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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pointless discussions

For some reason riplikash over at DakkaDakka decided to ask the peanut gallery about whether or not GW is making moral business decisions.

So I'll answer the question without elaborating on the post. Yes they are. Unless you can provide evidence that GW is using illegal labor, falsifying their accounting, lacing their minis with LSD to make us buy more, producing miniatures or other IP in a sweatshop, etc. then they are not acting amorally. People's complaints really come down to a dislike of GW's business practices. For the record, though, if you think GW should change their business practices, you might want to look at their rapidly growing stock prices. But anyway, I think what he meant to ask was "is Games Workshop being run by dickheads?"

For those interested in the pointlessness and futility of this debate, here's what he had to say:

Ok, this is going to be a touchy one, and I really hope it doesn't turn into a flame war.

I've heard some people complain about GWs morals or ethics, but obviously it is mostly just complaints about pricing, not updating codexes, model lines, and IP enforcement. I'm honestly curious, has GW done anything morally or ethically questionable, or are people just misusing the terms.

I am wondering if there are any legitimate ethical or moral complaints about GW.

Now I want to make it clear, I'm hoping for a mature and non-whiny answer. Lets avoid issues like:

IP enforcement, because in many countries if a business does not aggressively enforce their IP they risk losing it

Capatalistic attacks like prices, updates, etc. It is ethical for a company to try make profit, start new lines, discontinue lines, change rules, have bad rules, hire and fire employees, and charge whatever the market will bear. Ethically a company is standing on good ground if they are clear about the product and don't try to trick their customers. Dropping the squats, having too many SM codexes, and changing rules, even if it is to get people to buy more of their stuff, is NOT an ethical issue, it is a customer relations one. Bad business decisions are not the same as bad ethics. This includes employee pay and treatment (for the most part). Paying minimum wage and closing stores at the drop of a hat is not bad ETHICS or MORALS, it is bad customer relations and business.

Ok, all that said, is there a foundation for complaints about the companies morals and ethics? Or is it just people complaining about business decisions they don't like? And if there are moral and ethical problems, what are they?

So here are some things to note. Profit and profit margin decisions do not constitute a moral issue. A company can and will charge as much money as they can for a product so that they can continue to make that product. If you don't like it, you can choose not to buy what is being produced, you know. Dropping and adding of product lines are not moral issues. These simply help the company to remain solvent and grow. Now if they were to make a new game called "Khmer Rouge Lockdown," in which you played Pol Pot and got to choose which memeber of educated society you get to execute, that might be a moral issue.

GW has gotten a lot of shit for enforcing their IP lately and sending cease and desist letters to various forums and websites. GW can and should enforce their rights over their own property to the extent that they are able. If I came to your house and stole your computer would you want to press charges? If you were GW and I put your codex on my website would you want to press charges? Not much difference is there? You know what happens when rights over IP aren't upheld? Shit goes to hell in a hand basket real quick like. Take a look at the music scene in India. Due to piracy issues, the only way to make a rupee as a musician in India is to perform live or sell a song to a movie. If you release an album, it will probably be on the underground market and for sale at a mall kiosk before you even have CDs pressed. Do you want something similar for the gaming industry? Probably not, because if companies can't make money they won't make any more games.

In the end I'm not even sure why this question was asked. Especially since riplikash pretty much answers his own question in his first post. What's the point of asking a question if you already know the answer or have an unbreakable, pre-conceived notion, dumbass?

Anybody else want to see what the peanut gallery had to say, though? I know I do.

Here's what Shadowbrand had to offer us:

Several people have pointed out the "Nazism" in the Imperium other then that, can't think of anything. ~And those people, like yourself would be idiots. Unless you're talking about Nazis, something isn't Naziesque or like Nazis. Comparing things this way makes you look like the idiot you are.

Quoth ceorron:

GW has done nothing wrong morally, ethically.
Apart from owning something of a manopoly ~manopoly?~they cannot be criticised.
Even that is in debate however. The market is not large or profitable enough for other business or government action to even consider going after GWs head for agressive IP enforcement for example.

Wait is he saying that the government should attack GW for upholding their own legal rights? This sounds like a job for the ministry of silly walks.

How about you Ouze? What say you?

Hey everyone, why is (company) getting such a bad rap?

Could you explain it without using any examples from (first largest category of bad behavior company engages in) or (second largest category of bad behavior company engages in)?

Even though there are near countless examples of the behavior I'm allegedly looking for in the two categories I've artificially excluded, I'd like one that fits a preconceived notion I already hold, and will reveal later on in the thread.

I hope this post doesn't turn into a flame war, like every single other post on this topic has, without exception, ever.

Haha, now that is how you start an internet fight. Mock the original poster while calling him out on his bullshit.


John Laubersheimer said...

Personal favorite post (thanks, Incarna):

"GW, as an entity, has performed immorally in two instances that I can recall. The elimination of the Squats and Lost and the Damned armies as playable supported lines was immoral. If GW had provided a notification prior to these creation of these armies that they would one day be discontinued than they would have satisfied their due diligence in their customer relations. They did not, and thus their choice to remove these two armies as playable collections was immoral."

Apparently not producing something is a amoral.

Hoagy said...

Evolution, not revolution. While I am sad that the Lost and the Damned went the way of the Dodo (the books were gorgeous), people need to put up, or shut the fuck up. Could you see GW putting out the high caliber stuff they are today (minus the plastic Minotaurs), or putting anything out at all if they didn't adapt, adopt and improve? no, they would have probably fallen by the wayside and eventually faded away. Bottom line, the company has evolved from a small bedroom run business to a worldwide household name in the wargaming community. The prime objective being to make money. Yes, money! shock! If these people who object to GW's alleged 'immoral business practices' so much, then they should stop buying their product and move on. I bet they'll be the first fuckers in line buying the new Blood Angels releases or something though....

Dethtron said...

so what you're sayin is that it wasn't immoral of GW to cancel your beloved Judge Dread game without due notice?

Hoagy said...

No, their licensing ran out :) besides, it was crap anyway. Chainsaw warrior was a lot better...