Roots of Pacha | War of words erupts over friendly farm sim

Roots of Pacha delisted on Steam

Roots of Pacha mysteriously disappeared from Steam on 13th May, with both the publisher and developer pointing fingers.


Like onlookers to a drunken fist fight in a pub car park, the internet has been craning its neck to ogle the very public bust up between developer Soda Den and publisher Crytivo. And the irony is that the ugly tussle is over possibly the most wholesome and saccharine game you could imagine.

Roots of Pacha is a co-op farming and life simulation game in the vein of Stardew Valley, although with a Stone-Age setting. The game was released on 25th April on Steam, but then on 13th May, the Steam listing suddenly disappeared with no explanation.

Soon after, a tweet appeared from San Diego-based developer Soda Den, saying: “We are sad to report that we have been engaged in a dispute with Crytivo over the rights to Roots of Pacha.”

The post goes on to say that Soda Den has “worked hard to amicably resolve our issue with Crytivo internally. Instead of working with us to address the issue, Crytivo went to Valve and authorized them to remove Roots of Pacha from Steam without our knowledge or consent.”

The day after, Crytivo responded with a statement of their own, pointing the finger of blame firmly at Soda Den. “On April 27th, just two days after the successful release, we received an unexpected message from the Soda Den team, informing us they were claiming to unilaterally rescind the contract we had worked under for three years, treating it as void,” complained Crytivo. “This disregarded all of our work and the agreed-upon revenue-sharing contract terms. Shortly after, they removed our access to the Steam page for our team.”

The statement goes on to say that under Valve’s policy, “if there is a dispute between parties, they remove the page until the dispute is resolved”.

At the time of writing, the Steam listing for Roots of Pacha is still noticeably absent, and presumably there must be some heated discussions behind the scenes, with contracts being flourished and terms disputed. For the moment, players who have already bought Roots of Pacha can still play it and receive patches, but it remains unavailable for purchase.

It’s far from the first time that a game has been delisted while developers and publishers go head to head in a war of words. In 2019, for example, Frogwares had a very public spat with publisher Focus Home Interactive over the delisting of its Sherlock Holmes games. Ah, capitalism.

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