I hope everyone is having a great week!
GalCiv II was one of my favorite games back in the day. Heck I played it last year before GalCiv III Beta was released.
I loved it so much I pre-ordered Elemental. Ouch! HA!
But then Stardock gave me two expansions for Free as part of their "I'm sorry" package. That's way better than chocolate or flowers!!! But then I'm a guy and my wife may disagree.
So when I was able to pre-order GalCiv III for $39.99, I hesitated for a moment because of Elemental. I kept seeing all the emails with the last chance for the $39.99 pre-order price on March 2, 2014. I saw the posts from Island Dog on the forums, "Last chance!" Finally, I thought, "I can trust Stardock."
Now GalCiv III is on sale for $24.99 again on Steam. Of course, games go on crazy sales on Steam all the time. But it seems weird to me to have crazy Steam sales on an early access game after you have made so many pre-order "Last chance" statements to Stardock customers.
But this seems to be the new environment necessary for game development and one that Stardock has chosen to embrace.
I'm just sad because I remember the time when Stardock was different than the other game companies. As a customer, I felt that Stardock cared about me, not just my money.
Those days are gone.
Steam sales are business decisions, and very profitable ones at that. I get that. Prior to GalCiv III, I knew that my pre-order price of a game was going to benefit me and Stardock and that I could count on it being the best deal until the game was released. That's not true anymore. No matter what Stardock's promotional emails say (like the one I received on 2/21/13 which said, "Last Chance for Discounted Galactic Civilizations III Pre-order").
I don't hate Stardock. I realize the changing development circumstances. I tried emailing customer service and PM'ing Frogboy just to see if they ever thought of it from the perspective of someone who has backed Stardock projects since 2004. No response.
I know there are many people who will say, "That's Steam, games go on sale all the time."
But that is not the Stardock I knew, or thought I knew. Not a perfect Stardock, but one who valued their loyal customers.
I miss that Stardock.