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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 23086 times)
astkr5
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #765 on: May 16, 2018, 12:33:50 am »

 
  Even if the battle ended today...  do you folks still see GotP being made?
I can't imagine FF & PR3 investing this much time and money in the legal efforts and taking time off working for Activision if they weren't serious about making GotP. No one can be sure any game will be good before it gets released, but I'd say every game those two have made that's not explicitly aimed at children has been pretty good to great (and I've heard Skylanders is even pretty decent if you have the money to burn). Plus Paul's clearly been putting some thought into the background/lore already based on his posts in the forum. I'd definitely be in full hype mode if all the legal clouds left the sky.
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Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #766 on: May 16, 2018, 01:00:11 am »

  Even if the battle ended today...  do you folks still see GotP being made?
I can't imagine FF & PR3 investing this much time and money in the legal efforts and taking time off working for Activision if they weren't serious about making GotP. No one can be sure any game will be good before it gets released, but I'd say every game those two have made that's not explicitly aimed at children has been pretty good to great (and I've heard Skylanders is even pretty decent if you have the money to burn). Plus Paul's clearly been putting some thought into the background/lore already based on his posts in the forum. I'd definitely be in full hype mode if all the legal clouds left the sky.

You've obviously never seen what Fox did  to the Fantastic 4...  mostly out of spite... simply to keep control over the trademark so that it did not lapse back to Marvel/Disney...

I'm not saying that Paul and Fred are doing anything out of spite.     I have no idea how unreasonable Stardock was prior to the legal stuff going back and forth... but it is obvious now that both side are fighting dirty and if too much money is spent fighting... not enough money will be left to make the game, and they will be forced to go back to Activision to make more kids games.

Which would suck.
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PRH
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #767 on: May 16, 2018, 03:24:37 am »

Yeah, Tas, you aren't telling me anything I haven't been thinking...

I think, however, that the sooner the legal battle between F&P and Stardock ends, the higher chance F&P would have of getting GotP done. And while Stardock has given us plenty of information on what has been happening and why, the information on why Fred and Paul have been doing what they're doing is much more scarce. They've left a lot of questions unanswered for us. I would very much like to know what is preventing the dispute from being settled on F&P's end, and I would like to see more updates on GotP too. So far, most of the posts F&P have been making were about their legal conflict, and that seems to me like a waste of time and effort (not to mention that what F&P have "achieved" so far with their posts has been basically the opposite of what they've been aiming for). Some Stardock fans have been saying that GotP is nothing but a hoax created solely to ruin Stardock's sales and reputation, and, given that there's been absolutely no information on GotP so far, we have no way of countering that.

I fully agree, though, that Origins is going to be a tough competitor for GotP in terms of game design. Based on what Brad has been posting about Origins, it seems to me that he has a very good idea of what made SC2's gameplay great (although we need to wait until Origins actually gets released to judge how well Stardock did in recreating and improving on it). SC2 itself is an incredibly tough act to follow, and it has achieved such a cult status that pleasing all of its hardcore fans would be pretty much impossible. Nevertheless, that's exactly what both Origins and GotP should aim for, and having Fred and Paul on the developer team is not in itself a guarantee of success.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 04:21:06 am by PRH » Logged
rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #768 on: May 16, 2018, 06:00:20 am »

The way I remember it...

Star Control had a moment in the spotlight in 1992. And then I remember Wing Commander coming back and just crushing it. The market had basically decided that 3D worlds and first-person combat was more appealing. Those of us that were still talking about Star Control, it was about the story. The characters, the setting, and the grand mysteries.

Stardock isn't exactly a storyteller. They're known for space strategy games, but nothing that's ever really stood out. Not trying to be a dick, just that they never received the acclaim of their inspiration at Microprose or Firaxis or what have you. Even if they have enough experience to somehow recapture the best parts of Star Control's 1992 game mechanics, I'm not sure that's enough to make a truly great game. (At which point I'm sure they'll blame Paul and Fred somehow.)

