“We never wanted to take this to the public,” starts the opening of Oath developer Ready-Up Studios’ statement. “However, since Ocean Spark decided to make it public, we have no choice but to respond.”
The response, readers will remember, is regarding accusations from the UK art studio Ocean Spark that Ready-Up Studios did not pay $5,000 US, is “incapable” of creating the promised game, is being wasteful with crowdfunded money, and is refusing to pay developers. Ready-Up Studios have made their official statement public.
In the statement, a number of literal receipts were shown confirming several payments to Ocean Spark, as well as several other contractors. The point of contention now moves to (oddly enough) grass assets, which, according to Ready-Up, is where Ocean Spark comes at fault and breached their contract, which states that Ocean Spark is required to create entirely original assets.
According to screencapped accounts, Oath had asked Ocean Spark to create some grass assets. When the team attempted to use the assets but received error messages in Unreal Engine that indicated a model was missing in the texture file, Ocean Spark was informed and they quickly sent a model over, which was found to be the exact same model as one in the Unreal Marketplace. When confronted about this, Ocean Spark stated it was an accident (which, according to Ready-Up, is not possible when working in Unreal Engine) and that the model was indeed original, a point that is refuted in another screenshot that the model is from a project called Project Survival (click to enlarge the image).
This, according to the post, is where Ocean Spark broke the contracted agreement, and so the developers elected to withhold a £2,000 GBP payment while they audited every file Ocean Spark sent to them to ensure their originality. The audit was done without directly informing Ocean Spark why in order to make sure the art studio didn’t “cover its tracks,” but when the studio realized what was happening (and after a couple of failed attempts to meet via Discord), Ocean Spark allegedly “tried to get ahead of the story” by releasing their account as well as morphing the £2,000 into £4,000 “just to make their story more serious.”
The post also directly responds to its connection to Extrinsic Studios (an old and now-closed company Ready-Up’s CEO used years ago, which still uses the old PayPal business account because opening a new account “is annoying”), addresses the official Discord’s closure (it was temporary), and that the game is simply not being made (not true according to the post) and using Unreal Engine Marketplace assets (“The plan from the start was to use the marketplace for what we need, pay artists for things we want original to Oath, release the game, then slowly over time when we are making money, update things as we go.”)
At this point, Ready-Up Studios are threatening to take YouTuber Cryy, who posted the video relating Ocean Spark’s story, to court for defamation, though they prefer to settle out of court.
The post further accuses Ocean Spark of removing its online presence to hide from legal repercussions. “Our opinion is that their studio was dying anyway (How does 4k bankrupt a company?), so they sold some stuff they had already to us in a last ditch effort to make some money. Then when they [realized] it was over, tried ruining us and then closing their company down,” closes the statement.
You can get the full details with all of the associated pictures and screenshots at Oath’s official site.