[UPDATE] Stardock Responds To Star Control Developers' Claims Over Ownership Of Series

Update 10:14pm: Stardock has sent statements to Game Informer responding to some of Ford and Reiche’s claims. A Stardock representative states that, while Ford and Reiche claimed back in December that the company was attempting to prevent them from making the game, “Stardock not acquiescing to Fred and Paul being able to call their game ‘a sequel to Star Control’ is not tantamount to Stardock prevent them from making their game.”

Regarding the pair’s ownership of the series itself, Stardock claims that “since Ford and Reiche were contracted developers for the original Star Control, they ultimately never owned any rights to the Star Control trademark.”

Additionally, regarding the two’s claim that Wardell did not question their ownership of the series, the company states that “Stardock has consistently been clear that they own the Star Control trademark.”

We have also updated the original story to clarify that Stardock owns the trademark to the Star Control series, and to reflect that Star Control: Origins is in fact available for purchase on Steam and GoG.

Original Story: In the next chapter of the fight for control of the Star Control series, original series creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche have started a Gofundme fundraiser for the estimated $2 million they need to defend themselves against Stardock, which is suing them for the rights to the franchise.

The short version of the backstory here is that Ford and Reiche developed the first two Star Control games, but, through a serious of closures and buyouts, Stardock currently owns the trademark to the Star Control series. Stardock is currently developing Star Control: Origins using the name of the series but none of the alien species in the original games, while Ford and Reiche’s company, Dogar and Kazon, is creating Ghosts of the Precursors, which is billed as a “direct sequel” to Star Control II.

Ford and Reiche alleged in December that Stardock was suing them over Ghost of the Precursors. They also believe Stardock does not have the trademark to Star Control, and filed a counterclaim against the company back in February. Since then, the Star Control games (save for Origins) have disappeared from the likes of Steam and GoG, Ford and Reiche have posted timelines and legal settlements from their side of the story, claiming Stardock CEO Brad Wardell had at first not questioned Ford and Reiche’s ownership of the series, then quickly (the next day) turned around and threatened litigation.

Now the two have launched the Gofundme to raise $2 Million, which the pair say will go towards defending themselves from Stardock’s “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.”

In the meantime, Star Control: Origins is due to release on September 20. No release date for Ghosts of the Precursors has been set.

 

I again am and will likely never be a legal expert, so I can’t say who’s in the right here. That said, Ford and Reiche’s claim that Wardell at first said the two owned the series then turned on them doesn’t paint the latter in a good light. We’ll have to see how this story develops.

Beta Test [UPDATE] Stardock Responds To Star Control Developers’ Claims Over Ownership Of Series

Figure Out What Waluigi's Whole Deal Is In This Did You Know Gaming Video

Hot on the heels of the character being featured in Mario Tennis Aces, Did You Know Gaming is spotlighting longtime Mario mischief maker and notable Super Smash Bros. Ultimate playable roster absentee Waluigi, giving is a quick look at his history.

The video details how Waluigi came to be created a doubles partner for Wario in the original Mario Tennis, the meaning of his name, some of his potential inspirations and references to the classic Nintendo game Wrecking Crew, and the various times Nintendo has (appropriately) dunked on this character.

Beta Test Figure Out What Waluigi’s Whole Deal Is In This Did You Know Gaming Video

Report: Microsoft May Be Collaborating With Razer On Bringing Mice And Keyboards To Xbox One

Microsoft may have been working with peripheral manufacturer Razer on bringing full mouse and keyboard support to Xbox One according to a recent report, though whether that is still the case is unclear.

The report comes from Windows Central, which claims to have received leaked documents regarding a presentation to developers earlier this year regarding its plans to add support for mouse and keyboards. The company seems to have been working with Razer on the endeavor, citing its Turret and BlackWidow devices as that could be directly compatible with Xbox One, through their Chroma light-up keys, which allows the keyboard to respond to cues from games. This would also include support for just about any USB mouse, including wireless mice with dongles.

