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

I don’t see any reason to think it was totally for show. I assume they’re sincere in wanting to make a follow-up, and they are looking for an opportunity to do so. There’s a hundred things that could get in the way, and no guarantees it’ll happen, or happen soon. And unfortunately, I’d like to read this post as saying that it’s underway, but… I can’t quite do that.

(If anyone here has about $5-10mil or so to invest, I’m guessing THAT might get the ball rolling for real!)

It really was clever. One of the few things I remember about that game besides DAK TAK LAK PAK!

I can’t comprehend the notion it was just for show. It would have been a ruse plotted over decades of them saying they wanted to return to the series if they could. Arranging a leave of absence from their jobs. All to pretend they wanted to make a game and get involved in a huge legal dispute for what? What possible motive was there?

Exactly my thoughts, summarized better than I could have.

I believe that the whole “they never intended to make the game” thing is the lingering echo of a smear tactic that Brad employed during the lawsuit.

He subpoenaed P&F’s working notes for GotP, and when they told him there weren’t any, he went all over social media going on about how shocked - shocked - he was that their whole game was a just a hoax they made up for the sole purpose of hurting him.

Of course, given the way employment contracts work in the U.S., if they had made working notes for a game while they were Activision employees, Activision would probably have gained ownership of it, and Brad certainly knew that. So I believe that his astonishment was entirely feigned, and his explanation was deliberately misleading. It was, however, remarkably effective, because ever since then, people keep popping up and parroting the things he said back then. They usually also think that P&F started the lawsuit, even though the court record clearly shows it was Stardock.

As you observe, anyone who thinks about it for a minute would realize that it makes no sense - P&F had no plausible motive for staging such a hoax. But it seems like a lot of people don’t want to spend that minute.

Maybe. It’s usually pretty easy to get a side project cordoned off from ownership by one’s employer (with rules like that you can’t use company equipment to work on it, etc). Maybe Activision is the sort of place that doesn’t negotiate on that, but most game companies do.

Sorry, I should have been more clear. Brad definitely knew that they couldn’t do work on outside projects, because Paul told him so in 2013:

“Unfortunately, our employment relationship does not permit us to participate in outside projects – most especially ones which are for-profit.”

I imagine that being the principal creatives who sell your company to the behemoth might result in a different kind of employment contract than your typical “anything related to the company’s business or that you use company property to build belongs to us” deal.

To clarify, I’m sure they have a desire to make a sequel, but realize the actual likelihood of realizing it is ziltch unless they’re willing to walk away from their current lucrative careers and they have no intention of doing so.

My comments weren’t that they fabricated any of the materials shared, but they knew going in that they weren’t going to seriously making any efforts to release a new game by say…2030.

They literally took a leave from TfB to start work on the game, and then got sued.

Can you clarify where in the timeline on top that was? I don’t recall them taking leaving from TfB to work on the game full time and I don’t see it listed when I checked again.

I don’t know the exact dates as I don’t believe they were mentioned but it was discussed way back at the time. I think it might have been referenced in one of the early email exchanges, 2017 or 2018.

Though in the interests of accuracy they may never have taken leave but just arranged one that then didn’t happen due to the suit.

The only thing I found when I looked around was actually a more recent rumor of downsizing for Toys for Bob - maybe they’ll have time for a project like this now if that’s true.

I just don’t understand the idea they don’t intend to make a game. What then would they have gone through all this for then? It certainly wasn’t for fun.

In your mind why did they get into this big expensive dispute over IP they don’t want to use? What do you see as their motivation if not their stated one? Why would two industry guys with a great reputation as really nice people be deceitful about their intentions here? Deceive their fan base?

Maybe they just didn’t want to give a third party the right to use and potentially abuse an IP that they have an attachment to?

I think that’s a valid reason as any - it just doesn’t link to a new game being developed anytime soon.

They didn’t need to announce a game to defend their IP.

Anyway the TfB page lists Avery Lodato and Paul Yan as the current studio heads and P&F just as founders. Their linked in accounts show they took those positions Sept/Oct 2017.

Though to add Fred’s linkedin still shows he’s CTO so who knows.

Oh, right. Although in that case he was talking about working on a project being created by another publisher, not a personal side project.

Very possibly. It’s also possible P&F made it a condition of the sale. We don’t know.

There’s a lot of speculation going on here, and it begs the question why any of that is more plausible than simply what P&F have said: They have plans to work on GotP, they haven’t started creating any assets, and Stardock’s plans to secure the IP seemed to threaten their plans. It’s almost certainly years away, but no reason to think it’s 10 years.

Well, we’re now in year 4 of the game being announced and AFAIK there’s been 0 people working on the game since then. I’m a big fan of SC2 so I’ll be glad to be wrong on this but I don’t have my hopes up.