Outbound Ghost was pulled from Steam by its own developer as an act of self-sabotage against the publisher. Digerati’s publisher is now suing.

Coming to PC in 2021 and consoles in 2022, The Outbound Ghost is a turn-based role-playing game that draws inspiration from classic games such as Paper Mario. In the game, the player takes control of an amnesiac ghost who helps other spirits in the city of Outbound find peace. Although the game has a charming style, it received rather mixed reviews, with many criticizing the writing as well as the framerate on consoles. This frame rate issue is the biggest dispute between publisher Digerati and developer Conradical Games, which Conradical believes is a breach of contract.

Conradical, headed by Conrad Borrell, is now looking to remove the game from all digital platforms as the studio faces a lawsuit from Digerati. Conradical created the initial version of The Outbound Ghost for Steam and self-published the game in 2021, later contracting with Digerati to publish the console versions, which were created through a third-party ports studio. Those versions were launched in 2022, but Conradical says the products weren’t on par with the original PC release due to game-breaking bugs and near-impossible framerates. Borrell stated in a Youtube videos for December 2022 that players should not purchase any publicly available version of The Outbound Ghost as it does not meet the game’s quality standards,” Condracial develops. The day after the video was released, Digerati filed a defamation lawsuit, alleging that Borrell made knowingly false statements, citing an example of Borrell warning a fan about a game-breaking bug, and adding that Borrell was “in breach of contract” by more than 75,000 US dollars.

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A conversation with Kotakua spokesperson for the publisher said that Borrell’s video contained “several misrepresentations regarding the ongoing controversy” and that the publisher was “very disappointed” that the matter was aired publicly.

“Digerati completely refutes Conrad’s claims,” ​​the spokesman said. “Konradical was paid all royalties on time. Digherati notified Conrad of the payment hours before he posted the video on February 16. Conrad also accuses Digherati of failing to report certain royalty payments. This is another lie. We provided Konrad with all the reports for each source of income. We have offered a full review of our books to the Conradical legal team. They didn’t take that opportunity, but Conrad continues to make these false claims.”

The spokesperson also claims that Conradical has yet to deliver on its Kickstarter promises to backers and has also thwarted Digerati. “Conrad’s comments on game performance (also taken into consideration). While porting is the responsibility of the publisher, it goes without saying that the publisher, port team, and developer must work together to iron out any bugs so we can deliver the game everyone wants. We asked Konrad to help identify bugs or issues; however, Konrad refused to work with us or communicate with the Digerati through any channel.”

In response, Borrell filed a DMCA against his own title on all platforms, stating in a YouTube video that he hopes to work with digital platforms to remove the game from sale, thus complying with the DMCA notice. The notice alleges that Digerati is in violation by continuing to sell The Outbound Ghost without Conradical’s permission. Borrell said in a YouTube video: “Why are we making this video and not dealing with this privately? Well, we tried. The publisher does not fulfill the requirements. So we’re doing this to let people know that we’re not responsible for the broken console versions, and to try to find a way to regain control of the (digital) storefronts.” Borrell also alleges that Digerati delayed payments and intentionally understated revenues, thereby breaching the contract.

This is an evolving situation and most of the details are unclear due to the nature of the litigation. While it is difficult to determine who was actually at fault, the exact details of the contract will likely emerge during the trial.

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