Posted on January 3, 2008, Steve Universal Combat Goes Freeware
Yes. Reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated. You know who I’m talking about. The self-righteous egomaniac himself, Derek Smart. This time Mr. Smart resurfaces bearing gifts:
As announced late last year, Dreamcatcher’s five year rights to two of our legacy games, Battlecruiser Millennium Gold (2003) and Universal Combat (2003) expired on 12/18/07. As such, we had advised the publisher to initiate a DIF (Destroy In Field) order to its various retailers so that the games can no longer be sold. The new Dreamcatcher management (under the new Jowood owners) have complied accordingly as best we can tell.
In case you were wondering; yes, the games were still selling and generating royalty income as per the [unpaid] quarterly royalty statements from the publisher. Those [two year] accumulated and unpaid income earnings will be written off as a bad debt loss in our 2007 tax filings once we receive the Q4/07 statements which are due around the end of January ’08.
That said, in keeping with the tradition of releasing my legacy games for free, I have repackaged the single player Universal Combat game and released it into the wild as freeware. Once again, our freeware game is released with no advertising, no nag screens, no expiration date, nothing. Just the full (and patched) single player game as was commercially released in Feb 2004, but with fewer music tracks (the game FAQ shows how players can add their own MP3 tracks) and no multiplayer.
The only condition under which our freeware games are released is that they not be sold under any circumstances, nor bundled as part of any commercial media (e.g. magazine cover discs) without my expressed written permission.
We previously released the original Battlecruiser Millennium game; as such there are no plans to release the Gold version.
Although many would-be gamers will dub this as a belated X-Mas present (a lump of coal as some wisecrack forum goer scoffed), a free gift is a gift nonetheless. Staying true to reputation and form, Mr. Smart has indeed released his (now classic) highly ambitious yet heavily criticized 2004 sequel in the Battlecruiser 3000AD series for all to survey. Then again, this could all be a ploy to ramp attention for his upcoming Gallactic Command titles.
And what would a Derek Smart spotting be without the typical Smart vs. The Internet flame war? Ahh the good ol’ days have returned.
Stop it. I’m getting all misty.