As most of us did, I received this email from Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock,
Dear Stardock customer,
My name is Brad Wardell. I'm the President & CEO of Stardock. Two years ago, you bought a game from us called Elemental: War of Magic. We had great hopes and ambitions for that game but, in the end, it just wasn't a very good game.
Elemental was an expensive game. You probably paid $50 or more for it. And you trusted us to deliver to you a good game. $50 is a lot of money and companies have a moral obligation to deliver what they say they're going to deliver and frankly, Stardock failed to deliver the game we said we were going to deliver.
While we did update Elemental: War of Magic (you can still download v1.4). Its design just wasn't adequate to make it into the kind of game it should be. So we decided to start over. From scratch. We made a new game called Fallen Enchantress.
So even though it's been two years, we haven't forgotten about you. This week, we released Fallen Enchantress. It is a vastly better game and, we believe, lives up to the expectations set for the original Elemental. This game is yours. Free. It's already been added to your account.
You can download and play it by going to http://download.stardock.com.
We hope you enjoy Fallen Enchantress. Please feel free to visit the Elemental forum at www.elementalgame.com if you wish to talk to me and the rest of the team. We're there and very interested in your feedback.
Thank you for being our customers and your patience.
President & CEO
Stardock - https://www.stardock.com
I just wanted to reply to it here so that the and the rest of the Stardock staff could see it without a bunch of forwarding, etc.
First, Brad and Stardock, Elemental wasn't a bad game, in my opinion. The *only* reason I didn't play it very much was because of the memory leaks and instability. I really liked Elemental. I write books, and I know how the criticism can be, but I also know that praise is rare. So, thank you for Elemental (the first one) and Fallen Enchantress (the new and improved one).
I also have to say that I've always had high respect for you guys. When I wanted to play a contemporary, realistic turn-based strategy, I turned to the Civilization series. However, Stardock has the absolute best fantasy, alternate reality, and science fiction turn-based strategy games, hands down. When I found Galactic Civilization II, I said to myself, "How did this one sneak in under the radar? Why haven't I heard of this series or this studio before?"
To me, this letter (and your gesture) shows me that you guys really believe in your products and the enjoyment of your customers/fans. You didn't have to give all of us a free copy of the game, but you did. Most studios wouldn't have done that. Stardock, however, is a class act. I've always known that, and it shows more now than ever.
So, Brad, Stardock folks, thank you for everything you've done and what you continue to do. Keep making them, and I'll keep playing them.