Stardock is remaking Star Control!

Reading the Eurogamer story, it blows my mind that most of the commenters lean towards supporting Stardock. Thus folks like Wardell will not only survive but thrive.

It is possible Stardock's in the right.

I could understand if most were in fact taking the wait and see approach, but most have already made up their minds that Brad is the victim apparently. What a world...

garion333 wrote:

It is possible Stardock's in the right.

It doesn't sound like Stardock is in the right if their claims stem from what they purchased from Activision, and Activision folded for Toys for Bob over the GOG thing. I cannot imagine Activision didn't have the more skilled law team and the deeper 'run out the clock and bleed the opponent' pockets in that situation. For them to fold it means they had 0 ground to make a case on.

What a turd.

Wow, Stardock's claim that Reiche and Ford didn't create Star Control because other people worked on the games is quite possibly the most pathetic thing I've ever seen them do as a company.

I am aware that other people worked on the games and contributed art and writing. (They've always been listed in the credits.)

Greg Johnson (of Starflight fame), for example, did most of the writing for Orz, Arilou, and Pkunk, voiced the Utwig, Pkunk and Orz, and did a bunch of the spaceship artwork.

Greg Johnson also had this to say:

Sega-16: Would you ever consider doing another installment of Star Control?

Greg Johnson: Star Control wasn't my game. I did help out on it, but that was really done by two good friends of mine Paul Reiche and Fred Ford. Paul and Fred run a game development studio called Toys For Bob. Back in the old days a bunch of us who developed games used to share a suite of offices, and basically just help each other out on our respective games. Paul let me write the dialogue for a number of the races in Star Control 2 and I think I did the artwork for most of the spaceships, but that's it. It was Paul's design. To this day Star Control Melee continues to be one of the games I play the most. I think Paul is one of the most amazing game designers ever.

The legal status of all of this will be determined in court, so I don't see too much point debating it here, particularly without lawyers advising on the distinctions. Stardock's claims certainly don't line up with my understanding of a the plain-language definition of "creators" (which seems to be pretty definitively by Toys for Bob in the persons of Reiche and Ford) but maybe there's some technical legal definition they're working off of that I'm unfamiliar with.

Sadly, this has basically cemented that I'll never buy a "Star Control" game from Stardock. How sad.

Island Dog wrote:

Our Q&A regarding this.

https://forums.starcontrol.com/48769...

So up until the legal mud started flying back and forth Paul and Fred were, by Brad’s own admission I might add, “the legendary game designers who created Star Control 1 and 2”. Now all of the sudden that is not the case. I agree with Mr. GT Chris: Wardell really is a human turd. If this is how he treats people he’s supposedly looked up to for years then I’d hate to see what he does to his enemies.

Valmorian wrote:

Sadly, this has basically cemented that I'll never buy a "Star Control" game from Stardock. How sad.

Second this sentiment, which is a shame because it was on my definite list up to this point.

thrawn82 wrote:
Valmorian wrote:

Sadly, this has basically cemented that I'll never buy a "Star Control" game from Stardock. How sad.

Second this sentiment, which is a shame because it was on my definite list up to this point.

Yeah, but it is Star Control in title only. Everything else going on has nothing to do with the actual franchise.

Nevin73 wrote:
thrawn82 wrote:
Valmorian wrote:

Sadly, this has basically cemented that I'll never buy a "Star Control" game from Stardock. How sad.

Second this sentiment, which is a shame because it was on my definite list up to this point.

Yeah, but it is Star Control in title only. Everything else going on has nothing to do with the actual franchise.

True but it looks like a legitimately interesting game. The fact that they are using the Star Control licences to stop a story sequal from the original creators. It no longer matters how good the game looks.

The fact that Stardock wants a jury trial should probably tell you everything about the lawsuit. Who the heck wants to sit on the jury for a trademark and copyright suit? Yeesh. Bench trial makes way more sense to me, but I'm also not the lawyers trying to win this thing.

