A Space For The Unbound is delayed until further notice, and for unpleasant reasons

We hate news like this.

4 mins read

Contracts are a tricky thing, especially for indies. On the one hand, having a publisher can be enormously beneficial, as they provide resources, marketing, PR and more. More than a few indies would never have had hit games were it not for the support of a publisher. But there’s a downside too. When things break down with the publisher, the entire game can be left in limbo.

Mojiken is an indie development studio based in Indonesia, and although it hasn’t had all that much attention in western media its previous releases, the cottagecore or similar aesthetic of many of its games have won it an audience. Two years ago in 2020, Mojiken Studio and Toge Productions, released a teaser of the upcoming project ‘A Space For The Unbound’, in the form of a prologue demo, which I, as well as many others thoroughly enjoyed. It’s set in a township in 90s Indonesia and follows the story of a boy and girl with supernatural powers falling in love while dealing with all sorts of anxieties and depression along the way.

Today, Mojiken Studio and Toge Productions released a statement regarding the English localisation of the full game for a console publication, led by UK-based publisher, PQube. PQube is well known for supporting Asian indie developers in breaching western markets, however Mojiken and Tojo are alleging that in their case, they’ve been exploited. PQube, again allegedly, claimed a “diversity fund” from an unnamed console platform, and the benefits didn’t filter through to the developer or Toge.

“PQube Games intentionally withheld information about the grant and used it as a leverage for their own commercial gain,” the duo allege in a tweet. “Rather than paying the grant money to us, PQube Games hid the facts about the grant’s award and added it as a recoupable minimum guarantee, and then used it to negotiate the increase of their revenue share.”

“We are absolutely heartbroken that a party we worked with would do this and a project we have worked on for seven years has been taken advantage of in such a way. Since the uncovering of this issue, we clearly cannot trust PQube Games nor continue to work together for the release of A Space for the Unbound as PQube Games has fallen considerably short not only of reasonable decency, but also of their obligations to us due to these predatory practices.”

Unfortunately, this has now left the game in limbo. While the game was initially set to release this year on the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series, Switch and Steam for PC, PQube Games has, so far, refused to hand over the rights to console publishing, resulting in a delay “until further notice”. We don’t know when the developer might be able to gain control back and, hopefully, a new publisher, but we’ve got fingers crossed for them.

Finally, as a quick follow-up, Toge and Mojiken, have put out a further tweet to explicitly request that people don’t boycott PQube and its other games, or review bomb them. 99% of PQube’s games are developed by teams much like Mojiken, and as disappointing as PQube’s actions appear to be here in this instance, those developers had nothing to do with any of this, there is no evidence that they have been mistreated, and they don’t deserve for their work to crash as a consequence.


Update: PQube has responded to these allegations via a statement to Eurogamer. You can read that here.


Support 6

  • Free to play or just plain free? Huge f’n difference. Free to play is the most expensive thing ever while free is actually free.

  • Disappointing, this. And the response is also nothing more than the usual ‘we’ve followed the contract’ stuff. Sometimes (usually) the contracts is manipulative: saying you followed it isn’t proof you’re innocent. The game looks and feels stunning and I really hope we can get an English version in some way, shape or form.

    • Very disappointing. I’m refraining from drawing any conclusions about what’s going on, because I do know that developers/publishers love working with PQube and this is just not in line with its reputation. With that being said something obviously happened here and Toge just wouldn’t make that statement if it didn’t feel aggrieved.

      Either way, as usual art’s the loser and I was desperately keen for this game.

  • Previous Story

    Review: Pac-Man World: Re-PAC (Sony PlayStation 5)

    Next Story

    Become a mighty samurai mage in Mahokenshi

    Latest Articles