I am surprised by the lack of any criticism or discussion of the Founders program thus far, considering most of us, the dedicated fan base myself included has made the commitment. Even so, I find myself uncomfortable with the decision, even if I am happy with it. Why so?
First off criticism of this is NOT warranted here, Stardock has been very upfront with the packages available if you don't like what the basic founder program has to offer than you shouldn't have purchased it. If you wanted Alpha access and all future DLC's and Expansions then you should have purchased the founder's elite package. You can't blame the company because you are cheap...
It is highly unusual for a gaming company to charge full retail price for content before it is released a year ahead.
Not really, most games now are for sale way ahead of time, and not gauranteed Beta or Alpha access... look at EA/Maxis release of SimCity this was not discounted gave you two or three options with select DLC's only or all that were available at release, didn't offer an all forever option, and you still weren't gauranteed Beta access, and no Alpha for the common preorder was offered. In fact to get Beta access you had to fight to try to find an offer at a third party website. Now I did not agree with this but this shows you it could be worse than what Stardock is offering.
Stardock has tried to create the illusion we are getting a 20 percent discount off retail 10 dollars, but this is not so much of a perk if I'm paying for it now with interest and no guarantees.
They have given you a discount based on their targeted release price, all that is subject to change, which also is not unusual all company's have the right to modify pricing at their choosing, not yours. As far as no guarantee, Stardock didn't announce the game until they were well into development, as you can see from screenshots and from previous posts from Stardock on where they are. Needless to say the game will be released, however, if you don't believe that then don't preorder, that's your choice.
The Founders vault is not unique content and requires no development or extra costs, which I am not advocating, we all want the game as fast as possible, but what exactly is my reward for being a founder?
So you can see the content as early as possible, that's it, again if that doesn't interest you than that's not a benefit for you at all, so don't buy it.
When you make the decision to release the founders program you wave the carrot and the crowds are expected to follow, that's what Stardock did and the carrot waver does have ethical responsibilities to its customer.
They have met their ethical responsibility, they have clearly laid out what is in each program if you don't want the more expensive option then don't complain, that was your choice, Stardock gave you an option, you don't go to a dinner and order a hamburger and expect a 4 course steak meal, so why do you expect that when ordering a game?
I think a nice solution would be to offer content access early, because that's what we're here for and not much else can be done at this point, say during some stage of Alpha rather than beta for founders. Spring is too late. I'll have already made ~8 payments on my credit card towards this game? This is not a financial issue for me, but it is a rather odd arrangement. I am quite detached from this Alpha access from a gaming perspective, I will be knee deep in work overseas, but it is the right thing to do for the fans.
You know your options Spring is not too late that's what you chose, if you want Alpha release then pony up the extra cash and then you'll even get any future DLC's and expansions, is that too hard for you to see.... ?
No one forced me to buy it. I'm not complaining. But, rather than questioning Stardock's business practices as a whole. I am sure the best intentions are there, but I think Stardock does owe a review for future releases if this is what is really acceptable.
First off Stardock's business practice is in line with the Industry and is not ripping off the consumer, as far as this qoute you are correct no one forced you to buy it and again it was your choice to choose the lower option.
Either way stop complaining you have nothing to complain about except for wanting more then what you paid for...