I've seen a discussion on the UQM forums, as early as yesterday morning, saying that Paul and Stardock have not yet spoken. However, as you see below, Frogboy now says they have now started conversing. I also want to point you to Anthony's latest StarController.com post about what is going on which includes the Star Control Franchise assets purchase price.
Frogboy (aka Brad Wardell) was generous with his time to answer some of MY burning questions about what I've seen in the news. I personally think a lot of things have happened in less than a week and hopefully things continue down this promising path!...
All quotes are from Frogboy. Everything else in this post is from Frumple.
Start Question and Answers....
At some time in the past, I think the Star Control community came to the understanding that Toys for Bob (Paul) acquired the rights to the aliens, characters, ships, stories etc in Star Control 1 and 2. This was how they were able to "open source" SC2 to the community (The Ur-Quan Masters project). Part of this understanding was the only thing Atari owned is the Star Control name (the trademarks). Thus,
1) What exactly did you purchase? The trademarked name? In other words, can you elaborate on "Star Control Franchise Assets" in the auction?
2) Have you spoken to Paul/TFB about the purchase and the reboot at all?Atari claims the trademark, "franchise rights" (which I don't know what the legal ramifications of that means) and copyrights over Star Control 3.
MY personal, non-lawyer, view is that the game universe, which includes the aliens, are property of Paul and Fred. Or more to the point, I wouldn't want us to use them without their blessing and in fact I would like to see them get a royalty off any new games that make use of them.
Yep. Atari was able to get us their contact information and we've exchanged emails. Right now, we're all in the brainstorming phase of how to set things up.
3) Do you hope to involve Paul/TFB in the development of the game in any way?
4) When I think reboot, several points pop into my head relating to the copyright details owned by Paul/TFB... Can you...Paul and Fred are actually the ones who have an ownership claim on the "Ur-Quan" universe. Toys for Bob isn't even mentioned in any of the agreements. So our hope is to work with Paul and Fred and anyone else they can or want to bring on board.
a) Use the overall story plot points from the original games? (Ur-Quan and their Battle Thralls win the war, etc)
b) Use original game established aliens and ship likenesses?
c) If yes to using likenesses, how close? Can they be made to instantly recognizable to fans of original games?
5) If Atari is going away, who will be the publisher that "sells" the game on GOG.com? Or, will Stardock sell the original Star Control games?Assuming we get to use the aliens from Star Control 2, I would imagine a reboot taking place at an earlier time - like 2112 with the arrival of the Chenjesu (Star Control 2 takes place in 2155).
The millions of players we want to introduce the game to won't have the ability to load up Star Control 1 without effort and Star Control 2 starts off after the Ur-Quan slave war. So starting them at the first contact point with the Earthlings first going out and meeting all these amazing species for the first time I think would delight old time players who already "know" these aliens and be good way to create a compelling story for the first new game.
Thank you Frogboy! I appreciate both he and Paul disseminating some of the behind the scenes information with the fans.There is an agreement in place between Atari and Paul right now with GOG. Stardock would take over Atari's role. We wouldn't make any changes though.