June 24, 1971 |
|Occupation||CEO, founder of Stardock Corporation|
Bradley R. Wardell (born 24 June 1971), commonly known as Brad Wardell, is an American businessman, programmer and author residing in Michigan. He is the founder, President, and CEO of Stardock, a software development and computer games company.
- 1 CEO of Stardock
- 2 Oxide Games
- 3 Mohawk Games
- 4 Author
- 5 Views
- 6 Awards
- 7 Personal life
- 8 References
- 9 Notes
- 10 External links
CEO of Stardock
Wardell built PCs and worked as a check proofer to fund his education at Western Michigan University. He graduated in 1994 with a degree in Electronic Engineering, specializing in Computer Engineering.
Wardell's first notable achievement was the design and implementation of Galactic Civilizations for OS/2, one of the platform's few games. He led development of OS/2 Essentials, followed by Object Desktop, a package of utilities and desktop enhancements.
Wardell remained an OS/2 advocate for years; in 1996 he won OS/2 Professional's "Corporate Commitment" award. When the OS/2 market collapsed, he guided Stardock to Windows, heading development of PC game Entrepreneur (now The Corporate Machine) while coordinating the creation of WindowBlinds and other Object Desktop components.
Wardell designed Galactic Civilizations for Windows and its sequel, which became GameSpy's Game of the Year. He subsequently designed The Political Machine and Elemental, as well as two expansions to Galactic Civilizations II. In 2012 he was producer of Elemental: Fallen Enchantress.
In mid 2013, Stardock announced that it had promoted Derek Paxton to succeed Wardell in the running of Stardock Entertainment in order for Wardell to have more time for other projects.
Wardell is co-founder and webmaster of WinCustomize, a site specializing in the distribution of skins and themes for computer software. He is also an administrator and – through Stardock – the largest single shareholder of technology news site Neowin. He was a regular on the PowerUser.TV podcast, run by WinCustomize and Neowin, and organized the GUI Olympics (later GUI Championships), a semi-annual skinning competition starting in 2002.
Software credited as designer/co-designer
- OS/2 Essentials (1994)
- Object Desktop for OS/2 (1995)
- ObjectZIP (1995)
- Tab LaunchPad (1995)
- Process Commander (1996)
- Object Desktop for Windows (1999)
- WindowBlinds (1999)
- DesktopX (2000)
- ObjectDock (2003)
- Impulse (2006)
- Start8 (2012)
- ModernMix (2013)
Wardell is regularly interviewed by game industry magazine Gamasutra. In 2009, he was chosen as a judge for Intel's "Level Up" game demo contest. He was also a columnist for game websites The Adrenaline Vault and Quarter to Three.
Wardell takes an open approach to game development, allowing users to view and influence the process of making games. However, he can also aggressively defend his positions, particularly when it comes to his specialties.
Wardell is credited with many different game projects during his career either as a game designer or as an executive producer.
- Galactic Civilizations for OS/2 (1994)
- Entrepreneur (1997)
- The Corporate Machine (2001)
- Galactic Civilizations (2003)
- The Political Machine (2004)
- Galactic Civilizations II (2006)
- Elemental: War of Magic (2010)
As Executive Producer
- Trials of Battle (1996)
- Avarice (1996)
- Stellar Frontier (1997)
- Sins of a Solar Empire (2008)
- Demigod (2009)
- Elemental: Fallen Enchantress (2012)
- Elemental: Fallen Enchantress - Legendary Heroes (2013)
On October 23, 2013, it was announced that Wardell had partnered up with other veteran game developers to form Oxide Games. Its stated goal is to develop "next generation" 3D engines for games.
In January of 2014, it was announced that Wardell had teamed up with Civilization IV designer, Soren Johnson to form Mohawk Games with Johnson acting as CEO and Wardell as its President.
Wardell wrote the fantasy novel Elemental: Destiny's Embers (ISBN 0345517865; August 24, 2010), published by Del Rey to accompany Elemental: War of Magic. The book is set a thousand years after the Cataclysm, after the time of the game itself, and involves the quest of a former messenger to save mankind from the Fallen. The book came with a coupon to download an exclusive campaign for the game.
Digital rights management
Wardell endorses digital distribution, despite the potential for piracy. He believes that while copyright infringement is an issue, blaming it for poor sales – and insisting on "stupid" forms of digital rights management – "hides other underlying causes." Indeed, he argues that extreme anti-piracy measures result in poor sales:
The reason why we don't put copy protection on our games isn't because we're nice guys. We do it because the people who actually buy games don't like to mess with it. Our customers make the rules, not the pirates.
Wardell says any system of protection "should be completely invisible to the user," and that it is not enough to make a good product while disrespecting your customers:
Stardock is consumer friendly because we're a bunch of greedy capitalists who have recognized what should be an obvious truth: If you treat people as potential customers and not potential criminals you are likely to get more sales.
