Ya know as much as I bitched, moaned, and complained about Elemental:War of Magic it does not compare to other bad releases lately. Sure it had bugs which caused constant crashes, but autosaving every turn kinda evened that out, just sucked reloading. Multiplayer was not available, big deal, marketing shows only 10%-30% of strategy gamers even use multiplayer for most strategy games. Even though it had major problems and crappy graphics you still wanted to play it. Through it all Stardock kept their chin up and took FULL responsibility for the games problems. I was one of those who got a refund without any hassle, even bought a new copy six months later.
However since then other companies have had bad releases of non-subscription games that make EWoM's problems seem trivial. If the game has a subscription you can expect quality control simply because it is the subscription, not the game sale sales that makes the money. You release a buggy subscrition game you wont have sunbscriptions the following month. without a subscription it seems most games release an unfinished product to "keep on schedule" with the "fix it later with a patch" attitude.
Stronghold 3 - A complete and utter disappointment. Hard to beleive the same company made the first two it was so bad. Somehow they "lost technology" when they made this version. Walls did not build properly you would have big gaps, the height advantage of walls and towers were gone. Who the hell wants to play a game about castles when the walls and towers dont work? Without working walls and towers it NEVER should have been released. Firefly made an attempt to be responsible, but the it was a futile gesture considering the wall and towers flaw. Forced Gamestop to give a refund for it after half dozen emails.
Heores of Might and Magic VI - I will never touch another Ubisoft product after this rip off. Impulse (Gamestop version) had bad version. My first two hours of owning it I spent in tech support forums trying to find a fix for the Nvidia card problem they had, who the hell makes a game incompatible with Nvidia cards? Dumbasses. Then I ended up with a demo version despite paying full price. UbiSoft customer service was non-existant. I patiently waited a month for a patch, despite seeing multiple cases of the same problems in their forums. I asked Gamestop for a refund, they refused, claimed they needed UbiSofts permisison to give a refund. If they company couldnt be responsible enough to patch the game or answer support rquests, snowball;s chanc ein hell they going to answer an email regarding a refund. Gamestop refused a second time for a refund, I switched back to Steam with my game purchases. Went to my bank filed a dispute form with Mastercard and forced a refund.
Final Fantasy XIV - I did not experience it myself but I read about it. Square Enix lost years on their bad release. It took almost a year to release a new version for the PC, and will be like another year before console versions come out. however they took some responsibility and waived subscriptions until it was fixed.
Star Wars The Old republic - $60 for a NON-collectors edition subscription game. Um, go @#$% yourself. Maybe if it was a collectors edition I could see tha tprice. I refuse to pay that much for a basic version of a game that requires a subscription considering the average going rate is about $30-40 (unless you are Trion with the $5 Rift.) That price of $60 says they have no confidence in the games success so they going to gouge as much as possible from the loyals fans. Less than two months later I have already seen "specials" for about $40.
At any rate from what I have played of the unfinished FE beta the stability is a little bit less than equal of EWoM is currently. The gameplay has been streamlined and has improved. Kinda disappointed to see the dynasties go though. Even it its current unfinished state it is still more of a working game than the first two examples.
Keep up the good work and I hope you will not have to take responsibility for another bad release. I doubt you will have to. I think you learned your lesson from the last one.