Stardock owns Star Control and is planning an "XCOM-like" reboot


Whatever you do, don’t tell Bethesda or we’ll see a new version of Skyrim.



Just wan’t to say, I’m a fan of the Dan’nath. The name doesn’t hurt, of course.


Well, that looks a lot more fun than I feared. And eventually playable on Linux without faffing with Wine. I’ll definitely get it at some point. (Huge backlog, small amount of time, sorry.)


Uh oh. Looks like the mutual-respect-fest is coming to an end. There’s a legal dispute between Reiche & Ford and Stardock, and R&F claim that Stardock is now telling them they need Stardock’s permission to make their intended sequel, among other things:

I feel like Stardock has been very generous–in words, anyway–toward Fred and Paul and their ongoing interest in the series. Considering that whatever value the Star Control franchise has to Stardock was created almost single- (double-?)handedly by Fred and Paul, I hope Stardock will return to their stated aim of allowing room for those two to independently pursue their own vision for Star Control.


What a surprise. And the 1st point he brought up, was brought up by folks when the auction occurred.


Well, that’s damn awkward.



Man, that’s depressing as hell :(


I won’t even pretend to understand the issues spoken of, as my legal training is limited to once dating someone in law school. However, what I learned from that experience may still be helpful in this one;

Can’t we just get along? We liked—hell, loved each other once upon a time. Aren’t we the same people? So maybe the whole relationship thing didn’t turn out as expected, but life is still pretty good with both of us doing our own thing.

editor’s note: this ended with objects being thrown in my direction, but I still say the sentiment was the right one


Brad himself said that Atari didn’t have the rights to SC 1/2 if they are trying to sell those not sure how that works:


Literally nothing has changed in our position.

  1. We support them creating Ghosts of the Precursors.

  2. We will not nor do we have any intention of using the characters/etc. from SC1/2/3 without Paul and Fred’s permission and involvement.

Their issues with their agreement with their former publisher are not our business and we have been quite open in our desire to codify the above 2 points into an agreement to remove all doubt from the issues they have. In short, we want them to do Ghosts but we don’t want to have any responsibility for it either. It’s their game.

I have instructed legal to be as gentle and show as much restraint as possible.


You position before was you didn’t have the rights to 1 & 2, is that still your position?


Uh, I don’t think Brad ever said that. A bunch of other people in this thread did.

Edit: I was thinking of here, I don’t hang out on Stardock forums.


From the linked post above on Brad’s forum:

"BIt won’t be a continuation but more akin to a revisit (ala XCOM using Star Control 2 as the inspiration and start back before the earthlings were in any kind of slave shield). We’ll be talking more about our plans as we go forward.

We won’t be making any changes to the existing Star Control games. And Atari doesn’t actually own the copyright on Star Control 1/2 so it’s not like one could make a Star Control 2 HD or what have you without a license from Paul Reiche. And even if we did have rights to SC 1/2 I wouldn’t touch them without his blessing.

I think what most Star Control fans are looking for is a new Star Control game where the inspiration comes from Star Control 2. They want a game with fun, adventure and top down ship battles like in Star Control 2 that all play within a fun sci fi universe. Preferably one with Ur-Quan and Spathi and lots of insults. "


Our position is is that the Ur-Quan IP is owned, as far as we know, by Paul and Fred.

Atari (and Accolade before) did not own the copyright on Star Control 1/2.

This is a discussion that has been discussed and understood for over four years. Nothing has changed.

What has changed is the announcement of Ghosts of the Precursors. Naturally, Stardock would like to codify what I’ve previously posted in an official agreement.

We have no idea why they’re mad at us. Whatever issues they had with their former publishers has nothing to do with us. We don’t want to be involved.


Obviously they don’t think you have the right to be selling SC 1 and 2 as you currently are on Steam. At least that is what that blog post appears to say.

What does Precursors change? It doesn’t involve you, right? and you say you want nothing to do it with it. So why do you need something codified with regards to Precursors?


The game has been being sold online long before we acquired Star Control. They’ve been getting paid the entire time. I’m not sure what has suddenly changed.

With regards to Ghosts, suffice to say that the Star Control 1/2 IP is somewhat of a mess and we don’t want to be involved in it. But there is an agreement with regards to it that we inherited and needs to be sorted out.


So earlier in this thread, I posted: “Stardock only got the rights to the name, not the actual content.”

To which Brad replied:

But the above reply, on the face of it, doesn’t seem to gel completely with what’s being said now.

The blog post by F&R flatly states this: “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.” So that seems to suggest to me that my initial statement – which I read elsewhere, not sure where – was correct: Stardock doesn’t own the actual content, just the name.

Curiously, this now also seems to be corroborated by Brad:

So I’m guessing the “worldwide, perpetual, unlimited license” that Stardock has is one that Brad assumed was granted to him by R&F, and which they are now rescinding? What a mess.


They own the IP. We have a perpetual, exclusive license to it that we are happy to transfer those rights and responsibilities to them free of charge.


Update from Paul and Fred