A new Star Control game needs to nail it on the story. Star Control 3 shows how that's the key issue.
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kaminiwa
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #769 on: May 16, 2018, 08:24:51 am »

Some Stardock fans have been saying that GotP is nothing but a hoax created solely to ruin Stardock's sales and reputation, and, given that there's been absolutely no information on GotP so far, we have no way of countering that.

That seems really easy to counter: lawsuits are ridiculously expensive. They would basically only do this if they just... *hated* Stardock, with a fiery burning passion. We're talking Orz-and-Arilou levels of loathing, here. And... if they just loathed and despised Stardock, they would have spoken out earlier and said "Halt! This sequel is not blessed by us!" both in private and public. P&F could have utterly ruined this project from Day 1 just by talking (perfectly legal) trash about how it's going to be another SC3, doesn't have their blessing, etc. etc. without any risk of legal action. They might not have looked great, but if they're never planning to visit the universe themselves, why care about that?

The other obvious counter: P&F mention wanting to return to this universe even as far back as the 2013 emails that Stardock themselves included in their Q+A. You can find other public records going back further, along with explanations for why such a return hasn't been viable for them until now.

And the third counter: If they really just wanted to trash Stardock, they could probably have negotiated a settlement that said "okay okay, fine, we won't make GOTP" and walked away without having the huge expense of a lawsuit.
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Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #770 on: May 16, 2018, 05:27:19 pm »

Rosepatel,

I beg to differ that none of Stardocks games ever rose to the top.. GCII was so good that several other 4X games simply were not made or publishers pulled from the market.  It is widely viewed as one of the top 4x games ever made.  (Which is why GCIII has so far been rather disappointing)   Also Firaxis is a terrible example because as good as say Alpha Centari or Civ series are...  Sid Meyer's golf or Railroads or Spaceships have widely been panned as being slapped together games.

Stardock is definitely not known for their writing, however a few things on that.

General Mills based in Minneapolis MN... well known for cereals and bread and food products.    Yeah they built the Alvin DSV sub that explored the Titanic wreckage.   
Kelloggs,  also of cereal fame  had a dept that made filters that were used for them to catch dust and make for better food...     well the Manhattan project used those same filters to purify Uranium for making the A-Bomb.

Forest Gump was going to be an automatic flop because Tom Hanks was a comic and not able to play such a serious role.
Die Hard was a failed action movie cause Bruce Willis was a small screen romantic actor (Moonlighting).

Just because someone has never done something before or is not known for it does not mean that they will fail if they try...

At the same time casting say Adam Sandler in a documentary about the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs is probably a bad idea.    IE i'm not saying that I expect StarDock to nail it out of the park.    Elemental war on Magic is a really good example of how they have failed previously when they tried to move outside their comfort zone.

That said   Fallen Enchantress is a fairly fun game so there is also an example of how they can improve.

My earlier questioning was more... given the history of what happened with SC3 people tend to have the opinion that Stardock is going to fail and they are going to be disappointed in the end product.  You've given a very good answer as to why you expect them to do poorly.

Do you plan to buy SC:O?    What if Metacritic says it is like 98% or some stupidly good number?    In lurking on these forums and reading, it seems that there are people are almost as mad about them making SC:O as they are about the legal crap that has fallowed.

I just want the dang games made  both of them   

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rosepatel
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #771 on: May 16, 2018, 06:27:10 pm »

Hey Tas, that's a very fair post, and I'm the kind of guy who is personally up to those kinds of challenges.

All I mean to say is... Stardock is trying something that they haven't done before, and that's always a big risk. Also, the thing they're trying to do hasn't been done well since 1992, and was poorly received by 1996. That's without accounting for the risk of rebooting an old franchise, or the risk created by suing the creators.

Frankly, GOTP has a ton of risks to navigate. And we're short on details right now, which means there's not much to discuss. (And the lack of details, while understandable, becomes more of a risk the longer we go without hearing anything.)

It's a risk worth taking. I'd have my eyes on anyone trying to re-create Star Control in some way. I'm just keeping my expectations in check.
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Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #772 on: May 16, 2018, 06:48:31 pm »

Personally...  My expectations given previous experiences with Stardock games.

