All is not well in the Crystal Kingdoms.
It has been a long road for the development team behind Crystal Kingdoms. A long road which recently came to an abrupt and disastrous halt.
In an email newsletter sent out to the game’s fan base, Crystal Kingdoms‘ lead developer, Harald “Presbyter” Dosch revealed that the game’s artist, “Cyangmou” has slammed Epic Beyond Studios with a Cease and Desist, forcing all art assets to be removed from the game. In response, Dosch has brought the game and the game’s website offline, closed the game’s Facebook and Steam Greenlight pages, crippled the Indie DB profile, and wiped out the YouTube channel. Epic Beyond Studios‘ Twitter account remains up, but there have been no new tweets in regards to the Cease and Desist.
“He ruins about 15 years of hard work on my site, not to mention the other guys working with me, and you the players and supporters,” Dosch said in the initial statement released on the 25th. “This guy totally lost it.”
In a 2012 interview with IGM, Dosch revealed that he brought Cyangmou on board the team after discovering his art on deviantART.
“This guy totally lost it.”
In response, Cyangmou posted a statement on his deviantART profile, attempting to illustrate the situation from his perspective.
“Presbyter kicked me out of the project September 20th,” Cyangmou said in his post. “I additionally [have not] received the payment we agreed on for August, September and October. On top of that he [does not want] to talk with me and as I wrote another e-mail to him he said he currently [does not have] any time to talk with me and he would come back to me – which [has not] happened within 3 weeks.”
Cyangmou goes on to explain what his logic was for the Cease and Desist, in the first place.
“I decided to let my lawyer send a C&D catalogue with all [the] work I own the copyright [to] and I will bring that up in front of the court of law if we can’t find a solution, or my art is used, after the given deadline. The initial deadline was October 25th, Presbyter extended that [once] already with my lawyer [to] November 4th. If [we] make an agreement, [Epic Beyond] would get a license to use my work and I won’t sue them. But instead of trying to bargain with me [Presbyter] already took down the game and all related materials today (October 25th). It [was not] my intention that the game gets [taken] offline nor would it have been necessary until November 4th. I just want what [Presbyter] owes me and in a legally fixed way, since I can’t trust him anymore.”
Refusing to not have the last word, Dosch churned out a twelve-hundred word response, which he emailed out to the game’s supporters.
“Its about money,” Dosch says in his second statement. “He claims I owe him money. Which is true, —but just for the record, we already had an agreement on how he will get [paid] and…he agreed to it.”
“Re-negotiating with a gun pointed to my head…that’s not gonna happen.”
Dosch explains that he and Cyangmou had established a deal, which took some time for Dosch to put in motion. According to Dosch, the first payments were already en-route when the Cease and Desist arrived, last Friday.
“My first reaction upon receiving the [Cease and Desist] was sending him [an email] making fun of his lack of patience and trust and [informing him] that the [payment] setups had been completed, —the first payments [had] already [sent]. I asked him if the C&D was just bad timing and if its still valid? Back comes a three page business agreement far beyond what we [agreed] on prior to the C&D and not a single word about the C&D, his intentions behind it, and how the hell that happened. Re-negotiating with a gun pointed to my head…that’s not gonna happen.”
After a few emotional moments, Dosch reaches a rather resolute conclusion.
“I’m totally crushed by how I was brought down in the end. I will meet with my lawyers [in the coming] days. I wont let go of the copyrights…but I’m also not interested in his work anymore, either.”
IGM has reached out to both Dosch and Cyangmou for further comment, and will update the story, as needed.
Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Crystal Kingdoms’ Killed By Cease & Desist From Game’s Own Artist