A DMCA takedown notice has resulted in Star Control: Origins being removed from both Steam and GOG.com on December 31st. The take-down notice is the latest development in a years-long feud between Stardock — who purchased very specific rights to the Star Control IP from Atari in 2013 — and the franchise creators, Fred Ford and Paul Reiche — who announced their own Star Control sequel in 2017.
It only gets more convoluted from there but Polygon has as succinct an explanation as I’ve read so far.
In response to the takedown Stardock’s CEO Brad Wardell has laid out the studio’s response, promising that those who already own the game can continue to play and that “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”. On Twitter he further ensured that “we will have Star Control: Origins distributed directly at StarControl.com as soon as possible”.
Now that the threats have resulted in a takedown it’s not likely that the game will return to Steam and GOG.com any time soon. It could eventually happen but would likely take another court order to repeal the takedown. For now I’ll begin working on a page for the game and update it when the next wave of litigation hits.