Star Control News Spreading Like Wildfire

The news of the trademarks auctioned by Atari is continuing to spread across several video game blogs, especially Star Control.

Brad Wardell has released a statement to Joystiq:

“We’re very excited to publish a new Star Control game. We are inclined to go with an XCOM-like reboot using Star Control 2 as a major source of inspiration,” said Brad Wardell, president and CEO of Stardock to Joystiq. “By rebooting the series á la XCOM, we can bring a new generation of gamers into a fun, silly space adventure. We hope to involve as many of the original designers and developers of the series, along with the fan base. It’s important to us that Star Control remain true to its origins as much as is possible.”

-Article by Alexander Sliwinski, “More Atari IP auction winners announced, Stardock plans Star Control reboot”, Jul 22 2013, Joystiq.com

Keep in mind, not all of the auction outcomes have been revealed:
Franchise name (starting bid)

  • Test Drive ($1.5M)
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon ($3.5M)
  • Airbourne Ranger ($100K)
  • Atari Brand ($15M)

Serge van den Boom (meep-eep) asked Paul Reiche III (TFB CEO) about this. Here’s his e-mail reply:

Hi Serge,

Stardock hasn’t contacted us, so we don’t yet know their plans.  Looking at the court schedules (and this is consistent with my recollections), they acquired the trademark ‘Star Control’ and copyright to the original materials in Star Control 3 — that is to say, not any of the copyrightable materials from Star Control I & II, which Fred and I still hold.

In terms of our interest in the trademark and why we didn’t buy it — we weren’t sure that we could make use of the trademark soon enough to make sense, but we sure are interested in what Star Dock wants to do next!

- Paul

Now we another dose of video game politics!  So, Stardock owns the Star Control trademark, the contents of Star Control 3 (e.g. the Harika) and TFB owns the contents of Star Control 1 and 2?  If Brad wanted to create something faithful to Star Control II, he’d obviously need the material from the first two games.  Regardless of whether or not it is a direct sequel or reboot that is faithful to SC2, he’d still need TFB’s permission to use their content. Of course, this is just my theory.

More documents have been uploaded to BMC Group. The new documents include notice of proposed orders which will be used in an upcoming scheduled hearing, where everything will be approved, finalized and payments will be made. A proposed order relating to Stardock’s bid for Star Control has been released (docket# 313, Exhibit 4, page 132). Their purchase price for the Star Control trademark is $305,000 with a $10,100 “good faith” deposit.

Conclusion

I wasn’t sure how many times Star Control was going to be mentioned.  I’m so used to expecting gaming blogs to obscurely mention Star Control once in a while, but not like this.  Brad Wardell has mentioned that he wants to make a faithful Star Control game, which he can most certainly do.  A new document reveals that the highest bid for Star Control is $305,000.  It is too early to expect any concept art or anything like that.  I’d love to see how he’d combine space exploration, witty dialog and the space battles.  Speaking of space battles, Stardock is very experienced with space combat with Sins of a Solar empire being the first thing that comes to mind.  I wonder how he would pull off space combat in Star Control.

Paul hasn’t been contacted by Stardock yet.  However, depending on the direction Stardock wants to go, they’ll definitely need to get Paul and Fred on board if they want to use material from SC1 and 2.  I know that Toys for Bob works on one game at a time and Activision is in love with the Skylanders franchise and the billions of dollars it has raised so far.  I’m hoping for the best for TFB and Stardock.  They’re both successful companies with strong fan bases.

I hope Star Control news keeps spreading around and gathers more interest in the series.  And don’t forget to check out The Ur-Quan Masters and its HD counterpart.

EDIT: Brad Wardell has posted on the UQM forums. He mentioned Paul Reiche owns the rights to SC1 and 2 and there is ” reason to think that they might be able to participate in the creation of a new Star Control game” Check it out!

Links
Joystiq – More Atari IP auction winners announced, Stardock plans Star Control reboot
IncGamers – Open source Star Control 2 team express doubts over Atari IP sale
BMC Group – Atari
Gametrailers – Star Control Reboot Coming Courtesy of Stardock
UQM Forum – Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
The Ur-Quan Masters
The Ur-Quan Masters HD

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