Stardock opening new studio

Sins of a Solar Empire publisher expands Michigan operations thanks to state tax incentive; reveals new RPG in development.

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Yesterday, EA announced that it would be extending its head-count reduction to include 1,100 positions, thanks to mounting losses that tallied $681 million during its October-December quarter. Today, THQ followed up that news with word that 24 percent of its workforce--or 600 staffers--were on the outs due to a 30 percent slip in revenue. So, isn't it high time somebody announced some good news?

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Today, Sins of a Solar Empire publisher Stardock Entertainment said that it plans to open a second studio in Michigan and in the process hire up to 50 new employees. The game maker's new studio will focus on creating an unannounced role-playing game, which Stardock plans to self-publish. The new studio was made possible thanks to tax incentives and communication-infrastructure upgrades approved by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority.

"We're very pleased with the support we've received from Wayne County and the state of Michigan," said Stardock president and CEO Brad Wardell in a statement. "We think Michigan is well placed to become a hub for technology companies thanks to new programs from the state to make Michigan more competitive to do business in. We look forward to continuing our strong growth with additional development projects over the next couple of years."

Stardock is currently at work on a number of projects. The independent game maker is signed on to publish Gas Powered Games' role-playing/real-time strategy hybrid Demigod this spring. In November 2008, Stardock announced its fantasy RTS Elemental: War of Magic for the PC, which is currently slated to be released in February 2010. Though long under the radar, Stardock is also building the massively multiplayer real-time strategy game Society, which was first announced in 2005.

Beyond the game spectrum, Stardock also hosts the digital delivery platform Impulse and creates a range of Windows custom-interface software utilities.

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ichc1000x

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I'm looking forward to Society. Thumbs up if you agree.

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Avatar image for Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

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The more stardock we have the better... Big or small, all publishers/Developers need to look to them on how PC gaming is done right...

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Avatar image for Demi-Shade
Demi-Shade

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Heres hoping EA or Blizzard doesn't try to buy out Stardock!

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Avatar image for alixkid
alixkid

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Great news, i look forword to more awesome games from Stardock, cann't wait to see what it is.

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funsohng

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great to hear at least someone's doing well

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endocrine

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you cannot afford a machine that can run stardock games? While they have great games they do not require the computing power of crisis. Heck, I bet you can build a computer that costs as much as a console and still run most of their games well.

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daabulls23

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Stardock seems to be doing very well and they don't put crappy DRM on their games either.

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Avatar image for grigjd3
grigjd3

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I really wish this company would develop for consoles too. I can't afford a machine that can run their games right now.

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imperial_agent

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well... it's in Michigan, but at least SOMEONE is expanding.

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CTifer

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I just picked up Sins of a Solar Empire from Target for only $20 on sale and I like it a lot. I'll have to keep an eye out for whatever else they release.

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titanviper2000

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Wow! Great news that someone is expanding instead of cutting back. Let's hope and pray for more good news like this!

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Targzissian

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Stardock has always been respectful of its customers. Good luck to them.

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Avatar image for Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

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Yay, good on ya, Stardock! Hope it's a single-player RPG... Haven't seen a good old-style one in years.

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arc_salvo

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A new RPG that they're self-publishing? Sounds potentially great, if it's a single player RPG that is. There's way too many MMO's out there, and way too few single player Baldur's Gate style RPG's, especially considering that there's a lot of consistent demand for games like it and other choice based, story-driven RPG's like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect.

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master_blue

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no DRM is quite awesome, quite right my good man halomonkey 1 3 5 One feels they have to congratulate stardock, while I dont think galactic civilizations 2 was much good they do have a good relation with their fan community on par with paradox.

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halomonkey1_3_5

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I LOVE STARDOCK!!!!!!!! NO DRM=AWESOME!!!!

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alienrider

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Galciv 2 + Sins of Solar Empire + Genuine Consideration for Customers = I love Stardock !!! 'Nuff said.

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spoonthemoose

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Honestly Stardock is the greatest thing known to man...i would marry Stardock if it was a women, no seriously, i love them, their games are great, their player support is unbelievable and in all honesty all video games dev/pubs should take up their model, if they did the video game world would be a great place...i love you stardock!!!!!!

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TurambarGS

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Good news - Sins of a Solar Empire was a great game (though the back stories on the races were great and I would have loved a single player campaign). At any rate, I hope they don't get bought out by EA or Blizzard-Activision just yet - at least not until we get a few good years of games out of them :S

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Murrdox

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Stardock self-publishes a lot of their games which should make huge game companies like EA scared for their business model. Bioware... why oh why did you succumb to temptation? Does anyone who knows them NOT love Stardock? Seriously I love these guys and a lot of their games. Their customer support and involvement with their community is second to none. Their non-game software such as Windowblinds makes my computer a nicer place to live.

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raahsnavj

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So what is the difference between Stardock and EA / THQ? Stardock takes care of its customers via good patches, additional content and no BS licensing. I wish they would push into the console realm, they are one of the best PC devs alive today IMO.

