Rock Paper Shotgun: Stardock Rescind Own Bill Of Rights?

By on August 25, 2010 8:59:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

abomination5

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There is a new article up on Rock, Paper, Shotgun noting that the gamer's bill of rights is no longer found on its website. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with what some would call a premature release of Elemental but they seem to think so.

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/08/25/stardock-rescind-own-bill-of-rights/

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August 25, 2010 10:04:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting JackArbiter,
If it's true then they shouldn't have ever done a "bill of rights." There are always bugs, usually very serious ones.
 

Yes, but most developers will classify a bug as "the code has a problem" rather than "it appears your hardware components were put together by a drunken luddite, and what is that dead chicken doing in there, did someone read the Voodoo Extreme box and get the wrong idea?".

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August 25, 2010 10:06:16 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I posted the same thing in the comments in RPS, and I'll post it here.  The Bill of rights is still where it has been for a long time:

 

www.gamersbillofrights.com

 

What's even worse about this thread here is BRAD HIMSELF HAS LINKED IT IN THREADS OF PEOPLE ASKING FOR A REFUND AND THEN GIVEN IT!

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August 25, 2010 10:07:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Civ IV was unplayable (literally) until 1.51 (more or less if my memory serves me). I don't see this game being in the same state as Civ IV for what I can read. Not that some of the issues aren't serious (they are, even the most minor ones).

Quoting BoogieBac,
Gah, not a good way to start the morning
Don't worry, BoogieBac. I would if I were a developer that after a hot release takes more than a month to make the first patch. What is done is done, so now just seek and destroy the issues and don't worry about if people praises or smashes the game. 

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August 25, 2010 10:07:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Archonsod,

If it's true then they shouldn't have ever done a "bill of rights." There are always bugs, usually very serious ones.
 

Yes, but most developers will classify a bug as "the code has a problem" rather than "it appears your hardware components were put together by a drunken luddite, and what is that dead chicken doing in there, did someone read the Voodoo Extreme box and get the wrong idea?".

 

I can't tell if you're agreeing with me that stardock's done just fine (which the part you quoted doesn't say) or not. But I like your reply regardless.

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August 25, 2010 10:11:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Um.. let's look at it here in a analytical/legal sense before shooting off at the mouth.

"Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state"

 

Stardock hasn't, as far as I know, taken away the right from anyone to "demand" that the game be in a "finished state"

You can all "demand" all you want.  No where did they state that they would only release a game that is "fully playable with no bugs for all people"?

So, for all you bitching, feel free to "demand" all you want, you still have that right as far as I can see.

 

Me, I'll demand to go play the game right now.

Cheers

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August 25, 2010 10:13:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting alborrelli,
Um.. let's look at it here in a analytical/legal sense before shooting off at the mouth.

"Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state"

 

Stardock hasn't, as far as I know, taken away the right from anyone to "demand" that the game be in a "finished state"

You can all "demand" all you want.  No where did they state that they would only release a game that is "fully playable with no bugs for all people"?

So, for all you bitching, feel free to "demand" all you want, you still have that right as far as I can see.

 

Me, I'll demand to go play the game right now.

Cheers

LoL Nice!!!

+1

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August 25, 2010 10:16:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Honestly, after playing version 1.05, there were very few problems left, and none which was making the game crash, etc. There were issues with some of the game mechanics not working but they fixed that in a hot fix. I really don't know what people are complaining about, the release of starcraft 2 was much worse. This game is awesome.

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August 25, 2010 10:20:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I cannot name a single game in recent years, apart from a few simple platformers, where I have not encountered bugs, glitches and frequent crashes of varying levels of seriousness.

The fact that Stardock promised more than they delivered may be true, but this level of criticism (the please go and die as a company kind) is severely over the top. I would assume that any reasoning person would look at the Gamer Bill of Rights and apply the same logic to it as the actualy Bill of Rights. It's an ideal.

I play, and enjoy Elemental. Nothing can beat MoM due to nostalgia, that which triumphs over all, and EWoM could probably have looked a little more at Dominions and Age of Wonders, and possbly Starcraft 2 and No One Lives Forever and Braid for inspiration...

Not really though. I think this is not a debate, but people whining cause they are disappointed. Again.

I look forward to seeing what Elemental turns into. I just hope they won't try to bleed my wallet through too many useless expansions, which seems to be the vogue. And here is to hoping. I won't really take it to bad if they do, cause I won't be paying or playing if the game doesn't steadily improve through patching. It's a growing process.

Good luck, Stardock, you appear to be working hard.

 

P.S. I know some people have genuined problems with crashes etc. Don't take it too hard.

