Master of Orion was first published in 1992 but rose to the fore in 1993 and into 1994. The original release v1.0 had several noteworthy bugs. The game was patched fairly well by the time patching stopped at v1.3
The game is no longer sold or supported by its makers. Both the game's designer, SimTex Software, and its publisher, Microprose, have been swallowed up and shuffled around in the corporate acquisition game. To the best of my knowledge, there is nowhere left to buy the game retail in a way that would see any money making its way back to the designers.
This leaves you with three choices. First, you may already own a copy from years past. If so, you're already set, unless your disks have been damaged or lost in the interim.
Second, you may be able to obtain a second hand copy, opened or unopened, through Ebay or other online trading and auction services.
Third, you may be able to download the full game off the internet.
I do not support piracy in any way. As an individual who makes his own living off the creation and sale of intellectual property, there are important principles involved. However, patents and copyrights do eventually expire, at which time property enters the public domain and anybody can fairly and legitimately make use of it. Master of Orion is not yet legally in that category, but practically it may be. The software is "out of print", the operating system it runs on is itself no longer supported by its maker, and there is nowhere I can direct you to buy a retail copy.
If you have legitmately owned the game in the past, I see no reason not to obtain a copy of it now, as if you were restoring from backup. You paid for a license to use the software and this would enable you to continue to use it.
If you have never owned the software, in this particular case, I believe it would be fair for you to have a chance to try it out. Then you could decide for yourself if you want to continue to use it, and if you do, about whether to cover your bases legally by seeking out a second-hand copy so that you will legally own the right to use the software.
I will not profit in any case, nor am I responsible for supporting the software. I do love the game and would like to see it endure. I would happily pay for a modernized version if the game's owners were to release a remake, but that does not appear to be in the works. I can only hope they appreciate the interest of fans, new and old, who have interest in the masterpiece they put forth, which still stands as the best game ever made in its genre.
When I renewed my interest in Master of Orion and began to assemble this site, the most helpful site I found was Jon Sullivan's Page, which has references, files, and everything else you might need. I recommend paying it a visit.
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