Stardock Software announced that it will ditch boxed retail releases for two of its upcoming games, making them available only online through digital distribution partners. Their next two games, The Political Machine 2012 and Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, will only be available as downloads. This sea change is due mostly to the success of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, which was not released at retail but managed to break sales records at Stardock anyway. The game became the fastest-selling title in the company's history. Since the release of Sins: Rebellion in mid-June, Stardock has sold over 100,000 units. The game is the first major Stardock game not released at retail.
"I remember it was somewhat dramatic in the community when we announced that Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion wasn't going to be at retail," said Stardock CEO Brad Wardell. "The reason was because we have moved away from having set release dates, which are largely announced for to kickoff presales, or for shareholders and retail distributors. Now we don't plan a release date until the game has reached a quality level where we feel comfortable doing so."
The Political Machine 2012 will be released on July 31, while Elemental: Fallen Enchantress will release this fall.