All hail the frog!
As I was writing my entry to Edge Mags nominate your game industry hero thing I realized just how much I do look up to Brad. Everything I have ever read about him has showed him in a good light. He is a leader and a guy that doesn't seem to mind letting people know whats on his mind. That said, here is what I wrote to Edge;
My nomination would be for Brad Wardell, chief executive of Stardock. I believe he should be included for many reasons;
1) His stance against DRM. In a time when publishers are increasingly forgetting that we are their customers and instituting draconian DRM that is quickly circumvented by pirates, but left to annoy and harm legitimate customers, Brad Wardell and Stardock are working for their customers. Rather than blame piracy for the sales slump, they have embraced a policy of rewards (meaningful content patches) for their customers and avoided the DRM pitfall while showing impressive sales numbers.
2) His commitment to quality games. How many PC games ship in a playable state? Stardock game ship in a playable state. How many months of free content additions do most games give? Brad's view is that free content additions for registered users are a form of DRM the customer doesn't mind and also serve to feep interest in the game high.
3) The treatment of his employees. Turnover in the industry is high, layoffs at the end of a project are the norm not the exception. What is the turnover and layoff rate for Stardock? It is one of the few places in the industry I want to work (I'm a DB programer, not in the industry).
There are other reasons why Brad Wardell is one of my real life heroes but in an effort to keep this from becoming a book I will end it here.