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August 25, 2010 10:24:00 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Well... it did need the 0-day patch thingy, really, and the other patches helped a lot too. But those guys are confusing guideline #2 a bit. A gamer has the right to have a technically working product. This is a good thing. But that does not mean that it should work from before you get it. It means that IF there is technicaly problems, they must be fixed or you get a refund (or similar settlement.). And Stardock certainly does that.

At least that's how I read it. That the game should be released in a finished state is something else, and .. well. I seem to recall a post release schedule. In a way I have trouble seeing that as finished, and there are some things that seriously need more polish, but as long as they are working as hard as they are (We've all noticed the late-evening releases of stuff - they are not released late-night because Stardock consists of a vampire computer crew..) it is hard to fault them for that.

Oh well. Just got up. I'll go play some more of that broken hopeless game I'm having so much fun with.

 

 

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August 25, 2010 10:26:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, i am a huge fanboy of Stardock and will stab anyone who doubts that, but hindsight is always 20:20 as they say.

Playing the last couple of days i see some bad flaws not only in stability, but also in design.

I really believed in that miracle patch at release (i know, i am not the smartest one).

The patch delivered some hopes, but from the new introduced bugs its clear, it was not tested well.

 

I still trust in Stardock, but they should have postponed release to February 2011 and most importent let have some testers test the final game. the UI is still bad, magic is not where it should be and combat mechanics are downright bad documented and i think not implemented.

- What effect has blunt, pierce and slash damage on different armors? Where is the documentation on it, where do i see those things in the UI?

- Is magic resistence implemented?

- What effect has cold, fire, lightning damage? Are there creatures that suffer extra damage or are they immun?

- Why are there no more special trainings like the Ranger pack? Knight (adds charge, needs horse), Reaver (adds lifesteal), Flame Imbued (needs shards, adds fire damage), Assassine (needs guilds, adds poison or stealth). The system behind that packages is genius, but it is not used to full effect.

...

ups, forgot time need to run, sorry 

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August 25, 2010 10:28:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
This finished/unfinished complaining is pointless, though. Everyone has a different idea of what it means. To some people, not having MP for a week is unfinished. But there are plenty of games that don't have MP and aren't considered unfinished. Therefore, to me, MP is not a "core" feature and it being missing for a week doesn't mean the game is "unfinished".

There's a big difference between a game that doesn't have MP at all, vs a game that does and has it simply unusable at launch. Anybody who looked at the game and saw "multiplayer" and is now learning they can't play multiplayer has a right to be unhappy. Anybody who expected to be able to customize a spaceship is not, because that was never listed as a feature of the game.

The crashes are worse, but, it also happens to a lot of games. SD can't quite test every possible configuration (particularly old ones). A few crashes seem to have carried over from beta, but most of them are the result of just more people with different hardware trying to play the game.

In the end, they've been staying up very late into the night/very early into the morning working on fixes, they deserve some credit for that. Yes the game still needs quite a bit of work, but the release date was locked far in advance and they're not big enough to have much pull with retailers to move it inch by inch. At least they're trying hard to do the necessary fixes, instead of putting it out and taking a vacation for a month. Give them credit where it's due. I don't think any of them will tell you that they don't wish they had an extra month or two before it hit retail, but they didn't and it's not like setting up retail distribution is done with a flick of a finger.
 

They'd probably get more credit if they were less acidic about it. Boogie should probably be the front man on this, because he's got a calm demeanour and if he's upfront about what's being done, it's more understandable. Instead PC gamer quotes Brad as saying "we think it's finished and if you don't like it, don't buy our games."

Which is a GREAT way to enrage someone who just bought your game and can't play it due to crash bugs (or who expected multiplayer).

 

The situation warrants some slack, if people understand it. There was only two release dates (August and February 2011) due to retail shelf space. Nobody thinks the game needs 6 months of work. Then the street date break caused another problem, and they were stuck with either releasing early and facing a ton of crash problems, or releasing as planned and facing a ton of complaining about having to wait (I actually think they should have made people wait, because waiting is forgotten a lot faster then problems are, but neither choice is a particularly good one).

The multiplayer thing was an example of how to do it properly, I think. There's a post stating clearly what the problem is, why it happened, and what the plan to resolve it is. As a result, that delay has been taken a lot more calmly then the MP "surprises" were in the last few weeks.

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August 25, 2010 10:30:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Honestly, after playing version 1.05, there were very few problems left

The technical issues I'm seeing...

