When the announcement hit that Star Control was coming back it was a welcome return of an old friend. Then another announcement came along that Star Control was returning, except as a different Star Control. Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III had a bad contract with Accolade back in the day but, seeing as Accolade had blown several of its obligations to keep the name, they viewed this as meaning the copyright for the games they created had returned to them. Stardock, on the other hand, bought the Star Control name from the wreckage of Atari and viewed the games as part of the purchase. It got very legally messy, in the kind of way that generates bad blood and scorched earth. And now the fight is over and the good part begins.
So who’s right and who’s wrong? Don’t matter. The job of lawyers is to represent their clients as best possible, but sometimes the right course is to walk away. That’s exactly what everyone has done, per the latest Dogar & Kazon blog post. After Paul Reiche III called Stardock’s Brad Wardell directly they started a conversation that resulted in an amicable agreement. Stardock gets Star Control, Fred & Paul get The Ur-Quan Masters. Paul is creating a handful of alien races for Stardock, Stardock is helping with the Ur-Quan Masters tech. No more trademark fighting from either side, Stardock gets the first three games to sell as they see fit, no more arguing about Fred & Paul being the creators of Star Control, etc. It’s taken a while to get here but it’s the best possible ending, so Star Control fans can sit back and enjoy the separate output of two companies fully invested in making the best games possible in a classic series. As to the question of how amicable this is, a tweet from Brad Wardell a few hours ago should give a clue-
Paul, Fred and I are hanging out at Tripple 8 China Bar. Stop on by.
— Brad Wardell (@draginol) June 11, 2019