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Developer uses DMCA to reclaim Steam page from publisher


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The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been used in a variety of ways, but developer Ammobox may have broken new ground in wielding the US legislation. Earlier this month, the Malaysian studio invoked the DMCA to have its own game, Eximius: Seize the Frontline, removed from sale on Steam.


In announcing the unusual move on the game's Steam page, the developer explained that the DMCA notice was served over issues with Eximius' original publisher, TheGameWall Studios.


"Legal action is in process of being taken because the publisher has went off grid and has not made any payment of the sale of the game to developers. TheGameWall Studios has breached publishing agreement and their rights to distribute has been terminated."


As a result of the DMCA request, the game was pulled from sale on Steam. Those who had already bought it were able to continue playing and the game was still updated, but customers were unable to make new purchases from Steam.


Eximius launched in Early Access in September. The DMCA request was announced January 9, and over the weekend Ammobox announced that Steam had transferred control of the game's page to the studio and Eximius is once again available to buy through Steam.


"Steam has just assisted us in regaining control of Eximius from the fraudulent publisher TheGameWall Studios," Ammobox co-founder and CEO Jeremy Choo said on the studio's Discord channel. "They have been removed as publisher and DMCA has ended. One small win. They have still stolen many months of revenue from us and we are working on recovering them."


Choo told GamesIndustry.biz that Valve is the only storefront to this point to remove TheGameWall as publisher of Eximius. He said Ammobox has been in contact with a number of storefronts selling Eximius--GreenManGaming, Humble Store, and Fanatical among them--but all of them still list TheGameWall Studios as the publisher as of this writing.


TheGameWall Studios did not immediately return requests for comment.


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