Thursday, 19 May 2011

Oh, Games Workshop...

This post will be a first for this blog. Since it's inception, I have tried to keep focus entirely on the World Eaters and the discussion surrounding them. I have reasoned that the people who do visit my blog do so to read about the mighty twelfth Legion and worlds being eaten, and not petty, real life stuff.

So it is some indication of the importance that I ascribe to the 'hot topic' that leads me to make this post now. Been away for a few days and not sure what it is yet? I recommend that you head over to Dakka, Warseer, Bell of Lost Souls (even Games Workshop's own FB page) and take in the first half dozen or so, 20 page discussions. Or look at any number of the blogs on my blog roll. Put simply, Games Workshop HQ has been taken over by Gremlins. Someone fed them after dark, and now in their evil and tricksy ways they have set about with great gusto in attempting to upset their fans as much as possible.

I won't go into specifics here, suffice to say that most criticism revolves around a not insignificant price increase across the board (on the back of a switch to a supposedly cheaper material), and a big middle finger to the Southern hemisphere, or at least anywhere like Australia, where customers from those countries were previously using UK based internet retailers. The reason being, it was possible to buy GW product at something approaching RRP, rather than the ridiculous prices determined by the the exchange rate that GW follows. Now those customers will be forced to swallow their pride (and presumably packets of instant noodles, the only thing the average middle class citizen will be able to afford after a trip into an Aus GW) if they want to continue to buy new GW product. Unsurprisingly, the comments from the former colonies have not been overwhelmingly pleased. On a personal level, it means I cannot continue to order from the likes of Wayland and Maelstrom. While this won't really effect my World Eaters project (what project you may ask, after looking at the number of posts recently? :) ) which subsists on bits orders that get put into parcels from my family back home, it has given my other projects - a WFB orc force and Eldar army - a questionable future. I have more than a 5 hour journey to Seoul if I want to buy any GW, and I will have to pay more than RRP for it if I want to do so.

So, where does that leave us? The internet has a history of kicking up storms that don't really go anywhere, and of people raging at their keyboards (see: every other GW price increase), but I have a feeling this one is going to be different. There is a hell of a lot more passion behind it, and it's as if the dam has become unplugged, letting forth all manner of unpleasantries which had previously been welling up.

For this reason, I have decided to write a letter (on a computer, not hand written, we have to roll a little bit with the times here!), print it out and as of today mailed it off to GW HQ back in the motherland. Internet fan communities do have weight, if they pull together (just look at Rage Against the Machine making it to Christmas Number 1 in the UK, or Greenpeace naming that whale Mr. Splashy Pants!).

So, if you feel as strongly as I do about this topic, I advise you to follow suit and make up one of your own. Make it polite and concise; let GW know exactly how you feel about this recent spate of changes. Here is the address of GW HQ:

Games Workshop
Direct Sales
Willow Road

If enough of us do it, someone might just take notice. It could well be that nothing whatsoever will happen, and that exec types will sit at their desks with their fingers in their ears yelling 'lalalala' even as the office junior gets a big overtime payment that month shovelling letters into landfill. But if in the years to come GW does nose dive, at least we will have the knowledge that we tried to make a difference. Games Workshop has been a big part of my life, and that is what has prompted the emotional reaction on my part. I genuinely feel for the company, and the feeling of 'betrayal' that I am currently experiencing is as much concerning my fear for the companies future as it is the personal inconvenience the prices rises, trade embargoes and other nonsense are causing me.

This will be the last such comment from me on this blog, and all future postings will indeed go back to discussing pre-Heresy matters, chiefly the boys in white and blue. That is, unless something happens again in the future where by I feel the hobby that I know and love is threatened..

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