Hello Brad. Good to see you here trying to clear up this unfortunate mess. Best of luck to all the parties involved and I hope it can be all worked out before it goes to court.
If this does go to court I don't forsee any real winners coming out of it :(
First, is there anyone here who does NOT want to see a continuation of the Ur-Quan Masters? I can tell you, for a fact, that Stardock has done nothing whatsoever to try to prevent the development of it other than encourage it and offer to permanently release them from the IP restrictions they signed as long as we get indemnified in the unlikely event other IP holders of what made up Star Control I/II come forward and object.
Secondly, Is there anyone here who disagrees with me that Stardock would be the wrong people to try to mess with the classic series aliens and lore? Especially if you knew, years before, that the original creators of that universe intended to return to it?
Even if Paul and Fred hadn't asked us not to use the classic aliens we wouldn't have used them beyond, at most, a cameo. People who claim otherwise haven't thought it through. If we tried to retell Star Control II we'd get pushback over Ur-Quan Masters. We didn't consider trying to continue what happened after Star Control III because it would alienate new players. If you tried to do something all new with those characters, we would have been rightly criticized for stepping on Paul and Fred's legacy.
So the solution was to treat Star Control as a multiverse where Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters (I/II) was in a different universe from Star Control III (The Kessari Quadrant). This also allowed us to create Star Control: Origins as a new game with a new setting and a new set of characters.
We, Stardock, definitely do want to see the classic Star Control games continued to be sold. If people don't want them, they don't buy them. If they do buy them, then Paul and Fred can continue to receive royalties.
But we do hope that most people understand that Paul and Fred were never the publishers of the Star Control games. Accolade/Atari/Stardock are.
Thus, upon recently finding out that the actual agreement was between Paul/Fred and GOG we contacted Paul and Fred to contacted GOG to remove the titles and, as GOG can verify, we contacted GOG to terminate that agreement so that the games can be sold as part of the existing Stardock/GOG agreement.
Now, if GOG users don't want the games available, that's a different story. Or, alternatively, if Paul and Fred can produce some sort of documentation, even an email, that acknowledges that Atari (and by inference Stardock) doesn't have the right to sell the classic series then we will discontinue them. So far, we've received nothing.
We have a lot of games in a lot of channels. And it's never a dull moment. The Star Control classic games, as you can imagine, are not huge sellers. So they don't get the kind of attention they probably deserve. But do intend to keep them available as long as we have the right to do so (which doesn't end on someone's whim) and the fanbase want it.