The Third Doctrinal War -- Stardock, Reiche/Ford, and Star Control

Aw, and I thought we we’re going to get the surprise!

I had hoped for an update, too.

Oh well. Might as well share a picture of a puppy then.

Idea: an animal shelter that puts tons of work into renderings of dogs and landing pages so people pay $1-2k to adopt the dog. And they can take it home and play with the full dog right away.

I had my cryin’ eyes all ready!

In addition, the court denies GOG’s motion to dismiss Reiche and Ford’s claims against them (which is not a finding on the merits, just a statement that those claims can proceed.)

This isn’t a slam dunk for F+P in that the suit is far from over, but it’s yet another in the steady drip-drip-drip of Stardock’s attorneys being generally out-lawyered in the pleadings.

It really does seem the JV team is writing Stardock’s complaints. I chuckled at this bit regarding the claims that the dismissed counts “are not solely predicated on the DMCA take-down notices”.

“Submission of the DMCA notices is not offered as “but one
example,” Opp’n at 9, but rather, the only example of interference. In fact, given the
absence of words such as “including” or “for example,” the plain language of the claims
does not even suggest an intent to rely on other acts of alleged interference.

Was this Derek’s big announcement teased a few months ago?

No. It’s not something he could have known.

Derek is the omnissiah.

It knew.

Sorry to whoosh you, but…whoosh.

Light at the end of the tunnel?

WHEREAS, Stardock and Reiche/Ford have engaged in direct settlement negotiations
over the past two weeks and believe they are close to reaching agreement to settle this matter in its

It would be the end result I think most of us were expecting (at the very least hoping). It’s too bad so much damage was done along the way. There’s not really walking back a lot of the things said/done during this ugly dispute, and it may well have contributed to what I presume was a lack of success with Star Control: Origins.

We might still all be surprised and see a settlement that is a completely capitulation by P&F because they can’t afford to go on, but that seem unlikely given the timing of this happening right at the end of discovery. If I were to speculate Stardock likely found little useful for proving damages in discovery, no big PR plot against them. P&F probably found multiple instances of Bard intentionally choosing to make the game more like SC2. After discovery it became apparent who had the stronger case and stronger claim for damages.

If I were to guess, I’d bet the litigation was a minuscule factor. Most of the audience would probably be blissfully unaware of it. Or, put another way, if everyone buying the game had their eyes on the court case and an opinion on who was right or wrong… then the size of the audience is way too small for a hit. Maybe the Steam reviews took a hit from one corner of the fan base, so that probably didn’t help. But if everyone else loved the game, then I think they would have gotten mostly buried. It sounds like the game was pretty good in some respects and mediocre in others, which is unfortunately not enough to have a break-out hit from a niche strategy developer, especially when it’s the biggest budget title they’ve ever made.

The indications of a settlement are likely to be good news for everyone.

We’re all going to be deprived of the spectacle of the trial though, so that’s a bummer.

Just kidding, good on them for finally thinking things through.

There’s a reddit thread on this where it was pointed out that the release of part 2 of the DLC barely moved the needle in regards to peak concurrent players. Looks like it only went up to a peak of 81 on the Sunday after release (according to steamspy). It shows how few people who own the game care to continue playing it. Numbers that bad may have also been a factor in a decision not to keep burning money over the lawsuit (though of course Brad did claim it was costing him nothing because of insurance that was covering the legal costs).

I heard him quoted as saying that the insurance was covering his defensive costs, which would not surprise me. I would be surprised if his offensive costs were being covered, though.

You can get insurance to cover trying to steal someone else’s IP?

Queuing up an epic string of “I Told You So” posts.

Yeah, I think it just wasn’t that great a game. It was decent, but a lot of it is just repetitive, somewhat boring stuff. I think I put in about 30 hours to finish it, and I had no desire to play more or come back to it when new bits have come out.