Help Fred & Paul Save the Universe

$44,308 of $2.0M goal

Raised by 723 people in 9 months
Fred and Paul (that’s us!), creators of Star Control® II - The Ur-Quan Masters , need your help in defending ourselves against Stardock Systems®, Inc., which wants to strip us of our creative rights, property and even our history as creators of the game.  The legal fees for our defense, paid personally by us, are estimated to reach $2,000,000.  If you have enjoyed playing The Ur-Quan Masters™ -- if you loved Fwiffo or feared the Ur-Quan  or admired the Syreen or wanted to know why the Melnorme bridge turned purple , please help if you can.

30741630_1529531561911528_r.jpegA 25 Year Mission

In the early 1990s we created an epic science fiction adventure, which was first published by Accolade® under the name Star Control II.  The gameplay was based on a unique, fun hybrid of Spacewar!-style spaceship combat set within a vast, non-linear narrative and featuring an unforgettable cast of aliens – some friendly, some deadly, others enchantingly beautiful.  In 1994, we created a new version of our game for the 3DO console, this time published by Crystal Dynamics®.  A dedicated fandom grew around the game and its universe.  This fandom expanded dramatically in 2002 when we released the game for free as an open source project with a new name, The Ur-Quan Masters .  It has been downloaded over 1.8 million times and is supported and improved by fans to this very day.

We vowed both publicly and privately to return to this universe we created, and in October of 2017 announced, in celebration of the game’s 25th anniversary, that we were going to fulfill that promise with Ghosts of the Precursors™ , a continuation of the adventures begun in The Ur-Quan Masters.
30741630_1529530312900569_r.jpegThe Crimson Corporation

But then Stardock Systems Inc., led by CEO Brad Wardell , filed a lawsuit against us, seeking not just to prevent the creation of Ghosts of the Precursors and to take our past creative work, but also, bizarrely, to strip us of credit as creators of the original game.

So how did Stardock get involved in this?  In 2013 the corporation purportedly bought a few Star Control assets at a bankruptcy auction, but importantly not our games or creative work.  Shortly after the auction, Brad Wardell contacted us to see if we would help him make a new Star Control game, or at least license our creative work to Stardock.  We gave a clear ‘no’ to both offers, because we wanted to preserve our creative work for our own projects.  For the next 4 years Brad Wardell repeatedly asked to license the original material, and each time we rejected him, Brad assured us Stardock would never ever use any of our material without permission.  These assurances turned out to be false.

Shortly after we announced Ghosts of the Precursors, Stardock claimed they had always had rights to our original, creative material and began to bundle and sell our game without permission.  When we tried to stop these illegal sales, Stardock filed their lawsuit.

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.
30741630_1529530560354318_r.jpegFrungy! Frungy! Frungy!

The cudgel Brad Wardell and Stardock hold over us is huge.  The legal defense fees could exceed $2,000,000 and must be paid by us personally.  

We are willing to fight this battle to its end but need your help.  We are asking for contributions of any size to The Frungy Defense Fund.

If you have ever enjoyed one of our many games  or believe the rights to creative work should be respected,  we need your help.

Thank you, and please spread the word… and/or Juffo-Wup .

-        Fred Ford & Paul Reiche

Star Control is a registered trademark of Stardock Systems, Inc.
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Hi Folks!

We've posted an update on our blog which talks a bit about interesting recent legal events, funded in part by your kind donations! You can hop to the blog here:

Thanks for all your help!

- Paul and Fred
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Hello Most Excellent Hunams!

When Fred and I set-up The Frungy Defense Fund, we had no idea how quickly and how generously you would respond to our request for help. THANK YOU!!! In only a handful of days you have provided over $12,500, which is as they say, real money* that will help fuel our defense of the future of the Ur-Quan Masters universe.

As events unfold, Fred and I will keep you informed as best we can regarding our legal progress. Of course we have to keep a fair bit under wraps, but what we can share, we will. Like Fred’s middle name — it’s Frederick, but his friends call him Fred-Fred — it’s the truth!**

We’ll see you in the future!

- Paul & Fred-Fred

* This is important, because so far our attempts to use ‘imaginary money’ have not been successful.

** This is definitely not true.
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