As strategy buffs may know and others should learn, Stardock Systems’ Elemental: War of Magic was released upon the earth yesterday. And apparently, it’s a disaster.
PC Gamer has described it as “broken to the point of being unplayable,” and urges gamers to “stay well away.” RPS goes a bit further, accusing Stardock of violating its own Gamers Bill of Rights (now removed from the Stardock website) – specifically Right #2: “Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.”
UPDATE: Stardock hasn’t so much removed the Gamers Bill of Rights from their site as they have relocated it to www.gamersbillofrights.org.
It gets nastier. There’s vitriol of internetian proportions being spilled on Quarter to Three and RPS forums, and outspoken Stardock president Brad Wardell has entered the fray, saying:
Anyway, the hostility in this thread exceeds my own tolerance for putting up with said hostility… saying the game is like an “early beta” then well, please stay away from our games in the future. I consider it ready for release and if others disagree, don’t buy our games.
UPDATE: Brad Wardell has apologized and provided some context for his comment, and responded to some of the complaints about Elemental.
Stardock is a highly respected company, well-liked and unique in that it produces both games and productivity/officey types of software. The Galactic Civilizations series is nothing short of brilliant, and while I don’t really want or need another digital distribution client installed on my computer aside from Steam, I do appreciate what Stardock is trying to do with its Impulse service.
What surprises me is that Elemental had an extended, months-long closed beta. Surely the issues being complained about had been noticed or mentioned during this period. It’s not like Stardock to ignore known issues. And there is a Day Zero patch available, but the buzz is that it doesn’t fix much.
Offhand I’m going to prognosticate that Elemental will be fixed, and will be excellent, just not right now. This one seems like it needed a little more time in the oven.
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