This still seems like a really, really weak claim:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/rxPEO8K.png)

I mean, Brad even says that Fred did all the programming. And the game boxes clearly list them as the designers. To be able to claim they're the "creators" they would've had to do all the art, music, etc.? That is some weaksauce, lawyering BS. Stardock claims Accolade was the "creator" of Star Control and they are correct that Accolade owned the publishing and distribution rights, but no one walks around saying 20th Century Fox created Star Wars.

Honestly, the "On the Shoulders of Giants" post for SCII's 25th Anniversary reads like it's meant to dismiss Fred and Paul's contributions, which is why Greg Johnson likely made his comment.

I liked this whole thing better when both parties were making their games and not fighting a stupid legal battle.

Man, the older Wardell gets, the nastier he becomes. What an absolutely scummy thing to do.

There was a time that Stardock was my favorite game developer. There was a time when they seemed like a good outfit. But they have screwed up again and again since, to the point that I don't trust them at all. Nowadays, I'm not sure I'd play their games if they were giving them away.

The creators of Star Control II are raising money to defend against this lawsuit. The page lays out their position on the lawsuit, namely that Stardock doesn't have the rights to any part of these games' content, and the lawsuit is a "predatory legal attack."

Arthur Chu has a Twitter thread on the topic as well, which lays out how terrible Brad Wardell/Stardock is being here.

I wish they could get the money they need but I don't see it happening.

This is on the Gofundme page:

Star Control is a registered trademark of Stardock Systems, Inc.

These two literally have zero chance. They never even owned the rights. Brad is on rock solid ground.

Stardock has the rights to the name Star Control, and virtually nothing else. Though even that may not have been Atari's to sell to them, which is part of what the lawsuit is about.

Star Control 2 is my favorite video game of all time. Brad has guaranteed I will never buy his "spiritual successor".

Coolbeans wrote:

This is on the Gofundme page:

Star Control is a registered trademark of Stardock Systems, Inc.

These two literally have zero chance. They never even owned the rights. Brad is on rock solid ground.

This is false.

Stardock owns the TRADEMARK for the name Star Control, but the COPYRIGHT for all the underlying assets including original races, story, timeline etc. reverted back to the two creators in 2004 (? not sure on the exact date, basically 3 years after SC3 came out and atari failed to create another game based on them, as per their original contract.) and they have maintained that copyright since, primarily through The UrQUan Masters open source project.

Basically Stardock got sold a bill of goods and weren't buying what they thought they were buying from Atari, and are trying to cheat their way into more than they deserve by filing invalid trademark claims on stuff the creators have copyright to and by trying to outspend them with a predatory lawsuit.

This breaks it all down:

and they have maintained that copyright since, primarily through The UrQUan Masters open source project.

You don't have to do anything to maintain a copyright, that applies to trademarks.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
and they have maintained that copyright since, primarily through The UrQUan Masters open source project.

You don't have to do anything to maintain a copyright, that applies to trademarks.

Was basing that on what copyright lawyer said about it in the videos. Maybe there was someother reversion line in one of the contracts similar to the one that transferred the copyright back to the two creators when Atari failed to act on it?

A breakdown of the court case with the new amended complaint.

Breakdown of the amended responce.

The third (and final?) video from Youtber Law including responses from both parties.

So Star Control Origins is now out on Steam. Has anyone decided to check it out? It's gotten mostly positive reviews so far.

I'm decidedly on the fence for getting Star Control Origins. I absolutely love all of the original games. With the galaxy exploring vibe, and ship customisations they were all awesome games.

I'm leaning on siding with Fred and Paul because they're the original creative minds behind the games. I've watched most of those lawyer videos, but still don't really know who is legally in the right. I don't know if I can support Stardock with my gaming dollars in this case, but I'm seriously tempted because the game looks interesting.

I've never felt so conflicted about buying a game before.