Publisher recognizes obligations and vows to win back trust
In an open letter to the gaming industry, a group of independent developers have listed a series of grievances against UK publisher Lace Mamba Global over non-payment of money.
European developers Amanita Design, Daedalic Entertainment and Colibri Games accused LMG of holding back owed royalty payments, failing to provide promised quarterly sales figures, and selling their games in unauthorized territories. LMG later responded to the complaints, in a statement delivered via its website.
According to the indie devs, Amanita signed a contract with Mamba Games to have its game Machinarium sold in stores as boxed, physical copies. The contract detailed where the copies were to be sold, and for regular royalty payments to be paid to the developer, following quarterly sales reports, and a minimum agreed payment should sales fall short. A similar contract was also signed by Daedalic with Lace Mamba Global for its games: Deponia, The Whispered World, A New Beginning, and Edna & Harvey: The Breakout. The last featured contract was Colibri which signed with LMG for its game The Tiny Bang Story.
The developers state that they delivered master copies to LMG for duplication and sale, but never received payments or statements from the company in return. There are also accusations of LMG selling product in areas not included in the contracts, or sub-licensing sales to others. After months of missed payments and trouble getting responses from LMG, Colibri and Daedalic decided to terminate their contracts with the company. At the time, LMG denied receiving the verified mail, or the emails of termination, citing email trouble. However, LMG later cleared its debts to the two devs, has further contracts to pay-off missing royalties, and recognized the terminations after discussions of lawsuit began.
Amanita has not reached an agreement with Mamba Games, however. LMG has stated that Mamba Games is a separate company from its own, and it is not responsible for sales reports. The devs have pointed out that Jason Codd was director of both companies, although he has since denied involvement with either company. Payments to other contracts have been known to come from both companies, however, and the LMG logo appears on boxes for Machinarium, which was a Mamba Games contract.
The developers claim they are seeking to warn others away from dealing with Mamba Games and LMG, with Amanita stating it is pursuing legal action.
LMG responded to the letter, “Lace Mamba Global recognise that Mamba Games (Jason Codd) pre-existing contractual obligations are not being met and we will do all we can to help developers to ensure Mamba Games are held to account.”
The company added, “Lace Mamba Global is committed to regaining the trust of the gaming industry. We value our partnerships and will endeavour to resolve all the issues currently facing us. We would like to thank all developers for their continued patience while we review our contracts and report accurately.”
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