I don't see that article as overly harsh in any way at all. Most of what he said is true. [...]
Sincerely, A loyal but concerned Stardock customer.
Not "harsh in any way at all" ?! What about the following passage, in the PC Gamer article ?
" But putting junk like this in a box and charging money for it is not okay, however rapidly you try and patch it afterwards. It punishes you for being a fan, it punishes you for buying on day one, it punishes you for pre-ordering, and it punishes you for having faith that a great company like Stardock wouldn’t ask you to pay for a game until it’s fit to be played. "
For the past 5 days, I have played many hours of versions 1.00 & 1.01 & 1.05.016 (today) : I really had the impression of playing a post-beta, release-worthy game. It was highly polished, albeit imperfect, product.
The fact that, in those 3 versions, there were (and still are) bugs, causes of crashes, incomplete features, is nothing special -- in the gaming industry (without trying to make excuses).
I read, somewhere on the forum, that Stardock had to execute a retail release of the game in August because retail-store shelf-place -- which has to be booked in advance, in the case of major retail outlets -- would only be available in August 2010 or February 2011. We must take into account that Stardock does not have the commercial clout of Blizzard and Ubisoft. Consequently, Stardock products must not be rated with a high-priority status by major retailers. If what was posted on the forum is true, delaying the release of the game for another 6 months would have deprived Stardock of non-Impulse, retail revenues.
Of course, some will state that the August-released, CD-format, version 1.00 really is a "beta". But is it "junk" ?
Some of us disagree : version 1.00 is a quality, release-worthy version -- despite the normal-for-the-industry bugs. Stardock's intense hard-work, for the past 3 weeks (and late last night), to fix and upgrade the game way beyond version 1.00 has shown an extremely rare diligence.
When the PC Gamer author wrote "junk like this", he employed a type of irresponsible and harshly unfair language which should not be tossed by serious commentators -- who are in a position to know better. Fanning the flames with provocative language has become a reckless media tactic to boost readership (and viewership -- hello FOX News).