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Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted

Confirming a rumor on Shacknews, a post on the Elemental Forums by Stardock's Brad Wardell says that the launch failure of Elemental: War of Magic has resulted in layoffs at Stardock, shedding some light on his comment that "the issue here is far far worse than many of you think it is." Word is:

It is true.

Elemental's revenue was anticipated to provide the revenue both for our main games team's next project as well as a second team. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen so we've had to start laying people off.

No one is being fired. None of these people did anything wrong. Stardock is a small company and each person here is truly amongst the best and brightest. So you can imagine how much it sucks for all of us to lay off anyone. We haven't had to lay anyone off since our migration from the OS/2 market in 1998. It would be great if we can bring as many of these people back over time if the studio can afford it.

No one involved on the core components of Elemental is affected.

Elemental's rocky launch can be summed up (IMO) as follows: Our QA process was insufficient to handle a brand new platform (Elemental = Kumquat 1.0 versus say Galactic Civilizations II was using Pear which was the same engine, modified, from 1997's Entrepreneur) + my own catastrophic poor judgment in not objectively evaluating the core game play components.

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67. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 7, 2010, 23:17 JohnnyRotten
 
Prez wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 17:59:
I thought I was living in an alternate universe for a second - one where Creston is pro-piracy and anti-Stardock. Alas, it's Scorpion67 who is living in an alternate reality, not me.

Me to. Although by posting, I must now be pro piracy. Avast yee swarthy dogs!
 
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66. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 6, 2010, 12:38 space captain
 
Jerykk wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 21:06:
However, I am kind of surprised to see some of the biggest pro-pirating posters (i.e. space_captain, jerykk, creston) on these boards be so happy that stardock is in trouble.

Uh, I haven't made a single comment in any of these Stardock threads. For what it's worth, I'm not happy to see Stardock having trouble. Although I didn't really care much for their games, they were still one of the very few PC-centric developers left. Seeing a PC-centric developer fail is never something to celebrate.

yeh i never made any comments in this thread (or any other) about stardock... but that wont stop these deluded retards from including me or anyone else in their private little fantasies about what is "really happening" on the forums here

but ive learned that when dealing with humans, you just have to accept a certain standard level of stupidity and meaningless chatter
 
Go forth, and kill!
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65. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 6, 2010, 02:18 D_K_night
 
I read that blog, and also read a few of the links within that blog. The QA dept was being totally slammed for doing supposedly barely any QA at all on the game.

Except that the QA dept stated that all the flaws with the game were all well known, and that it wasn't their fault that these flaws didn't get fixed. They're not the ones tasked to fix bugs, that's the developer's job. Fair enough. It must have been frustrating as hell for those guys, seeing the game's problems right front of their faces, and that chilling feeling that it's a terrible game they've made.

So what happened between the QA team and the dev team? And the entire multiplayer component which completely didn't work at all?
 
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64. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 6, 2010, 00:54 StingingVelvet
 
Fuzzmatang wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 21:11:
The take on this whole drama that I most agree with:

http://scarsofwargame.com/DevBlog/?p=1452

Good blog post, thanks for linking. I'd say it's pretty obvious that with all the "games as a service" talk and people buying beta access and everything lately that Wardell thought a functional game was passable for release as long as it was quickly patched and worked on over time.

This is wrong, especially when releasing a boxed game in a store, but more directly it's always wrong. Even MMOs and other "services" that are actually services should be in fully playable condition at release.

He got spanked and deserved it... shame the little guys suffer. I hope people avoid Stardock as a publisher in the future, like Ironclad or Gas Powered Games, and I no longer feel bad for not supporting Impulse. Fuck it.
 
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63. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 6, 2010, 00:53 Reactor
 
That's just what I recall. Happy to be wrong.  
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62. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 6, 2010, 00:48 StingingVelvet
 
Reactor wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 21:54:
Uh, yeah... I don't recall Creston or Jerykk as pro-piracy.

