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"Dear Games Workshop..." - A Geekgold Contest with a Serious Undertone.
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With the recent news of BGG receiving a broad "Cease and Desist" letter asking all GW related files to be removed from the databases for their games, Many of us have taken the time and energy to send off a letter to Games Workshop to express our disappointment, frustration, and even anger at the short-sightedness of one of the largest gaming companies out there.

I was motivated to write my own letter after reading Todd Pytel's fantastic letter to Games Workshop in the GW - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back...File Removal thread - which any of you angered by this should read.

I've since seen other people post their letters in various threads and I thought that it might be more of a motivation to others to collect them all in one place. I also thought it might be fun to throw in a few GEEK GOLD to the best ones EVERY ONE that gets added. Don't let the GEEK GOLD your only motivation however, speak on how you feel regarding this decision by GW.

Todd has also agreed to supply us with a generic letter for those of you who don't have the time or the inclination to sit down and write your own. I'll be adding that to this list as soon as I receive it from him.

So get some inspiration from your fellow geeks, write your own letter, use our generic one and thumb those letters that you really felt got their point across. I will award GEEK GOLD to the letters that recieve the most thumbs (as well as any others I like!).

Please feel free to donate to this list to allow more to be handed out.

I would suggest that your letters be professional and courteous and not filled with hate and emotion as they will tend to be dismissed more easily then. This doesn't mean you can't let them know exactly how you feel, but doing so in a professional manner will have much more impact than a long rant. This is YOUR letter containing your feelings however and you all must respond in the way you feel is best.

After you write your letter you can send it to all of the following email addresses:

(if there are other email addresses that should be listed please post them)

legal@games-workshop.co.uk
orders@games-workshop.co.uk
custserv@games-workshop.com


Standard snail mail addresses you may want to send to as well (HIGHLY recommended!):

Games Workshop Customer Services
6711 Baymeadow Drive
Glen Burnie, MD 21060-6401
USA


Tom Kirby - Chairman, Games Workshop
Willow Road
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG7 2WS
United Kingdom

Phone: 44 11 5916 8100
Fax: 44 11 5916 8111


My letter is not eligble for and if Todd's is posted his won't be either as he already received a large tip from me. Considering the amount of tipped I have decided that all entries except mine will be eligible for .

YOU MAY TIP ANY ENTRY DIRECTLY however!

Interested in following more of the discussion? Take a look at these other threads:

The Games Workshop Files Purge of '09
GW - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back...File Removal!
A lawyer's perspective on the GW C&D...
Who Does Games Workshop Listen To? Their INVESTORS!
GW send Cease & Desist to BoardGameGeek (Discussion at Table Top Games)
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26. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:118]
Scott Lewis
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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Here's one I just fired off. As you can tell from the mail, I've never been a fan of GW, so it wouldn't surprise me if it just got trashed right off the bat. But in my case, this was the issue that pushed me off the "Should I get Space Hulk or not?" fence. And, as others have mentioned, it will be something I remember down the road if GW ever comes out with any other games that pique my interest. I think I'll continue buying from companies that treat me (and others) right, without trying to nickel-and-dime everyone.

Quote:
Dear Games Workshop,

I'll cut right to the point, without mincing words. I've never been much of a fan of Games Workshop in general. In the past, there have been a few times I have looked at games like Warhammer, but was dissuaded often by former players and venues who were fed up with the way they were treated by your company. Your games may be great, but how a company treats its customers tells volumes, and is definitely a deciding factor when I make purchases.

Many of my favorite board games of late are made by another company. This company not only allows user-created material and play aids, but in fact encourages them. Yes, they do have rules on what "crosses the line", but those rules are reasonable. Their customer service is outstanding - even as something as minor as a broken figure in the game, they replace quickly and happily. While any business has its flaws, this company shows that they recognize that their strength comes from the money customers are willing to spend - and because of the way they treat me and the community at large, I am willing to spend more of my hard-earned money to support them in return.

