Stardock Sues Former Employee for $1,000,000 for Elemental's commercial failure

Basically Stardock claims a marketing employee destroyed or stole marketing materials a month before Elemental’s release. Stardock claims that the loss of the materials cost Stardock $1,000,000 in lost profits.

Here’s the kicker:

  1. As a result of the loss of the Elemental Materials, and the detraction from programming, debugging and other responsibilities, Elemental was unsuccessful in the marketplace, earning a fraction of its anticipated profits and causing Plaintiff damages of over $1,000,000.

So Stardock seems to be claiming that the reason Elemental sucked is the distraction caused by the loss of marketing materials.

Sounds like a classic example of a frivolous lawsuit that clogs up our judicial system.

We need tort reform!

Right, Brad?

Wow. A million clams seems a bit stiff, but companies have to defend their properties vigorously so I guess maybe their hands were tied here???

Yeah I have some sympathy if the former employee did steal or delete materials. But it’s a bit hard to believe that the reason Elemental failed in the marketplace was because other Stardock employees spent a few weeks replacing marketing materials rather than finishing the game, especially since even a few months of patching didn’t end up making Elemental more than marginally playable.

This is confusing. Won’t Brad’s own statements to the press and public regarding the Elemental outcome damage this case?

  1. The date Defendant deleted, destroyed and/or stole Plaintiff’s Analytics, Elemental Materials
    and Trade Show Information was approximately three (3) weeks before the launch of

Three weeks? I was there at release and in the beta, that wasn’t no three weeks of issues.

Also, didn’t Wardell claim that his focusing too hard on his own bits of development and losing track of the larger leadership issues were to blame after it became apparent just how broken Elemental was?

Well, obviously this was something that hurt them.

Yeah, so.

“I don’t think people yet fully realize the completeness of Stardock’s fail on Elemental’s launch,” he wrote. He says there was a “level of disconnect/poor judgment” on Stardock’s part in thinking it was ready for release on August 24. “Lack of time wasn’t the issue,” Wardell admits. “It was blindness, sheer blindness. We felt the game was finished.”


No, it doesn’t say that.

It says they didn’t win as much money as they could have won if not because this problem: “…earning a fraction of its anticipated profits”.

Which is fair.

edit: of course, the amount of potential money lost is debatable.

It seems to me that a simple claim is being made here.

  1. An employee destroyed marketing materials.

  2. The loss of those materials impacted Elemental’s marketing campaign.

  3. The damage to the marketing campaign caused the company to not get sales that they otherwise would have gotten, amounting to approximately 1 mil.

So, no comments about the quality of the game, whose fault it’s design was, etc, are relevant. The question is only whether 1, 2 and 3 are true and, if so, what the proper amount of damages (sales lost) should be.

I for one do not like speculative monetary awards at all, but that’s neither here nor there.

OT, Schamers has the best kitty pictures. I always smile when they appear in a thread.

Elemental was one of the most incompetent designs I’ve ever seen. There’s no way that game would have succeeded with those “marketing materials”. Generated more money, though? I guess.

That said, Fallen Enchantress is looking pretty good.

Except for the fact that abysmal quality was why the game flopped, not failed marketing.

No. The point at issue is not whether the game flopped. The point at issue is not whether the game was bad. Even awful games get sales. The question is whether you can isolate the loss of these marketing materials as the cause of a loss of 1 mil worth of those sales. I rather doubt you can, but it is not up to me.

If that’s the claim being made, then why include language like:

“As a result of the loss of the Elemental Materials, and the detraction from programming, debugging and other responsibilities, Elemental was unsuccessful in the marketplace, earning a fraction of its anticipated profits and causing Plaintiff damages of over $1,000,000.”.

Paragraph 31 of the claim states pretty unambiguously that part of the reason Elemental failed was that Stardock was distracted from its programming, debugging, and other development processes.

Paragraph 30 goes to the same point:

“30. Additionally, Plaintiff had to spend vital time leading up to the release of Elemental attempting to re-create the Elemental Materials, rather than programming, debugging and otherwise readying Elemental for release.”

I’m thinking Brad cannot comment in this thread for obvious reasons. While it sounds like the defendent was clearly in the wrong (which it always should when someone files a suit against them), I’m guessing the number is just an opening salvo. These things often read like when your significant other gets into a fight with you and brings up the anniversary you forget 12 years ago.

Is there a stated motive/gain for the marketing materials theft? I can’t imagine something less interesting or worthwhile to steal than video game marketing materials.

Ah-ha, I stand corrected! This is looking more and more like pure bullshit.

Hey… 99/100 is still a fraction, right?

To take the broadest sympathetic position - Loss of profits isn’t just loss of revenue - its excess expenses. If it took some highly paid employees a few weeks of overtime to makeup the materials - and if that time could have been spent in other revenue generating activities (bug fixing, lets say), thats a double hit to profits.