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Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M

PDFcast has word that Stardock is suing Alexandra Miseta for one million dollars, accusing their former marketing manager of deleting the company's analytics and marketing data before she left the company without notice a few weeks before the release of Elemental: War of Magic, going so far as to say this exacerbated the issues they had to deal with relating to the game's initial problems. Polygon summarizes the situation:

The case alleges that Miseta deleted, destroyed and/or stole Stardock's Elemental materials, analytics, and trade show information just before quitting, causing the company to lose all their marketing data and analytics for Elemental: War of Magic only three weeks before the game's scheduled launch.

Stardock claims that it was forced to spend more than $5000 assessing the damaged caused by Miseta's actions and attempting to restore the Elemental materials, analytics, and trade show information, and that the interruption in availablility of this data caused Stardock to lose more than $1 million in profits.

Stardock says in its filing that the loss of the materials led to a detraction from programming, debugging, and other responsibilities, and Elemental was subsequently unsuccessful in the marketplace, "earning a fraction of its anticipated profits and causing [Stardock] damages of over $1,000,000".

In addition to this, Stardock claims that Miseta did not return the company laptop she had been using, and had in fact been running side businesses during work hours using the company laptop.

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36 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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36. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 20:45 Julio
 
I can't see how she can be blamed for the horrible game design and dumb graphic choices made for Elemental. Good try to shift the blame. Stardock has zero credibility, hopefully she brings in her defense details how Stardock sold such a buggy POS. No problem in my mind to see a company who screwed their customers getting screwed themselves.

I guess without the analytics information, they couldn't tell the game was a turd.
 
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35. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 19:54 Erebus
 
So THAT'S what happened! Glad to get some closure on this reeking pile of poo.

Unless she had collected a lot of marketing data on potential customers that really wanted a "fixer upper" game I don't see how this event would impact anything to do with Elemental.

I've never been able to fathom the airplay that Wardell has received. He's very sticky when it comes to happenings of this nature.
 
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34. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 19:50 RollinThundr
 
space captain wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 17:55:
i wonder what ROLLINGCHIKN has to say about this...

Still the alpha troll as usual eh Cappy? Couldn't care less to be honest. So just out of curiosity, do you ever actually have a meaningful post on Blues or do you just make yourself feel better trying to be an internet tough guy towards other people.
 
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33. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 18:22 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 10:39:
Right, so Elemental was a PoS because you lost all your marketing data? Ooookaaay.

Look, if she deleted shit and stole a company laptop, sue her ass off. But don't try to blame your pisspoor alpha-state game on your fucking marketing manager.

Creston

This was my first thought. Losing this shit a few weeks before release had nothing to do with the state of your release. Your release was buggy as shit, and running a simple open issue list and estimating the time to fix and verify them and any new bugs introduced during the process and delaying release sufficiently would have better ensured your success.

Man up and take some responsibility.
 
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32. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 17:55 space captain
 
i wonder what ROLLINGCHIKN has to say about this...  
Go forth, and kill!
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31. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 17:33 Flatline
 
Prez wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 17:18:
I don't care if you listen to "The Glenn Beck" (as everyone who listens to him seems to refer to him), just... keep it out of the goddamn video game business. And if you don't, don't be surprised when people avoid doing business with you.

Agreed. Brad's problem was that he never realized the value of staying completely apolitical from a business standpoint (At the time I occasionally listened to Beck myself, but I soon realized he was a self-marketing melodramatic fear mongerer). Best to just STFU and see to running your business as best as you can.

Exactly. I'm amazed at the unprofessional behavior when it comes to politics and religion in business. The appropriate response is to smile and STFU.
 
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30. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 17:18 Prez
 
I don't care if you listen to "The Glenn Beck" (as everyone who listens to him seems to refer to him), just... keep it out of the goddamn video game business. And if you don't, don't be surprised when people avoid doing business with you.

Agreed. Brad's problem was that he never realized the value of staying completely apolitical from a business standpoint (At the time I occasionally listened to Beck myself, but I soon realized he was a self-marketing melodramatic fear mongerer). Best to just STFU and see to running your business as best as you can.
 
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29. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 17:10 Dmitri_M
 
I'm always impressed with people who can stick it to an ex-employer this way. I never would. Perhaps she's decided to go into farming or something and doesn't require her goddamn linkedin account anymore or care what turns up when people google her name. I think the day that I don't have to worry about those two things then I know my life has changed for the better.  
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28. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 17:09 Sepharo
 
I bet it was just all on one laptop that she thought was hers (or planned to make hers) and she reformatted not even realizing the "sabotage".  
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27. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 17:08 Flatline
 
Prez wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 13:16:
It kills me that things turned out the way they did for Stardock. Back when Galactic Civilizations first shipped I absolutely loved it. The company was mod friendly to the nth degree, they were indie and also supported other indies, and just seemed to want to do right by the customer always. Sins of a Solar Empirecame out, was awesome, Impulse launched with no DRM (unlike Steam), and for a time it seemed Stardock could do no wrong. Despite his penchant to say to much, I even loved Brad's passion. Along the way though the wheels just fell off the wagon. Suddenly Stardock couldn't release a working game, Brad's constantly running mouth became a huge liability, and it seemed controversy followed them everywhere. They were laying off employees and shafting customers left and right. The shit icing on the turd cake was selling off their digital service to one of the worst companies in gaming. It's sad if you stop and think about it. The company that was poised to become the modern day champion of PC gaming ended up another sad footnote in the PC's sordid 21st century history. It really couldn't have gone any worse for Stardock. They had so much promise too.


