Big Business and Gaming

Olorin of Six-Die Samurai linked me an older blog post from SquareMans. It is mostly about Games Workshop, and very enlightening about their business practices and general style. It also illustrates very well why I don’t shop at GW stores.

Then again, since I pay for my hobbies with my own hard-earned cash, I couldn’t afford to shop there even if I wanted to.

I do have a use for Games Workshop stores, though – they’re excellent for asking directions to the real gaming stores in the area. Just pop in, ask innocently if they sell Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play (which they don’t, likely because it’s a roleplaying game and anything and everything else they can use that shelf space on will sell better). Upon hearing the negative answer, ask where they could be found. A tourist map is helpful to have at ths point.

The only place I’ve tried that and it didn’t work was Berlin, but the only person on the premises who spoke English was aged roughly ten. Very good English, though.

In other news, David Kenzer of Kenzer & Co. has a pair of big brass ones (via RPG Pundit). In short, he’s releasing 4E products without the draconian Game System Licence, because he can. And so can anyone else, really, because you cannot copyright game mechanics. There’s also this lovely concept called “fair use” in there. Ah, check the link, I’m not a lawyer.

We’ll have to wait for WotC’s reaction on this, but since Mr. Kenzer is a copyrights lawyer, I assume he knows what he is doing, and it’s open season, and so much for the GSL.

It does set an interesting precedent, though, opening the possibility that someone else might do this with a different game system. I’d guess that GURPS and World of Darkness would be most susceptible to this, being the most popular systems after Dungeons & Dragons. There’s Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play and Dark Heresy, too, but they’re more tied to setting, which you would get sued trying to use. Especially since they’re GW properties, and, well, I refer you to the link in the first paragraph of this post.

6 thoughts on “Big Business and Gaming

  1. SO WoTC spent millions in development and advertising to have some idiot steal their work from them.

    I hope he gets creamed!

  2. Their GSL would’ve allowed them to do roughly the same for any licencee, with the exception that they could also have forced the licencee to stop selling their product and to destroy their stock.

    I see this development as just. Besides, this is pretty much the only way we’ll ever see anything good released for 4E.

  3. Hah, serves them right for having such draconian rules. “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

  4. He’s pretty much calling WOTC out, which might go either way. They can’t ignore it without making their new GSL completely moot.

  5. Pingback: Kenzerco Ignores the Wizards of the Coast GSL |

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