An up-and-coming indie about farm life Pacha roots was pulled from Steam following a “rights” dispute between developer Soda Den and publisher Crytivo. The game is a prehistoric take on the Stardew Valley formula of farming crops, exploring dungeons, and romantic relationships. Him The PAX East demo caught our attention earlier this year, and the full release late last month captivated many fans on Steam in the short time it was available.
“We are sad to announce that we are involved in a dispute with Crytivo regarding the rights to Roots Of Pacha,” said developer Soda Den. on Twitter. “We have been working hard to amicably resolve our issue with Crytivo domestically,” the statement continued. “Instead of working with us to resolve the issue, Crytivo reached out to Valve and allowed them to remove Roots of Pacha from Steam without our knowledge or consent.”
Crytivo, the publisher, responded to the situation a few hours later with its own statement on Twitter, accusing the developer of suddenly terminating the contract days after a successful launch. Apparently, Crytivo has been involved in the project — “providing support and guidance” — for the past three years.
Crytivo said in a statement: “On April 27th, just two days after our successful release, we received an unexpected message from the Soda Den team stating that they were unilaterally canceling the contract we had been under for three years, believing its invalid. .” This would effectively nullify the pre-release revenue sharing agreement.
“Shortly after that, they shut down our access to the Steam page for our team,” Crytivo continues. According to them, there was nothing nefarious about removing the game from Steam, as Valve’s policy is to remove the game from sale if there is a dispute between the parties. The publisher’s closing note states that “we seek nothing more than to benefit from a contract we have worked hard for.” Soda Den has not yet responded to the publisher’s comments.
Crytivo says they are working closely with all parties, including Valve, to ensure Roots Of Pacha returns to storefronts. Meanwhile, Soda Den says they’re “cautiously optimistic” about her return while they continue to work on the game and its post-launch roadmap.
Roots Of Pacha isn’t available for purchase anywhere else, but its launch trailer (embedded above) shows just how weird (and fun) Stardew-like it can be. RPS Treehouse has been waiting for a game since the stone age, so hopefully it won’t get any more confusing.