Star Control Creators Crowdfunding $2M to Defend Against Stardock Lawsuit

Star Control creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche have opened a GoFundMe campaign in an attempt to raise $2 million that the pair says will enable them to defend themselves from a lawsuit against developer Stardock Systems, which seeks to relieve them of their rights to all the assets of Star Control as well as their credit as creators of the original game.

According to the GoFundMe page, Ford and Reiche are seeking help to pay their legal fees, which they have estimated to reach $2 million, which they’ll need to pay “personally.” The duo also states in the crowdfunding page that Stardock “wants to strip us of our creative rights, property and even our history as creators of the game.”

The issue began back in December 2017 when, after Ford and Reiche accused Stardock of selling the classic Star Control games without their permission and after the duo announced a supposed sequel to Star Control 2 called Ghosts of the Precursors, Stardock decided to file the lawsuit against the two, claiming the two infringed the company’s rights to the Star Control trademark.

Stardock is also working on their own Star Control game called Star Control: Origins.

Stardock purchased the rights to the Star Control trademark as well as some of its assets from a bankruptcy auction by Atari back in 2013 but Ford and Reiche said in a previous statement back in December that they believe Atari’s rights to publish the classic Star Control games terminated over a decade before the said auction occurred and maintain that Stardock has no rights to the games as well as their IP and assets.

Ford and Reiche have since filed a countersuit and published details of an alleged settlement proposal from Stardock they rejected that supposedly requires Ford and Reiche to relinquish all their rights to the old Star Control games to Stardock as well as their roles as the games’ creators, not work on any game similar to any of the classic Star Control games, make a public apology, and pay Stardock $225,000. The duo also published a counter proposal of their own, which was rejected by Stardock.

Ford and Reiche also said in their campaign, “We (Fred and Paul) have worked together for 30 years and have seen almost everything the game industry has to offer, but have never seen or experienced a predatory legal attack like this — an established, corporate publisher attempting to bully two lone developers into surrendering their most treasured game, characters and unique universe.”

Since the GoFundMe page was published on June 22, 2018, it has garnered almost $9,000 of their $2 million goal.