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On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail

A forum post by Brad Wardell offers the Stardock CEO's perspective on what he calls "the completeness of Stardock's fail" on the launch of Elemental, commenting on their "sheer blindness," and saying: "There will be massive consequences for Stardock's game studio. I'll be talking more about this when I get back. But the game wasn't released early. The game was released poorly." Here's more:

Head in the sand syndrome imo. I've read the reviews as much as possible given my hideous internet access up here and I agree with them. We just didn't see what they were talking about. We thought any complaints would be about polish points or something.

The point is, the issue here is far far worse than many of you think it is. I wish it was an issue of the game being released too early. That's an easy thing for a company to "fix". Elemental's launch is the result of catastrophic poor judgment on my part.

Thanks nin via Dubious Quality.

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30 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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30. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 4, 2010, 06:37 Theo
 
Verno wrote on Sep 3, 2010, 15:45:
Actions speak louder than words.

this tbh, the issue for me is that stardock made such a huge deal about what gamers deserve - they consistantly manage to miss thier own targets, and the reasons begining to interest me less and less.

I dont think the whole "never buy a game on release day" arguement stands up thesedays; personally i think launch quality has been going up of late in the industry the annoying thing is this trend is being driven by console development. its having a positive effect on most of the rest of the industry.

shame stardock made mistakes, i dont wish the company anyharm - peoples jobs are important, but on the same note, i wont be giving them any coin unless i see a mass of high score reviews for a game and community feedback, burned one to many times.

 
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29. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 22:41 jdreyer
 
As it stands they can work on these hobby projects because they have their Impulse platform business, and windows app software business to fall back on.

Which makes it all the more perplexing. They didn't have to release to meet some quarterly financial deadline. They could afford to wait until it was polished. And waiting a month or two would still allow them to make the Christmas selling season.
 
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28. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 19:40 D_K_night
 
Guys - on the last Stardock(Elemental) posting here on Blue's News, there was this fella who subbed to Blue just this month, defending Stardock as if his life depended on it, saying oh it's a great game, blah blah. Remember him? Some of you called him a shill.

Now the CEO finally fesses up. So, Mister defender of Stardock...where are you?
 
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27. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 18:53 shinchan0s
 
Bhruic wrote on Sep 3, 2010, 16:48:
They just want to "make a game" because it "seems fun" and "everyone else is doing it."

Which is exactly who we want making games, isn't it? Haven't we been decrying the corporatization of gaming? Haven't we been complaining about companies that put profit first, and good games second?

Granted, Elemental is a buggy, boring mess at present, but since it's a labor of love, I hope that Stardock will continue with the polish until they find the gem in the turd. That is, at least, what they've claimed they intend to do.

We also want professionalism too. Would you buy an amateurish game from a developer you weren't already familiar with? Not likely.

This would be different if they were just selling the game through their website for $30, but they're selling boxed games (with limited editions no less!) through retail channels for $50!
 
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26. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 18:47 shinchan0s
 
kxmode wrote on Sep 3, 2010, 16:32:
Stardock isn't a game developer they're a Windows app developer. If they were a Gearbox, Valve or Blizzard these mistakes wouldn't exist because as a company their survival would depend on producing top-quality products that work. As it stands they can work on these hobby projects because they have their Impulse platform business, and windows app software business to fall back on. In other words there’s no sense of urgency on their part to make sure they launch a solid product. They just want to "make a game" because it "seems fun" and "everyone else is doing it."

LOL. WTF. What's with the last sentence anyway - it sounds sarcastic.

Business is business. If it were a "hobby" they'd be releasing it as freeware instead of selling it through retail stores for fifty bucks. Stardock is expanding into the videogame market because that's where the money is and I'm convinced Mr. Wardell has dreams of primarily dealing in PC games.
 
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25. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 17:35 OpticNerve
 
The campaign is pretty short and somewhat more of a tutorial than anything else. Like most 4x games, skirmish is the meat and potatoes of the game.  
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24. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 16:55 eRe4s3r
 
Even if they patch it - i was astounded to hear that theres only a 1h long campaign, and thats it. Now i don't know if this is true as i haven't bought or gotten the game.. but if it is then thats not unfinished but "not even trying"

Is there more than 1 campaign? Or does the skirmish mode have an acceptable level of dynamic story telling?
 
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23. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 16:48 Bhruic
 
They just want to "make a game" because it "seems fun" and "everyone else is doing it."

