Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has apologized for statements he made on the Quarter to Three forums, which PC Gamer subsequently referenced as evidence that folks should wait to purchase Elemental: War of Magic.

In the statement to Joystiq, Wardell expressed that after a "lengthy and heated debate" over issues in the pre-launch version of the game, he spoke hastily and says, "As a result, I want to apologize to our fans for speaking so harshly. It should be said that some of the issues in question from the PC Gamer UK article, in fact, did not appear in any of our beta testing. We were surprised by these issues and, after working days on end with little sleep, I was very frustrated. I should not have engaged in an online debate about these issues, as my haste to defend what we feel is a great product only served to hurt the fans who have supported us and the team who has been so dedicated to this project."

The PC Gamer piece urges its readers not to purchase Stardock's latest release. "We've held off from finishing our review because of the launch problems, but felt this warranted an early warning," PC Gamer's Tom Francis says, claiming the launch version of Elemental "on two very different machines with the latest drivers for everything ... crashed or hit a game-breaking bug every ten minutes."

It should be noted that while our staff experienced similar issues in the game's beta version, we never encountered those bugs in the retail copy. A large patch issued last night is said to have fixed the frequent crashes, though it allegedly made tactical battles unplayable.

Additionally, multiplayer servers are said to be running, but the mode won't be turned on until sometime next week due to "team exhaustion," a rep on the game's forums said. "The early release meant a lot of people who were expecting this weekend off to rest from the grueling last few weeks had to come in. So we're going to let them get a couple of days off later this week and open up the MP next week." With that in mind, it may be a few days before another patch arrives for Elemental. We've placed Wardell's full statement to Joystiq after the break, along with a poll asking for players to let us know if they've run into these bugs.
Have you run into any bugs in Elemental: War of Magic?
Yes, a white screen during tactical battles and frequent crashing.77 (16.8%)
Yes, but not the same bugs.122 (26.6%)
Nope, I'm getting my war on with magic for real real.259 (56.6%)


Full statement:

"I've been an active user on the Quarter to Three forums for many years. I know the core participants on that forum well, and after a lengthy and heated debate about some of the issues facing the pre-day 0 version our latest title, Elemental, I spoke hastily and said things I shouldn't have. As a result, I want to apologize to our fans for speaking so harshly. It should be said that some of the issues in question from the PC Gamer UK article, in fact, did not appear in any of our beta testing. We were surprised by these issues and, after working days on end with little sleep, I was very frustrated. I should not have engaged in an online debate about these issues, as my haste to defend what we feel is a great product only served to hurt the fans who have supported us and the team who has been so dedicated to this project.

"As the CEO of Stardock, I want to be clear that my comments on the Quarter to Three forums do not reflect my team at large. They were words spoken out of frustration and sleep deprivation and I am truly sorry. We stand behind what we feel is a great product, one that we will continue to support for a number of years."

- Brad Wardell

This article was originally published on Joystiq.