Games Workshop, on the other hand, continually strikes me as a company doing everything it can to drive customers away. I cannot speak for those who are (or were?) customers of GW, and how your antics affect their habits, but for me, it continually tells me "stay away, this company is bad news". In this case, it was your extremely heavy-handed approach to Boardgamegeek.com, demanding they remove content that does nothing but help people know more about your games. Despite my distrust of GW, I had been eyeing Space Hulk 3rd Edition for awhile, as it looked interesting, and had glowing reviews. However, this latest episode of classic Games Workshop tyrrany has convinced me that despite how good the game may be, it's not worth investing my money into it. Instead, I'll continue spending money on the other companies that have treated me well in the past.

There was another company that once had similar over-the-top reaction to some fan made material. While the company wasn't nearly the size of GW, the antics in that case generated so much ill will towards them, that while they may not be completely belly up, it certainly made them a pariah of the community. Perhaps GW can absorb that from BGG, despite the role BGG has in the modern gaming community. But the question you will need to ask yourself is, how much money has GW deftly avoided making in an effort to quell perhaps a very, very small few who may use fan-made stuff for nefarious purposes? I can only speak for me, but it will keep my cash firmly in my pocket; or rather, firmly in the hands of other businesses who seem to realize that fan content is not detrimental to sales.

Scott Lewis
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27. Board Game: Man O' War [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1138]
Matt Price
United States
San Francisco
California
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I just sent this off (snail mail) to Tom Kirby GW CEO, the GW American customer services, and Fantasy Flight. Though the latter company had nothing to do with the C&D letters, they may be able to let GW know their displeasure, if this affects sales. Pressure from fans, as well as working partners, may begin to make a dent in their thick skulls.


Dear Folks at Games Workshop,

I’m writing in response to your recent “Cease and Desist” wave of letters that has impacted the availability of advertising, fan support, and sincere enthusiasm for your products at the boardgamegeek.com website (and presumably elsewhere, I’m still reading through the waves of responses from ex-fans). I’ve been a fan of many of your products for years. I’ve tried Blood Bowl, Man o’ War, Fury of Dracula, and others, many out of print, and have enjoyed playing them. I’ve even bought boxes of your Warhammer Fantasy Battle miniatures to supplement other games I play. In short, I’ve invested thousands of dollars in your product, and until today would simply raise my eyebrows in suspicion at the detractors. A company has to make a profit, and until this morning, I’d not really seen strong evidence that you had ever done anything inappropriate to hurt your fan base.

So what in the world were you thinking? Removing rules summaries to freely available rule-sets? Removing FAQs and errata from the best online site to learn about new games? This was free advertising! This is how I heard of many of your games, and what has encouraged me to buy your miniatures! By providing us the freedom to rework and summarize your rules (often rather long, and overly wordy), we make your games more accessible to a much wider audience. By allowing us to post our hard work, others see the enthusiasm and dedication your product inculcates, and become curious.

I encourage you to come visit boardgamegeek.com. I’ve not seen such strong vitriol against a game company! I highly recommend posting your rationale for this behavior. I cannot, in good conscience, ever buy another one of your products. I realize that Fantasy Flight Games may have had no role in your recent actions, but I will not be purchasing any GW-licensed products from them, either. I get the feeling that this move can only cost you customers and ultimately, quite a lot of money. You have a right to defend your licenses, and maintain control over your products, but this heavy handed attitude strikes me as very shortsighted and very poor judgment. Please come clarify what you could have possibly hoped to gain in this move.
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28. Board Game: Space Hulk Campaigns [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Conrad Lumm
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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Who is bought and sold? Who is beyond the law? Who is free to choose? Who follows orders? Who salutes longest? Who prays loudest? Who dies first? Who laughs last? -Barbara Kruger
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I'm going to email this to GW. I figured it's not my place to freak out since I'm not a longtime fan, so I don't (and shouldn't) have the deep sense of betrayal a lot of you seem to have. At the same time, before I get started on buying GW's products, I don't think it's unreasonable to want to find out what their plan is for product support, and why they're so worried about fan-made aids for out-of-print products. After all, if I ever do spend my money on something they've made, I'd like to know I'm allowed to continue to enjoy it for as long as possible.