Which is exactly who we want making games, isn't it? Haven't we been decrying the corporatization of gaming? Haven't we been complaining about companies that put profit first, and good games second?

Granted, Elemental is a buggy, boring mess at present, but since it's a labor of love, I hope that Stardock will continue with the polish until they find the gem in the turd. That is, at least, what they've claimed they intend to do.
 
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22. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 16:32 Kxmode
 
Stardock isn't a game developer they're a Windows app developer. If they were a Gearbox, Valve or Blizzard these mistakes wouldn't exist because as a company their survival would depend on producing top-quality products that work. As it stands they can work on these hobby projects because they have their Impulse platform business, and windows app software business to fall back on. In other words there’s no sense of urgency on their part to make sure they launch a solid product. They just want to "make a game" because it "seems fun" and "everyone else is doing it."  
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21. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 15:49 briktal
 
Tumbler wrote on Sep 3, 2010, 13:28:
That is an impressive post. I feel like buying the game just based on those remarks. It's also odd to me that around the time of their last games release, Demigod, this kind of broken release wasn't that uncommon and today...it is? It is, I can't remember the last PC game like this that was so broken on release...granted I don't play many pc games these days but I would have read about them... PC game devs seem to be taking more time to polish so that their games are received at least fairly by the consumer. A game may be great in many respects but if it still operates like an alpha where the game crashes here and there and some things are broken the public just moves one without looking back.

Kudos to this guy.

If your game is really buggy and crashes all the time, it's harder to sell Week 1 DLC.
 
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20. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 15:45 Verno
 
Actions speak louder than words.  
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19. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 15:36 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Cutter wrote on Sep 3, 2010, 12:27:
I don't like him anymore than his hero Shrub and all this is is PR spin. I hope Stardock does fail.
Feeling hurt because the majority of Americans disagree with you now? My how much of a difference 18mo can make.
 
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
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18. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 15:26 Graham
 
Sins of a Solar Empire was developed by Ironclad, an awesome studio from Vancouver. It was published by Stardock. I interviewed the guys from Ironclad prior to the release of Sins, and they said they went with Stardock because they liked their policy on DRM.

Stardock appears to have their shit together as a publisher. From a developer standpoint it looks like they leave something to be desired at the moment.
 
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17. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 15:24 nin
 
his isn't just Stardock. This is a large number PC games from any publisher, regardless of pedigree. Look at APB.

Other publishers didn't put out a gamers bill of rights that says:

Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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16. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 15:11 Skoll
 
I find it amusing that people are accusing Brad of not learning his lessons. If you bought Elemental then YOU didn't learn your lesson. Games are frequently buggy on release. This isn't just Stardock. This is a large number PC games from any publisher, regardless of pedigree. Look at APB.

You don't buy games on release day! It's that simple. I look forward to buying both DemiGod and Elemental, but just not until they've been patched up and the price is right. I won't be disappointed. I've learned my lesson.
 
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15. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 15:01 Ashley
 
I tried 15+ hours and uninstalled it. It has lots of great ideas but it feels hollow and empty. I'll try it again someday. This is probably the last time I pre-order a game.

Reminds me of Unreal, lots of great ideas but hollow. It sure sold a lot of Unreal game engines that powered great games, though.

Brad's ego is starting to give me a rash.
 
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14. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 14:47 Prez
 
I take any company that makes games as fun as Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire seriously, and wish them the best of success so that they can continue to polish their existing games and create new games.  
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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13. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 14:18 loomy
 
stardock is a windows gui widget company. that anybody takes them serious as a game company is curious  
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12. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 13:43 Creston
 
"There will be massive consequences for Stardock's game studio.

I sure hope they don't go under...

Creston
 
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11. Re: On Stardock's Elemental Launch Fail Sep 3, 2010, 13:28 Tumbler
 
That is an impressive post. I feel like buying the game just based on those remarks. It's also odd to me that around the time of their last games release, Demigod, this kind of broken release wasn't that uncommon and today...it is? It is, I can't remember the last PC game like this that was so broken on release...granted I don't play many pc games these days but I would have read about them... PC game devs seem to be taking more time to polish so that their games are received at least fairly by the consumer. A game may be great in many respects but if it still operates like an alpha where the game crashes here and there and some things are broken the public just moves one without looking back.

Kudos to this guy.
 
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