The dust has not yet settled after the announcement of shutting down Reality Pump, and now we have to inform about yet another Polish bankruptcy. On the 8th of June, a court in Katowice received an application for bankruptcy from Nicolas Games (developer of i.a Afterfall: InSanity). According to the owners, the bankruptcy comes as a result of a legal dispute with the provider of Unreal Engine 3 – Epic Games.
In the announcement made by the Chairman of the Board of Nicolas Games – Tomasz Majka – we can read that the decision came as a consequence of blocking sales of games on Steam, which amounted to almost 95% of the company’s revenue. This situation was a result of the actions of the American giant – Epic Games. They demanded the payout of all overdue royalties for using their engine. Epic Games also demanded that all the games using this technology are to be withdrawn from sale. The lawsuit was submitted on the 5th of October 2012. One month after that, the court announced the verdict obliging the studio to halt the production and distribution of a game and hand out all the data carriers with Epic Games’ property. As there was no reaction to the court’s order, the American company contacted Valve and focused their efforts on blocking sales of the Polish studio’s games on Steam. They finally managed to reach their goal in May 2015. In the face of this situation, Nicolas Games had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.
Nicolas Games had problems even before that. In 2012, a Polish website Gadzetomania managed to track down a few of the company’s employees who claimed that they have not been paid on time. At least 10 people had court orders for their overdue salaries. In total, the company owed about 500,000 PLN to its employees. The bailiff took over Nicolas Games’ bank accounts, and the company’s place emptied. Even though their situation improved in 2014, we now know that it was not enough for the company to survive.
Nicolas Games is a Polish developer who is associated mainly with the Afterfall franchise. The company was created in 2004 with Tomasz Majka as the Chairman of the Board. The studio was the most successful up until 2010, when it was responsible for the distribution of games like Half-Life 2 or FlatOut. They also created a series of games based on a popular cartoon Wlatcy Moch.