The Atari auctions are now completed. A three-page court document has been released with the results of the July 18 auctions.
Stardock Systems (Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Galactic Civilations) is the highest bidder for Star Control with On The Go Technology LLC (a mortgage technology development company).
- July 19 2013, “Notice of Successful and Back-Up Bidders with Respect to the Auctions of Certain of the Debtor’s Assets”, 13-10176-jmp, Docket# 305
Asset(s) Successful Bidder Back-up Bidder Backyard Sports Franchise Epic Gear, LLC N/A Humongous Franchise, Fatty Bear’s Birthday Surprise, Math Gran Prix Tommo, Inc. N/A Total Annihilation Franchise Wargaming World Limited Uber Entertainment, Inc. Battlezone Franchise Rebellion Interactive Games Limited Tommo, Inc. Master of Orion Franchise Wargaming World Limited Stardock Systems, Inc. Moonbase Commander Franchise Rebellion Interactive Games Limited N/A Star Control Franchise Stardock Systems, Inc. On The Go Technology, LLC
As of this post, the auctions have not been officially paid for and will take place on July 24:
The Sale Hearing is currently scheduled to be held on July 24, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. (prevailing Eastern time) at the United States bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Alexander Hamilton Custom House, One Bowling Green, New York, New York 10004, before the Honorable James M. Peck, United States Bankruptcy Court Judge, to consider the Debtors’ selection of the highest or otherwise best bid(s) and the approval of the Sale Transaction. The Sale Hearing may be adjourned or rescheduled without notice.
- July 19 2013, "Notice of Successful and Back-Up Bidders with Respect to the Auctions of Certain of the Debtor’s Assets", 13-10176-jmp, Docket# 305
So, what does this mean for Star Control? We know that Brad Wardell has expressed interest in Star Control years ago. I do believe that we may have a new Star Control game coming in the future. With Stardock’s strong stance against DRM, we know it will be developed and published with the same high standards as their other games. I would love to see their interpretation of Star Control franchise and whether or not it can be successful. Please keep in mind that Toys for Bob still retains ownership of the original content such as the aliens, characters, and ships. Stardock would still need their permission to use the Ur-Quan, for example. The direction they want to take with Star Control is up to them. Stardock can potentially own the Master of Orion franchise should Wargaming decide to pass on it.
But wait, there's more...
I found another document that outline contracts “relating to the Assets upon consummation of the Sale Transaction”. Some things listed are “Amazon.com” for “Digital Distribution” under “Battlezone Agreements”. Check out what’s listed under “Star Control”:
Star Control 3 Agreements
**Agreement will require partial assignment - July 11 2013, Notice of Attempt to Assume and Assign Certain Executory Contracts, 13-10176-jmp, Docket# 296
Contracting Party Atari Party Agreement Type Est Cure Amount as of 06/21/2013 Reiche, Paul Accolade, Inc. License Agreement $0.00 Cyberlore Studios, Inc. Accolade, Inc. Development Agreement $0.00 Fat Labs, Inc. Accolade, Inc. Master Lease License for Computer Game Use $0.00 GameFly** Atari, Inc. Digital Distribution $0.00 GOG Limited (Good Old Games)** Atari, Inc. Digital Distribution $0.00
Does this mean that Paul will be involved in a potential Star Control sequel in the future? After all, he still retains ownership of the game’s content such as the Ur-Quan and Ilwrath.
There’s another document (Docket# 306) that lists a proposed purchase of Accolade.com (currently redirects to atari.com) from “Accolade, Inc.” for $50,000.
PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that pursuant to the De Minimis Sale Procedures, the Debtors propose to sell the following De Minimis Asset (the "De Minimis Sale"):
- July 19 2013, Notice of Proposed Sale of Certain De Minimis Assets, 13-10176-jmp, Docket# 306
Asset(s) Proposed Buyer Known Affiliation with the Debtors Proposed Purchase Price Justification "Accolade.com" domain Accolade, Inc. None. $50,000.00 Only offer received
Stardock is the highest bidder for Star Control, with On The Go Technology LLC as the back-up bidder. There will be a hearing on July 24 which will finalize these bids. In an interview with Gamasutra, CEO Brad Wardell has stated he wanted to make a sequel true to Star Control II, pretending that the third game never happened. Stardock has the fanbase, developers and the publishing power to make a true Star Control game. I’d love to see what they have in store for the future. Their stance against DRM makes their products more accessible for PC gamers without worrying about things such as modding, re-installs and backups.
With Paul’s name listed as “License Agreement” under “Star Control 3 Agreements”, there’s definitely plenty of hope for Star Control. However, my interpretation of legal documents is purely guesswork. However, if Stardock wanted to make a sequel to Star Control II, they’d have to get Paul Reiche involved somehow. Therefore the idea of a Star Control sequel with a strong TFB influence is still possible.
The fact that there is a back-up bidder for Star Control means the bid is obviously greater than $100,000. Does this mean Stardock will get a cut of the GOG.com sales of Star Control? This is another page for “video game politics”.
What do you think about Stardock’s pending ownership of Star Contro and a potential sequel? Is Accolade making a comeback? If there there is anyone out with legal experience, I’d love to hear what you think about this recent update.
Looking forward to the future…