Quote:
Dear Games Workshop,

I’ve never bought a Games Workshop game for myself, though I've given a few as gifts, but a year or so ago I played Space Hulk with a good friend of mine, and liked it. More than the game, I loved the intricate design work he’d done on his miniatures. Now, I’ve never painted a miniature in my life, but I was thinking about taking up the hobby. I’ve been looking around for minis whenever I poke my head into local gaming stores, and it’s pretty obvious that yours are the best.

You probably know what’s coming: I’m also an active member of the Boardgamegeek community, and I rely heavily on homemade player aids to play stuff. I’m just not a rules genius; it usually takes me once or twice and a few summaries for me to learn how to play new games. So while I was shopping around for Games Workshop miniatures, I got wind of your pulling a whole bunch of player aids for in- and out-of-print games you’ve made.

So what gives? I mean, is it really the case that every single fan-made file you had removed was guilty of copyright infringement? Tell me that’s the case, and I’ll be happy to buy your products. If not, why engage in collective punishment? Explain why, and again, I’ll be happy to buy your products.

While I was looking forward to sinking some serious cash into your games once I got my next paycheck, I’m afraid I’m going to have to boycott your stuff until you let me know why you’ve axed so much of your fans’ work. If you can’t extend your fans the courtesy of either supporting old games or letting them do the heavy lifting, it’s just not worth it for me to get involved in the Warhammer 40K hobby.

Thanks,

CW
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29. Board Game: Mordheim: City of the Damned [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:703]
Joey Konyha
United States
Terrytown
Louisiana
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Dear GW,

Enclosed please find a fresh, crisp $1 note, US legal tender.

Please examine it closely.

This is the last one you will receive from me.

Continued success in all your endeavours.

Joey Konyha
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30. Board Game: Busen Memo [Average Rating:4.82 Overall Rank:10758]
Thaddeus Blanchette
United States
Brooklyn
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[The image, by the way, is a reference to all the folks who are getting their tits in a wringer over this...]

Dear Games Workshop,

I've been playing wargames and miniatures for some 32 years and it's no exageration to say that the lion's share of my personal entertainment budget still goes to the purchase of figures, paints, rules and etc. Back in college some 20 years ago, I was a fan of your products. I remember how I awaited Warhammer 40k with baited breath, bothering the folks in my friendly local games store for weeks on end until finally - FINALLY! - it came in. How I played that game to death! I bought all the supplements I could find, bought hundreds of dollars worth of figures... it was a fun time.

Then Games Workshop changed the rules and the game - not to make it better, mind you, but apparently simply to get us to buy more kit. "Well, that sucks," I said, and though I continued to play Epic scale Warhammer 40k, I stopped buying White Dwarf, new miniatures and most other GW products. What good were they to me, anyhow? I had a perfectly fun game already and it wasn't like I was going to shell out hundreds of dollars more to make it tournament legal. Shortly thereafter, I drifted away from GW products completely and sold off my figures and rules.

Why?

Well, the simple answer is because I could. Wargaming has always been a consumer-driven hobby. Most rules and content out there - much of it better than, if not as well-produced as, your company's stuff - is produced by fans. Frankly, there's no need at all to subsidize one particular line of games when there are so many to choose from. As I got older and wiser, I began to see that I could buy whatever figures I wanted and use whatever system I wanted: I didn't need any company's approval in order to mount my own games and tournaments.

As the years go by, I've watched your company unfold the way someone might watch an old college friend who's gone on to great, if somewhat unethical, success. I've been quite impressed by your ability to draw the younger generation to your products. I've also been impressed, however, with how quickly most of these young gamers move on to greener pastures when they realize that they don't have to pay 20 quid for a Porta-a-Potty of Nurgle in order to have fun gaming. As time went on, I began to shake my head as I saw some of the same symptoms pop up in Games Workshop that TSR suffered from in its dying days: the belief that what's really a rather nerdy little pastime is, in fact, SERIOUS BUSINESS and that the company doesn't produce games but an entire self-contained hobby - perhaps even a lifestyle.

I've been wondering when your company was going to smack up against the wall of market realities for some time now, as the number of real gamers in your ranks has steadily declined, their place being taken by slick business school graduates with ultimate sales plans. I've been listening to the increasing griping in the gaming community and watching Games Workshop lose love year after year. And, I admit, I've been chuckling a little, anticipating your fall.

