Star Control Discussion Board

Sequels strife
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Author:  Alvarin [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Sequels strife ... ed-lawyers

Author:  Eth [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

Well, I suppose it should go without saying that I blindly support Paul and Fred in this matter. Hopefully this is just Stardock's legal department overreaching and it can all be sorted out, but it sounds like things have probably progressed beyond that point.

Author:  Serosis [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

Brad's (Stardock CEO) response:

Author:  Eth [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

It says "access denied." Can someone with access please repost?

Author:  Gunigo [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

Please try this link:;3697083

Author:  Alvarin [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

Dogar and Kazon:
Unfortunately there appears to be a growing legal conflict between us and Stardock. We started out confused at what Stardock said and did. We tried to be reasonable and settle the problem quietly, but now after months of debate we are flat out mad! First, a little background information on just our side of the story:

In 2013, Stardock bought a limited set of Atari’s assets at a bankruptcy auction -- primarily the name and trademark Star Control® and certain original aspects of Star Control III, like the space cows. It’s our opinion that Atari’s rights to publish our earlier games terminated over a decade before the auction and we contend that Stardock has zero rights to our games, including any code and other IP we created.

As far as we can currently tell, we have no relationship with Stardock that lets them sell the three earlier Star Control games without our permission, either bundled with their other products or separately. That permission has not been given.

Despite what Stardock's Brad Wardell has recently said, including in this Ars Technica article, our games’ universe has absolutely no connection, hyper-dimensional or otherwise, with Star Control®: Origins. (Note: We really don’t like other people putting our names in their diagrams without asking us first.)

Stardock now seems to think that not only can they use our aliens, ships and narrative without our permission, but thinks that we cannot make a sequel to The Ur-Quan Masters without their permission -- this is where we got really, really angry.

When we started Ghosts of the Precursors™ we were looking forward to spending our time on fun, creative work, not fighting a legal battle to protect ourselves and our work. We have nothing but respect for the talented, passionate developers working on Star Control: Origins, but we apparently have a BIG problem right now with Stardock’s management. We’ve been waiting 25 years to make Ghosts of the Precursors for our fans and we certainly won’t let this stop us. Go! Go! Go!

I read that this evening too. I am not sure what to make of it.

Given that we are the ones who have helped publicize Ghosts, it should be self-evident that we support their project.

It should also be pretty well known to the community that they signed a fairly onerous agreement with Accolade many years ago.

We have nothing but respect for Paul and Fred and are sorry to see them put our mutual fans at odds over their misunderstandings with their former partner.

As has been stated on numerous occasions, we will not use the Ur-Quan related IP without Paul and Fred's approval and involvement.

We are, frankly, mystified why we're being brought into this.

Author:  Eth [ Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

Well this is confusing.

Author:  tingky [ Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

[quote=Frogboy]We are disappointed that Paul and Fred, two people we have a great deal of respect and admiration for, have chosen to imply that we are somehow preventing them from working on their new game.

Stardock has been nothing but supportive of their new project and wish them the best. I personally made the post here on in support of it.

With regards to their contentions:

First, as many people know, the classic Star Control games have been available for sale long before Stardock acquired the rights from Atari four years ago. For the entirety of the time we have held the rights, they have been getting paid for those sales. If they had an objection to the games being sold this is something that could and should have been addressed before we were ever involved.

Second, we have stated, repeatedly and consistently for over four years that we are not using any of the aliens from the classic series. As we have stated, our position is that, to the best of our knowledge, the classic alien IP is owned by them.

We have also discussed, at length, why it wasn't commercially viable for us to attempt to continue or retell the Ur-Quan story. 25 years is just too long of a gap. This is one of the reasons why we have been so excited about Paul and Fred's project. Their game frees us to introduce new characters and a new story into the new Star Control while allowing fans of the classic series a way to continue the classic story. This strikes us as a win-win situation.

Lastly, when we acquired Star Control from Atari in 2013, many assets were transferred to us including the various publishing agreements to the Star Control franchise. The short version is that the classic IP is messy. We understand that this makes them "really really angry" but we weren't a party to that agreement. All we can do is try to put something together that releases them from the restrictions placed on their IP that they agreed to and transfer any and all rights and responsibilities to them. We want them to make Ghosts but we don't want any liability or association with it.

Given the disturbing and unanticipated post by Paul and Fred, we are persuaded more than ever that a clear and irrefutable document that makes it clear that we are not associated or involved with their new game is needed.

We have nothing but respect and admiration for Paul and Fred and wish them well in their new project. [/quote]

Author:  fluffy_banana [ Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

It's rather hard to believe the line that Stardock wasn't either pushing to include elements from the old series or putting some kind of pressure on Paul and Fred, if P&F felt their only recourse was legal action.

If Stardock really don't want their game to have anything to do with the aliens and universe of SC1/SC2/Ur-Quan Masters, why are they so attached to the Star Control name? It seems very odd to say "25 years is too long a gap" and then nonetheless name your game after a series you don't think anyone remembers. They think "Star Control" sounds cool I guess? But unless you plan to leverage the old IP in some way I don't see why you would pony up cash to buy the license instead of just going with Galactic Grasp, Supercluster Superiority, Local Group Lord, Stellar Command or whatever.

Also, bit of a side note but Stardock trying to claim credit for "publicizing" Ghosts of the Precursors by posting a few messages on fan forums seems a bit rich.

Author:  Mormont [ Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sequels strife

fluffy_banana wrote:
It's rather hard to believe the line that Stardock wasn't either pushing to include elements from the old series or putting some kind of pressure on Paul and Fred, if P&F felt their only recourse was legal action.

They weren't. Stardock's constant position for a long time (like since 2014 at least) has been that they're doing an entirely separate universe and not messing with the SC2 continuity at all, even when people complained that they should be using the Ur-quan and Yehat.
It seems very odd to say "25 years is too long a gap" and then nonetheless name your game after a series you don't think anyone remembers.

Lots of people have played Star Control or have at least heard about it, but very few remember the details of the story outside of a couple broad strokes. Us superfans who know every plot point by heart are a very small minority.

I'm afraid there's a big misunderstanding here. The legal matters are very complicated and FF/PR's position is that they completely own everything from SC2 entirely except the name. Stardock says FF/PR own the universe, but the license to make things with it belonged to Accolade, carried over to Atari and Stardock, and has never expired. However, Stardock seems to want to relinquish all rights to the Ur-quan universe and sign it over to FF/PR officially, so the end result would be the same. I hope they can work it out quickly and I don't think it should have gone public.

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