The Stardock Corporation is a software development company founded in 1991, which is newly formed in 1993 as Stardock Systems. Stardock initially developed for the OS/2-Plattform, but was in 1997/98 forced due to the collapse of the OS/2-Softwaremarkts to switch to Windows. The company is both known for programs that allow a modification or extension of existing GUIs, and one for in-house developed computer games, especially computer strategy games like Galactic Civilizations - series or Sins of a Solar Empire. Stardock was a pioneer in digital distribution solutions, however, his own platform pulses could not sufficiently long-term position in the market.


Stardock was founded by college students Brad Wardell as a PC company, but which soon expanded into the area of ​​software development.

OS/2-Ära (1993-2001 )

Stardock's first software product the computer game Galactic Civilizations was for OS / 2 Stardock never scored so that any revenues because they were cheated by the publisher, but created thus a market for future expansion packs, such as the Shipyards extension. Stardock licensed the game also under the title Star Emperor for publication as part of the Family FunPak to IBM, from which again a considerable number were sold. Stardock created then the OS / 2 Essentials and its successor Object Desktop, with which the company was able to build a broad user base.

During this time, IBM decided to abandon the OS/2-Plattform, without, however, publicly expressing. Stardock further developed so games for OS / 2 as Avarice and Entrepreneur. With the release of Windows NT 4 Stardock however noted that the customer base gradually waned, and was now forced to reinvent itself as a Windows developer; but not without first losing a lot of money and personnel. The key point was the commercial failure of the game Trials of Battle, a 3D fighting game hovercraft had expected from the Stardock a million sales, but was able to sell only a few hundred. Brad Wardell estimated that the death of OS / 2 was the company's development thrown back three years.

Windows era (1998 to the present)

The new, smaller Stardock aimed heavily on the existing old user base and hoped that this would buy the Windows version of Object Desktop, in the positive expectancy of the product to be established. With the creation of a basic package (even old OS/2-Favoriten including ) began Stardock, with external developers to develop new products.

Stardock's first major success was Windows WindowBlinds. 2001 was added the widget creation and modification tool DesktopX desktop, based on Alberto Riccio VDE. 2003 Stardock was awarded the " Designed for Windows " certificate for WindowBlinds is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

Digital Distribution

Stardock was one of the first companies to put on their own freely available client software in the distribution. The first variant called the Component Manager, which was later replaced by Stardock Central. 2008, these pulses on the digital distribution platform was developed, which allowed also the integrated patching and installation of purchased products on multiple computers own apart from the acquisition. Stardock's vision for pulses was to create a common platform for computer games, both for its own, the title of small studios, but also games of larger publishers. Stardock also allowed to use a less intrusive version of SecuROM on impulses.

In May 2011, however, Stardock sold Impulse to the game retailer GameStop. After the sale of Impulse to GameStop Stardock started his own title also about alternative and former rival distribution platforms like Steam to offer.

Computer Games

Stardock's success in the Windows computer game market were rather mixed. At the beginning of your own games were marketed by third parties: The Corporate Machine ( Take 2 ), Galactic Civilizations ( Strategy First ) and The Political Machine 2004 ( Ubisoft ). Although all three titles sold well Stardock was dissatisfied with the revenues generated. In the case of Galactic Civilizations publisher Strategy First the company remained large sums owed ​​because the company went bankrupt. This convinced Stardock finally thereof, to publish his own title itself. Due to the success of its desktop applications Stardock was able to finance his own PC games without other donors. After the commercial success of Galactic Civilizations II Stardock began performing as a publisher for products from other studios.

The first game was published by Stardock Sins of a Solar Empire. Stardock and Ironclad Games met an unusual arrangement, the two companies integrated their teams at all levels. This collaboration was successful, the game scored on average a rating of 88 out of 100 on Metacritic and was a top seller in the sale.

The second externally developed game that Stardock published in 2009, Demigod by Gas Powered Games, which, however, was only moderately successful was.

In the third quarter of 2010, Stardock was forced to lay off employees connected with the sale of Impulse platform, as the game Elemental: War of Magic, a Master of Magic -inspired 4X game, poor ratings received and sold unexpectedly bad. Brad Wardell apologized to the fans for the disappointed expectations, took the blame the lack of quality control on and promised for the future to have learned from the mistakes. Since 2010 Stardock is now working on the basis of Elemental: War of Magic on a new game called Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, to be recovered with the lost customer confidence; For example, buyers get Elemental: War of Magic (depending on purchase date) discounted the new game or even for free. The game was released on October 23, 2012, and received much better reviews than War of Magic.