceased founder, Nick. “We’ve been largely silent for the past few days as we’ve been blindsided by the sudden negativity from Conrad, the game’s developer.
“We had enjoyed a cooperative and mutually enjoyable working relationship with Conrad until literally hours before the console’s launch, and saw no indication of any dissatisfaction on his part.”
The statement adds that the publisher has provided Grindheim with “substantial funds” to develop its “passion project” and in return “granted full rights to us to distribute the game.”
“Unfortunately, he has now falsely told us that he is terminating our contract, even going so far as to try to use my husband’s tragic and sudden death as a reason for termination,” Alfieri added. In addition, Conrad unlawfully tampered with the Steam page and attempted to remove the console versions as well.
“This isn’t fair to us, and it isn’t fair to you.
“Our goal is to support The Outbound Ghost and has always been to support our developers. We are actively trying to make improvements and release patches, and we have repeatedly tried to sabotage our efforts and tarnish our name.
“Despite all this, we still hope to come to a resolution and work together to continue supporting 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 that you deserve .”
There has been no further update from either party at the time of writing and in a statement to PC Gamer, Grindheim merely reiterated that it was “examining appropriate legal action to resolve this situation and protect the game”.