Any truth to the rumor on shacknews?

By on September 3, 2010 10:44:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

vyshka

Join Date 02/2003
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http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/65443

If not, you guys might want to respond to this.

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September 3, 2010 11:02:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It is true.

Elemental's revenue was anticipated to provide the revenue both for our main games team's next project as well as a second team. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen so we've had to start laying people off.

No one is being fired. None of these people did anything wrong. Stardock is a small company and each person here is truly amongst the best and brightest.  So you can imagine how much it sucks for all of us to lay off anyone. We haven't had to lay anyone off since our migration from the OS/2 market in 1998. It would be great if we can bring as many of these people back over time if the studio can afford it.

No one involved on the core components of Elemental is affected.

Elemental's rocky launch can be summed up (IMO) as follows: Our QA process was insufficient to handle a brand new platform (Elemental = Kumquat 1.0 versus say Galactic Civilizations II was using Pear which was the same engine, modified, from 1997's Entrepreneur) + my own catastrophic poor judgment in not objectively evaluating the core game play components.

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September 3, 2010 11:13:16 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Anyone can say anything, but they can't deny the fact that you are honest.

The game seems to be on the upswing. Stay on course.

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September 3, 2010 11:16:13 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

This is scary. I feel really bad about this. But at the same time I still don't know what to do with Elemental. I've tried really hard to get into it.

This makes me sad. Is the games studio on a separate budget then?

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September 3, 2010 11:19:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yikes, pretty sad day

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September 3, 2010 11:20:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My condolences to those laid off and I hope they find quality work ASAP.

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September 3, 2010 11:21:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Part of the reason why it may have failed was the fact that there is nary a copy to be found in retail. Brad, next time, make 100% sure retailers will actually put the game in stock before you release, and not to mention polish a bit more.

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September 3, 2010 11:23:08 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I'm sorry to hear this.  Best of luck in the future to those who were let go, and hopefully Stardock can recover enough to bring them back on board when they start another project.

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September 3, 2010 11:26:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can only hope for the best for those who were affected by the layoffs.

I know it's not the same but I can't help but feel a bit of deja vu and think back to Flagship Studios and Hellgate: London.

 

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September 3, 2010 11:26:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nick-Danger,
My condolences to those laid off and I hope they find quality work ASAP.

Well said, and hopefully not too hopeful.

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September 3, 2010 11:29:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very sad news. I wish everyone at Stardock the best!

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September 3, 2010 11:32:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This seems to contradict what you were saying about "Our income doesn't rely on games" and "The possible poor performance of sales won't affect our work to fix Elemental" (I've obviously paraphrased here). Does this mean that your games studio may shutdown or that things are worse than you alluded to? Will we truly have a fixed Elemental one day or will Stardock end up folding? I'd HATE to see that happen, especially since I absolutely love some of your games, but I'd rather move forward knowing that you're being completely honest. I feel like you have been, but this news is enough to question that for me...

So, FrogBrad, what can you tell us?

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September 3, 2010 11:34:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oh, and good luck to all those affected by this. I'm sorry that bad decisions (most likely not of their doing) led them to lose their jobs. I've been there and it sucked. The good news is that in the long run, it was all for the best, so please, PLEASE don't lose hope. 

You're in our thoughts, former Stardock employees. May life bring you better opportunities. 

 

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September 3, 2010 11:35:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DevildogFF,
This seems to contradict what you were saying about "Our income doesn't rely on games" and "The possible poor performance of sales won't affect our work to fix Elemental" (I've obviously paraphrased here). Does this mean that your games studio may shutdown or that things are worse than you alluded to? Will we truly have a fixed Elemental one day or will Stardock end up folding? I'd HATE to see that happen, especially since I absolutely love some of your games, but I'd rather move forward knowing that you're being completely honest. I feel like you have been, but this news is enough to question that for me...

So, FrogBrad, what can you tell us?

Elemental's success doesn't impact whether Stardock will be doing new games or expansions to Elemental. It does, however, impact whether Stardock can afford to have a second games team.  Our objective was to be able to develop two games at once. That goal will have to be postponed.

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September 3, 2010 11:35:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow... I'm not surprised, but that's sad news. And I can't imagine how much it must suck having to fire what's basically your co-workers for mistakes that are mostly yours. My sympathies to all of you. Hope the guys you're letting go land on their feet.

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September 3, 2010 11:40:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DevildogFF,
This seems to contradict what you were saying about "Our income doesn't rely on games" and "The possible poor performance of sales won't affect our work to fix Elemental" (I've obviously paraphrased here). Does this mean that your games studio may shutdown or that things are worse than you alluded to? Will we truly have a fixed Elemental one day or will Stardock end up folding? I'd HATE to see that happen, especially since I absolutely love some of your games, but I'd rather move forward knowing that you're being completely honest. I feel like you have been, but this news is enough to question that for me...

So, FrogBrad, what can you tell us?

 

I think what we can take away is that their income was enough to support Elemental but not enough to support Elemental plus another team. They have X income and they only have X. More than that, and the income they have just isn't enough. I don't think Stardock will fail... but I don't think it's something they were really expecting to have to do. It sounds like they wanted to expand so that they could work on multiple projects at a time rather than one-by-one.

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September 3, 2010 11:47:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

While I know that this news is devastating for some (namely those that were laid off - and perhaps a certain someone with hopes of having two games developing at once), it is truly good to hear that it won't effect your future plans for Elemental. I see a diamond there, Brad, hidden in the rough.

I'm blown away by your humility and honesty and truly believe that it will prove to win back those that may have doubted. I can already see the tide turning back in to Stardock's favor. 

Just learn from this, k? You'll have that second game team in no time...

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September 3, 2010 11:52:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

wow thats fucked up...

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September 3, 2010 11:56:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My deepest condolences to those employees affected.  This is a godawful time to be entering the jobs market (as I know all too well).

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September 3, 2010 11:58:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That truly sucks.  My best wishes for everyone involved.

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September 4, 2010 12:10:09 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's truly a pity for those who had to be let go, but on the bright side, Stardock should hopefully be a better place to work in the future if they get hired back.

It's probably in everybody's best interests in the end. Another Elemental debacle would no doubt end up with far more layoffs. Better to cut what's needed now and fix the problem that created the current situation to begin with.

Just don't lose track of what makes Stardock what it is when all the re-tuning is being done.

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September 4, 2010 12:11:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

dudes...

No god damn dev team would ever tell you stuff like this.

Stardock, i'm very impressed and i'm glad that i bought your game!

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September 4, 2010 12:13:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yikes, I can't imagine losing a job from a company like Stardock. Condolences to those affected.

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September 4, 2010 12:16:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Bummer

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September 4, 2010 12:20:34 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm sad to hear this as well.  Sorry to everyone that's been laid off.  Hope you are able to stay afloat and find work elsewhere. 

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September 4, 2010 12:25:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad's candor has a way of bringing you in to the family, so to speak.  At least I feel that way.  It hopefully will be so different an approach that buyers coming here with a game problem will quickly see that this is not your run of the mill gaming factory, operated by attorneys and marketing weenies.  Brad takes it on the chin and hides little of gaming relevance from the public, as far as I can see.  That alone has earned my undying loyalty to SD.  The next SD game might be "Barbie's Rockin' Beach Blanket Bingo" and I'd still buy it. 

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