The Ur-Quan Masters Home Page Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
August 28, 2014, 09:04:07 am
Home Help Search Login Register
News: UQM development migrated from Subversion to Git

+  The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum
|-+  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release
| |-+  General Discussion (Moderators: Michael Martin, fossil)
| | |-+  Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6 Print
Author Topic: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark  (Read 12508 times)
Anthony
*Smell* controller
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 358


Star Control Lives!


View Profile WWW
Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« on: July 21, 2013, 06:53:23 am »

The Atari auctions are now over.  Bankruptcy information for Atari's Chapter 11 filing is available through public documents:

1. Go to http://www.bmcgroup.com/restructuring/Docket.aspx?ClientID=316
2. Click on any docket#.  There are over 300 documents available.

Some of Atari's assets have been listed, including Star Control:
Docket #305 (Notice of Successful and back-up bidders with respect to the auctions of certain of the debtors' assets)


And check this out:
Docket #296 (Notice of attempt to assume and assign certain executory contracts)


While this does not mean that a new Star Control game is coming, at least we have the satisfaction of knowing that the rights are now in the hands of people who are fans of the first two games and that Paul is involved somehow.

Stardock CEO, Brad Wardell, wrote about the auctions without mentioning the titles: http://forums.littletinyfrogs.com/446878#replies

What are your thoughts about this?
Logged

Tiberian
*Smell* controller
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 306



View Profile WWW
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 05:56:44 pm »

Shortly put: This is very interesting.
Logged
meep-eep
Forum Admin, Core Team
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2836



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2013, 07:39:55 pm »

I'm afraid the Paul connection is old. Note the Atari party: "Accolade"
My bet is that this refers to Accolade licensing the Star Control IP to make Star Control 3, with the $0.00 meaning that no more payments are due.

I do hope that Stardock realise what they got (and what they didn't). They may now own the Star Control trademark and the SC3-specific IP, but Atari did not own the SC2 IP.
If Stardock wants to make a game including any of the SC2 races or plot points, they will still need to make a deal with Paul and Fred (unless they already did).

And considering that Paul and Fred have on numerous occasions stated that they still want to make a sequel to SC2 and that they still talk about SC3 game ideas among themselves, it's not likely that they will let another party make a true sequel.
And with the Stardock people being Star Control fans, they will not want to make a sequel based on the Star Control 3 IP.

So these are the scenario's which I came up with:
  • Stardock thought they got the SC2 IP, but didn't. Ouch. I hope they didn't pay too much.
  • Stardock were only interested in the Star Control trademark. This is probably not it, as Brad Wardell claims to be excited by the purchase.
  • Stardock are actually working with TFB. Maybe they were even enlisted by TFB to make the purchase. Still, all that excitement about just the trademark?

My money is on the first scenario.

Also, I don't know what it would mean if Atari's Star Control trademark claim would be judged invalid, considering that the extension to the registration was based on token use.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2013, 07:44:21 pm by meep-eep » Logged

“When Juffo-Wup is complete
when at last there is no Void, no Non
when the Creators return
then we can finally rest.”
oldlaptop
*Smell* controller
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 320



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2013, 07:52:53 pm »

I honestly find it hard to believe that Stardock wouldn't have known that all Atari has/had to sell was the trademark, but then again Atari seemed to think they still had copyright, or at least publishing rights, when they started selling SC1/SC2 again (when they didn't).
Logged

Play Supermelee online in #uqm-arena!
Netmelee Improvement Mod
Elestan
Frungy champion
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 91



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 03:04:17 pm »

I honestly find it hard to believe that Stardock wouldn't have known that all Atari has/had to sell was the trademark, but then again Atari seemed to think they still had copyright, or at least publishing rights, when they started selling SC1/SC2 again (when they didn't).

I'm pretty sure they knew; here's their CEO, from the link in the OP:
Quote from: Stardock_CEO
It won't be a continuation but more akin to a revisit (ala XCOM using Star Control 2 as the inspiration and start back before the earthlings were in any kind of slave shield).  We'll be talking more about our plans as we go forward.   

We won't be making any changes to the existing Star Control games.  And Atari doesn't actually own the copyright on Star Control 1/2 so it's not like one could make a Star Control 2 HD or what have you without a license from Paul Reiche.  And even if we did have rights to SC 1/2 I wouldn't touch them without his blessing.

