Thursday, September 26, 2013

Passing the Baton



Loken here.  As Nykona mentioned two days ago, I have turned this blog over to him.  While I may write an article here or there, this blog is now his, and I am sure you won't see much of a difference (It will probably be better!).

So why am I leaving?  Pretty simple.  Games Workshop.

You see, this past June I opened a store in Rancho Cucamonga, CA called Dice of War.  When opening my GW account, I had to deal with the head of trade sales in the US telling me that my blog violated their user agreement.  I told them that this blog was a totally different company.  He said he didn't care and that if I published rumors I would be violating the GW Vendor agreement and they would shut us down.  We wouldn't be able to buy Games Workshop product.

Do I want to be in business with people like that?  No.   So I immediately sought out a buyer for the store. And after the initial buyer backed out, I found another group that has taken Dice of War over.   Running a game store has never been my goal. I am an entrepreneur, have had several successful companies and you don't make a lot of money from a game shop.  The store was a nice little project, that is all. I work in the film industry and that is where my energies need to be. 

And now I have transferred this blog to Nykona.  I really don't want to be promoting a company, that has a adversarial relationship with its vendors.  A company that doesn't really care about its customers and is run by greedy suits who only care about their stock price.

And lets face it, this blog is one of the most popular 40K blogs out there.  I am CONSTANTLY promoting GW.  I run The Big Game, the World's Biggest Apocalypse Game, and am bringing a series of Horus Heresy events to the US.  But they don't care about that.  They show NO LOYALTY to someone who is helping promote their business.  They hate the blogs and want to control all information (while leaking it themselves as they did with the Space Marine codex).

Let me be clear.   I LOVE Forge World and the guys from The Black Library.  They are the ONLY reason I am still playing 40K (well, 30K now!).  They are the heart and soul and everything good about Games Workshop. Yes, the GW design studio are pretty sharp folks and they do amazing work.  But GW corporate, both in the UK and US, is ruining this hobby.  I don't buy any GW product anymore, and only buy Forge World and Black Library.  I am moving out of Apocalypse (which GW has killed with its ridiculous price increases - no one can afford massive armies anymore) and 100% into Horus Heresy gaming.  I only need deal with Forge World and Black Library now.  Did I mention how much I love those guys? :-)

So I am signing off.  It will be nice not to have to write a blog post every day, or when Forge World comes out with new stuff (which seems like daily these days!).  And I hope you enjoy Nykona's take on things.  You can always find me on the Horus Heresy Forum, which you should all join.

Thanks for your support and keep reading.

Loken


12 comments:

Mordian7th said...

Yikes! I had no idea you were being put through the ringer as bad as you are - that's a major bummer, man. Glad to hear you're still on board with the heresy gaming though, I look forward to continuing to work with you over on the heresy forums!

Glad that you're taking steps to ensure your enjoyment isn't compromised, and I'm also glad that Nykona is picking up the torch for this blog - it's one of my favorite reads.

Cheers!

Mordian7th

Ben said...

I'd like to begin by saying that I have enjoyed your blogging and wish you well in your future, I do however strongly disagree with your view of gw as a company.

To my mind it's perfectly reasonable for them to not want someone who sells their products and may have access to privileged information about releases to run a rumour blog at the same time and of course they want to control how that information is actually released.

It's their products they should be allowed to make those decisions themselves, whether they go about that the best way or not is up for debate but that they should have the right to decide how and when products are seen really shouldn't be.
The recent Centurions for example could well have had their image damaged by poor quality early images from WD which generated a large amount of nerd rage that still hasn't died down, I'm not saying they're the best minis gw have ever released but they're certainly better than those early images suggested.

Rumour and news blogs and sites are great and I frequent many of them but without gw (along with fw and bl) and their excellent models and ip we'd have a lot less to talk about and war gaming in general would not be as popular or vibrant as it is at the moment.

Apologies for the slight rant but I get a little fed up with gw bashing and feel they need defending as a company from time to time, they're definitely not perfect (no company is) but they're also nowhere near as bad as some people make out as far as I'm concerned :-)

Zab said...

I hear ya. The last GW product I bought was the dark vengeance starter set. They are driving loyal customers away in favour of fad gamers. Oh well. Enjoy 30K! I am waiting on some Preheresy Dark Angels before I jump into that ring ;) Though Betrayal was an awesome book.

Loken said...