Given this, I must say that I believe that your decision to send cease and desist orders to Boardgamegeek is an eminently wonderful thing.

In a fan driven hobby, there's no quicker way to cut one's throat than alienating one's fans, especially when said hobby is built upon an essentially stagnant and very limited consumer base. I think this decision will destroy most of your fans' desire to make and publicize their own content, which has traditionally been the great (though often unrecognized) motivating force behind your games' popularity. I find your decison especially interesting because, given the dynamics of the internet, it's not going to eliminate piracy of your company's products at all, but it will alienate those of your fans who, up to now, held great respect for GW's sancrosanct trademarks. In the near future, I expect to see large quantities of scanned GW product offered up on Pirate Bay.com. Here in Brazil, where I live, people have been copying your figures for almost two decades now. As your prices rise and gamers begin to increasingly despise your company, I suspect we'll see a lot more of that happening in England and the U.S., too.

The rest of us, however, will continue to do what we've been doing for some time now: celebrate the immense creative and entertainment potential of our hobby by building and sharing our own games-related content and, in general, ignoring Games Workshop.

But rest assured, we will pay attention a few years from now when all these piss-poor marketing decisions catch up with you. It is always fun to watch arrogance get a boot to the arse and, unless I'm greatly mistaken, Games Workshop's cease and desist order to the Boardgamegeek has taken your company quite a ways in that direction.

Best,
Thad Blanchette
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31. Board Game: Warmaster [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1689]
Bruce Tanchel
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
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Here is my letter sent via e-mail:

Dear Mr Kirby and GW Customer Service Staff

I am a long time Games Workshop games player. I began playing Warhammer in the mid 1980’s far away in South Africa where your already expensive products were doubled in price by import duties. I spent a very large amount of money on 2 complete Warhammer armies. I will say that I got good value out of the expense and thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent playing Warhammer. Those are days I still remember fondly. I have purchased many other Games Workshop products since then including Fury of Dracula, Man o War, 3 complete Warmaster armies (the best 10mm figures out there) and buckets and buckets of paint and inks. Recently I purchased Space Hulk 3rd edition and have enjoyed playing it with my son. He is 9 and was being groomed to be a supporter of Games Workshop and its products.

Sadly that has all changed. Your recent cease and desist order served on Boardgamegeek while partly understandable, has been wholly heavy handed and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Many of the files forcibly removed helped people around the world play your games more easily and spread the happiness they brought around. I shall in future not be buying any Games Workshop products as a sign of my dissatisfaction with the way you have handled this issue. In addition I fear you will have lost any future custom from my 4 children as I shall be encouraging them to not purchase any of your products either. I see many Boardgamegeek users feel the same way.

You may have won the battle, but will lose the war.

Yours regrettably
Bruce Tanchel
Another ex games workshop customer.
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32. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:118]
Wind Lane
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Here's the letter I just sent off:

Wind Lane wrote:
Hello,

I am a new customer to Games Workshop having just bought Space Hulk. The game is beautiful. The components are top-notch, the play is clean and smooth, the theme is palpable. In short, I really like this game.

Having seen so many different paint-ups of the minis in the game on the website BoardGameGeek I decided this would be the first time I would paint up minis in a game I own. The pieces are so nice they just seem to demand it.

What I've done up to this point is to go into my local Games Workshop store and have an excellent discussion with an employee there on what primers, paints, washes, finishes, and brushes I would want to get to make my first attempt a good experience.

The reason I haven't bought the paints yet is simply because I can't afford them yet, though I am attempting to save up some money to do so.

I won't be using your products as I had originally intended though. The recent decision to put a cease and desist on all fan generated files on BoardGameGeek has turned me off of your company. Those files were a very real way I was going to extend the life of Space Hulk so that I didn't find myself bored playing the same scenarios over and over again as well as being introduced to alternative play styles.

What you, or your legal department, has so fully failed to notice is that "fan generated content" starts with the fans. These are the people who love your products, buy your games and publications and painting products, and then ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE. They are the source of that most lauded of marketing techniques: word of mouth. A consumer selling one of your products to their friends is massively more likely to get a sale over any other method you might invest in.

