Brad Wardell Wants To Make a New Star Control?

I was reading some articles, when I found an article by journalist/Star Control fan, Chris Remo, titled “Stardock CEO Wardell Eyes Star Control, Orion, And More”:

As it turns out, that’s[Master of Magic] not the only lapsed property the Stardock team dreams of getting its hands on — and not the only one currently owned by Atari, for that matter.

“I actually pitched Atari on a whole idea for a true successor to Star Control,” CEO Brad Wardell tells Gamasutra, noting that the game would follow original series developer Toys for Bob’s Star Control II rather than the Legend Entertainment-developed Star Control 3 (“We just pretend that never happened,” the CEO says of that release).

Novato, California-based Toys for Bob has actually floated the idea of making its own Star Control II sequel, with co-creator Paul Reiche III indicating he has tossed potential design ideas around, but with the company now owned by publisher Activision the proposal seems to be stuck in limbo.
– Chris Remo, Stardock CEO Wardell Eyes Star Control, Orion, And More

Brad Wardell wants to purchase a bunch of video game rights, including Star Control.  Stardock is a great company and their game, Sins of a Solar Empire is a great real-time strategy game that has a great fanbase.  Their philosphy that copy-protection causes more piracy than it prevents is something that I share, along with many other PC gamers.

They know how to make good games and I realize that Star Control wouldn’t be the same without the TFB-twist that Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford have done with the previous Star Control games.  I remember Alex Ness writing on the TFB website that Paul has a bunch of ideas for the Star Control sequel:

Besides helping us convince Activision that there is a fan base clammoring for this game, the emails really fire Paul up. He’s been brainstorming ideas on his spare time for a possible sequel and come up with some really cool stuff.
– Alex Ness, June 28 2006

I would love to see Paul’s ideas come to life in a new Star Control sequel that they have complete control over.  One of the many things that make Star Control II unique is that it’s never too serious or cartoony; it switches back and forth with alien races such as the Kohr-Ah, Spathi, Ur-Quan, Zoq-Fot-Pik, etc.  Not everyone is a high-tech “let’s move in for the kill” starship captain.

I appreciate Brad’s ambition to revive these games, and I feel that the only people who should have the rights to Star Control should be Paul and Fred.  The open source version of Star Control II is called “The Ur-Quan Masters” because Atari owns these rights, but I still call it Star Control regardless of the legalities.

There’s nothing I can do to stop Brad from wanting to buy the rights to Star Control and if they do go through with it, I hope he contacts Paul and Fred and gets them involved in the project, allowing them to shape the potential Star Control any way they wish.  If they are allowed to have creative control over the project, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Toys for Bob/Stardock alliance.

I’m glad that there are other game developers out there who care about having a Star Control and there needs to be emphasis that only Toys for Bob can make this sequel and they’re the only ones who can do it right.  They need to take their time with it, without being forced to meet a ridiculous deadline.

I know that Stardock understands how hard it is to release an Intellectual Property game and promote it at the same time, and their experience with Sins of a Solar Empire shows that they know what they’re doing.  Brad, please don’t take Star Control away from the gods that created it.  I seriously thought about buying the rights myself and I realized that I have no legal-experience and very little cash to do it.  The only way I can see Stardock making a worthy sequel to Star Control II is if they work with Toys for Bob, and have their approval and guidance for every single thing in the game.  If they feel generous enough, they could give the rights to Paul and Fred, so that Atari can’t slaughter the name any further.  However that’s completely up to Brad, and I’ve never heard of people generously giving legal rights away.

If they do get the rights to Star Control and make a sequel that Toys for Bob does not approve of, I will not hesitate to call it “SCnot3-2”.

Full Story: Stardock CEO Wardell Eyes Star Control, Orion, And More by Chris Remo

8 Responses to “Brad Wardell Wants To Make a New Star Control?”

  1. Ben Wardell? You've got your names mixed up.
  2. What are you talking about Shiver? Who is this Ben? Just kidding... Thanks for letting me know. :P
  3. I don't know if you saw but:

    Wardell noted: "Don't go off and say, 'I have my own artistic vision.' Okay, good -- so call it something else. Don't ride the coattails of the people who came before you to launch your own artistic vision."

    Hope should not be lost. These people know how awesome Star Control II is and how awesome Star Control 3 isn't.
  4. "Hope should not be lost. These people know how awesome Star Control II is and how awesome Star Control 3 isn't."

    I completely agree, cheepguava. If they do get a hold of the Star Control rights, I just hope that they get TFB involved somehow for the sequel.
  5. "I seriously thought about buying the rights myself and I realized that I have no legal-experience and very little cash to do it. "

    How much would that cost anyway?

    Interesting article, lets hope it can provide some buzz in the world of SC.
  6. I was reading an e-mail that Paul write on January 13, 2000 on the PONAF:

    "Last time we talked, Accolade said verbally that the only thing they wanted to hold onto was the trademark "STAR CONTROL", though they would be willing to sell it to me for (I think) about $50,000. That seems like a lot for a name. What do you think? "

    If you include the inflated value of the dollar today, that would be around $70, 000. And I agree with Paul. It is a lot for the rights to a name.
  7. $50,000? Thats all??
    I was expecting a much larger number
  8. "$50,000? Thats all??
    I was expecting a much larger number "

    Huh. In Euros it's even less, just 4000€. Maybe TFB should try to run a fan collection of some sort? If everyone gives 10€, it'd only take 4000 fans to collect the cash. At the same time it'd be an interesting measure of how large the fan base is.