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Atari Facing $291 Million Debt Claim From... Atari

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the autocannibalism-is-a-great-capitalist-tradition dept.

Businesses 121

An anonymous reader writes "Atari declared bankruptcy earlier this year, and part of that process involves selling off its property in order to pay as many entities holding its debt as possible. The latest round includes a $30 million claim from Atari's parent company in France, and a $261 million claim from another subsidiary of that parent company. The $30 million debt is secured (in other words, they get priority on whatever's left in the U.S. Atari's coffers), but the $261 million debt is not, so they'll have to wait in line with everybody else." The article also lists some interesting sell-offs. The old Accolade brand got sold for $50,000, the Battlezone Franchise was sold to Rebellion Interactive for $566,500, and Wargaming World Limited purchased the Total Annihilation and Masters of Orion franchises. Stardock Systems, creators of Sins of a Solar Empire, picked up the rights to the Star Control franchise, which they intend to reboot. (Those who played it will recall that StarCon2 was the Best Game Ever. And it's been remade after the creators released the source code.)

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holy fucking shit (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366717)

new star control game?!

ANYONE?!

Re:holy fucking shit (3, Informative)

Sowelu (713889) | about a year ago | (#44366785)

God damn it. Stardock is going to ruin it with their awful, awful writing. GalCiv2 had the worst humor I've ever seen in a 4x game ever. I know that nobody plays 4x games for the writing, but it was so bad it hurt.

Re:holy fucking shit (3)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#44367057)

For all the issues Galactic Civilization II had it was loads better than that piece of utter trash that was Elemental: War of Magic. Or the sequel for that matter. Blech. I expect more from a Master of Magic clone. Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic did it much better.

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44367073)

GalCiv 2 was still bland as fuck though.

Re:holy fucking shit (4, Interesting)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#44367121)

Yeah. For whatever reason I liked GalCiv better than GalCiv 2. I still prefer Master of Orion II from SimTex. But Sins of a Solar Empire was nice. Even though Stardock didn't develop the game. They just distribute it.

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#44367321)

To pile on, yes the GalCiv series is extremely bland. Toss Endless Space onto that pile as well. Master of Orion II holds up remarkably well. The patterns for me is that a new entry into the genre comes out, I play it a couple of times, then I reinstall MOO2 and play that for a week.

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year ago | (#44368631)

I feel the same way except I run back to birth of the federation.

Re:holy fucking shit (4, Interesting)

jamstar7 (694492) | about a year ago | (#44367525)

I still play Masters of Orion 2. I have to run it in DosBox on my Linux machine, but it works...

RE: MOO2-BAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44369669)

Get MOO2 at Good Old Games. I did, and promptly lost a summer. :)

Re:Master of Orion 2 (1)

Dopefish_1 (217994) | about a year ago | (#44369815)

As a matter of fact, there's still an active community that plays multiplayer Master of Orion 2 games over the Internet (via dosbox). Anyone interested, check out #moo2 on QuakeNet IRC.

Re:holy fucking shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44369375)

God damn it. Stardock is going to ruin it with their awful, awful writing. GalCiv2 had the worst humor I've ever seen in a 4x game ever. I know that nobody plays 4x games for the writing, but it was so bad it hurt.

You find a planet already inhabited by subhumans.

Good choice: Only settle in areas not populated by subhumans. (-60% productive area)

Neutral choice: Move them to reservations. (-20% productive are)

Evil choice: Free Slaves??! And they taste pretty good too!

I thought it was funny.

Re:holy fucking shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44369607)

Until you realize the owner of Stardock is a hardcore rush limbaugh idolizing republican.

Re:holy fucking shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366787)

Yes yes, *happy campers*.

*happy campers* (1)

ZahrGnosis (66741) | about a year ago | (#44366971)

In complete agreement -- Star Control II was the best game ever. I normally don't fan-spam on /. but dagnabbit I just had to chime in.

Of course, someone should take odds on whether or not a reboot can come close to doing as well as the orignal (the original #2 that is.. StarCon was a fine but simplistic game and StarCon 3 did not exist. IT DID NOT EXIST I TELL YOU). Still, I'll play a sequel just on the chance it comes close.

Total Annihilation was one of my faves as well... along with absolutely everything Atari did in the 80s. How the mighty have fallen.