There's more to it than just that though. This was my first foray into a serious look at your merchandise. When I went in to talk paints at the store, I was also drawn into a nearly hour long discussion and sales pitch of your Lord of the Rings miniatures game. I honestly could have seen myself drawn into seeking additional Games Workshop products if the quality and enjoyment were as good as Space Hulk.

I will not be doing that now and will instead pick games that are just as good from one of your myriad number of your competitors. You've lost a customer until you have corrected this poor decision. Other companies have shown you do not need to resort to such petty tactics (Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast, and Fantasy Flight Games all spring to mind).

Hoping that you will remember that it is your fans that help you stay afloat
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33. Board Game: Warhammer Epic 40,000 [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2087]
Chris Montgomery
United States
Joliet
Illinois
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Dear GW:

I don’t know how many calls/e-mails/letters you’ve received about your recent cease and desist letter you sent to www.boardgamegeek.com, but as a loyal customer of GW and a very loyal user of boardgamegeek, I am writing to express my extreme displeasure.

While I understand that any entertainment company needs to protect its intellectual property, GW’s stance in this case is extremely misplaced. The content on Boardgame Geek was supportive of a community of players who enjoy GW’s products and in no way violated the fair use laws of the United States. Nothing related to GW’s products was offered for sale, and none of the content created on that website fell outside user support of a game they love. The items requested to be removed were ridiculously simple items that in no way affect your intellectual property. The items removed included things like deleting a reposting of your company’s FAQ to make it more accessible to owners of the game. It included deletion of user-created content meant to enhance a game owner’s gaming experience.

Shame on you, GW.

I recently purchased a copy of your 3rd Edition Space Hulk, and based on that great gaming experience went and recently purchased an intro set for Warhammer 40,000. I had also looked in to purchasing Epic, since that scale interests me more. But I am finished with all of that, now. If you won’t let your customers enhance your products and share information about them, you have lost a lucrative opportunity to have me as your customer; I spend nearly $4,000 a year on gaming, not including conventions. I make approx. [edited out] a year. And I vote with my wallet.

Please lift the cease and desist order so that I can begin purchasing your products again and you can continue to take my money. Until that time, I will not be purchasing any products and will encourage my friends and associates to do the same.

Cheers.

Chris Montgomery
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34. Board Game: Man O' War [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1138]
marell le fou
New Caledonia
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If english was my maternal language, i would have writen you a complete book describing my relentless disgust for your last years policy about the GW fans community on the net. With very smart phrases, nice words pefectly chosen and acid vocabulary.

But it won't be for
- I'm french.
- I'm sure you will not take time to respond this mail, or only with an automatic answer (haha - keep it, don't loose your precious time answering, then).
- I know now it'useless, for you manifest all days so much contempt to the fan community who enjoy playing your games.
- You don't consider even a short minute the patient and efficient efforts the community of your players develop to wellcome new players, guide them throught the enjoyment your games product or ravivate old player's sacred flame (as someone did to me).
- You just DON'T understand the power of new medias recently developped. You precisely work against modernity, against the so efficient and friendly new ways to make publicity. You refuse this media effects in spite of toying with it. When you could propose your fan a free host for there pictures, with facebook linked photos, etc to publish them, letting more and more people see them each day, you just prefer to forbid them, digging seeper and deeper to bury your presence on the net.

For all those reason, i won't even try to convince you, to arg with you, to ask you to retire your decision.

For such decision can't have been made by people understanding my passion for figurines and games workshop's games. And the love i have to communicate it. To express it. The real pleasure i have to take pictures and publish them with enthusiastic commentaries.

I've created two blogs, one forum, joined four mailing list, participated for years to the french rich and unofficial warhammer forum, posted several and several photos of your licenced beautifull figs, patiently uploading them with the very very fucking 125 Ko per second connection i have in my little island in south pacific.

I go back to France for one month. I had already prepare a budget to go to a GW seller i know for long time.

But today i promise i won't give any centime to a society that spit on my efforts to enhance its products like you do.

