Friday, March 27, 2009

Game company assholery

Most game companies seem to understand the hobby's environment and strike a reasonable balance between protecting their intellectual property and presenting a friendly visage to fans and consumers. When they don't, they can acquire a reputation, in the pejorative sense that your parents use when warming against bad behavior.

The old TSR, for example, was widely resented and mocked for it excessive zeal in that regard. Every term was so loaded down with TMs and (c) that it became a hobby joke. And few have mourned its passing. Indeed, of the various hobby brands that Hasbro acquired over the years it seems to have found a lot more value in Wizards of the Coast and Avalon Hill than TSR.

So I have to admit I was puzzled when i came across a major Internet resellers website and saw all the images involving Games Workshop products replaced this:

So I contacted the reseller and they said yes, Games Workshop insists they remove all images of Games Workshop products. They admitted it probably wasn't legal, but it wasn't worth the legal fight.

I have to admit I find the whole thing bizarre. It would be like Ford, GM or Toyota saying used car dealers can't use pictures of their cars in their ads.

Games Workshop has a reputation among brick retailers as well, and frankly I don't think the hobby needs this sort of attitude. They're games, not life-saving medicines. There's plenty of fish in this sea and there's no profit in being the stinky ones.

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