Stardock Central is a program that consolidates software
updates, chat, message boards, documentation, and more into a single easy to use
interface. It enables Stardock to keep providing updates of its software while
giving users seamless access to those updates.
For instance, on the day Galactic Civilization ships, Stardock
will have available a free BonusPak to all users of GalCiv. The BonusPak is a collection of extra features and content for
new GalCiv players. It includes additional ships, technologies, star base
modules, events, and much more. It also includes Stardock Central.
The idea behind the BonusPak is to thank new GalCiv players for
purchasing the game. Stardock is best known for its desktop environment software
known as Object Desktop. Stardock has
found that the best way to keep customers and decrease piracy is to reward
people for supporting you rather than punish people by having to go through copy
protection. For instance, GalCiv doesn't require the CD to be in the drive to
Each GalCiv user has their own unique serial number that is
verified on our server as being a valid serial number. When a user enters this
serial number into our server, they get a Stardock.net account which lets them
instantly gain access to all sorts of extra goodies including the BonusPak.
All of this is handled by Stardock Central.
Stardock Central in action...
Stardock Central is a program that uses the player's
Stardock.net account to gain access to additional content, chat with other
players, visit the message boards, and obtain updates to the game.
Players can chat with other Stardock users and developers using
the built in chat client.
The GalCiv message boards can be accessed this way as well. By
accessing the database directly, performance is much faster and it is much
easier to see which messages have new responses.
Why is Stardock doing this?
Smaller developers like Stardock have to work harder. For games
like GalCiv to be successful, they have to sell well over a long period of time.
Most games are released and within 90 days are considered "old". Stardock's
strategy is to try to keep its games new and fresh for as long as possible. By
providing new, meaningful, free updates to its software, it keeps its software
fresh and new.