Classic strategic space shooter Star Control is to return, its original creators have announced, and work is currently underway on a brand-new sequel.
Almost 25 years after the release of Star Control 2, creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III have announced their intention to revisit the beloved franchise - known for its quirky humour and rich blend of close-quarters space combat and strategic planning - and to pick up exactly where they left off in 1992.
"We poured our hearts into the game," the pair explained of Star Control 2 in a new blog post, "blending our love for classic science fiction, Spacewar!-style action gameplay and our own quirky sense of humor."
"Pretty much ever since then, fans have been politely asking us to create a sequel, sometimes begging for a sequel, even threatening us if we don't make a sequel. Our answer was always, 'We really want to do this, we just need to wait until the time is right'."
The right time is finally here, it seems, and the duo's Star Control follow-up will be called Ghosts of the Precursors, "This is a passion project for us and we have committed to dedicating some of our own time to creating a true sequel."
Star Control 2 does, of course, already have a sequel - two in fact. However, neither were developed by Ford or Reiche. Instead, series publisher Accolade chose to forge ahead with its arguably ill-conceived follow-ups without any input from the original creators. Unsurprisingly, neither sequel is as fondly remembered as Star Control's initial two entries.
In many ways, Ford and Reiche's announcement is a bit of a mini-miracle. The rights to Star Control passed to Atari on Accolade's demise, and eventually ended up in the hands of publisher Stardock - which is currently working on its own successor. It's usually at this point that legal considerations force a detour into copyright-dodging "spiritual successor" territory.
However, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has explained in a tweet that, while Ghosts of the Precursors - which he describes as a "a canon follow-up" - is an entirely independent effort on its creators part, an agreement was reached so that Star Control 2's aliens could appear in the new game. "We've been talking for 4 years", said Wardell, "We didn't use the aliens specifically so that they could."
I am pleased to inform campers everywhere that Paul and Fred have announced a canon follow-up to Star Control II. https://t.co/WXWjTfaQXi— Brad Wardell (@draginol) October 9, 2017
According to Ford and Reiche, Ghosts of the Precursors is still in the "early, early" stages of development. As such, additional information is scarce, but its creators recommend keeping an eye on their twitter feed if you're keen to follow the project's progress.