At launch SC:O is going to be playable but buggy...  bugs will get squished at a fairly  reasonable rate.

Expansions will fill in some lore bits and perhaps add new races or expand the map some but the game will still lack some magic.

5 or so years after initial release the game will finally find the magic...   (least this is my hope)

As for GotP     Both sides have posted emails of communications.    Stardock offered to license the Trademark at cost for the license which to me seems to indicate nothing more than paying the filing fees for Paul and Fred.       They declined because they felt they didn't need it.

It seems to me that if they truly cared about making GotP, they would license the Trademark and work with Stardock to promote both games at the same time.       That this did not happen indicates that there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that has not been made public.      But it strikes me that it seems on the surface and based on what emails and documents that have been shared that Paul and Fred could have done more to avoid the lawyers and now that the suit is in progress Stardock is pulling no punches and doing everything they can to see that Paul and Fred are forced to give up.    just a sad turn of events all around.

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Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #773 on: May 16, 2018, 07:56:44 pm »

We do not know the Accolade/FF&PR agrement which allows FF and PR to return to the SC2 lore.. Maybe they can not work with another publisher....

And Stardock basically offered to FF and PR to get what Stardock got at the Atari auction, for the costs Stardock made (auction bid, lawyers and fees,...)


And if the game takes 3-5 years to have the bugs polished out will not do in a game that is story driven.
Because the story hurts the replayability. And buyers don't want a buggy game and wait 3 years to play a bug free version they bouht to experience a story.
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Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #774 on: May 16, 2018, 09:58:06 pm »

What I meant by the five years is that Stardock is not known for abandoning games... all of their games have multiple expansions    the release bugs will get smooshed quite fast but it won't be for many years after the initial release that the best game possible will be possible

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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #775 on: May 16, 2018, 10:46:57 pm »

As for GotP     Both sides have posted emails of communications.    Stardock offered to license the Trademark at cost for the license which to me seems to indicate nothing more than paying the filing fees for Paul and Fred.       They declined because they felt they didn't need it.

It seems to me that if they truly cared about making GotP, they would license the Trademark and work with Stardock to promote both games at the same time.       That this did not happen indicates that there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that has not been made public.      But it strikes me that it seems on the surface and based on what emails and documents that have been shared that Paul and Fred could have done more to avoid the lawyers and now that the suit is in progress Stardock is pulling no punches and doing everything they can to see that Paul and Fred are forced to give up.    just a sad turn of events all around.

That is the most fair assessment I have ever seen posted anywhere about this whole ordeal.

I agree that it all could have been avoided had both parties been willing to overlook their egos and drew out the bigger picture.
P&F should have purchased the rights when they were offered and they shouldn't have taken to the court of public opinion to rouse up an ancient fanbase.

Because now that Stardock is out for blood it's going to get exponentially more expensive than $300,000 on top of whatever damages can be proven.
Even if Stardock doesn't win, the bill for a multi-year long legal battle on two fronts will add up. Hindsight 20/20.
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Tas
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #776 on: May 16, 2018, 11:50:48 pm »

True they should have bought the TM directly from SD back in 2013...  but then we'd only have one game not the potential for two.

What I was referring to was that the emails that SD posted with datestamps from last fall and early winter where  Paul and Fred told SD that hey were going to announce GotP and Brad wrote back super excited and said that they really needed their legal teams to work out some details regarding the TM so that everyone was on the same page.  (points 18 onward on https://forums.starcontrol.com/487690/page/1/#replies)     Brad claims that they would license the trademark "at cost" for GotP   whether that claim is true or not it does seem to look like Paul and Fred wanted the legal battle and were not interested in heading things off.

If that is true and they are found in the wrong GotP is dead.
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PRH
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #777 on: May 17, 2018, 01:13:59 am »

Because now that Stardock is out for blood it's going to get exponentially more expensive than $300,000 on top of whatever damages can be proven.
Even if Stardock doesn't win, the bill for a multi-year long legal battle on two fronts will add up. Hindsight 20/20.