The presentation also offered guidelines planning to implement mouse and keyboard in their games, including support for at least five buttons on a mouse, being able to properly pinpoint the cursor, and implementing new APIs for mouse data. Microsoft reportedly notes it would be up to developers how they want to implement mouse and keyboard, if that means separating controller and mouse-and-keyboard users into distinct multiplayer matchmaking queues.

Windows Central does state the information is from earlier this year, and the documents it received to not say whether the company is still planning to go ahead with this initiative. Though Minecraft’s Bedrock Edition currently supports mouse and keyboard, most games do not. However, if this report proves true, Xbox One players may be able to enjoy PC-oriented controls on their console of of choice in the near future.

 

While the hassle of figuring out multiplayer balance with two separate control schemes might be a hassle for many developers, it’d be nice to be able to play something like Age of Empires on a Turret or something. Seems neat, if true.

Beta Test Report: Microsoft May Be Collaborating With Razer On Bringing Mice And Keyboards To Xbox One

Fighting EX Layer Creator Teasing New Character In Tweet

Arika vice president Ichiro Mihara has posted an image of character for Fighting EX Layer that hasn’t been shown before, despite the game’s roster being more or less final.

With Fighting EX Layer being out next Thursday, it’s no surprise the game will appear at the week’s major fighting game tournament, Community Effort Orlando (CEO). In a Tweet thank the tournament for their presence, Mihara also posted a strange screenshot.

The second screenshot also has the tweet text, “We are honored to be able to participate in CEO 2018. This sentence has nothing to do with the picture (w” in its image, as well as something fans hadn’t seen before: A fully rendered version of the Street Fighter EX character Pullum Purna, who had been mentioned earlier as a potential DLC character should the game perform well, but hadn’t been shown. While this doesn’t necessarily confirm the character will release, it does bode well, since it shows the team is at least working on creating the character in-game.

Currently the cast includes only 12 confirmed characters in the final cast, as well as one DLC character available in the special edition of the game.

[Source: Ichiro Mahara on Twitter]

 

Pullum is one of my favorite character designs from the Street Fighter EX series, so I hope she makes it into the roster, whether it’s through the game selling well enough or because the team has decided to release her despite the game’s sales numbers.

Beta Test Fighting EX Layer Creator Teasing New Character In Tweet

Bungie Making Changes To Exotic Armor Pieces In Upcoming Patch

Bungie has detailed some of the changes it’s planning to make some of the more underutilized Exotic armor pieces in Destiny 2’s 1.2.3 update, boosting the strength and versatility of three armor pieces each for Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks.

For Hunters, Lucky Raspberry will have an increased chance to recharge your Arcbolt Grenade should you land a hit with it, and nailing four targets will automatically refill it. St0mp-EE5 now adds increased jump height to all of Hunters’ jumps, not just the High Jump. Young Ahamkara’s Spine no longer marks targets hit by Tripmine grenades, but now increases their throw speed, blast radius, and durability. Solar ability hits now also grant Tripmine Grenade energy.

For Titans, ACD/0 Feedback Fence now works as more of a defensive item by granting increased melee damage resistance instead of dealing damage after hit melee attacks (the armor piece now also grants charges based on melee hits and not kills). Doomfang Pauldrons have been spruced by replacing the melee-oriented ability with the ability to extend the Sentinel Shield super after landing Shield Throw hits. Dunemarchers have been buffed significantly, amount of sprint time necessary to activate a charge from five to one-and-a-half seconds, and increasing its damage across both PvP and PvE.

Warlocks can now cast it up as Stormcallers, since Crown of Tempests now has fewer, more potent charges of Conduction Tines, and each charge now extends the duration of Stormtrance while it lasts. Karnstein Armlets are now much simpler to use, swapping resistance, mobility, and target-marking for an instant heal after melee kill, followed by continuous healing for eight seconds. Starfire Protocol now have the added benefit of granting Empowering Rift weapon damage the ability to decrease the cooldown of Fusion Grenade.

These changes are set to go live during the 1.2.3 update, which hits on July 17 and also adds a number of other features, including the Solstice of Heroes event, six-on-six quickplay matches, a Rumble, and Triumphs for Year 1.

