Thursday, February 16, 2012

Games Workshop's Mentality

A few years back, through the power of the internet, I met a guy who had worked for Games Workshop and had switched to designing video games. He had a lot of interesting things to say about Games Workshop, but the one that I remember best was that Games Workshop runs itself like a cult, and that GW employees are encouraged to 'break ties' with friends and family that don't play GW games. So, with that in mind, I direct you toward this reddit thread that has done the rounds on 40k blogs today. To save you from ever having to go to reddit, I've clipped out the really scary quotes.

"In-house: We want to play and have a GREAT narrative (see WD 312 for a good example of that; that's me and Steve, by the way).
Local: People want to WIN.
It's so foreign to me that it makes it hard to enjoy the games. Yes, rules lawyers, I'm looking at you...
People who work for the company are passionate about the joy in the game, and they are AWESOME to play with. People who just play the game want to be Johnny McBadass."
Playing to win a game is foreign to GW employees. 1

"What army do you feel the best players are running?"
"You can certainly build hard armies. I tend to have lots of basic troops, and lots of shooty bits. I also don't care very much if I lose (which... has happened more than twice), as it's way more important to me to see if I can figure out how to win without gaming the army list."
Writing a good army list = gaming the system 2

"I still buy, and still paint figs, but nearly never play anymore. I miss playing with people who played to have fun, rather than to win; I got a little spoiled playing with the staff at the GW HQ...
Dirty and I will get together once a year or so to play, but that's really it."

He plays once a year. How much does he spend on the hobby?
"Not for nothing, it works on me, too. I have roughly 10,000 figs, and over Thanksgiving dropped $500 on a new Orc army, because I love the new plastics. Even knowing the marketing strategy, I'm helpless against it, because they're so cool. I mean, the new giant spider???"

He spent $500 in a week. 3 4

I should point out that he is currently rooming with 'Dirty.' Hopefully they are getting some more games in? As long as I'm pointing things out, the majority of the web community for GW products are people like him who play once a year, haven't played in years, play, but with made-up rules in their gaming group, or people who have never played the TT game but pay attention to the fluff. Read anyone giving advice in the thread (but actually don't) and you'll notice that they're either talking about past editions or they're just flat-out wrong.

If that guy doesn't sound like someone who needs cult deprogramming, I don't know who does. I mean, the guy even hates Bolt Thrower.

Edit: I missed the bit where he says he had no friends that didn't work for GW. Because that's healthy.

New Author

I go by 'Ronnoc' on the interwebs. I'm a buddy of Scraps in the for real lifes, and I will be posting intermediately about the things I like.

Things I like:
Hating Warhammer 40k
Hating Games Workshop (no one hates GW more than its fans)
Giving Privateer Press backhanded complements
Hating wargames' internet culture

Games Workshop-wise, I have 5000 points of Blood Angels, which I play in a modified flamestorm-style list, and 3000 points of Orks which I am currently working on bringing up to a competitive battlewagon-bash list. I also have a couple hundred points of LOTR, but the rules update might have rendered that game unplayable. I would elaborate, but I'm pretty sure no one cares about LOTR.
On the Privateer Press side of things, I have a maybe 50 points of Gatormen, and I have yet to really find my niche with them.

Well, I'm glad that's over with.