Jerykk is VERY pro-piracy, unless you take the opinion that it doesn't count if you buy some games afterward.
 
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61. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 22:09 Kosumo
 
Reactor wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 21:54:
Uh, yeah... I don't recall Creston or Jerykk as pro-piracy.

What???

Well can I ask then, Jerykk, are you pro-piracy?
 
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60. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 21:54 Reactor
 
Uh, yeah... I don't recall Creston or Jerykk as pro-piracy. Every time I come here I hear about Creston getting stuck into (and often enjoying) purchased games.

However I agree that most guys on here are members of the elite whining club.
 
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59. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 21:11 Fuzzmatang
 
The take on this whole drama that I most agree with:

http://scarsofwargame.com/DevBlog/?p=1452
 
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58. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 21:06 Jerykk
 
However, I am kind of surprised to see some of the biggest pro-pirating posters (i.e. space_captain, jerykk, creston) on these boards be so happy that stardock is in trouble.

Uh, I haven't made a single comment in any of these Stardock threads. For what it's worth, I'm not happy to see Stardock having trouble. Although I didn't really care much for their games, they were still one of the very few PC-centric developers left. Seeing a PC-centric developer fail is never something to celebrate.
 
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57. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 17:59 Prez
 
I thought I was living in an alternate universe for a second - one where Creston is pro-piracy and anti-Stardock. Alas, it's Scorpion67 who is living in an alternate reality, not me.  
Avatar 17185
 
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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56. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 17:14 StingingVelvet
 
Creston wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 16:51:
Yep, all he ever does is come here to whine about others. But, of course, that is MUCH better than complaining about games. HIS whining is of a contributive nature.

Must be nice and cool on top of that ivory tower.

Creston

Blue's is certainly a haven for negativity and pessimism, but you're correct that it's pointless to argue against it... like spitting into the wind, as the saying goes.

Either leave and never come back if you can't stand it or post here in the right frame of mind.
 
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55. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 16:58 Creston
 
Scorpion67 wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 14:47:
However, I am kind of surprised to see some of the biggest pro-pirating posters (i.e. space_captain, jerykk, creston) on these boards be so happy that stardock is in trouble. After all, who will they point to now to try to prove piracy is irrelevant.


Errrm.... what? Pro-piracy? Me? I suggest you just shut your fucking yap. I currently have 114 games in my Steam list, and probably equally as many in a box. I dare you to find ONE fucking post of mine where I am PRO-piracy.

Also, have you even READ my post about Stardock? Here, let me repeat it for you :


Shit, this just fucking sucks. I love those guys, they've been fantastic in support of their games. Galciv II is one of my favorite games of all times, and the support for it has been phenomenal.

It just stinks to see them suffer from obvious bad judgment.

Fuck.

Creston

So where exactly am I HAPPY that Stardock is in trouble? Did they ever even teach you to READ in school?

Creston
 
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54. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 16:51 Creston
 
space captain wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 09:30:
NKD wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 04:37:
The unhappiest gamers alive are at Blue's News. While I've seen sites with a lot more bile and spite in terms of quantity, no site beats the consistency of posts here at Blue's. I can predict with almost 100% certainty what a given user will say about a given news post.

I really wonder, with the posts I see here, why these people bother with gaming at all if it is so bad.

I really wonder, with the posts you see here, why you bother coming to bluesnews at all if it is so bad.

Yep, all he ever does is come here to whine about others. But, of course, that is MUCH better than complaining about games. HIS whining is of a contributive nature.

Must be nice and cool on top of that ivory tower.

Creston

 
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53. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 15:24 space captain
 
dont be negative!! you gonna hurt all the little childrens feelings

then we will have to listen to them whine about it some more
 
Go forth, and kill!
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52. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 14:56 Tumbler
 
QFT
I really like Bluesnews, but the forums here are populated with a bunch of immature self-serving software pirates that try to rationalize stealing.