[Source: Bungie]

 

It’s going to be hard to pull my Hunter away from her Wormhusk Crown (instant health regen has saved my hide way too many times), but the changes to Lucky Raspberry sound promising, at least in PvE (I’m not patient enough to land four-man Arcbolt grenade in Crucible unless it’s during Iron Banner).

Beta Test Bungie Making Changes To Exotic Armor Pieces In Upcoming Patch

What To Watch This Weekend: SGDQ, Hearthstone, And BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

sgdq

As the groundhog heralds Spring, so does SGDQ herald the start of Summer. The speedrunning marathon may take up most of your time when it starts this Sunday, but there’s also a handful of other cool events worth your time going on!

But yes, Summer Games Done Quick is back this Sunday, kicking off a whole week of non-stop speedrunning action. Recent games you can expect to see broken include Iconoclasts, Cuphead, and Celeste. (Stream / Schedule)

The League of Legends LCS is also in full swing, as teams continue jockeying for their spot in the playoffs in the second week. (Stream / Schedule)

We’ve got two big fighting game tournaments this week. First, Northwest Majors has all the regular fighting mainstays like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Street Fighter V, and Tekken 7, as well as newcomers and smaller fair like Skullgirls, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and Darkstalkers 3. (Streams and Schedules)

We also have 2GG: Hyrule Saga, which has Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, as well as Smash-like Rivals of Aether. It also includes Arms. (Streams and Schedule)

Anyone in a raiding mood but without the friends or guild to make them happen can tune into the World of WarCraft Mythic Dungeon Invitational, which pits top raiding teams against each other. (Streams and Schedule)

If Hearthstone is more your thing, you can catch the HCT Summer Championship this weekend In Burbank, California, and watch the playoffs as they unfold. (Stream and Schedule)

That’s it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed an event, or if there’s a scene you’d like us to cover, in the comments.

Beta Test What To Watch This Weekend: SGDQ, Hearthstone, And BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

DC Comic To Launch New Imprint Dedicated To Edgy, Standalone Stories

Today, DC Comics announced that its launching a new imprint geared toward “edgy, provocative” takes on some of everyone’s favorite superheroes called DC Black Label.

In the early 90s, DC launched some of the most popular, enduring stories not just in comics but in all of fiction under its Vertigo label including Preacher, Y: The Last Man, Fables, A History Of Violence, and The Sandman. These titles were original properties geared towards courting an older audience, mimicking the content of R-rated films. It looks like DC now has plans to do another Veritgo label but this new one is focused on DC characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

DC Black Label will launch with Superman: Year One, penned by Frank Miller and illustrated by John Romita Jr in August, with a host of other stories to follow, per DC’s announcement:

  • SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE from Frank Miller (THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT: MASTER RACE) and John Romita Jr. (ALL-STAR BATMAN, SUPERMAN) A groundbreaking, definitive treatment of Superman’s classic origin story in honor of his 80th anniversary. This story details new revelations that reframe the Man of Steel’s most famous milestones—from Kal-El’s frantic exile from Krypton, to Clark Kent’s childhood in Kansas, to his inevitable rise to become the most powerful and inspiring superhero of all time.
  • BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the creative team behind DARK KNIGHTS: METAL Batman wakes up in a desert. He doesn’t know what year it is or how The Joker’s head is alive in a jar beside him, but it’s the beginning of a quest unlike anything the Dark Knight has undertaken before. In this strange future, villains are triumphant and society has liberated itself from the burden of ethical codes. Fighting to survive while in search of answers, Bruce Wayne uncovers the truth about his role in this new world—and begins the last Batman story ever told.
  • BATMAN: DAMNED from Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, the creative team behind JOKER On a deserted Gotham City bridge, a body is found. Whispers spread the news: Joker is dead. But is this a dream come true or a nightmare being born? Now Batman and DC’s outlaw magician John Constantine must hunt the truth through a Gotham City hellscape. The city’s supernatural recesses are laced with hints about a killer’s identity, but the Dark Knight’s descent into horror will test his sanity and the limits of rationality, as he must face a horror that doesn’t wear a mask.
  • WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS from Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet) and Phil Jimenez (INFINITE CRISIS) A Homeric epic of the lost history of the Amazons and Queen Hippolyta’s rise to power. Featuring monsters and myths, this three-book saga spans history from the creation of the Amazons to the moment Steve Trevor washes up on the shores of Paradise Island, changing our world forever.
  • WONDER WOMAN: DIANA’S DAUGHTER (working title) from Greg Rucka (WONDER WOMAN, BATWOMAN) It’s been 20 years since the world stopped looking to the skies for hope, help, and inspiration. Now the world keeps its eyes down, and the powers that have risen have every intention of keeping things that way. Amongst a scattered, broken resistance, a young woman seeks to reclaim what has been forgotten, and on the way will learn the truth about herself, her heritage, and her destiny.
  • THE OTHER HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE from John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, THE AMERICAN WAY) A compelling literary series analyzing iconic DC moments and charting sociopolitical gains through the perspectives of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups, including John Stewart, Extraño, Vixen, Supergirl, Katana and Rene Montoya, among others. At its core, the story focuses on the lives of those behind the costumes, and their endeavors to overcome real-world issues. It isn’t about saving the world, it’s about having the strength to simply be who you are.

