We've decided to stop selling our old games, because:
- We think it's necessary to 'clear the decks' to help resolve our definitely-not-harmonious, until-recently-private, months-long conflict with Brad Wardell and his lawyers at Stardock.
- The Ur-Quan Masters HD Project is a free, vastly superior experience. Did we mention it's free? Fans have been dedicated to improving UQM for 15 years and it is awesome! Hopefully Star Control I and III will also become available for free in the near future.
Why was it okay to sell the games on GoG, but not on Steam or elsewhere?
The simple answer is because we have had our own direct distribution agreement with GOG since 2011 and no agreement with Stardock or Steam or anyone else. If you're into details, here goes:
- In April 2011, we learned that Star Control I, II and III had been re-published on Good Old Games (GOG) — a big surprise since the games hadn’t been sold for years and no one had contacted us for permission to do so.
- We reached out to GOG who said our games had been offered to them by Atari as part of a large batch of older Atari products. We then contacted Atari to let them know that we were the original authors and owners of the copyright to the games and that we had not given permission for them to republish our work. Atari checked with its lawyers and wrote back confirming our claims, apologizing to everyone for the mistake and informing GOG to remove the games from sale and pay any royalties earned to us.
- Instead we suggested a way that GOG could continue to sell our games. GOG signed separate, independent contracts with: Atari to license the Star Control trademark, and us to license the rights to the games themselves. GOG has been selling the games and paying us directly ever since.
- In October of this year, history repeated itself when Stardock began selling our games on Steam and elsewhere (even bundled with theirs), again without getting our permission. This time we couldn't come to an agreement, so we asked that Stardock stop bundling and selling the games. They refused, so we've decided to end our 2011 distribution agreement with GOG as a first step to having the games pulled down.