Re:*happy campers* (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44367117)

Of course, someone should take odds on whether or not a reboot can come close to doing as well as the orignal (the original #2 that is.. StarCon was a fine but simplistic game and StarCon 3 did not exist. IT DID NOT EXIST I TELL YOU). Still, I'll play a sequel just on the chance it comes close.

The original was Starflight; Star Control II was a graphical facelift with some arcade stuff tacked on, a less interesting story, and much weaker RPG aspects. It's a good game and was a nice refresh, and it's obviously a little less dated looking, but basically everything it did well had been done better in Starflight (which is arguably the best PC game of all time if you adjust for era).

Re: *happy campers* (1)

rcastro0 (241450) | about a year ago | (#44368743)

This is a sincere tip, but sure to sound like a spambot: If you liked Starflight you should definitely take a look at FTL, "Faster Than Light". It is a modern indie game with retro graphics and Starflight 's soul, though game play has a different, more tactical flavor.

Back in the PC XT era I had access to a pirated copy of Starflight but no crack. The copy protection method was such that after so many turns it would ask a question that a pirate couldn't answer and then halt the game. Very frustrating, as by then you' d have a full tripulation and would be just starting the fun.

Re:*happy campers* (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#44367159)

The main problem is that Star Control II was an action adventure/RPG game and Star Control III just broke that by turning it into make a crappy strategy game.

The core of it is the ship combat game. The next most important layer is the plot, dialog, and the navigation aspects.

Re:*happy campers* (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44367905)

To be fair, Star Control was a strategy/action game, and Star Control II only used the combat aspect from its predecessor. Unfortunately for SC3, the one common feature of all three games (the melee) was broken beyond belief in SC3, so much that they had to add a key (F11, F12?) to force the enemy to stop running away all the time.

Re:*happy campers* (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#44367809)

Of course, someone should take odds on whether or not a reboot can come close to doing as well as the orignal (the original #2 that is.. StarCon was a fine but simplistic game and StarCon 3 did not exist. IT DID NOT EXIST I TELL YOU). Still, I'll play a sequel just on the chance it comes close.

I agree with you on Star Control 2. I almost never play through an adventure game more than once, but I think I have been through it 3 times over the years...

I will have to grudgingly acknowledge SC3's existence because I bought it the day it came out. And then returned it 3 days later. Funny thing is, you usually can't return video games after they are opened unless the media is defective. In this case the employee at the Fry's return counter must have been a SC2 fan as well, because when he asked me what was wrong with it, I just said "it's a horrible game!" and he took it back without any more questions :)

Re:*happy campers* (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#44367881)

"Star Control II was the best game ever."

Not even close. Try Brutal Doom sometime. Doom 3 should have been this, and you'd have been shitting your pants the entire way through.

Re:*happy campers* (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44368145)

along with absolutely everything Atari did in the 80s. How the mighty have fallen.

ET was your fave? I thought the plot in that game was a bit mesed up.

Re:holy fucking shit (0, Offtopic)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year ago | (#44366797)

EJACULATION!

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44366887)

Stardock makes awful, banal games that only a calculator could love (which they aren't glitching and crashing)

Their version of Star Control will be horrific.

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

dottrap (1897528) | about a year ago | (#44367015)

Unless they work with Toys for Bob, they can't reference anything in Star Control 1 or 2 because Toys for Bob retains the copyright for the characters and story.
http://www.incgamers.com/2013/07/open-source-star-control-2-team-express-doubts-over-atari-ip-sale [incgamers.com]

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44367061)

That's great, so Stardock will make Star Control 3 1/2 and hopefully Toys For Bob will regain the full IP when Stardock goes under.

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44367131)

Unless they work with Toys for Bob, they can't reference anything in Star Control 1 or 2 because Toys for Bob retains the copyright for the characters and story.
http://www.incgamers.com/2013/07/open-source-star-control-2-team-express-doubts-over-atari-ip-sale [incgamers.com]

The idea that Toys for Bob of all people would pursue a claim of someone ripping them off is pretty rich, given that Star Control was a thinly veiled ripoff of Starflight (which itself has a better claim to "best PC game of all time" than Star Control 2 does). Reiche was even involved in the Starflight development, so it's not like they didn't know exactly what they were doing.