- PC Gamer mentons a 'white screen' issue with tactical battles, which i think we have a machine reproducing internally (which is half the battle, sometimes)
- I know people with 64bit Win7 (and an ati card?) are experiencing issues, which we do have reproducing here
- late game hangs and crashes, which we're tackling as we go

So definatly more bits to overcome, plus balance issues and working towards explaining more to the player as UI communication complaints are made. However having followed the quarter to three thread that produced brads "Don't buy our games then!" quote, it looks to me this may be a spillover from that - but perhaps that's just my oh so impartial view on it

Gotta love drama

 

 

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August 25, 2010 10:31:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting alborrelli,
Um.. let's look at it here in a analytical/legal sense before shooting off at the mouth.

"Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state"

 

Stardock hasn't, as far as I know, taken away the right from anyone to "demand" that the game be in a "finished state"

You can all "demand" all you want.  No where did they state that they would only release a game that is "fully playable with no bugs for all people"?

So, for all you bitching, feel free to "demand" all you want, you still have that right as far as I can see.

 

Me, I'll demand to go play the game right now.

Cheers

 

So have they released the version where the multiplayer works?

No? Alright then. "Finished" is obviously a relative term.

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August 25, 2010 10:31:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

People need to realize what EwoM and Stardock is all about.

 

First of all how can you call something complete? Is starcraft 2 complete?  Is World of warcraft complete? This is always up to the people managing software design and production to decide. If it was up to the customers to decide, then no game is complete, not wow not galciv2 not soase not diablo, not super mario, not even tetris.

Secondly about the stability of the game: I've played the campaign/tutorial and I'm in the middle of my first game. That's about 8 hours so far cause I like to take my time. And guess what! NO crashes! I played 2 sessions of 4 hours each.  Wow! how can this be you ask? Well I am very carful with what goes in my PC, because that's where I work, where I communicate and where I play my games. The majority of ppl with graphic or stability problems use ATI cards that have driver bugs verified by ATI themselves, and this is a known fact. There are PC rigs out there, that are an environmental and health hazard, to their users and the gaming industry as a whole.

 

Thirdly: this is a new game on a new game engine. Noticed the 2 news? This isn't any rehash, and nothing similar to EwoM was ever made before it both in terms of gameplay or in terms of engine technology. Glitches? yes there are, Missing tooltips or ingame information? Check! Peculiar and unpolished UI? Check!  But stardock delivered. I can play from start to finish, I can make maps, I can mod the hell out of the game, And I could do all that on day 0.

 

Just realize the scale of this project, in comparison to the developer.

 

I read the article and Brads replies are those of a person that is too jaded of all of the forum dramas going around to care. And he asks people who don't understand to stay away of the game, and honestly I wouldn't want those ppl in my MP games and in the forums.

 

As far as RPS and the rest of the media are concerned, It's way too early to crucify stardock. Yet that's what happens! What didn't happen is the crucifixion of the Boby Kotics and EAs out there, but guess what, that will never happen, they can only bully the small fish.

 

As far as the gaming bill of rights is concerned, It isn't important that the text is displayed. What is important is for the developer to have it in his mind as he creates, and in his final product. From the things that I have read in all of his journals and forum posts, and the game that I played in the beta and now, this is definitely still the case.

 

Mind you, I'm not a fan boy and I'm not married to this project or company. I really enjoy the game right now. Sure it needs a lot of work, the Great china wall still needs a lot of work.

 

 

 

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August 25, 2010 10:32:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't know where people are getting "unplayable", but then again, I have a higher end computer so maybe it's something with system specs not matching up, or people with one particular video card (or other part) that are having problems.

I do see where people complain about the lack of content. It's a good game... but I expected more. Maybe I built it up in my head and it doesn't match expectations there. However, just because it doesn't match those expectations doesn't mean it's a bad game. Far from. I've been playing it compulsively for the last couple days. I know there are hardcore fans out there who are going to make mods, and that will increase my level of enjoyment... and I know SD is going to be putting out more content themselves, which will definitely increase my level of enjoyment. I think in a society of "MUST HAVE NOW" people forget that even in the past, patches have been applied to fix bugs. MoM itself had many game-breaking bugs at the start, and getting patches for it were a lot more difficult. After the Day 0 patch, I really haven't had many problems (although the frame rate does slow down and way too much, IMO), and certainly not any game-breaking ones that render the game unplayable. Coupled with the Gamer's Bill of Rights, it does appear SD has a bit of egg on their face, but I've never seen a game company that's so involved with its players and fanbase. I have every confidence that the SD team will tell us exactly what's wrong (which they have), and put out prompt fixes (which they have), as well as new content.

