First-time poster here, signed up just to post on this.
I have always liked Stardock and purchased their games, even, in some cases, when I didn't like them personally. Simply because of how much and how obviously Brad and crew care for what they do.
In fact, I intend to purchase the Special Edition today *because* of the PC Gamer and RPS reviews.
Fact is, the reviews are just unnaceptable as they are. Sure, the game has game-breaking bugs for a large number of players. But a "Do not buy" order? When EA or Atari or Ubisoft release terrible or broken games, they still get a luke-warm review at worst, but I have *never* seen this type of attack, and they should be given the benefit of the doubt, in light of their stance on DRM, and their attention to the players.
I have worked in advertising in the past, and usually when this happens, its because a company has no stake in the review (i.e. preferential treatment agreements). Simply put, EA threatens to stop giving them exclusive interviews, so they get good reviews on crap software, but Stardock does not play favorites, so they get the short end of the stick.
Sadly, I personally think that their stance on DRM and their loyal custmer base are the cause of this. If the big guys can't compete, the best to way to even the playfield is to throw mud. There have been a few public instances of journalists either tampering or completely fabricating reviews, and of showing preferential treatment (any of the Madden games, for instance, that were horribly broken at release, but still got +90 scores, or the Empire: Total War review mentioned by a previous poster).
Good work Stardock, keep fighting the good fight, and I will keep buying your games.