Re:holy fucking shit (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#44367849)

It's not a "ripoff" since the lead designer of Starflight (Greg Johnson) worked on Star Control 2, and the lead designer of Star Control 2 worked on Starflight. How do you rip YOURSELF off?! You might as well just call Black & White a ripoff of Populous or Mass Effect a ripoff of KOTOR. Same people, similar concepts, different titles. Big deal...

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44368095)

No love for Total Annihilation?

Honestly I liked the campaign mode of SC1 better anyways, but maybe thats because I never had a 3do and only played UQM single player.

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

Artemis3 (85734) | about a year ago | (#44368381)

Both sc1 and sc2 were lots of fun to play with another person. At least the PC/DOS game.

Unfortunately sc2 for 3do had "smooth zoom", which ruined the Ilrwrath ship. Thankfully, they added a "pc" switch to ur-quan masters (the open sourced edition).

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

Artemis3 (85734) | about a year ago | (#44368363)

If its like 3, screw that.

A brand means nothing if the authors are not there. You know, the guys who open sourced the game as "Ur-Quan Masters" because only the brand did not belong to them...

And yes, i played the three Star Control games. 2 was the best, period. Since the second game was open sourced, its probably in the repository of your favorite distro.

Re:holy fucking shit (1)

Teresa Briscoe (2859591) | about a year ago | (#44368643)

That was the first question in my mind.

Master of Orion, please (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#44366719)

World of Tanks is pretty fun. Master of Orion is a completely different kind of game. Hope they can manage it okay. I'd love a decent sequel.

Re:Master of Orion, please (2)

captjc (453680) | about a year ago | (#44366881)

I don't expect anything as good as MOO2. However, anything would be better than the buggy heap of crap that was MOO3. Personally, I would have loved to see Firaxis get that property.

Re:Master of Orion, please (2)

LurkNoMore (2681167) | about a year ago | (#44367433)

If they only made the in game ship combat control better and changed nothing else in MoO2, I would be happy to send them $50.

$291 or $261? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366723)

Seriously, why can't you match the title to the content?!

Re: $291 or $261? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366737)

Did you read the content? 30+261=291

Re:$291 or $261? (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#44366743)

Atari Parent company: $30 million

Atari subsidiary company: $261 million

$30 million plus $261 million equals $291 million worth of debt owed to Atari entities

Re: $291 or $261? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366753)

261 + 30 = 291

Re:$291 or $261? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44367109)

Looks like SOMEBODY isn't eating their iodized salt...

Re:$291 or $261? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#44367313)

It doesn't matter. Jack Tramiel's Mastercard limit is $230M.

Re:$291 or $261? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about a year ago | (#44368393)

>It doesn't matter. Jack Tramiel's Mastercard limit is $230M.
The late Jack Tramiel.

Re:$291 or $261? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44368567)

That is probably what it is to pay off, his credit card debts.

And who owns the old atari rights now days (2, Informative)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44366725)

And who owns the old atari rights now days?

I think it's been a lot of spinoffs / buyouts over the years.

Re:And who owns the old atari rights now days (1)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#44366975)

I think Trepidity answered your question below. The Atari companies this article discusses were part of the hardware portion of Atari. The other software / IP side of Atari is totally separate and got passed around through the years and is now held by Warner Bros. That is if I interpreted Trepidity's post correctly.

but what about D&D? (4, Interesting)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#44366733)

Atari owned the rights to make D&D based computer rpg's does that right get sold or returned to hasbro or is it under another branch of atari? If it is under this branch of atari what happens to the lawsuit against beam dog over the baldurs gate enhanced edition that is holding up the android and linux ports from being released.

Re:but what about D&D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366833)

atari no longer has rights to d&d.. after lawsuits, licensing disputes and ownership changes...... tribune now owned by warner bros. self-publishes (dungeons & dragons online, formerly published by atari); and cryptic was sold-off to pwe and also self publishes (neverwinter, finished and released under pwe ownership).

TURBINE, not TRIBUNE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366993)

I mean I know they look like anagrams, but still :)

Re:but what about D&D? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44367645)

after daggerdale atari should never be allowed to touch D&D ever again, god what a shit game

A new game based off starcon2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366763)

*happy camper*

Re:A new game based off starcon2? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44367497)

Is StarCon2 anything like Atari's Star Raiders? I really miss that and BallBlaster.

