We continue to be fascinated by the good job that Stardock and Brad Wardell are doing in making people care about their hardcore indie PC games such as the Galactic Civilizations series, and FiringSquad has a good interview with Brad on the GalCiv II expansion, named 'Dark Avatar'.

For a 'niche' PC game, GalCiv II seems to have sold pretty darn well, and Brad notes: "Everything we had planned on was based on a projected linear increase from what happened during Galactic Civilizations I. Way back when GalCiv I came out, Master of Orion 3 was new and a lot of people were anxious for space-based strategy games. So the success of the first game had taken us by surprise. With Galactic Civilizations II, there wasn’t that situation so we did not think there would be the kind of mass-market demand for a space-based strategy game."

The company is also renowned for being light on game protection, and Wardell explains just why: "But the bottom line is that we are certain that CD copy protection costs more sales than it gains through “preventing piracy.” Gamers — particularly people who buy games — resent being treated like criminals, and it affects their purchasing decisions. If I thought that a retina scan would increase sales, then you can be assured that a GalCiv III would require it. Not having CD copy protection has definitely helped our sales."