Update: PQube has responded to our request for comment, sending over the following statement:
“We enjoyed working with Corecell on our first project together and Corecell were very happy with the success of this. We were pleased to work again with Corecell on Aeternoblade 2 and, despite delays and quality issues we endeavoured to release the game in October 2019 for them as they requested.
At our post launch meeting in January 2020 Corecell acknowledged significant product quality issues and agreed to provide critical fixes in order to make the game commercially viable. Unfortunately, these fixes never materialised and Corecell remained unresponsive. PQube remained prepared to pay the full guarantee for the game, despite the very poor reviews and sales, and to publish the PC version in line with PQube’s option in the agreement. Corecell agreed in March 2020 to provide the PC version to PQube but then proceeded to list and then release the PC version itself without further discussion with PQube.
Over the following 2 years, PQube proposed and sent numerous proposals and supporting agreements to revert rights to Corecell in line with their request but these were not acknowledged by Corecell. Nevertheless, despite all of the challenges and the lack of communication from Corecell, PQube released its rights to the console versions back to Corecell well before the end of the agreement term. We remain open to support Corecell in any way possible.
Throughout our 12 years of distribution and publishing history, we have worked with numerous partners and have released over 200 games. PQube have a proud history of working with developers both large and small. From established global IP, to championing independent projects from smaller teams - we continue to publish multiple projects and sequels from our existing partnerships which is testament to the ongoing strength of our relationships and the strong bond between our development partners and our passionate and diverse team at PQube.
We have always strived to provide focus and commitment to maximise the results for our partners and to support them fully through all stages of the product lifecycle. When challenges have arisen, as is inevitable over such a long period in the games industry, we have always sought to resolve them in a fair and reasonable way.
We will continue to focus our energy on doing a great job for our partners. We continually work to develop and improve all aspects of our business and are fully committed to providing the best possible service and success for all of our partners.”
Original article: Another series of allegations have been levied against UK-based indie game publisher PQube. This time, claims of mistreatment come from Corecell Technologies, who had their indie action title Aeterno Blade 2 published in Europe by PQube back in 2019.
According to an official post made by Corecell Technologies only a few minutes ago, Corecell claims that PQube has “only paid a small part of the minimum guarantee of the signing milestone by the time we sent them the game and they never paid the remaining milestones”.
A minimum guarantee, generally speaking in the context of video game marketing and publishing, is an agreed upon sum of money that a publisher will pay to the developer of a game over the course of the partnership. It’s a minimum guarantee of funds, that is meant to go to the devs as they meet certain development milestones.
Corecell Technologies also claims that PQube is holding onto publishing rights for Aeterno Blade 2, and states “PQUBE offered to hand over publishing control to us only if we agreed to keep this matter secret, but we no longer wanted to be involved in any more deals with PQUBE. We knew something was not right, but as a small independent developer, we could not afford to pay legal fees to fight the case in another country.”
Only around a week ago, another developer behind A Space for the Unbound, also raised their grievances against PQube on Twitter. First reported by VGC, the studios claim that PQube “intentionally withheld information about the grant and used it as a leverage for their own commercial gain”.
PQube later responded to VGC to state that it had "honoured all obligations of our publishing agreement and have supported Toge Productions at every stage of product development throughout their delays and difficulties.”