Ben:

The problem is, the blog was a separate entity from the store. GW had no right to tell me what i could do with my blog since it had no legal relationship to the store.

They could ask me not to use any of the information they sent in advance, and of course I never did. I put up a Chinese Wall, and the manager was told not to send me any GW communication. But GW had no legal standing to dictate what I could and could not do with my blog.

And unless you have dealt with GW on a business level, you really can't evaluate their business practices towards vendors.

And Apocalypse40K was never a rumor blog. It was a news blog that often posted rumors. Big difference.

Loken

Loken said...

Yes Zab, 30K is the future of gaming for many of us. And the prices are no more than much of 40K.

carlos rico said...

Yeah, natfka knows that feeling too. It is sad too see how they fail to realize that guys like you PROMOTE the hobby instead of thwarting their sales as they thing you do.

Good luck dude.

Ben said...

@Loken
I understand that but it was still going to be you running a store and a blog (I don't imagine it matters in terms of the contracts whether it's just news or not) at the same time and gw have the right to decide who they sell to and therefore can somewhat dictate the grounds that agreement is based on.

As for the business side, most lawyers and business types are supreme a holes to one extent or another (you generally don't get success in that line of work unless you're willing to stomp on the little people unfortunately) but I do know for certain that the majority of people at gw who aren't directly involved in the money side of things very much care about the gamers and the product they produce.

By the way if you genuinely feel you've been mistreated by the gw bods on your side of the pond have you considered contacting gw main and either complaining or just registering your views with them if you haven't already?

Farmpunk said...

Sorry to hear of your frustrations.
Honestly, Sandwyrm and I had wondered how you managed to be positive about GW knowing you were dealing with them from a Vendor standpoint. I don't think GW corporate realizes they're crapping in their own beds, and driving off some very loyal customers.
I've got several friends who run gamestores. Hearing their tales soured me on GW corporate's strategies, and on GW product as a whole. So I quit when 6th ed came out. I can't afford 40K on several levels.
It's a good thing I like WW2, and the guys at Battlefront are nice. I enjoy Flames of War a lot.

I hope 30K works out for you!
If not, there are a lot of other miniatures games cropping up to fill the voids GW is leaving behind.

Father Gabe said...

As a former manager i try to be positive but GW practices towards their managers has shifted in good way for the most part with the exception of needing only a single reason to fire instead of warnings, write ups, corrective actions then termination.

As more word comes out about their behavior towards retailers is getting worse, i find it hard to want to support gw. Beong a huge fan of HH, im constantly seeking players but its hard in Houston. Hopefully with the attitude towards GW changing for the worse, maybe more will turn to HH and FW. Well I will certainly miss having you around, bit as I get new info from my discreet former comrades I will start funnelling to the new guy. Loken hope to see ya at one of the HH events or at the weekender next year.

BDN said...

Good work with this blog Loken, good luck. I'm definitely feeling the change in hobby, and while I don't support the common GW bashers, I can agree with most of what you're saying. Now, anything I'm getting from GW is through Forgeworld or BL, because for the same prices I love the Forgeworld models and books, and even raised prices and company policies couldn't stop me from being a fluff addict.

Loken said...

Father Gabe: I disagree with GW practices towards their managers. First they changed all managers from hourly (and thus overtime) to salary. So the pay will go down.

And just recently GW fired all but one of their trainers. So how do these managers get the knowledge they need to make money?

GW is all about the $. They are short sighted on so many levels.

Lufgt Huron said...

Hello Loken,

Well, I'm sorry it has come to this, I am going to miss our arguments.

I understand why you are doing this, and perhaps, maybe it's not for good, but I think you probably need a break from all of this.

I can say with certainty that you are a passionate person about the Hobby and show true concern for GW's Managers and Customers, but bearing all that weight is unfair to you and has changed you, hopefully taking a break from all of this will allow you to gain a fresh perspective and rediscover your passion for the game as well as writing about it all over again.

Thank you for everything you have done.

And for old time sake, a question that may start an argument...

When you sold Dice of War games to the current owner was the Apocalypse40k blog also sold with it as it is a registered trademark of Dice of War Games?

"Apocalypse40K is a registered trademark of Dice of War, Inc.. ©Copyright 20010-2013. All rights reserved. "

Also was the trademark registration the link that Games Workshop used to tie Apocalypse 40k blog to Dice of War Games to support their claim that Dice of War was violating it's trade agreement?

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