Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on November 8, 2010 By Draginol In Blogging

One of the biggest problems I’ve run into as a business person is that I’ve never treated the PC game industry as a genuine business. It was a hobby side project.  I’m one of those guys who want the game industry to work better and I want to make games for those vocal people on net.

When Elemental: War of Magic didn’t live up to the standards we had hoped for, it was pretty stinging to my “my people” turn on me so quickly and so adamantly.  It was a bitter lesson that required me to stop thinking of PC games as a hobby and more of a business – which is what I’ve started doing. 

The problem has continued to be, our games are made by and for those people who yell loudly on forums. I’m not happy unless they’re happy. I want to be happy.

on Nov 08, 2010

No worries Brad.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and Stardock, precisely because you're willing to publicly say "we messed up, and we're going to make it right."  Companies that do that...generally do just that, and end up doing well in the long run.  Companies that don't eventually lose the public trust.  Some industries can get away with this (e.g. health insurance, arguably telco), but software and consumer goods industries really can't.

Just my 2 cents, of course.  At the end of the day, I bought Elemental because GalCiv2 was getting quality content and patches years later.  I guess my $40 this time around will end up being a similar investment, which isn't bad considering I buy few games, but tend to play them for years.

on Nov 09, 2010

I got to say this as a customer of yours since the Windows version of GalCiv I , which got me through nine of the most boring months of my life. (Air Force Weather school)


That may be risky- depending on what you mean by this- you have a chance of alienating your core customers, the ones who are willing to overlook/forgive a debacle.   As you've said yourself in the past, those are the guys that need to be kept.

Of the people who "crushed" you- how many of them owned GalCiv II from the start?  I noticed a general trend, your long term customers were much more willing to stay the course then the people who were brought in by the hype (and Elemental was hyped up pretty heavily)  It really didn't seem to me like the people who've been with you through the good times in the past were the ones crushing you- critical and disappointed, yes, but you've earned their (and my) trust with your past actions.  I believe those past action were due to how you considered your games side of your business.

when I hear someone say "treat it as a business", I start thinking of rushing things out and trying to exploit short-term profits over the long-term.  That isn't Stardock to me- one of the things I like about Stardock and why I trust you to make things right is that you take a long-term approach to things, I know this, and I'm willing to trust in it.


I'll be honest here: if the efforts you put in don't bear out, I'll be disappointed.  I'll even be a little angry.  I know it won't be due to a lack of consideration though, and I would give you one more chance in the future.  That said, you seem to be (from my end) doing more then anyone else I've ever seen to make things right, and for that and your past actions, you have my patience and my understanding- understanding I would not give to any other company, because you have EARNED it.