“I played it for a few hours before tossing it on the pile of games I’d rather forget,” he writes.
And then this morning Joe received the following e-mail from Brad Wardell, the CEO of Elemental publisher Stardock (and the lead designer on that earlier, ill-fated game) —
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…
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…
Thank you for being our customers and your patience.
President & CEO
Joe says he hasn’t had the opportunity to download the game since he’s still at work, but does say, “I am really impressed by the willingness of this CEO to stand behind his company’s reputation and take care of the customers who supported a (in hindsight) bad game.”
This is exactly the sort of consumer-friendly thinking that more video game publishers should be doing. It not only shows that Stardock is sorry for its past transgressions, it demonstrates a level of confidence in the newer game and (if that game is good), will regain some loyal customers for future games.