To this end, Wardell created a "Gamers Bill of Rights," released at PAX 2008. Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor – who was working with Stardock on Demigod at the time – called the bill "an awesome framework for the industry to aspire to."
Software and economics
Wardell is willing to use free software or freeware when it is equal in quality to commercial software, or when it is all that can be afforded; the first OS/2 version of Galactic Civilizations was created using the GNU toolchain. He even funded hosting for competing freeware utility Samurize. However, he believes that freeware users often drive their developers away, and that – on average – commercial developers have greater incentives to improve quality, resulting in better products:
Online personality & Controversies
Wardell has participated in online news, magazines and forums since his days running Commodore 64 BBSes in the late 1980s. He made over 10,000 posts to Usenet during 1992–2006, being particularly active in comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic and subgroups of comp.os.os2.
Wardell is a regular poster on Stardock's forums,[nb 1] and is actively involved in public debates, including those relating to Stardock. Sometimes criticized for this, he says the risk of alienating potential customers – especially those who feel they have "a license to behave terribly" – is "a price I'm willing to pay to be able to do what I want."
Wardell maintains the online blog, Opinionated Techie where he posts his opinions on a wide range of topics. Some of his postings have been considered controversial.
For example, in response to a UPS advertising boycott which he thought included Fox News, Wardell stated in a Facebook comment to friends that Stardock would ship future titles via FedEx. The comment was wrongly reported as a boycott in support of Glenn Beck. Wardell claimed his intent was to criticize the practice of companies imposing their ideology on others, saying that his comment "was taken considerably out of context", and that he didn't "watch Glenn Beck or care one bit about his show," and that "The answer to speech you don't like is more speech. I don't want to support corporations who try to stifle free speech."
In 2010, Alexandra Miseta filed a hostile work place suit against Stardock and Wardell. Her claims included sexual harassment and constructive discharge. Stardock countersued alleging that Miseta maliciously destroyed company property when she departed. As part of a settlement deal, both suits were dismissed with prejudice and Miseta wrote a letter of apology to Wardell for the lawsuit and any "unintentional" damage she caused when she left with no money paid to either party.
Wardell was born in Texas but moved to Michigan at 4 when his parents divorced. Growing up in a small apartment, Wardell's mother worked minimum wage jobs to support herself and her son. Wardell began working at a young age taking out garbage, working for an excavation company and other after school jobs to save for college. Once in college, Wardell worked multiple jobs to pay for school. Along the way, he founded Stardock which he ultimately made his career.
- Brad Wardell, Customize.org profile - Frogboy, retrieved 2010-03-21
- Brad Wardell (2009-01-29), 25 random facts about me, retrieved 2010-03-21
- Brad Wardell (2004-07-03), A working history for Brad Wardell, retrieved 2010-03-21
- "30 Stardock Management Page", Stardock, retrieved 2013-03-13
- Stardock - Management, Stardock, retrieved 2010-03-21
- Brad Wardell (2006-12-12), Gal Civ II: Dark Avatar AI: How smart can the competition get?, IGN, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Brad Wardell (2004-11-01), Resume, retrieved 2010-03-23
- Andrew Cedotal, "30 Great Gaming Geeks", Geekosystem, retrieved 2010-03-03
- Brad Wardell (2003-05-29), Galactic Civilizations: Post Mortem, GameSpy, retrieved 2010-03-23
- Stardock's OS/2 history, 2000-10-26, retrieved 2010-03-23
- GalCiv II Game of the Year?, GameSpy, retrieved 2010-03-24
- "Bradley Wardell", MobyGames, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Parker, Steven (2008-05-12), Stardock's relationship with Neowin and its criticizers, retrieved 2010-02-03, "Neowin is now part owned by Stardock (40%) [...] The other 60% is shared between myself and (Redmak) Marcel Klum, the site founders."
