Remember that news blip that popped up a couple weeks ago regarding a petition started on Change.org’s website? The one requesting Games Workshop change their business model to a more game balanced focus as opposed to their current one of strictly existing to sell miniatures that just happen to have a game associated with them? Well it just hit the 10,000 signature level. In a time where you can’t even get two 40k players to agree on how many detachments they should be allowed to use in a standard game, ten thousand of them took the time to sign a petition letting Games Workshop know they were unhappy with how they were being treated by the company that they love and support. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can check out the page here.
So will this change anything? If you are being honest with yourself than the answer is most likely not. Games Workshop has long since abandoned their focus on creating a game with a balanced rules set and instead have taken the stance that they are focused on creating miniatures that can be purchased in order to be used for a game that effectively does not have any rules. What rules they do write are written for the sole purpose of selling more models. Remember how stupid the Helldrake looked when it first came out and no one wanted to buy it? What happened after GW FAQ’d them to be able to fire their flamer in all directions? Bad for the game, good for the bottom line. They have also taken the stance that they do not require nor listen to customer feedback. This has been well documented not only in the Chapterhouse lawsuit but also in newsletters from the CEO Tom Kirby to the shareholders. Some have pointed out that since Games Workshop most likely is not even aware that this petition exists drawing attention of it's existence to the shareholders would have more of a effect on the company. That might work, if it wasn't for the fact that the current majority shareholders weren't all faceless holding companies, as well as the current accountant turned CEO Tom Kirby. The sad truth is that even if the higher ups at Games Workshop DO know if the petitions existence, it would be met with a shrug of the shoulders and business as usual.
How can that be the case, though? Ten THOUSAND players signed a petition asking for Games Workshop, a company beloved by these same petition signers, to please focus on the balance of the game they are creating miniatures for. How can they just ignore that many customers’ pleas? The answer is simple. People will CONTINUE to buy the models they make, no matter how unbalanced and unplayable the game is for the models they create. If those ten thousand petition signers REALLY wanted to hurt Games Workshop and have them see the error of their ways they would all sign a petition stating they would not buy a singe Games Workshop product for one year. That includes the author of this article. I guarantee if ten thousand players decided they have had enough of Games Workshop's apathetic attitude and didn't buy anything for a year Games Workshop would pay attention. But we wont do that. Certainly not me. Cynics will ask why we care? Games Workshop exists to sell product and increase their dividends for the shareholders. This is the same for all publicly traded companies. I believe the reason we care so much is that most of us remember when Games Workshop wasn't the faceless entity it is today. We remember when they ran events and had a HOBBY magazine called White Dwarf. We remember when they ran global campaigns and actually seemed to care about the actual rules for their game systems. We don’t want to believe our hobby is driven by a company only interested in the money we spend on their products.
I applaud the writer of the petition and all those that took the time to sign it. It makes me happy to see that so many players want the game that they spend countless hours of their life playing and modeling come together and ask for something other than a cool looking model. We get it, Games Workshop. You make models and you sell them. Would it kill you to put even a fraction of your resources towards making the game balanced with rules that make sense? Also, could you bring back the Fat Bloke?