Just a minor correction to tonto's writeup: Star Control was originally written for the PC, released in July 1990, and then ported to the Sega Genesis.
Also, the best fan website is The Pages of Now & Forever at http://www.star-control.com. From that page was this choice FAQ.
A rabid fan of the game asked someone at Accolade why this grand old game couldn't be released as freeware. A person at Accolade responded:
Freeware? You mean we should give our games away for free? It is called CAPITALISM and what that means is that we charge people MONEY for things that we create.
But honestly...At this point in the games life it is not even worth our time to give it away for free. In order to do that we would have to create a version that we could give away for free (removing all password stuff) and then putting it on our web site (which we would have to create a page for and that takes time and resources). It would be a headache for someone Im sure and no one here would want to work on a freeware version of a game that no-one really wants. If you look at the number of people that would really want an old 386x game to run on their new systems that number would be very low. Though Star Control fans REALLY like the game, the rest of the population has already voted on how we should sell this game by purchasing it or not. And the numbers have shown that there are not a lot of people out there that want an old game like that. Kinda see what Im saying?
Why do we want to spend our time making one of our REALLY OLD games into a freeware version when we could be spending our time and resources on making a new game that could earn us BIG MONEY and that everyone could play? Did you know there is 1 PlayStation in every 5 houses? How many people out there want to run an old 386 game on their new Pentium systems? And how many of those people have the knowledge of DOS to get the game running? So you can see that we want to concentrate our time and resources that are going to make our company the most money we can get for our work.
Maybe if we released Star Control 2 for the PlayStation with some other games on the same CD, then we could put out a CLASSICS CD..but even then how would it do versus all the new titles that are coming out?