consequences" of Elemental's "disastrous" launch were swift as Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has confirmed layoffs at the company. Shacknews reported yesterday that those let go included developers, designers, and salespeople working on Elemental. Wardell stated in his post on the subject that these are the first layoffs to the company since 1998, while elaborating, "Elemental's revenue was anticipated to provide the revenue both for our main games team's next project as well as a second team. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen so we've had to start laying people off."
Wardell contacted Joystiq to say, "We obviously have had technical issues on launch that we are paying for in reviews and weakened sales, but as anyone in our QA can tell you - and I've interviewed them post-launch - we thought the game was ready which merely shows, I think pretty obviously, that we will need to change the way we do QA on major new releases as well as how we handle our own betas."
The executive concludes, "It aggravates me to no end that there's often very little connection between the myriad of poor decisions made at the executive level - including myself at the top - and the people who end up losing their jobs. But my job isn't to dispense economic justice. My job is to try to keep as many people employed as possible and make sure our customers are taken care of."
Update: Added official statements.