Elemental: War of Magic was a game we had very high hopes for. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment both to us, as well as to many of our customers. Stardock’s success in its nineteen years of existence has been because people know if they buy something with our name on it, it’ll be excellent. With Elemental: War of Magic we failed that expectation.
This is an excerpt from an e-mail authored by Stardock CEO Brad Wardell, taking full ownership of the unfulfilled promise of his 4X strategy game and making good on his previous guarantees of restitution. As of now, anyone who prepurchased a copy of Elemental: War of Magic through Stardock or Impulse, their previously-owned digital distribution service, can acquire the latest beta build of the Fallen Enchantress sequel by logging in to their new storefront. Additionally, free copies of the full game will be automatically added to their accounts when the final product launches later this year.
The initial Fallen Enchantress beta weighs in at about 2.3 gigs and includes none of the standard non-disclosure agreement language included in most closed betas. Participants have free reign to share their experiences with these unfinished builds of the game, with Stardock’s stated goal being for players will offer constructive feedback through their community forums. Beta builds of previous Stardock games like Galactic Civilization II and Sins of a Solar Empire have established a pattern of functioning like actual betas, debuting in a primitive, elementary fashion to test out basic game play features until more sophisticated elements are layered in with later builds.
Development on Fallen Enchantress has been helmed by Derek Paxton, creator of the tremendously popular fantasy-themed Fall from Heaven mods for Civilization IV, with Wardell serving as the lead AI programmer and design assistance from Jon Schafer, the lead designer for Firaxis’ Civilization V.