Minecraft, which is one of the most revolutionary games of the last ten years, popularized the ‘pay for alpha’ access. However, the ‘alpha access’, which I did pay for, was for the gameplay currently offered as well. Minecraft Alpha WAS ALREADY FUN. Also, the price got more expensive when it went to ‘beta access’ and then to ‘final’. Notch did this type of pre-release payment so he could keep developing the game.
What we currently have is massive abuse of the ‘pre-release’ access. There is no game for us to play if we buy ‘founder’s pack’.
More on the Star Control game here.
There is no way they can top Star Control 2’s story and innovation. The best thing to do is to make a similar game in a totally different universe. But, then again, they paid so much for the trademark so they gotta use it.
The only time I can think of games that emulate other games that become successful are Blizzard games. And the reason why Blizzard games succeed is because 1) they make the game less hardcore and more accessible 2) Put in fantastic sound 3) and make beautiful art.
Stardock is in way over its head.