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August 25, 2010 10:35:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You remember the forum discussions about what publishing date to chose (24 Aug or Feb 2011)? What surprises me is that a lot (if not most) people on the forum thought August was too quick (also since no one had really seen tactical battles, magic etc), but that it was FB who insisted that "this is how games are done" and "people will always whine" ... In retrospect, did they live in some kind of bubble or what? And with people here on the forum only wanting to help, debugging their game for free, giving feedback they can use before it is cabled out all over the web and out of control. It has to be said, a published game should not only run, it should also have at least an acceptable level of balance, and already enough content to let you enjoy it. As for MP, it has to be in simply because SD stated so for selling the game. Whatever one thinks of the state of the game today, it is sure as anything that all this problems and question marks will hurt its reputation and sells, to some extent. Which is really sad BTW.

I guess only thing to do now is for everyone to just focus on getting the game in order, also content-wise. Indeed it won't take us anywhere looking back and complaining, but there is a lot to the criticism this time. It's sad that so much good work and potential might now meet with a lukewarm (at best) reception out on the market, just becuase it was rushed out.

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August 25, 2010 10:38:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Instead PC gamer quotes Brad as saying "we think it's finished and if you don't like it, don't buy our games."
  Yeah, that's the one   Basically, there were around 4 pages of back and forth between Brad and a few others ('Ben' is the only name I remember) talking about the stae ot the game. MANY complaints, about everything from non-intuitive UI, design choices, and technical issues. this turned into "the game was not ready for release" and then the phrase "pre-beta state" was thrown in there, which Brad took objection and told those guys "We're proud of the game we made...if you dont like it, feel free to not buy future games we make."

Which has now become "Hey PC gamers of the world!  EWOM Broked on your machine? Don't like the game? Well f-u!"

...or at least that how I'm intrepting comments.

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August 25, 2010 10:41:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting the Gorgon,
You remember the forum discussions about what publishing date to chose (24 Aug or Feb 2011)? What surprises me is that a lot (if not most) people on the forum thought August was too quick (also since no one had really seen tactical battles, magic etc), but that it was FB who insisted that "this is how games are done" and "people will always whine" ... In retrospect, did they live in some kind of bubble or what? And with people here on the forum only wanting to help, debugging their game for free, giving feedback they can use before it is cabled out all over the web and out of control. It has to be said, a published game should not only run, it should also have at least an acceptable level of balance, and already enough content to let you enjoy it. As for MP, it has to be in simply because SD stated so for selling the game. Whatever one thinks of the state of the game today, it is sure as anything that all this problems and question marks will hurt its reputation and sells, to some extent. Which is really sad BTW.

I guess only thing to do now is for everyone to just focus on getting the game in order, also content-wise. Indeed it won't take us anywhere looking back and complaining, but there is a lot to the criticism this time. It's sad that so much good work and potential might now meet with a lukewarm (at best) reception out on the market, just becuase it was rushed out.

Well, the idea that they could assemble the "game" part of the game as quickly as they did and have it be balanced at all was always kind of out there. Systems need to be put together and tested together, then tweaked and balanced. That takes time. That time wasn't really provided.

It really seems like Brad just underestimated the time it takes to put out a polished game, rather then putting out a game and the polishing it after the fact. People look at other games and only see a couple of patches as opposed to the lots of patches Stardock puts out, but at the same time a game like Civ 5 is getting a lot more polish time *before* release, so it won't need as many patches.

It's a shame that October wasn't available as a release date. That probably would have been an ideal one. February 2011 is a long way off.

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August 25, 2010 10:41:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It might be nice to actually wait for a comment about what "happened" to the GBOR instead of making a wild assumption.  I have posted over there so lets see what happens.

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August 25, 2010 10:41:57 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is someone from Stardock planning to make an official response to the RPS post? It seems like it would clear up a lot of things. Also, I'm impressed at your ability to remain calm and have a sense of wry humour about it BoogieBac, all this must be very frustrating.

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August 25, 2010 10:46:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

Instead PC gamer quotes Brad as saying "we think it's finished and if you don't like it, don't buy our games."  Yeah, that's the one   Basically, there were around 4 pages of back and forth between Brad and a few others ('Ben' is the only name I remember) talking about the stae ot the game. MANY complaints, about everything from non-intuitive UI, design choices, and technical issues. this turned into "the game was not ready for release" and then the phrase "pre-beta state" was thrown in there, which Brad took objection and told those guys "We're proud of the game we made...if you dont like it, feel free to not buy future games we make."
Which has now become "Hey PC gamers of the world!  EWOM Broked on your machine? Don't like the game? Well f-u!"