Actually, if I remember correctly, Stardock was offering to sell the trademark and all related IP to Fred and Paul in 2013, not just license it to them. Now that Origins is nearing its release, selling the trademark to F&P is no longer an option, even if this legal battle hadn't started.

As for the cost of acquiring the license from Stardock, Brad claims that he's still willing to license the trademark to F&P for free, provided that they recognize that the Star Control trademark is owned by them and transfer the Ghosts of the Precursors trademark to them:

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So what more would they need to do now? Theyd need to license the Star Control IP they want to use (which wed do for free), transfer Ghosts of the Precursors to us (just the name) as its notoriety is entirely based on having used the Star Control mark and go make their game.  They could even call it Ur-Quan Masters II (i,e, wed transfer the mark to them).
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #778 on: May 17, 2018, 01:55:42 am »

As for the cost of acquiring the license from Stardock, Brad claims that he's still willing to license the trademark to F&P for free, provided that they recognize that the Star Control trademark is owned by them and transfer the Ghosts of the Precursors trademark to them:

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So what more would they need to do now? Theyd need to license the Star Control IP they want to use (which wed do for free), transfer Ghosts of the Precursors to us (just the name) as its notoriety is entirely based on having used the Star Control mark and go make their game.  They could even call it Ur-Quan Masters II (i,e, wed transfer the mark to them).

First Stardock has to prove it owns any IP that P&F need. One single example where trademark law has successfully protected a component of a product, something without the slightest similarity to the mark itself, not a trademark itself, etc.; and the idea that Stardock controls the alien races moves from 'highly unlikely' to 'plausible'.

Other than to defend yourself against rich people who can't take 'No' for an answer, why pay $300,000 for nothing?
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #779 on: May 17, 2018, 01:56:17 am »

Quote
So what more would they need to do now? Theyd need to license the Star Control IP they want to use (which wed do for free), transfer Ghosts of the Precursors to us (just the name) as its notoriety is entirely based on having used the Star Control mark and go make their game.  They could even call it Ur-Quan Masters II (i,e, wed transfer the mark to them).
The "Star Control IP" owned by SD includes the alien names in Wardell's view, not just the "Star Control" brand. Which Fred and Paul presumably think falls under their copyright and would mean allowing Stardock to use their aliens (or closely derived alt-universe versions) without permission and admitting they have no rights to the alien names without Stardock's good grace. Stardock's case for why it owns the names seems strained and hard to swallow, but this case is complex enough that I can't be completely certain, plus I don't have legal training.

Quote
One single example where trademark law has successfully protected a component of a product, something without the slightest similarity to the mark itself, not a trademark itself, etc.; and the idea that Stardock controls the alien races moves from 'highly unlikely' to 'plausible'.
That said, to be fair whatever legal precedents they may have found they probably don't want to disclose yet. Doesn't make sense let the opposition see your research any sooner than you need to. (I'm sure Fred and Paul's lawyers also have a stack of case law built up by now)

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I agree that it all could have been avoided had both parties been willing to overlook their egos and drew out the bigger picture.
P&F should have purchased the rights when they were offered and they shouldn't have taken to the court of public opinion to rouse up an ancient fanbase.
Fred and Paul have made mistakes in their PR strategy, but the way this has reached the public is more complicated than that I think. Wardell was saying that Stardock had an exclusive license to do whatever they wanted with Star Control for at least a month before the controversy broke. He portrayed this as a definitive established fact beyond dispute, while he fought about it with Fred and Paul in private. I don't see any good reason to tell the public his side of the argument besides getting leverage. The escalation was mutual.

I do agree Fred and Paul have been lax about their IP in the past. They should bought the trademark and should have registered the copyright long ago. They also had the chance to buy the TM from Accolade in the past, incidentally. Of course Fred and Paul's interpretation of what the trademark means is much narrower than Stardock's, but there have been enough SC legal complications that they should have seen something like this could happen some day.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 02:27:53 am by Mormont » Logged
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