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Tenet's picture
Joined: 2009-05-27

What do you need to do to get banned from Demigod - to get a "mandatory refund" and a lifetime ban from any further purchases of Stardock games?

Apparently not much. Just have your criticism post on the forums interpreted as a personal insult by Brad Wardell, aka Frogboy, Stardock's CEO, and become a target for some stress relief power abuse.

The criticism was directed at the 75% refund policy and releasing a broken game - describing both as violations of Stardock's own "Gamer Bill of Rights".

They have accused my friend of making the issue personal, and used that to justify the severity of their response. Not only was his post not personal, and directed at GPG and Stardock in general as the game's developers - it was also the only one of his posts on their forum that they found offensive.
He was otherwise an active member of the community, recognized for his detailed balancing feedback and about to participate in one of the first player run tournaments.

The refund explanation post that my friend replied to:
The post in question:
Staff Explanation:
One of the responses:

Full thread is still available here:

NEW: Deleted community response thread web-archive:

I wanted to add quotes from the spontaneous community response thread that started, largely appealing that decision - but it was locked and deleted.

I have since tried to approach Frogboy on IRC to appeal the decision and reach a compromise - his initial response was to ask for a personal apology email to be sent to [email]sales@stardock.com[/email], and after further discussion of the character of the person in question, and the severity of the "offense" he promised to "look into it" and ended the conversation.

Since then my friend is still banned, his unwanted refund went through, related threads were deleted, and our team is effectively removed from the game because we wanted to play it together and that's no longer possible.

Stardock has a stellar reputation as a company that refuses to use DRM, and initiated the Gamer's Bill of Rights.


I believe they have mistreated my friend, and used his ban as a scare tactic to deter further criticism on the forums, which violates the spirit of the very rules they chose to support.

I want to support them as an innovative and positively contributing game publisher, but they are not above criticism and should not be allowed to maintain their reputation while behaving this way.

P.S. I realize that posting a rant is a poor way to start on a forum, pardon.


To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

KN;101226 wrote:
Tenet is forever

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