- PowerUser.TV (episodes from October 2005 to December 2006)
- Brad Wardell (2002-02-02), GUI Olympics 2002 Officially Begins, OSNews, retrieved 2010-03-25
- Eric Caoili (2009-06-02), Wright, Meier, Wardell Added To Intel Game Contest Judges, Gamasutra, retrieved 2010-03-25
- Brad Wardell (2006-03-14), Implementing feedback, retrieved 2010-03-23
- Spencer Scott (2009-05-27), Demigod 108 Hour Work Week - Part 1, retrieved 2010-03-25
- Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg (2010-03-01), "Random House Sets Out to Apply Storytelling Skills to Videogames", The Wall Street Journal, retrieved 2010-03-01
- "Elemental - Purchase". Stardock. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Rainier (2010-08-24). "'Elemental: War of Magic' Free DLC With Novel Purchase". Worthplaying. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- Brad Wardell (2006-04-22), Stardock's 10 rules for success, retrieved 2010-03-25
- Peckham, Matt. "Maine Republican Party: Playing World of Warcraft Makes You Unfit for Office" Time October 10, 2012
- Christian Nutt (2008-04-07), "Q&A: Stardock's Wardell Talks Distribution Revolution With Impulse", Gamasutra, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Kris Graft (2008-10-24), "Stardock's Copyright Security Solution", EDGE, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Piracy & PC Gaming, 2008-03-10, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Ben Kuchera (2008-03-20), "PC game developer has radical message: ignore the pirates", Ars Technica, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Brad Wardell (2009-04-07), Impulse: Road Map, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Brad Wardell (2008-09-04), The Gamers Bill, Stardock, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Brad Wardell (2008-08-29), "The Gamer's Bill of Rights", EDGE, retrieved 2010-03-24
- GamePolitics.com, 2008-08-29 http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/08/29/stardock-releases-gamer039s-bill-rights-pax
|url=missing title (help), retrieved 2010-03-24
- Michael Fahey (2008-08-29), "The PC Gamer's Bill of Rights", Kotaku, retrieved 2010-03-24
- Brad Wardell (2005-02-11), Didn't you know capitalism was bad?, retrieved 2010-03-22
- Gustaf Lundh (Cure110) (2004-04-15), Comment to Samurize, Betanews, retrieved 2010-03-25, "The bandwidth speedup is thanks to (believe it or not) stardock, who is now hosting our webpage for free. If it wouldn't for theese guys i'm not sure the project would still be continued."
- Brad Wardell (2005-03-15), Why freeware nearly always loses in the long run, retrieved 2010-03-22
- Brad Wardell (2001-08-28), Tell us about your first time..., retrieved 2010-03-25
- Profile for Brad Wardell's Western Michigan University account - Google Groups
- Profile for Brad Wardell's IBM account - Google Groups
- Profile for Brad Wardell's Stardock account - Google Groups
- Brad Wardell (2008-05-14), Brad's life philosophy, for what it's worth, retrieved 2010-03-25
- http://draginol.joeuser.com Missing or empty
- Brad Wardell (2009-09-28), Facebook, Boycotts, and Politics
- Andy Chalk (2009-09-29), Stardock CEO Boycotts UPS Over Fox News, retrieved 2010-03-25
- Brad Wardell (2009-09-28), Comment to Stardock Boycotting UPS?, Blue's News
- Stardock Lawsuits Dropped, Ex-Employee Apologizes, 2012-09-06, retrieved 2012-09-06
- Stardock Lawsuits Dropped, Ex-Employee Apologizes, 2013-09-24, retrieved 2013-09-24
- Andrew Dietderich (2003-09-29), "40 under 40", Detroit Business News (Crain Communications), retrieved 2010-03-21
- Frank Maselli (July 2007), "2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Brad Wardell, Star Player", Smart Business Detroit, retrieved 2010-03-22[dead link]
- Brad Wardell, Photo of Debbie Wardell, retrieved 2010-03-21
- Brad Wardell, Frogboy - WinCustomize profile, retrieved 2010-03-21
- Brad Wardell (2007-05-21), Beekeeping in Michigan - Getting Started, retrieved 2010-03-21
- Wardell usually uses the screen name name Frogboy for corporate matters, while going by Draginol from home.
- Official Facebook Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Master Of The Galaxy: Stardock's Brad Wardell - Jason McMaster, Gamasutra (November 15, 2006)
- Q&A: Stardock's Wardell Talks GalCiv, Indie Power - Alistair Wallis, Gamasutra (July 26, 2007)
- Stardock CEO Wardell Eyes Star Control, Orion, And More - Chris Remo, Gamasutra (November 17, 2008)
- Interview: Stardock's Wardell On Elemental: War of Magic - Chris Remo, Gamasutra (November 4, 2008)
- The Top 25 Game Industry Heroes for 2008 - Edge (magazine) (December 22, 2008)
- Brad Wardell On The Future Of Impulse - Jim Rossignol, Rock, Paper, Shotgun (March 22, 2010)
- Acting on Impulse - Phil Elliott, GamesIndustry.biz (April 22, 2010)
- Q&A: Stardock CEO Wardell On Writing A Novel, Creating Elemental With Random House - Chris Remo, Gamasutra (June 4, 2010)
- Q&A: Stardock CEO Brad Wardell talks about Start8 - John Callahan, Neowin (March 8, 2012)
- Brad Wardell on Freakonomics - Stephn Dubner, Freakonomics (July 9, 2012)
- Monroe Bank & Trust business profile -Doug Chaffin, MBT (June 26, 2013)