...or at least that how I'm intrepting comments.

 

That's the way it works.  Hopefully Brad's not asleep right now, because he needs to get on this- fast.  I did a check on Twitter and you guys are starting to get slammed.  A fast PR respoose will reduce the damage, but I think each hour that goes by without an official response it's gonna hurt.

While I have some gripes over things, you guys are getting it unfairly, and I don't want to see this hurt your reputation.  Reputation is very easy to lose- even when it's unfair for it to happen.

Hopefully you guys can wake him up.

 

An official response asap is NECESSARY (this is the business person in me talking, not the gamer- the gamer knows you guys rock.)

 

 

 

 

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August 25, 2010 10:46:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

Instead PC gamer quotes Brad as saying "we think it's finished and if you don't like it, don't buy our games."  Yeah, that's the one   Basically, there were around 4 pages of back and forth between Brad and a few others ('Ben' is the only name I remember) talking about the stae ot the game. MANY complaints, about everything from non-intuitive UI, design choices, and technical issues. this turned into "the game was not ready for release" and then the phrase "pre-beta state" was thrown in there, which Brad took objection and told those guys "We're proud of the game we made...if you dont like it, feel free to not buy future games we make."
Which has now become "Hey PC gamers of the world!  EWOM Broked on your machine? Don't like the game? Well f-u!"

...or at least that how I'm intrepting comments.

Yeah, it is. And it's not entirely fair that things go that way, but they do.

I mean that's just a PR problem, but it's a big problem. A quote like that won't stay contained to the QtT forum, and someone on another site who was having crash problems reading that is going to fly off the handle (since they did just spend money on the game).

To be blunt, Brad is a blunt guy. Which is great, most of the time. But with the way things were yesterday that was an very ill-advised comment.

That's especially true when a lot of the problems are just due to the early release and things are so much better in the day-zero version. A simple comment like "we gave out an early version so customers wouldn't be left in the cold and it has some bugs we hadn't fixed yet that will be addressed Tuesday" would have been a lot better. It has the advantage of being true, today's build IS a lot better.

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August 25, 2010 10:49:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

Instead PC gamer quotes Brad as saying "we think it's finished and if you don't like it, don't buy our games."  Yeah, that's the one   Basically, there were around 4 pages of back and forth between Brad and a few others ('Ben' is the only name I remember) talking about the stae ot the game. MANY complaints, about everything from non-intuitive UI, design choices, and technical issues. this turned into "the game was not ready for release" and then the phrase "pre-beta state" was thrown in there, which Brad took objection and told those guys "We're proud of the game we made...if you dont like it, feel free to not buy future games we make."
Which has now become "Hey PC gamers of the world!  EWOM Broked on your machine? Don't like the game? Well f-u!"

...or at least that how I'm intrepting comments.

 

Well honestly, can you blame them for their reaction?  Brad was on the warpath a bit, and while it's understandable that he would feel that way, and wish to correct what he considers misrepresentations of the state of the game, the manner in which he did so was going to be ultimately counter productive.

 

I  like Brad, I like SD, even though I am a bit critical of various things, but ultimately I want to support you guys, and I do.  Though I was in *cringe* mode after reading some of Brad last night.  He is too @#$#@ing close to this, and probably too worn out (as you all are to varying degrees I'm sure).  Last night was not a bright spot for him, or by extension SD.  I'm sorry it happened, and I think he should probably apologize.  Because, afterall, what does that cost him?  And since there is a bad feeling towards SD by some right now, due to his actions, it seems the easiest way to start to move past this 'ugliness'.

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August 25, 2010 10:53:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BlackRainZ,
Honestly, after playing version 1.05, there were very few problems left, and none which was making the game crash, etc. There were issues with some of the game mechanics not working but they fixed that in a hot fix. I really don't know what people are complaining about, the release of starcraft 2 was much worse. This game is awesome.

 

The release of starcraft 2 was OK man. You always have scores of ppl with faulty PC components, drivers, and software, that can't play and always blame the publisher. I played SC2 out of the box for 7 straight hours on the release day with no crashes and no problems watsoever online.

 

Check your rig!

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August 25, 2010 10:54:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting alborrelli,
Um.. let's look at it here in a analytical/legal sense before shooting off at the mouth.

"Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state"

Stardock hasn't, as far as I know, taken away the right from anyone to "demand" that the game be in a "finished state"

You can all "demand" all you want.  No where did they state that they would only release a game that is "fully playable with no bugs for all people"?

So, for all you bitching, feel free to "demand" all you want, you still have that right as far as I can see.

Yay, common sense!

Haters gonna hate.

 

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