Re:A new game based off starcon2? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44367917)

Download, [compile], play, and tell us. http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Total Annihilation - Will it ever come back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366765)

TA was one of my favorite RTS games. Really innovative, loads of fun. The expansion was awesome too.
It's title and IP has been bought and re-sold by failing companies for years now, unfortunatly.

The game has even been re-made by it's original creatores twice in a game called Supreme Commander. Though, that franchise has been suffering similar problems. (SC1 is good.. SC2, not so much. Seems to be made by different people? Can anyone confirm what's up with SC?)

Any luck we'll see a new, legit TA game?

Re:Total Annihilation - Will it ever come back? (1)

Mr_Blank (172031) | about a year ago | (#44366895)

    Keep an eye on Planetary Annihilation [uberent.com] .

PROPRIETARY ENGINE TECHNOLOGY
The Planetary Annihilation engine was built for this project, so we could make the game that we wanted to make. Built by the same engineers who built the Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander rendering engines.

Re:Total Annihilation - Will it ever come back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366911)

Any luck we'll see a new, legit TA game?

Check out the Kickstarter project "Planetary Annihilation", It's the guys behind TA. Alpha acces is $83 on Steam ($40 for retail IIRC).
It looks awesome imo.

Re:Total Annihilation - Will it ever come back? (1)

captjc (453680) | about a year ago | (#44366923)

Last I heard, Wargaming was in talks to buy Gas Powered Games, I don't know if that's still a thing. However, if it does go through, there is a pretty good chance it could happen.

Re:Total Annihilation - Will it ever come back? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#44367287)

Planetary Annihilation is the technical and spiritual successor to both SC and TA. SC2 was made by Square Enix (oh god why, I can hear you say), but strangely the original designer of both TA and SC, Chris Taylor, claimed responsibility (or at least support) for its deviations from the core formula (most notably unit upgrades and noncontinuous resource gathering.) The goal was to simplify; the result was to alienate the only audience the brand had ever drawn; the lesson was for the next game—Planetary Annihilation, which to my knowledge doesn't include Chris Taylor but does have some GPG staff behind it—to return to TA's core qualities.

Re: Total Annihilation - Will it ever come back? (1)

msm8bball (1097415) | about a year ago | (#44367551)

Also check out springrts.com. It was inspired by TA. It is an engine with several clones of TA to choose from, plus new unrelated stuff. Open Source.

also none are actually Atari (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44366777)

A fun fact is that neither of the two Ataris suing each other here are in any reasonable sense the original Atari. First of all, the original company split in 1984 due to financial difficulties, into two companies: 1) Atari Games, which owned the rights to the classic game IP; and 2) Atari Computer, which took over making actual hardware.

Atari Games existed for a few year in the mid-'80s, but in the late '80s went defunct, getting bought up by Time Warner, which later became AOL, which later sold them to Midway Games, which was later acquired by Warner Bros. So it's basically a copyright holding company owned by some group of investors that is several degrees of separation removed from anyone who actually worked on an Atari game.

Atari Computer initially did some interesting stuff, mostly notably putting out the Atari ST, and later the Atari 7800. They sort of tanked in the late-'80s/early-'90s though, when the Atari Lynx and the Atari Jaguar both fell hugely short of expectations. This half of the company then met the same fate as Atari Games: it de-facto ceased to exist, except as IP that got sold around between various companies that never had anything to do with its products, in this case Hasbro and Infogrames. And now two parts of this half are suing each other.

The short version of the story is: Atari got split up in 1984, was defunct by 1993, and now two, of at least three, companies that own some kind of claim to the name "Atari" are suing each other, but none of them have anything to do with Atari, except insofar as they are leeches who've somehow ended up with the rights to exploit the trademark.

Re:also none are actually Atari (5, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44366905)

The companies in this story were renamed "Atari" somewhat recently:

Atari Inc. was formerly GT Interactive
Atari SA and Atari Europe were formerly Infogrames Entertainment

The French company Infogrames purchased GT Interactive and Hasbro Interactive. In the late 90's/early 2000's Hasbro bought the rights to the old Atari games and naming rights, which is what allowed Infogrames to rebrand the main company and their various divisions as "Atari."

Re:also none are actually Atari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44367225)

I work for atari games while it was 'Time Warner Interactive' in the 90's. While it had a new owner many of the original atari employees were still employed at that time. I worked with the original creators of asteroids, missile command, etc. It still seemed like the old atari games to me.

