Stardock -- Yay or Nay?

Well, I've been considering whether or not Stardock is a good developer/publisher lately. This comes on the heels of a recent interview with Stardock's CEO/President, Brad Wardell.
 
You can read the article here if you want.
 
I'm not so sure he knows what he's talking about anymore.  Why would you really flush more money on Elemental, down the toilet?  Doesn't that seem a bit counter-intuitive?  Why not just come out and say "Ok, this game is shitty.  You can't win them all, but we'll take what we learned about it, reverse it, and our next game  will be great"/  Would that be such a bad thing?
 
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of Stardock's previous games.  I have Galactic Civ 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire, but both are incomprehensible to me.  I bought Gal Civ 2 because it wasn't using DRM, and I wanted to support (with money) that decision.  And I think I bought SOASE because it was 6$ for a weekend sale thing.  But, as a whole, the "4X" game genre is bewildering to me.  But both games are fairly decent in what they do, and have their fans.  Just because I can barely make it past the tutorial stages doesn't make them bad, just not my taste.
 
Elemental is a wash.  Just drop it and move on.
 
Also, I like Impulse (their own digital distribution service), and it's a decent alternative to Steam.  However it has a few problems:
 
1.  Their prices are usually more than Steam's (not always, but usually)
2.  Their sales are not great
3.  The website is cluttered, and should be streamlined a bit.
4.  It has a LOT of weird crap on it.  Both good and bad really.  Good in that you MIGHT find a jewel hidden amongst the rough.  Bad in that, for ever 100 Eastern Bloc, or Russian games, 99 of them will suck.
 
The actual program is fine though, so that's ok.
 
I just wonder if Stardock really has a clue anymore, especially about their games.  Anyone else have any thoughts on Stardock?

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Posted by HumanityPlague

Well, I've been considering whether or not Stardock is a good developer/publisher lately. This comes on the heels of a recent interview with Stardock's CEO/President, Brad Wardell.
 
You can read the article here if you want.
 
I'm not so sure he knows what he's talking about anymore.  Why would you really flush more money on Elemental, down the toilet?  Doesn't that seem a bit counter-intuitive?  Why not just come out and say "Ok, this game is shitty.  You can't win them all, but we'll take what we learned about it, reverse it, and our next game  will be great"/  Would that be such a bad thing?
 
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of Stardock's previous games.  I have Galactic Civ 2, and Sins of a Solar Empire, but both are incomprehensible to me.  I bought Gal Civ 2 because it wasn't using DRM, and I wanted to support (with money) that decision.  And I think I bought SOASE because it was 6$ for a weekend sale thing.  But, as a whole, the "4X" game genre is bewildering to me.  But both games are fairly decent in what they do, and have their fans.  Just because I can barely make it past the tutorial stages doesn't make them bad, just not my taste.
 
Elemental is a wash.  Just drop it and move on.
 
Also, I like Impulse (their own digital distribution service), and it's a decent alternative to Steam.  However it has a few problems:
 
1.  Their prices are usually more than Steam's (not always, but usually)
2.  Their sales are not great
3.  The website is cluttered, and should be streamlined a bit.
4.  It has a LOT of weird crap on it.  Both good and bad really.  Good in that you MIGHT find a jewel hidden amongst the rough.  Bad in that, for ever 100 Eastern Bloc, or Russian games, 99 of them will suck.
 
The actual program is fine though, so that's ok.
 
I just wonder if Stardock really has a clue anymore, especially about their games.  Anyone else have any thoughts on Stardock?

Posted by adoggz

stardock is cool.

Posted by Enigma777

They're ok.

Posted by Chronologist

  I disagree that Elemental is a complete wash. Sure, the game was bad at launch (haven't played it, but the amount of bad wording coming out at the time, was... not light), but they are continuously supporting it, and from looking at the forums it seems like some if not a lot of the horrible stuff has been fixed. Sure the game isn't perfect yet, but that a developer will continue to support a game like that shows real dedication.. I don't think many other developers would do this..
Also:

  December was Christmas season but it marks the third consecutive month of increased sales for the game which bodes well.    

This is taken from their news feed.    Apparently the game still sells, so good on them, right?
Posted by crusader8463

As long as I get more Sins I like them. I just hope now that EB Games bought Impulse that Sins will be on Steam so I an finally uninstall the dam program. I only have it for Sins.

