And I also know what thievery is, and it fits perfectly.
It doesn't fit perfectly, as Stardock is not taking anything from you.
The game will retail for $49.99 so half the cost of the founders elite edition is with the game that is clearly in production so you will be getting that.
Second, by paying the extra $50 up front your supporting the game helping it along finacially, so if you enjoy the series and want to support further production, then you may see the value in this.
Third, you get Alpha and Beta access, which as they said many times it's not designed to be fun at this point but, to help locate issues. Personally I enjoy the Alpha to this point even if I'm looking for bugs/errors. I would say is worth spending a little extra for access $5-$10
Fourth, you got access to the founders vault, which take from it as you will, but if you enjoy the series you can take a lot from it. I would say that alone is worth $5-$10
Fifth, you get to name a star, which is a nice gesture, and have your name in the special thanks section in the credits, for reasons listed above, that your supporting Galactic Civilizations III and supporting it finacially to help get it going. $5
Sixth, you don't have to worry about Stardock later nickel and diming you for DLC's at $10 a pop or Expansions at $30 a pop as some other companies do out there (EA). Instead they give us as fans of the games a thanks in including this as part of the founder's elite edition. Yes, there is still a risk on our part that they never create any DLC's or expansions but, with that being said I would say about $20 of the extra $50 you spend on the founders elite edition you already get with extra materials even prior to release.
Not to mention, I would say our risk is minimal that they will not produce any DLC's or expansions as if it's even half as successfull as Galactic Civilizations II, it would still be highly likely that they will produce at least $30 worth of DLC's after release. After all look at (EA's) flop in SimCity, it lost most of it's regular players after the first few months, but they still produced many DLC's and 1 expansion, all at additional cost to a game that already costed $59.99 for the regular version at release $79.99 if you bought the Deluxe version which gave you some DLC's but, not all and not the expansion.
So, take from this as you want. $99 for no gaurantees is not accurate. This is a risk, yes but, that's really not a valid arguement as if the game is successfull which I believe it will be, you'll get more than your money's worth.