Re:also none are actually Atari (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#44369911)

I work for atari games while it was 'Time Warner Interactive' in the 90's. While it had a new owner many of the original atari employees were still employed at that time. I worked with the original creators of asteroids, missile command, etc. It still seemed like the old atari games to me.

In your opinion, then, when did Atari Games "truly" die? Was it still meaningfully the same entity when Midway took it over and renamed it? Did it survive until Midway exited the arcade business in the early-noughties (which surely must be the latest point one could choose, as after that Midway Games West was apparently a trademark and IP holder only).

Re:also none are actually Atari (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#44369881)

Atari Games existed for a few year in the mid-'80s, but in the late '80s went defunct, getting bought up by Time Warner, which later became AOL, which later sold them to Midway Games, which was later acquired by Warner Bros. So it's basically a copyright holding company owned by some group of investors that is several degrees of separation removed from anyone who actually worked on an Atari game.

You're broadly right, but wrong in some of the details.

"Atari Games" (the arcade division) existed under that name until well into the nineties, and after that as "Midway Games West", though as Midway left the arcade market in the early-noughties, that's now dead.

Ironically, Warner Communications- one of Time Warner's predecessors- was the owner of Atari Inc. (i.e. *the* original Atari company) in its heyday from just before the VCS launch until the 1984 split.

Atari Corporation (Tramiel's company that you mistakenly referred to as "Atari Computer") actually lasted until 1996, when it was basically shut down via a merger with a third-rate hard drive maker.

Here's my potted summary of the timeline in full [slashdot.org] .

You're mostly right, though. The original Atari is long gone, and any direct continuation of its original business (i.e. Atari Games and Atari Corp.) are now also long-dead. The current "Atari" have the name and IP in common, and that's it.

TA:MMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366805)

Bring on a Total Annihilation MMO, kthxbye

Only in bizarro corporate land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366811)

can you buy a company, merge it into your company, but then somehow have your company not be responsible for any of the debt when it crashes.

So if it succeeds, its "yay, look at all my company's new money"

and if it fails its "wow, somebody really borked that, i'm sure glad -my- company isnt involved"

Re:Only in bizarro corporate land (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#44366861)

Well, yeah, look at blockbuster. They were bought, took on a billion dollars of their parent company's debt, then spun off with crippling loan payments.

I think I'll get in on the action... (2)

lord_mike (567148) | about a year ago | (#44366817)

How much for the 3D Tic Tac Toe [wikipedia.org] franchise?

Stardock Published SoaSE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366837)

Stardock published SoaSE, it was developed by Ironclad Games.

Total Annihilation is dead. Long live TA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366849)

That game kicked the pants off every RTS from that era and all the RTS games that followed for a decade. I don't know who the hell Wargaming is, but if the comments about their existing products is anything to go on it's not good news for the TA franchise (hello micro-transactions... TA was always known for a gigantic arsenal of units, so I'm sure that'll be easy to profit off of).

If any of you guys are still interested in a TA inspired game, I'd highly recommend Planetary Annihilation (http://www.uberent.com/pa/). It's being built by two of the leads from the TA project and looks more TA inspired then Supreme Commander ever was. Also, I have to give them mad props for building their own game engine from scratch and doing things *right*. It's looking like a great game and I seriously hope it becomes the game TA never was.

That's odd... (3, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year ago | (#44366855)

So Stardock got the rights for Star Control but _not_ Master of Orion? I wonder if they were outbid, or decided to pass on it since they have Galactic Civilizations, their own decently reviewed and decently selling turn based 4x space game. They can always make GalCiv 3 not that they've passed on the opportunity to make MoO 3 (it's too bad no one ever made a third MoO game before [xkcd.com] ) but even after all this time i think perhaps the MoO name might have given them some cachet (and thus sales) that GalCiv wouldn't get.

As for Star Control, despite the issues with the original release of Elemental i have a moderate amount of faith in Stardock's ability to handle the game well, but they've demonstrated themselves to be both credible as a developer (Galactic Civilizations, Political/Corporate Machine) and as a publisher (Sins of a Solar Empire with Ironcald Games [wikipedia.org] .) So i wonder if they're going to develop this game themselves, or farm it out to someone else. Someone like, i dunno, Toys for Bob [wikipedia.org] ? :)

Re:That's odd... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44366907)

They don't publish anymore, they just sell games on Steam.

Awful, awful games.

