Stardock In "Unfinished" Game Drama
UPDATE: Stardock's own Gamer's Bill of Rights is no longer to be found on their site, which looked a bit odd. But actually you can still find it on its own site here. So that's that stuff out the window. Anyway, there's more... That'd be the Bill of Rights featuring the proud bulletpoint:
"2. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state."
Fantasy strategy epic Elemental: War of Magic was released by Stardock this week, a day ahead of schedule. We're still waiting on our code (as are most other online gaming sites, judging by the game's barren metacritic page), but the metaphorical word on the digital street is that it's broken to the point of being unplayable, having never convincingly left the beta that was available to pre-order customers. Here's people being upset right on the RPS forum.
PC Gamer are up in arms about it being unfinished in a similar manner to earlier Stardock release, DemiGod, which also came out earlier than its announced release date. PCG go on to quote a post from Stardock CEO Brad Wardell on the Quarter to Three forums in which he responds to a displeased customer, seemingly in absolute contradiction of his own Rule #2:
“...the hostility in this thread exceeds my own tolerance for putting up with said hostility.
Also, to anyone, like you Ben, 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.”
We've contacted Stardock and await review code. Their contact reports that a day zero patch has left them rather busy.