Stardock Entertainment CEO, Brad Wardell, had to give fans some rather unfortunate news: Star Control: Origins has been pulled from Steam after a DMCA claim was filed by the original creators of Star Control, Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford. The game is currently still available for purchase from the GOG.com store as of the writing of this article, but it’s likely just a matter of time before it’s pulled from GOG.com as well.
In a Steam forum post published on December 31st, 2018 by Brad Wardell, the CEO explains why the game is being pulled from digital storefronts for the time being. Wardell explained…
“We have received news today that Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, contractors on the classic DOS game, Star Control 2 for Accolade and widely created as being the “creators” of Star Control have issued a DMCA take down notice to Valve to take down Star Control: Origins.
“[…]Unfortunately, rather than relying on the legal system to resolve this, they have chosen to bypass it by issuing vague DMCA take-down notices to Steam and GOG (who, btw, Reiche and Ford are suing using GoFundMe money).
“Steam and GOG both have a policy of taking down content that receive DMCA notices regardless of the merits of the claims.”
As noted by Wardell, the entire game was built from the ground up and doesn’t contain any of the ideas, content, or trademarks from Reche or Ford, especially since Stardock owns the trademarks for Star Control: Origins and Star Control 3.
This has impacted Stardock in a way that has forced them to have to make budget cuts at the studio, specifically affecting the people who were working on Star Control: Origins.
Wardell rounded out the piece by stating…
“Unfortunately, without the income from Star Control: Origins, Stardock will have to lay off some of the men and women who are assigned to the game.
“We will do our very best to continue to support the game and hopefully Star Control: Origins will return as soon as possible.”
This has also affected how Stardock planned on releasing DLC for Star Control: Origins, which can’t be distributed through GOG or Steam at the moment.
For those who already own a copy of Star Control: Origins you can still play the game if you have it installed on your PC or in your Steam or GOG library. However, at the moment you won’t be able to purchase digital copies from the major digital distributors.
The original lawsuit over Star Control started back in late 2017, but kept escalating throughout 2018. At this point, the legitimate customers and potential customers of Star Control: Origins are being negatively impacted by this DMCA takedown.