In some sad news for Star Trek: The Next Generation fans who were looking forward to Stage 9, the full re-creation of the USS Enterprise-D in the Unreal engine, the project has been cancelled due to a cease and desist order by CBS, the current owner of Star Trek's TV series IP.
The project was a fan lead re-creation of the USS Enterprise-D from the TNG series, which included some spectacular re-creations for the bridge, engineering and many other areas of the ship. The project was an entirely not-for-profit affair, and although it had not yet released, it had many amazing preview videos on their YouTube channel which we've been watching closely here at GameFront for a while now with some anticipation.
The game's official website and social channels had gone dark a short while ago, but with no explanation forthcoming until now. In a video released by the project's lead developer on his personal YouTube channel, it was explained that the project can no longer continue due to a C&D from CBS, and despite attempts by the team to try and negotiate with CBS for a better outcome, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
The developer explains in the video above that the project allegedly fell foul of CBS' new guidelines for 'fan films' and other such projects, which came under severe criticism when announced due to being seen as too harsh and restrictive. Star Trek's fandom has long been known for having a very open and active fan scene, with fan films, games, modifications and more being a staple of Trek fandom, something that has recently become more and more under threat by CBS' aggressive protection of their IP.
We hope that CBS will see sense with continued pressure from the team and fan community, although from what is explained in the video above, it does not look promising. Unfortunately this leaves this writer longing for another Star Trek fan game / mod that will never see the light of day...
What do you think of CBS' actions? Are they right to protect their IP, or is their aggressive perusal of fan projects alienating fans? Let us know below!