If you consult your nearest time-sundering crystal ball, you'll recall that Stardock released the infamously panned Elemental: War of Magic, a turn-based fantasy strategy yarn, in 2010. Atrocious bugs, befuddling AI, and half-finished mechanics even caused us to issue a warning (opens in new tab) to wait for patch fixes before reaching for your wallet. The release of Fallen Enchantress earlier this week represented Stardock's tabula-rasa restart of Elemental, and in a letter sent to his customers, CEO Brad Wardell offered a free copy for War of Magic owners, writing, "We failed to deliver the game we said we were going to deliver."
"Elemental was an expensive game," he wrote. "You probably paid $50 or more for it. And you trusted us to deliver to you a good game. $50 is a lot of money, and companies have a moral obligation to deliver what they say they're going to deliver. Frankly, Stardock failed to deliver the game we said we were going to deliver. While we did update Elemental: War of Magic, its design just wasn't adequate to make it into the kind of game it should be. So we decided to start over. From scratch. We made a new game called Fallen Enchantress."
Wardell claimed Fallen Enchantress is "a vastly better game," meeting Elemental's original expectations, and threw open a portal to the official forums (opens in new tab) for player feedback and input. For Elemental owners, Fallen Enchantress is a free download off your Stardock account (opens in new tab) . Otherwise, it costs $40.