Re:That's odd... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about a year ago | (#44367025)

Okay, judging from earlier comments you clearly have a hate-on for Stardock. I happen to disagree, since obviously i like both StarCon 2 and (most of) Stardock's games.

However i'm not sure how you can say they don't publish games any more. How do you think games get on Steam? Believe it or not Valve is not the publisher of every game for sale on Steam.

Re:That's odd... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44367255)

So Stardock got the rights for Star Control but _not_ Master of Orion? I wonder if they were outbid, or decided to pass on it since they have Galactic Civilizations, their own decently reviewed and decently selling turn based 4x space game. They can always make GalCiv 3 not that they've passed on the opportunity to make MoO 3 (it's too bad no one ever made a third MoO game before [xkcd.com] ) but even after all this time i think perhaps the MoO name might have given them some cachet (and thus sales) that GalCiv wouldn't get.

As for Star Control, despite the issues with the original release of Elemental i have a moderate amount of faith in Stardock's ability to handle the game well, but they've demonstrated themselves to be both credible as a developer (Galactic Civilizations, Political/Corporate Machine) and as a publisher (Sins of a Solar Empire with Ironcald Games [wikipedia.org] .) So i wonder if they're going to develop this game themselves, or farm it out to someone else. Someone like, i dunno, Toys for Bob [wikipedia.org] ? :)

I think as long as Stardock gets someone else to do the writing, a decent SciFi writer with a sense of humour. GalCiv 2 was a very good turn based strategy game (albeit with a steep learning curve) but the criticism that the writing was crap is a valid one. Gal Civ 2 was a good game on its gameplay rather than its story.

Then again, seeing what passes for decent storywriting these days (erm Far Cry 3, Bioshock) Brad Wardell could vomit on a typewriter and be considered amongst the best writers of the modern day.

Re:That's odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44368715)

You know, just being a good game instead a cool graphic effects show is just fine with me. Already there you beat 98% of the competition in my eyes. If I wan't a story, i'l watch a ... now wait a minute, i'll read a book. For explosions and effects I'll watch a movie. From game a want a good game, good writing , nice music & sounds, and great visuals come second.

GalCiv2 is a great game.

Re:That's odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44369315)

Listen, the Masters of Orion franchise has already been slaughtered by MoO3, which many fans refuse to admit existence of.

How sleazy (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44366917)

So if I want to rip off and steal investors and bank money all I have to do is create 3 shell companies move the debt around and pretend they are 3 entities then declare bankruptcies on all 3 where I get first dibs on my own debt. Then keep all the money again to myself since I get first dibs. Meanwhile pensioner and investor funds get screwed.

Is there any ethics left or did I misinterpret this story? This should be illegal as none of us us individuals can do this with credit card debt as that of course would be irresponsible. But not here if it is for corps

Re: How sleazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44367007)

You are correct. Add another layer or two and some shell aging, and you don't have a prayer of proving wrong-doing.

Incorrect Information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366969)

Sins of a Solar Empire was not created by Stardock. It was developed by Ironclad games and published by Stardock.

Tax trickin' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44366981)

I hate it when companies use these kind of tricks to pay less tax, especially if they use venerable names like Atari. It works like this: company A buys company B cheaply, grants them a huge "loan" then lets company B default on that loan. Company B files for bankruptcy and company A has a large tax write-off. All nice and legal but very unethical.

Stardock Published (didn't create) Sins of a Solar (2)

brit74 (831798) | about a year ago | (#44367111)

> "Stardock Systems, creators of Sins of a Solar Empire, picked up the rights to the Star Control franchise, which they intend to reboot."

Sins of a Solar Empire was created by Ironclad Games and published by Stardock. Stardock has developed their own games in the past, but let's give credit where credit is due: it belongs to Ironclad Games. It's sad that publishers get more credit and name recognition than developers these days.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sins_of_a_Solar_Empire [wikipedia.org]

Very interested to see what this does.... (2)

Drakonblayde (871676) | about a year ago | (#44367115)

to the Baldur's Gate franchise. Beamdog is basically in a holding pattern because Atari told them to cease and desist for now, which is holding up the Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate 2.

Atari ST (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#44367175)

Best 16 bit pc ever. I shed a tiny tear whenever I think about that machine and the Laser C compiler I got for it.

Re:Atari ST (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44367191)

Best 16 bit pc ever.

