Derek Smart is an independent game developer and member of the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Smart is mostly known for his self-produced BattleCruiser series.
The FreeSpace 3 issue
In 2004 Smart considered bidding for the FreeSpace licence from Interplay, with the goal of creating FreeSpace 3. When the news about his interest in the licence became publicly known in the FreeSpace community, Smart met with considerable opposition from the community and received little or no support. However, polls among the gaming public showed that the general, non-HLP customer base would acquire the game, regardless of Smart's involvement.
Smart did expound on his stance and claimed that from a business perspective he can not merely continue on an already existing project and that he, by extension, was thus not interested in the opinion of the community. Mentioning his name on the unofficial FreeSpace fan site of Hard Light Productions is often met with derogatory statements.