Am I the only one scratching their head as to what people are talking about with being too harsh towards this, and other companies?

This thread is fairly balanced in my opinion, some people still support them, others think this is the end, but mostly everyone is just indifferent about the whole thing.

I couldn't even tell you what Elemental is, I know that stardock is publishing it and I know it's name but other than that I'd say they did a horrible job marketing it because I still have no clue what you do in the game.

But overall I feel like this thread, and the comments from the devs, are pushing this to the good side of balanced. To me it looks like the devs are trying to make it clear that they will continue to work on the game and they admit the game is botched.

Not sure what everyone is getting so bitchy about with regard to people being negative, negative is all the "no lean, no dedicated servers, you hate PC gamerz!" nonsense with the last CoD game.
 
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51. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 14:47 Scorpion67
 
NKD wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 04:37:
Esoteric wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 04:07:
I tend to agree with elefunk. It seems most of the people on BluesNews comments are automatically negative, irrationally so. It's like a mild version of RPG Codex. And if you're not familiar with RPG Codex already, thank your lucky stars.

The unhappiest gamers alive are at Blue's News. While I've seen sites with a lot more bile and spite in terms of quantity, no site beats the consistency of posts here at Blue's. I can predict with almost 100% certainty what a given user will say about a given news post.

I really wonder, with the posts I see here, why these people bother with gaming at all if it is so bad. I have to assume they are mostly pirates and aren't investing any cash into the hobby. After all, to complain that much and still give developers money they'd have to be the biggest suckers alive.

QFT
I really like Bluesnews, but the forums here are populated with a bunch of immature self-serving software pirates that try to rationalize stealing.

Ironically, most of these same people have used Stardock as thier shining example as to why piracy has no effect on the industry. Now they sit back and pile on the vitrol when stardock flounders, yet at the same time complain when they dont have the capital for an extensive QA process, a huge support team, or when a single game can make break the company.

Most of these people tend to rationalize their actions and take no personal responsibility for anything. It's always the "greedy corporations" or "idiot developers" or some other mysterious force that has caused the decline of PC gaming.

I am sad to hear of people who's family depend on income to lose their jobs regardless of who is at fault. I think it is sick to take such personal satisfaction from it.

However, I am kind of surprised to see some of the biggest pro-pirating posters (i.e. space_captain, jerykk, creston) on these boards be so happy that stardock is in trouble. After all, who will they point to now to try to prove piracy is irrelevant.

Well no one said they ever made much sense...

 
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50. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 14:33 Ozmodan
 
Wow some foul mouthed idiots posting here. Nothing like shooting your credibility in the foot with such trash.

How can you derive anything positive about this crap they put out. The game was not even decent alpha and the latest patches still have not fixed it. Sure they had to eat their words. Shows that they are human. Let us hope they learned something from this.

Personally I love strategy games yet am not impressed by any of their offerings. MOO2 was still a far better game than Galactic Civ in any of it's versions. As to Sins it also did not impress me, deleted it off my hard drive soon as Starcraft came out, Blizzard makes far better rt strategy games.
 
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49. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 14:28 Prez
 
Everyone is acting as if Brad Wardell operates with complete dictatorial power and authority at Stardock. While I suppose that may be the case, I don't believe it is. He may have the final say as CEO, but he isn't the only person responsible for any mistakes that are made. As CEO, he publicly will take full responsibility (that's what they do), but behind the scenes there is almost certainly a whole lot of people who have a hand in everything that goes right and wrong at the company.

On the subject of Blues having a higher-than-normal hater cross-section ... I don't know - the level of pessimism and negativity seems to mirror that of virtually any other web forum that isn't moderated to all get-out.

 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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48. Re: Stardock Layoffs: Elemental Faulted Sep 5, 2010, 12:43 VultureMAN
 
space captain wrote on Sep 5, 2010, 09:30:
...
I really wonder, with the posts you see here, why you bother coming to bluesnews at all if it is so bad.

And we all knew you would say that
 
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