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joeyfine

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keep making good games!

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FrankTheFrank

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Well played Stardock. Well played.

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Desperados11

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YES! gz Stardock hope u guys start getting some hype behind ur games cuz all of em have been top notch quality

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FlashCharge

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Welcome Stardock and hope your stay in Michigan is a long one. With the highest unemployment rate in the nation everyone here hopes you succeed for a long time. I will certainly look for the games your studio creates. GOOD LUCK!

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veitari

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More fun, consumer friendly pc games? I think "Yay" sums it up. Glad to hear some good news from the industry though. Makes a change from even more job cuts.

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strayfies

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Right on, I love Stardock. Go figure that they'd go against the trend in the economy too. And all this on a cheap pricing model for their products, which have been successful through the age of PC piracy.

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flyingteddy

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the uk needs to start offering incentive to game studios, there is great talent in this country but its so difficult to get started

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Avenger1324

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Great news for Stardock and just goes to show the rest of the industry what you can achieve without criminalising all your customers.

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Gladestone1

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Way to go stardock Sins was a new ip an fun..Im looking foward to what they can do with a rpg..Hope its as good as bioware an bethestha..Good luck an no drm as people said,,,

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TehUndeadHorror

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That's pretty cool! =D

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chikahiro94

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Stardock's consumer friendly policies concerning DRM, development and marketing has put them in a good spot both PR-wise and financially. I'm looking forward to their next titles, even though their games don't particularly appeal to me. If you've never read up on Brad Wardell's thoughts on development, running a business, etc., you owe it to yourself to do so. Great stuff. In the defense of EA and other companies, its not their DRM that's hurting them so much as their sky-high budgets and games that can only run on a relatively small number of computers. Stardock does their best to make sure their games (developed and published) will run even on modest hardware in order to maximize who can buy and play their games. Wardell admitted as such. Sins was made for under $1 million with relatively low system requirements. Crysis was made for $22 million and had high system requirements. Guess who had an easier time recouping their money?

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djtim_3000

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@Puckhog04 Good point - you have to work hard and be smart to do well in the PC market. And good developers/studio's do just that. Sure shows the big names (EA, THQ et al) that just throwing piles of money at an established franchise isn't an automatic win. lets hope for more overall quality in teh future. so far for PC gamers recession = win.

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Death_Masta187

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Congrats to star dock. They show that you sale your games with no DRM.. EA and friends have a lot to learn form how SD does business..

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parrot_of_adun

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Even further evidence that PC gaming is here to stay. Also, not enough love for Ironclad... :(

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MindlessTeef

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@DestructobotMk3; Stardocks CEO, Brad Wardell, has approached Atari regarding the license for Star Control... Brad also expressed interest in developing another Master of Orion! I think Stardock would do a good job with both these classic titles. Check << LINK REMOVED >> for confirmation.

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diablo_del_bano

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Stardock is one of my favorite developers now. I only wish they did console games too. (could you imagine Sins on XBL???)

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jsbenjamin

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Stardock rocks. 'Nuf said.

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DukeEdwardI

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Stardock is an amazing company. Stardock and Valve are a beacon of light to PC gamers everywhere.

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Baruch_S

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Well this is good news. Now Stardock can produce more excellent, DRM-free games for us to enjoy. I wonder when they'll officially announce their new RPG.

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andrewlkt

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I didn't really like Gal Civ that much. It wasn't my style but I could tell it was good and polished. I like this company. They make games in genres I like, are expanding their portfolio of games into even more genres I like and they don't use stupid DRM. I'm really willing to give their games a try.

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DestructobotMk3

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Go Stardock! More power to companies like Stardock and Valve who have their priorities clear, and a terrific sense of gamers' pulses. @MindlessTeef - A Star Control game by Stardock? That wouldn't be good news for those of us who want a real life would it...not that I'm complaining...

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Helloiseeu

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Stardock really is the best game making/publishing company out there.

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MindlessTeef

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Good for Stardock, I'm glad their groing when EA and THQ shrinks... as horible as this might sound. This does prove that if company publishes good quility games and has excellent support then they will succeed to sell their games... WITHOUT DRM! Best of luck for the future Stardock! Now go and aquire the Star Control license allready!

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24k_Solid_Gold

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I don't particually like Stardock's games, (except Demigod), but I don't have to like something to tell that it's great quality. Great job Stardock, and good luck! :)

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Puckhog04

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Man, PC exclusive developers just seem to have lots of money. Crytek buys Free Radical and now Stardock is expanding. Great stuff.

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X3Warrior

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Stardock is a great company that really knows how to make quality games, and give quality support. I can't wait to see what they're going to do next. Gamespot: Stardock published Sins of a Solar Empire, but they didn't develop it. Ironclad did.

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bigd575

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Some good news.

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unitled

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This can only be good news. Stardock are definitely 'for gamers, by gamers' developers/publishers, can't wait to see what else they come out with.

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Vainamoinen82

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Give the state of Michigan some love too! /luv @ Michigan

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