I think what most Star Control fans are looking for is a new Star Control game where the inspiration comes from Star Control 2. They want a game with fun, adventure and top down ship battles like in Star Control 2 that all play within a fun sci fi universe.  Preferably one with Ur-Quan and Spathi and lots of insults.

I think it's pretty unlikely that they'd make a bid without having at least had a conversation with PR/FF.

Regarding the trademark, it's possible that putting the game on GoG 'cured' the potential abandonment.  That's a question for an IP lawyer.  Anybody know one?
Logged
Anthony
*Smell* controller
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 358


Star Control Lives!


View Profile WWW
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 07:33:57 pm »

I'm afraid the Paul connection is old. Note the Atari party: "Accolade"

That's possible.  If I recall, Infogrames took ownership of Accolade which in turn, would become owned by Atari.  Though there was another document where "Accolade, Inc" was listed as a possible upcoming purchase of Accolade.com for $50,000 (Docket# 306).  It is also listed as "only offer received".  Either Accolade is making a comeback, or another company bought the domain which also happens to be named Accolade.

I definitely agree that GOG helped raise interest for Star Control, and DRM-free too. Cheesy
Logged

meep-eep
Forum Admin, Core Team
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2836



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 01:08:45 am »

I asked PR3 whether he was aware of this. This was his response (posted with permission):
Quote
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
Logged

“When Juffo-Wup is complete
when at last there is no Void, no Non
when the Creators return
then we can finally rest.”
Razorback
Frungy champion
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 97


We are all *happy campers*


View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 01:32:26 am »

I came across this in The Escapist a few minutes ago and wanted to spread the word.  Looks like the word beat me back here.  Smiley Regardless, here's what I read over there.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/126206-Star-Control-Reboot-Emerges-From-the-Wreckage-of-Atari
Logged

Arne
Enlightened
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 518


Yak!


View Profile WWW
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2013, 05:21:45 pm »

"Reboot"   ( ._.)   

That's when you want to do a remake, but don't want to be faithful (and maybe they can't, since TfB has everything of actual worth).
Logged
vok3
Zebranky food
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2013, 01:42:00 am »

I just posted essentially this on PNF, but it can go here too:

This means nothing.

1) The only thing Stardock could have bought here is the rights to the "Star Control" name itself.  The rights to EVERYTHING ELSE - Ur-Quan, Precursors, Spathi, Chenjesu, all of it - reside with Toys For Bob.  That is why and how the sourceforge UQM release was possible, and why the title had to be changed.  If Stardock tries to make a Star Control game without involving TFB, there will be no Ur-Quan, no Syreen, no Shofixti, no Yehat, no nothing.  In short, it will not be Star Control.

2) Toys For Bob is wholly owned by Activision.  Activision has no reason to cooperate with a rival publisher.  At the very least, Stardock would have to pay Activision exorbitant amounts to be able to use Activision employees for a project intended to compete with Activision's core business - electronic entertainment.  It is extremely unlikely that Toys For Bob has avoided signing non-compete agreements.  Therefore it is highly unlikely that Toys For Bob - meaning Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, the people who count - will be involved in any Stardock Starcon project.

3) If Paul Reiche and Fred Ford are not involved, I don't care what name is slapped on it, it's not Star Control.

4) Stardock is the company that announced they were doing a Master of Magic remake and then came out with one of the worst releases in gaming history, Elemental: War of Magic.  They then put a huge amount of effort into undoing the PR damage they took from that, resulting in Fallen Enchantress, which is a passable fantasy strategy game, but nothing legendary.

5) Stardock's track record even with its successful games is that they make dry, workmanlike games.  There is not that much personality or quirkiness in them.  The whole point of Star Control is the quirkiness and the personality infused in every detail.  This is purely a matter of who actually works on the game, and their creativity and what sort of ideas they have.  Ford and Reiche have it.  Stardock has not yet demonstrated that they do, and based on the Elemental / Fallen Enchantress history, there's better than even odds that it'll turn out they just can't.