You can make an Amiga into an Atari ST by adding a serial to MIDI adapter (the Amiga has 31250bps serial ports, so it's really just a level converter) but the Atari ST doesn't have the Amiga's bit blitter et cetera. Victory: Amiga :D

Re:Atari ST (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#44367331)

And you can put a 68020 in your Amiga and leave all this "best 16-bit pc" talk behind.

Re:Atari ST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44368273)

Or put a 68040 or 68060 in your Atari. Can this pissing war end already? We all know both platforms were much, much better than the PC and Mac offerings of the time.

Re:Atari ST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44368171)

The Commodore CDTV is essentially an Amiga 500 with a MIDI interface. (And IR remote control and a CD reader.)

Stardock didn't get all the rights (3, Informative)

oldsak (1659305) | about a year ago | (#44367319)

http://www.incgamers.com/2013/07/open-source-star-control-2-team-express-doubts-over-atari-ip-sale [incgamers.com]
Apparently they only got the trademark to the name "Star Control" and the copyright to Star Control 3. Unless the license the Star Control 2 content as well, we might get something very different with the Star Control name slapped on.

Re:Stardock didn't get all the rights (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44369181)

http://www.incgamers.com/2013/07/open-source-star-control-2-team-express-doubts-over-atari-ip-sale [incgamers.com]

Apparently they only got the trademark to the name "Star Control" and the copyright to Star Control 3. Unless the license the Star Control 2 content as well, we might get something very different with the Star Control name slapped on.

as long as they have license to all the stuff in the universe, it's all the same. I'm pretty sure that's how they inteprete it, so they can use shofixtis and spathis.. or maybe they'll just remake the 3. the plot wasn't that bad, it's just couple of aspects that ruined it, like the map being a rotating ball.. no sense of exploration when you see everything right away.

Re:Stardock didn't get all the rights (1)

tbannist (230135) | about a year ago | (#44369707)

Actually, the copyrights for Star Control 1 and 2 remain with the original developers, and Stardock has acknowledged that and is trying to work them for the new game. Or at least, that's what Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock, posted on the boards [stack.nl] for the open source Star Control 2 game.

Zombies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44367403)

Zombie Atari is suing Vampire Atari? There's a movie in here somewhere.(Nolan Bushnell - Undead Hunter! Watch as Nolan and his band of Chuck Cheese robots hunt Undead remnants of his former companies!)

Re:converse shoes (-1, Troll)

Carla Czerwinski (2922243) | about a year ago | (#44367507)

Yay for Star Control and Battlezone (1)

Cyrano de Maniac (60961) | about a year ago | (#44367579)

I don't have much to add other than I'm hugely excited for both Star Control and Battlezone. SC1 and SC2 were bedrock mainstays of my college days, and the hover-tank Battlezone released in 1998 was phenomenal.

I've since moved on to play and enjoy The Ur-Quan Masters [sourceforge.net] , but even shortly after SC2's heyday and before UQM was available, I remember paying for a legit download of the PC version of the game (late '98, early '99?). If we could get network mode Melee, I'd be tickled pink. If there were a persistent universe game (ala EVE) formed out of the Star Control franchise I'd lock myself away in a room and never see the light of day again.

However I've never found a comparable game to the '98 Battlezone [wikipedia.org] . The gameplay was terrifically fun, fairly easy to get started, the copy protection was a reasonable compromise (need one disc present among all the computers playing on the LAN), and I cannot remember a single stability, usability, or gameplay bug. I could very much see wasting away many hours if that were updated and brought to market again.

Stardock is a publisher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44367583)

Stardock did not make Sins of a Solar Empire. They published it. SoaSE was made by Ironclad Games.

not at all surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44367823)

When I think Atari, I think Atari 2600. Face it, that was the last truly innovative and really good thing they made.

Re:not at all surprised (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about a year ago | (#44368407)

>When I think Atari, I think Atari 2600.
Yeah because the 800 was just so far behind the curve when it was released in 1979. It's hardware was so dated it was continued conceptually in the Amiga (same designer). Bot had sprites, hardware assisted scrolling, display interrupts, multi channel sound and stuff like display lists/copper lists.

YAY FOR STAR CONTROL AND BATTLEZONE! (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#44368861)

No Blood, though...

Infocom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44369421)

Did they sell off Infocom? What did they get for that?
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