Star Control: Origins removed from Steam after DMCA takedown notice
By Samuel Horti 6 hours ago
Part of a long-running dispute between Stardock and the creators of the original Star Control games.
The designers of 1990 MS-DOS game Star Control have issued a DMCA takedown notice against Star Control: Origins, Stardock's RPG reboot of the series. The game has been removed from Steam and Stardock expects it will be removed from GOG, too.
The Stardock team said anyone who has bought the game will be able to keep playing it, and that they hope it will return to Steam "soon". In the meantime, they may have to lay off staff to help cut costs, the team said in a Steam post.
It's the latest development in a long-running dispute over copyrights and trademarks between Stardock and the creators of Star Control and Star Control 2, Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III. Stardock acquired rights to the franchise in 2013, and on the eve of the launch of Star Control: Origins beta in 2017, Ford and Reiche announced a "direct sequel" to the original game called Ghosts of the Precursors. Stardock filed a complaint over trademark infringement, which was followed by a countersuit by Reiche and Ford.
You can read Stardock's side of the story here, while Ford and Reich have chronicled the dispute on their website. Both sides have proposed various settlements, none of which have been agreed on.
Stardock has uploaded a copy of the DMCA notice, sent to both GOG and Valve, here. In its Steam post, it said that "rather than relying on the legal system to resolve this, [Ford and Reiche] have chosen to bypass it by issuing vague DMCA takedown notices to Steam and GOG".
Ford and Reiche have not yet put out a statement, but I've contacted them and will update this post when I hear back.