Last week, River City Ransom: Underground was removed from Steam due to a DMCA takedown filed by Alex Mauer. Conatus Creative commissioned music for the game from Rich Vreeland, who subcontracted Dino Lionetti and Mauer to act as collaborators. Despite Mauer being paid, with Vreeland presenting documentation that proves she agreed to the collaboration and received money, she filed DMCA claims against people on YouTube who uploaded gameplay videos and Conatus Creative. Now, Conatus Creative is commissioning a new soundtrack for River City Ransom: Underground.
Daniel Crenna, Conatus Creative’s Founder, Producer, and Gameplay Programmer, released the official statement on River City Ransom: Underground’s Steam discussion board. It it, he explains the situation in extensive detail and offers an explanation for the new soundtrack. The first line of the statement reads, “Because we can’t spend another minute thinking about the false DMCA complaints filed against us and our YouTube and Twitch community.” Crenna also noted, “It is out of respect for those many creators that I have chosen to commission a new soundtrack to replace the music from RCR:U. I believe it’s the best chance that RCR:U has of achieving a "clean break" from any negative associations with Alex Mauer’s wrongful claim.”
Crenna notes that Conatus Creative was beginning to work on bringing River City Ransom: Underground to consoles when Mauer began her DMCA campaign, but the claims have forced the developer to focus on this instead. He notes that the independent developer would not be able to afford both a legal battle and bringing the game to consoles. Toward the end of the statement, Crenna says, “Our lawyers advise us that there is no legal basis for Alex’s DMCA take-down claims. That’s undeniable by anyone except Alex. But being legally right is only half the story – as a practical matter, the costs of legal action would put console development plans on hold, perhaps indefinitely. We don’t have any interest in spending our time and our energy dealing with this matter further.”
River City Ransom: Underground is unavailable on Steam and Humble, but people can find it at GOG.