I'm off for a few days and this happens when I get back?
Well, after having read the development in this topic, there are a few points I feel like making.
1. On the extension of contracts
It's quite normal that once a business contract expires, you consider your options. It's what Elliot should (and almost certainly will) do and it's what Matrix is no doubt going to do. The entire talk has been on whether Elliot should stick with Matrix, but do we know that Matrix even wants to stick with him? Of course they should spend a little while considering what to do next and how they wish to arrange it.
If they feel like continuing for a second spell then that's what they should do. If one of them don't then that's probably fine too. They'll shake hands, appreciate the good times they've had and the money they've made, and then they'll move on, with almost no hurt feelings between them, because both parties know that it's nothing personal, just business. Or at least that's the theory. In practice, most business managers are a bit less Vulcan than that, but since I don't know any specifics, I really don't care to speculate on the exact details of the relationship between Elliot and Erik.
That being said, it really wouldn't surprise me if Elliot would have a hard time getting better deals anywhere since he's a micro-developer. I don't think Valve is likely to throw in much support and I don't see how Matrix can justify support if he's going to undermine them by putting his game on Steam.
2. On emotion in business decisions
Business managers definitively do not qualify as sociopaths just because they make their business decisions based on logic. Similarly, it has nothing whatsoever to do with sociopathy, and in fact isn't even the tiniest little indication of the condition, if one suggests that business managers should in fact base their decisions on logic. Finally, it is very much not an indication of sociopathy that one doesn't see the sense in comments about loyalty, trust, and various friendship fluff-terms in a discussion about a business contract.
Just thought I'd make that clear. By the way, accusing people of having empathy-issues or otherwise insulting them for no reason is in fact a slight indication of sociopathy.
3. On the evaluation of marketing
There are in fact more ways to evaluate an effort than through sheer numbers. The qualitative approach would be to simply do key segment or focus group studies or, if we're doing it entirely bare-bones, do a one-person effect analysis. Show the created material to one person and ask said person how he interprets it and whether it makes him want to spend potentially a hundred bucks on the game? Elliot can do this on his own, using himself as a test subject, and then he'll have the first vague answer as to whether he is satisfied with the marketing efforts, won't he? Similarly, we can do this same thing, with the caveat that we only have access to bits and parts of the total effort. Still, this can in fact give us a decent enough first idea of whether we think the marketing was good or not.
4. On the importance of minding one's own business
It really doesn't matter if something is our business or not. This is a forum. we discuss things on a forum. Even things that aren't actually our business. For instance, it really wasn't my business that Clinton got a blowjob from Lewinsky or that he then lied about it under oath. It was totally his choice to unzip and her choice to smoke the cigar, and I do believe they were both adult at the time. Does that mean I shouldn't have an opinion on whether it was a good or a bad choice that a president decides to get a blowjob from an intern? Of course not.
5. On lies and mistakes
A lie is an intentional untruthfulness. A mistake is a claim that turns out to be wrong. When you call something a lie, you're also implying intent. Not just that something in fact is wrong but that the one who said it knew it to be wrong and said it anyway. That's rude and not called for in most civilized conversations. As a rule of thumb, if your mother said it, would you call her a liar or would you simply correct her? That's how you should behave in a civilized conversation.
6. On wild speculation based on Elliot's inactivity in a marketing capacity
I can't speak for others, but personally I find it to be a real drag to occupy myself with all kinds of social media crap. And I'm not even the lone guy who dedicates my life to writing my very own super-complex 4x game. It would not surprise me in the slightest if Elliot isn't energized or motivated by speculating about promotion and marketing. He's busy doing his game and I doubt he has much energy left for media bullshit when he's not working on the game.
Taking time off from working on the game, by the way, would also result in him not getting the things done that he'd like to get done. He's one guy, isn't he? He can spend an afternoon working on his website or he can try to make the AI that little bit better. He can spend hours doing a developer blog, writing about what he is doing and what he'd like to get done, or he can spend those hours actually getting it done.
My speculation is that he's likely spending his time as a developer, thinking like a developer, avoiding unnecessary distractions, and consequently leaving all the marketing crap to his publisher, much like a writer would spend his time writing books and leave all the publicity work to his publisher. And that's totally like it should be. I'd be very surprised if the contract doesn't make Matrix responsible for the marketing, so why should he allow himself to get distracted by it?
7. Conclusion (no, it isn't really)
I freaking hate Steam, it sucks, it blows, it's stinking crapware that makes me feel as if someone's spying on me, and I WILL NOT USE IT!! Also, I fail to see any why Matrix couldn't offer an internship to a marketing grad student and have that free labour slave his ass off to produce marketing material and spam the living hell out of various strat game fora around the web with stories about how great this game is. And the crazy thing is that the grad student would probably love the job, since it's a real world non-theoretical application of his £€€7 marketing skillz.