Monday, 6 May 2013
Giving Me The Corporate Creeps
I hadn't popped over to the Warlord Games forum in a while, but I did so recently in the hope of catching some interesting Black Powder posts (there weren't any). I was dismayed to find a new post from Warlord telling people 'Do Not Post Direct Links To Other Companies'. Such posts will evidently be deleted or edited.
Now, there is also a rule on the forum banning advertising by other companies in blog posts. This, I think, is fair enough. But how many times have you posted a link to some product in a forum post, merely in the spirit of sharing information with other gamers in a convenient way? I certainly have. Does this mean I can't even point out a useful book to read? I recently recommended Frank Chadwick's Benghazi Handicap scenario book on the BKC forum in response to another gamer's request for info. Another poster helpfully added a link to the publisher's product page. This apparently would be verboten by Warlord
The post from Warlord is also locked, thus gagging any forum members who might wish to express disagreement with this policy. Now you may say that Warlord are entitled to do this - it's their forum, after all. Well, entitlement is not the point. The point is, this is not in the spirit of our hobby. In a phrase, it is just mean spirited.
Sadly I was reminded of two other examples of the corporate mind set from the past year. There was Games Workshop's attempt to punish a self-publishing author for use of the phrase 'Space Marine' in her book title. When you look at the details of the book itself, that phrase 'mean spirited' comes straight back to you.
Then there was Flames of War's ruling that only armies formed from Battlefront miniatures would be allowed to take part in official, Battlefront-run FoW tournaments. Apparently there were howls of protest on the FoW forum and some backtracking took place. Again, the 'it's their tournament, they're entitled' argument was trotted out, not least by FoW themselves. And again the response from me is, 'this isn't in the spirit of the hobby, and this isn't the way I want my hobby to develop'. And as someone noted, for some armies you need to use other manufacturers because Battlefront don't make the right models. It's well worth checking out that TMP thread for some of the quotes from Battlefront, which tend to the arrogant. See for example the lengthy quoted post from John-Paul towards the bottom of this page.
If readers of this blog have any more examples of the corporate tendency spoiling our fun, I would be pleased to receive them. In the meantime, well... at the end of that Warlord post there is a cheerful 'Thank you!' I can only respond to Warlord with an equally cheerful 'Screw you'!
Goodnight and God bless.