Confirmed: Layoffs Hit Stardock After Elemental's "Disastrous Launch" [Updated]

By Brian Leahy, Sep 03, 2010 7:25pm PDT

[Update 10:30pm] Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has confirmed the layoffs in a forum post, attributing the cuts to Elemental's updated revenue projections following its launch.

"Elemental's revenue was anticipated to provide the revenue both for our main games team's next project as well as a second team," writes Wardell. "Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen so we've had to start laying people off."

"No one involved on the core components of Elemental is affected," he continues. "It would be great if we can bring as many of these people back over time if the studio can afford it."

Brad notes that this is the first time the company has had to lay anyone off since 1998 after migrating from the OS/2 market to Windows.

[Original Story] Shacknews has received an anonymous tip claiming that several employees of Stardock, developers of the recently released Elemental: War of Magic were let go today in a round of layoffs.

Those let go included developers, designers, and salespeople working on Elemental. The tipster, supposedly one of those laid off, claims that the layoffs were due to Elemental's "disastrous launch". Though post-launch layoffs are common in this industry, it sounds like these cuts were due to the game's launch and reception.

Stardock CEO Bard Wardell, posting while on his post-launch sabbatical, discusses the "completeness of Stardock's fail on Elementa's launch" and alluded to "massive consequences for Stardock's game studio."

The employees were reportedly notified by Stardock management, as Brad is away from the office. Shacknews has contacted Stardock to ascertain the validity of these statements.

Our write-up on the game can be found here.

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  • "It aggravates me to no end that there's often very little connection between the myriad of poor decisions made at the executive level - including myself at the top - and the people who end up losing their jobs. But my job isn't to dispense economic justice. My job is to try to keep as many people employed as possible and make sure our customers are taken care of."
    What a fucking scum bag. It aggravates him that he isn't the one losing his job because HE fucked up and released a game HE programmed when he shouldn't have? This guy is a train wreck of suck. I sincerely hope all remaining Impulse programmers JUMP SHIP IMMEDIATELY.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 2 replies.

    • TBH...if they jumped ship to form their own company, I'm not sure if they could get proper funding to do the kind of stuff they've been doing (hardcore strategy games). I'd like to think they could...but it seems like they'd need a publisher or investors to provide money to get started and that could be tricky right now for a number of reasons. Now if they just wanted to go find jobs with other devs that might be possible (I'm sure a lot of the guys who got laid off are trying to do that)...but I've got a feeling that if Stardock just sunk and you didn't see anything rise from its ashes...we'd probably have a lot less strategy games of the kind they make out there (diversity in terms of the kinds of games we see seems to be constantly in decline these days, and part of it is the constant waves of devs going out of business).