Posted by MrKlorox

Meh. Impulse is more of a hassle than the dreaded Big O.

Posted by Enigma777

@Enigma777 said:

They're ok.

I just want to say, that I retract this statement. It was made while I was impaired. I'm sorry.

Posted by NoCookiesForYou

Yeah their games aren't for everyone. I don't personally care for Elemental, but I'm glad to see that they continue to support it. Stardock doesn't have endless resources to make new games so they have to stick with what they have.

That being said, I can't wait for them to do SoaSE 2.

Edited by Jumanji

Impulse was sold to... gamespot, I believe. Or some other retailer.

Stardock is kind of a unique shop. Their core revenue stream isn't gaming at all, but workspace management and "productivity" GUI mods for Windows that ended up getting licensed to Dell and making them a relative shitton of money. That side of the business traditionally capitalized Brad Wardell's dalliances with 4x gaming and the Impulse storefront.

BUT I have no idea how relevant any of the above is anymore. They published a bunch of stinkers culminating with Elemental, and proceeded to lay off more than half their gaming division. They then divested themselves of Impulse for an unknown sum and unknown reasons (was it bleeding cash? were they bleeding cash in other areas that Wardell is more passionate about, such that a sale of an otherwise profitable branch was needed to recapitalize? Did they just think that Impulse was a losing proposition long-term vis-a-vis Steam, D2D, gamersgate, and all the other distributors that have ramped up their pipelines recently? etc). They then re-hired the fired team members and staffed up even more for the "Fallen Enchantress" remake (including Jon Shafer of Civ 5 fame and Derek Paxton of the Fall From Heaven Civ IV mod). On the "actually making money" side of the business,I don't even know if they're still licensing to Dell, or if they even have an enterprise software business anymore.

Wardell is also kind of a weirdo. Super right wing, like literally arguing that "Obama=Hitler" on his blog through exegesis of his campaign logo and slogans, right wing. He wrote and self-published an absolutely atrocious fantasy novel to go along with Elemental's release, and then got into multiple messy Derek Smart-ian internet slapfights with critics who rightfully proclaimed it to be shit. His new money tech startup splurge consisted of building his family a castle. In the exurbs of Michigan.

None of the above would matter if they were putting out good games. If they'd lived up to the tall talk about creating a worthy Master of Magic successor, you'd have guys like Snide singing their praises from the rooftops. So... Stardock Nay.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

@Jumanji said:

Impulse was sold to... gamespot, I believe. Or some other retailer.

Stardock is kind of a unique shop. Their core revenue stream isn't gaming at all, but workspace management and "productivity" GUI mods for Windows that ended up getting licensed to Dell and making them a relative shitton of money. That side of the business traditionally capitalized Brad Wardell's dalliances with 4x gaming and the Impulse storefront.

BUT I have no idea how relevant any of the above is anymore. They published a bunch of stinkers culminating with Elemental, and proceeded to lay off more than half their gaming division. They then divested themselves of Impulse for an unknown sum and unknown reasons (was it bleeding cash? were they bleeding cash in other areas that Wardell is more passionate about, such that a sale of an otherwise profitable branch was needed to recapitalize? Did they just think that Impulse was a losing proposition long-term vis-a-vis Steam, D2D, gamersgate, and all the other distributors that have ramped up their pipelines recently? etc). They then re-hired the fired team members and staffed up even more for the "Fallen Enchantress" remake (including Jon Shafer of Civ 5 fame and Derek Paxton of the Fall From Heaven Civ IV mod). On the "actually making money" side of the business,I don't even know if they're still licensing to Dell, or if they even have an enterprise software business anymore.

Wardell is also kind of a weirdo. Super right wing, like "Obama=Hitler" right wing. He wrote and self-published an absolutely atrocious fantasy novel to go along with Elemental's release, and then got into multiple messy Derek Smart-ian internet slapfights with critics who rightfully proclaimed it to be shit. His new money tech startup splurge consisted of building his family a castle. In the exurbs of Michigan.

None of the above would matter if they were putting out good games. If they'd lived up to the tall talk about creating a worthy Master of Magic successor, you'd have guys like Snide singing their praises from the rooftops. So... Stardock Nay.

What a lovely piece of insight. :)