Stardock to announce two new games this year, create investment fund to help new studios
It's a little-known fact that CEOs love writing reports. The whole reason that many companies become publicly traded is so their CEOs can spend their time writing endless reports for shareholders. For Stardock boss Brad Wardell, this poses a problem: as the head of a private company, there's no-one to report to. Rather than forlornly wandering the corridors of Stardock HQ, bothering staff with pie charts, he's instead decided to scratch that report itch by drafting a frank and honest address to their customers. In it, he talks about the company's performance over the last year, and hints at what they're planning next.
Wardell claims that 2012 was Stardock's biggest year financially, although points out that it's likely because they released more games than in any other year. He reveals that Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, Ironclad and Stardock's 4X expandalone, enjoyed far more success than either team anticipated. "I suspect there will be more news on this front as we go forward," Wardell teased.
Previewing the company's upcoming plans, Wardell says "I suspect we will have at least, two new game announcements in 2013." He also mentions Soren Johnson's (designer on Civ IV) role at Stardock - saying that he'll be working as a designer on their games over the next few months. "The emphasis on dedicated game design has resulted in greater confidence that new franchises will not have to go through the rocky experience that Elemental: War of Magic went through."
Wardell addresses the sale of Impulse, Stardock's digital distribution platform, to Gamespot, saying, "We suddenly had enough capital to do essentially anything we wanted." Rather than expand the company, Stardock will instead be creating an investment fund, designed to help game developers, found new studios, and enable new software ventures. "Over the next couple of years, some of these new ventures will start to become known. Hopefully, their success will help spawn new opportunities for the next generation software and game developers out there."
The report also included Stardock's 2012 Customer Survey, which provides and interesting statistic on the rapid growth of digital consumption. Of the surveyed customers, 82% said they preferred to buy their software digitally. This is compared to Stardock's 2008 survey response, in which only 42% expressed a digital preference.
For more stats and info, you can read the full report here.