History of Star Control franchise

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History of Star Control franchise

Star Control is a series of video games that began with the 1990 game Star Control, developed by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford and published by Accolade. Originally an arcade-style combat game with minimal story elements, the game received a sequel, Star Control II, in 1992, which added an extensive adventure mode featuring hyperspace exploration, resource gathering on the surface of exoplanets, and the discovery of extraterrestrial life and civilizations. These civilizations had a rich and complicated history, centered around the sinister alien species known as the Ur-Quan, and their periodic internal conflict with a subspecies of theirs called the Kohr-Ah. Star Control II was extremely well received at the time, winning numerous awards from gaming magazines, and has since regularly featured in compilations of the top games of all time by various gaming publications.

Star Control 3 was released in 1996, continuing the story of Star Control II. However, this game was developed by Legend Entertainment, after the original developers did not express interest in creating a sequel on the terms outlined by Accolade. Star Control 3 contained several other departures for the series, including the addition of colony management elements similar to what can be found in 4X games and omitting the hyperspace and resource gathering elements. The plot involved new aliens and villains, with the player traveling to the Kessari quadrant to investigate the hyperspace collapse and uncover the secret of the Precursors.

The franchise lay largely dormant for the next decades, though fans continued to breathe life into the series with the creation and maintenance of an open-source remake of Star Control II, called The Ur-Quan Masters. The rights to Star Control were ultimately put up for auction during the Atari bankruptcy sale, and were acquired by Stardock in June 2013. Stardock began work on a reboot of the franchise, Star Control: Origins, whose first public beta began in 2017.