6) Star Control is about spaceships, dammit.  Not X-com like tactics.  I love X-com, but if I want to play X-com, I'll play X-com, not X-com-renamed-as-Star-Control.
Logged
Frogboy
Zebranky food
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2013, 02:32:51 am »

Hi guys!

Brad from Stardock here.

We have connected with Paul and Fred. Fingers crossed but things look hopeful.  The copyright to Star Control 1/2 is owned by Paul Rieche directly, not Toys for Bob so I think there is reason to think that they might be able to participate in the creation of a new Star Control game.

None of this changes the status of the Ur-Quan Masters or Star Control on GOG.

Our core team involved at Stardock (myself included) have been huge fans of Paul's work since the Archon / Star Flight days. 

By an XCOM like reboot we don't mean XCOM game mechanics but rather creating a new Star Control game that brings in the fun and game play we all know and love.  The *campground* is looking *flavorful*.

Logged
vok3
Zebranky food
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2013, 03:38:17 am »

All right, that's more hopeful than I thought.  It would invalidate my points 1 and 2.
Logged
Elestan
Frungy champion
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 91



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2013, 04:58:57 am »

Brad from Stardock here.
Just for those who don't know, Brad is Stardock's CEO.  Thanks for dropping by!

I think I speak for everyone when I say that we're really looking forward to a new Star Control, particularly if FF+PR can be brought on-board.

Of additional interest here (since these boards are dedicated to the open-source version of SC2), is the potential resolution of a couple of lingering IP issues relating to the CGI movies used in the 3DO version of SC2.  Our understanding had been that PR+FF were not able to secure the rights to those cutscenes, so they are not included in the open-source version.  It would be really great if those movies could be released under a Creative Commons license, so that the Ur-Quan Masters project could be truly whole.

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing more from Stardock as the game starts to take shape.
Logged
Hurleybird
Zebranky food
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 15


AMD Fanatic


View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2013, 05:01:06 am »

Hi guys!

Brad from Stardock here.

We have connected with Paul and Fred. Fingers crossed but things look hopeful.  The copyright to Star Control 1/2 is owned by Paul Rieche directly, not Toys for Bob so I think there is reason to think that they might be able to participate in the creation of a new Star Control game.

Good to hear!

Our core team involved at Stardock (myself included) have been huge fans of Paul's work since the Archon / Star Flight days.

As much as I love SC2, I think there are a few things the Starflight series did better. The RPG mechanics, and planetary exploration come to mind. On the other hand, Star Control had better combat, and the way the universe unfolded in a preset way unless the player altered events in a specific time window really solved the dilemma of openness vs. authenticity faced by many sandbox games today. Ideally, a new Star Control would take the best parts of each franchise along with some new ideas.

Brad, do you lean more towards a vast and lonely universe (SF1), a more populated and colorful one (SC2), or something in-between?  

By an XCOM like reboot we don't mean XCOM game mechanics but rather creating a new Star Control game that brings in the fun and game play we all know and love.  The *campground* is looking *flavorful*.

For me, the comparison to Firaxis' XCOM remake is scary. Many feel it took too many steps back from the original. While production values and accessibility were quite a bit improved, the core mechanics and gameplay left something to be desired.  I'm guessing you don't mean that you intend to make the new Star Control more accessible via cutting out large swaths of the original mechanics though, as SC2 is already fairly accessible.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 05:04:28 am by Hurleybird » Logged
Parker
*Many bubbles*
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 122



View Profile
Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2013, 08:19:26 am »

Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow! ...Is what I literally vocalized when I read the news on Slashdot.

Thanks for dropping by Brad, and at the very least thanks for hopefully keeping the name from sitting around in the dusty basement of one publisher after the other.

Please don't half-ass this.  I'm glad to hear you're a fan of TFB's games, and I hope your favorite is Star Control II. I really hope you can work with Paul in some fashion. If you can blend open exploration with good RPG elements* and fun spaceship action successfully, you'll have a valuable winner on your hands.

*Two games, SC2 and KOTOR come to mind when I think of great RPG storytelling. The conversations are branched, real decisions can be made in dialogue, and consequences manifest from those decisions.  You don't feel like you're on a track, even if ultimately you are.  Not to mention they don't take themselves too seriously.

Also if you can pretend Star Control 3 didn't happen that would be great Smiley
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!