I bailed on Stardock when he decided to make backing Glenn Beck part of his video game company's MO. Then after the horrible backlash, he basically said "guys, that wasn't meant to be public, so ignore what I said, even though I'm still gonna do it."

I don't care if you listen to "The Glenn Beck" (as everyone who listens to him seems to refer to him), just... keep it out of the goddamn video game business. And if you don't, don't be surprised when people avoid doing business with you.

I have no sympathy for Stardock any more. They're asshats that managed two good games and an epic assload of hyperbole.
 
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26. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 15:55 Beamer
 
Ozmodan wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 14:07:
If Alexandra did do such, then shame on her. As to Stardock accusing her of them losing money on the game that is completely laughable. They were the ones who released a horrible and buggy game, no one else.

BTW Stardock, ever heard of doing server backups??? Most successful businesses I know, do so and keep some off site.

Looks to me like Stardock has not a clue when it comes to protecting their assets.

Even if your company does a hundred backups employees can find ways to delete information.
Especially if the intentionally keep that information on personal drives rather than professional ones.
 
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25. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 15:53 NegaDeath
 
Hopefully she learns the hard way about burning your bridges. What fool would hire her now after finding out she sabotaged the company before leaving without notice?  
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24. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 14:48 Sleeeeepy
 
Wonder what her ebay history is like

POWERPOINT SLIDES/CARDBOARD CUTOUTS/ANALYTICS $1 NO RESERVE L@@K
 
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23. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 14:07 Ozmodan
 
If Alexandra did do such, then shame on her. As to Stardock accusing her of them losing money on the game that is completely laughable. They were the ones who released a horrible and buggy game, no one else.

BTW Stardock, ever heard of doing server backups??? Most successful businesses I know, do so and keep some off site.

Looks to me like Stardock has not a clue when it comes to protecting their assets.
 
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22. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 13:35 Tumbler
 
It kills me that things turned out the way they did for Stardock.

Yeah, they really appeared to be an up and coming studio back when sins launched. Seems like Demigod and Elemental just massacred their funds.

I'm impressed they managed to keep things together. They sold Impulse to Gamestop and published Sins Rebellion and now it looks like another Elemental game is coming. Impressive they are still around after how badly thing went with Elemental. I cringe at the amount of money that cost the company.

Oh and the political machine 2012 is from them, that probably sold well on steam?
 
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21. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 13:35 Bet
 
DG wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 12:47:
Mr. Tact wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 10:41:
... However, I'm guessing there is more to this story than we are hearing so far...
I'm leaning in that direction too. I've had indirect experience of a director in a company doing shady things, but it's very difficult to prove or prosecute. Basically using company resources to try and set himself up as a competitor, whilst running the company into the ground.
Sounds like they lost all their Steam-equivalent Impulse user-tracking data. That's gotta be worth millions.
 
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20. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 13:23 jacobvandy
 
On the bright side, I'm hearing great things about Elemental: Fallen Enchantress. Mind you, that's from people I actually know who have played it and bashed the shit out of War of Magic. Anyone who owns the abortion that was the last game gets it for FREE, by the way, the beta has been available on their site for a while now. I just haven't gotten around to playing it myself.  
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19. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 13:16 Prez
 
It kills me that things turned out the way they did for Stardock. Back when Galactic Civilizations first shipped I absolutely loved it. The company was mod friendly to the nth degree, they were indie and also supported other indies, and just seemed to want to do right by the customer always. Sins of a Solar Empirecame out, was awesome, Impulse launched with no DRM (unlike Steam), and for a time it seemed Stardock could do no wrong. Despite his penchant to say to much, I even loved Brad's passion. Along the way though the wheels just fell off the wagon. Suddenly Stardock couldn't release a working game, Brad's constantly running mouth became a huge liability, and it seemed controversy followed them everywhere. They were laying off employees and shafting customers left and right. The shit icing on the turd cake was selling off their digital service to one of the worst companies in gaming. It's sad if you stop and think about it. The company that was poised to become the modern day champion of PC gaming ended up another sad footnote in the PC's sordid 21st century history. It really couldn't have gone any worse for Stardock. They had so much promise too.

 
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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18. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 12:57 Warskull
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 11:27:
Stardock sure does come across some weird problems. It is hard for me to feel too sorry for them though. This sort of thing is very preventable and any competent IT group would have had that data back online in a day.

Smells like bad management to me.

The game sucked too.

Wardell is known to have a bad temper and to do some pretty stupid things. A bunch of people got banned from Demigod for complaining about the terrible state of the game at release.

I wouldn't be surprised if he pushed an employee to the breaking point.
 
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17. Re: Stardock Sues Ex-Employee for $1M Aug 16, 2012, 12:57 Tumbler
 
I would not be surprised if this person had been working without pay for more than a month when she quit and rather than giving them all the free work she'd done she chose to destroy it.

Who knows what really happened but bringing this suit makes them look like idiots. Connecting the failure of this game to sell with losing your marketing materials is just hilarious. I heard a lot about your game before launch and I know a lot of people bought it because the "internet" was very vocal about the quality of the game.

Marketing was not the problem here. I almost bought the game at launch but after Demigod I wasn't all that eager to jump in early.
 
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36 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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