Stargate Network Is Shutting Down For Good

Stargate Network Is Shutting Down For Good

Stargate Network

The fan-made video game Stargate Network is ceasing all further development, the team behind the game announced today. This comes in the wake of Stargate owner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s acquisition by Amazon, and 18 months after Stargate Network received a cease-and-desist order from MGM for their unlicensed use of the intellectual property.

“We would have preferred to announce a new version including all the additional content already developed,” the team’s statement reads, “but unfortunately that will not be the case. Development is stopped.”

The game was available as a free download during its development, which spanned 15 years as a labor of love — “made by fans for fans,” as their slogan goes. It went offline in 2021 amidst a discussion with MGM over the possibility of obtaining a license.

Stargate Network fangames

The teambehind Stargate Network started the project in 2007 with an early, two-dimensional mock-up of the SGC Gate Room and dial-home device built in Adobe Flash. The project was completely rebuilt and expanded in Unreal Engine 3 in 2012, then again in Unreal Engine 4 in 2018.

When the game went offline the fully interactive world allowed players to explore Stargate Command, dial the Stargate, and visit the pyramid housing the Stargate on the planet Abydos, as well as other worlds — all in first-person perspective. Additional expansions were in the works, including a flyable Puddle Jumper and other ships, and the city of Atlantis.

Check out this farewell video for a look at the history of Stargate Network‘s development, plus some incredible work in progress that will be left unfinished. That includes Atlantis, prototypes for VR and multiplayer, and a cinematic recreation of the battle over Antarctica in SG-1’s seventh-season finale, “Lost City”:

the Stargate Network the team expressed gratitude to everyone who has contributed to, played, or otherwise supported the game over the years.

“It is with considerable emotion that we would like to thank everyone who has ever taken part in this project, no matter how small or big the contribution, from the most ancient to the most recent ones.”

That long list of fans and talent includes Stargate Atlantis actor David Hewlett (“Rodney McKay”), who was among the game’s public supporters. In June of 2021 he revealed the fan group’s legal troubles on social media, publicly pleading with MGM to allow the fan project to continue.

“Dear @MGMTelevision,” he wrote: “Please reconsider your cease & desist approach to @IBREC’s amazing #StargateNetwork. These are brilliant artists & fans creating incredible works inspired by Stargate & should be promoted (or hired!), not facing legal action!”

While the team did have cordial conversations with MGM in the following months, the Hollywood studio’s acquisition by Amazon earlier this year seems to have complicated matters. Now Stargate Network‘s creators have decided to stop pursuing the matter and cease development.

Stargate Network (DHD controllers)

“The further we went in the game’s development, the likelier its quality and fidelity could be assimilated to a professional production,” the team said. “We were aware this could eventually lead to a major copyright issue,” but they said that efforts to contact MGM about the game between 2018 and 2021 were unsuccessful.

In June 2021, shortly after the announcement of an official Stargate game, we received a cease and desist letter from MGM’s lawyers asking us to stop developing and sharing our game.

Thanks to our lawyers and the support of people who worked on the original show, we were able to come forward with our willingness to obtain the rights to the IP.

A few months of very cordial exchanges and meetings with MGM followed. We are obviously not able to be more precise about the content or results of these meetings for obvious confidentiality matters … but we thank MGM for their genuine interest in our project.

While Amazon’s acquisition of MGM seems to have put an end to their discussions with the Stargate Network team, developers remain hopeful that Stargate as a franchise will return under its new steward. “Be assured that we have done everything in our power to make Stargate Network come back,” they said. “The only thing to do now is be patient and see what Amazon decides to make of the Stargate franchise.”

Stargate Network (Atlantis control tower interior)

Stargate’s official video game licenses have a checkered past, with numerous titles commissioned but failing to make it to market. That includes the PlayStation 2-era Stargate SG-1: The Allianceand the massively multiplayer online role playing game Stargate Worlds in 2009.

Currently in development under license from MGM is Stargate: Timekeepers, a real-time tactics strategy game for the PC. The last new intel on that game came last spring, and while publisher Slitherine stated that they hoped to reach the beta stage by summer 2022 there have been no updates since then. A Slitherine rep tells GateWorld that the game is still in development, and the publisher will have an update early in 2023.

Our thanks to the team at Stargate Network for their years of passion and hard work.

On Twitter: @SGNgame

NEXT: Read Stargate Network’s official statement