For more on DC Comics, check out our preview of TT Games’ upcoming Lego DC Super-Villians.

 

Beta Test DC Comic To Launch New Imprint Dedicated To Edgy, Standalone Stories

Amy, Chao, And Most Importantly Big The Cat Announced For Team Sonic Racing

Today is the 27th anniversary livestream for Sonic the Hedgehog, which unfortunately did not have any loud buzzing sounds or people in Sonic costumes being awkwardly asked to stop dancing and exit the stage. It did, however, have an announcement of a few new characters for Team Sonic Racing.

Amy comes with a pink car that she is basically invisible standing against, the Chao which is actually four Chao driving together have a pod-like buggy, and Big the Cat has a big green car that looks like Froggy and has a fishing rod in the back. 

Team Sonic Racing later this year on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Switch.

Beta Test Amy, Chao, And Most Importantly Big The Cat Announced For Team Sonic Racing

Replay – Ape Escape 2

We recently played through all of Ape Escape in one sitting, and have been itching to see how the second game in the series held up. We usually try to space recurring game series out over time, but a recent hour-long discussion about apes in the office made us go back on our stance.

In this video, we explore the opening moments of Ape Escape 2 on PlayStation 2. As we marvel at the significant boost in graphics between series entries, we do our best to capture as many agitated apes as we can. And oh man! Do we catch a lot of them! We even run into some apes that we end up calling the “Dark Souls Apes” of the series.

Enjoy our dumb video, and we’ll see you again in seven short days!

Beta Test Replay – Ape Escape 2

Copyright-Assaulting Fangame Card Sagas Wars Getting Released

If you were on the internet circa 2011, you might remember the fan project Card Sagas Wars. The fighting game brought together 2D pixel art representations of Young Link, KOS-MOS, Mega Man X, Cloud, Lenneth, Master Chief, and more and then went quiet. You can find one of the last trailers for the game, released nine years ago, below.

The two developers of the game, Alberto Hernández and Dani Oliver, have announced that they plan to release a seven year-old build of the game on to the internet with four characters; Young Link, X, Cloud, and KOS-MOS. Hernández and Oliver will support the game with post-launch content, namely the eight other characters they finished, but this is not intended to be a resuscitation of the project.

Both developers have moved on from the game, but want to show what they have done while they work on new projects that they can actually make a living off of. As such, Card Sagas Wars is going to be buggy, but playable at the minimum.

Oliver says there should be more news on the release later in the week.

 

It’s a bit of a nostalgic trip for people who followed the project at the time, like me, but also fans of pixel art in general. I am excited to see Oliver’s original project as a fan of the art they produced for Card Sagas Wars, but I won’t lie that I enjoy seeing pixel art representations of a lot of these characters.

Beta Test Copyright-Assaulting Fangame Card Sagas Wars Getting Released