I will go to the shop. Say them my disapointment. At 32', you will understand this absolutely won't arrest me. I will speak to each little boy in the shop. Give them names of other games. Adresses of spaces where they will find great welcome from players. And to the sellers, i will give my comprehensive regrets for what have became of there society. I'm sure they will understand me, even if they can't say it aloud.

Well, this was a quite long mail at last.

You do have failed. You're shrivelling. You smell rance.
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35. Board Game: Chainsaw Warrior [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:5228]
J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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I wasn't aware of this list when I commented in the 300+ message thread in the GW forums here.

But here's what I wrote there as a sample letter the various recipients of this letter from GW could respond with. Rather than the slash and burn strategy Boardgamegeek chose to take, this letter could have, at least temporarily, spared many user contributions from the arbitrary deletions they suffered.

Quote:
Dear Games Workshop,

Thank you for contacting us regarding your properties. Please be assured that we are working within our abilities to comply with your requests.

At this time, we are attempting to identify which items on our site would be deemed an infringement upon your intellectual properties. If you could supply us with certain, specific items which would fall under the outlines of your letter, we will take the appropriate actions to disable them from our site within a reasonable amount of time.

We would hope that Games Workshop will be a partner with our site to help promote your company's products. Satellite sites like ours provide "word-of-mouth" advertising for your products. And the contributions by our sites' members demonstrate the enthusiasm of your games' fans, which, in turn, encourages others to purchase your products.

Thank you for cooperating with our efforts.
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36. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:118]
Antti Leinonen
Finland
Tampere
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Here is my short e-mail to GW that I sent them a couple days ago.

Quote:

Thank you for making my Christmas wish list shorter

Hi,

I just wanted to say that I have been your customer for more than 10 years and I have enjoyed playing many GW's games.
But from now on I will boycott all your products because I really can not tolerate that you have forced boardgamegeek.com to remove many fan generated content (e.g. FAQs and player Aids) from their site (Cease and Desist letter).

I was planning to order Space Hulk (3rd edition) as a Christmas present, but I am really happy that I did not have time do it because from now on I won't buy any games from GW.

Br,
ex-customer, Antti Leinonen
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37. Board Game Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Miikka Sohlman
Finland
Lahti
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And now for something different.

Quote:
Dear Fantasy Flight Games,

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Finland but the recent behavior of Games Workshop made me realize I haven't thanked you in a proper manner.

As you might know GW shot themselves in the foot recently with Cease-and-Desist letters that demanded most of the fan made content to be taken down from sites like BoardGameGeek. This included any rules summaries, FAQs, erratas, and other play aids.

I want to thank you for not being like GW.

Thank you for supporting, even promoting, fan made content.

Thank you for supporting games after release with erratas and FAQs.

Thank you for your unparalleled customer service.

Thank you for caring.

Sincerely,
Miikka Sohlman
Finland

PS. Going to buy another FFG game for Christmas!
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38. Board Game: Blood Bowl: DeathZone [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Quote:
Dear Games Workshop,

I am a Board Gamer who discovered Blood Bowl this past year due to the website boardgamegeek.com. I had little interest in miniature games before but was convinced to try it based on feedback from members of this website. I've picked up the base game and several teams, and had planned on getting more as the NFL season was winding down.

I'm unsure if I want to continue along this path due to the recent cease and desist letter sent to boardgamegeek.com. Per the requirements of this letter all player aids or other files created to supplement the game on this website are being removed. This is extremely frustrating for someone trying to learn the games and become immersed in the universe- they make the learning process simpler. The rulebooks provided with the game were useful but having additional information made the game shine and were helpful in bringing along friends who were not as interested in wading through the complete rulesets and just wanted to jump in.

I am not sure what was offensive about these items. These type of files are used to assist with playing the games and only encourage more people to purchase your products. Some of them include FAQs and errata which are not included with the games themselves. And most of the files have been created by customers who love your games and want to share them with others.

I would appreciate your thoughts on the order and the reasons behind it. If Games Workshop has decided that their customer bases cannot discuss the products they produce I would rather spend my gaming money elsewhere.

Regards,

Grant Johnson
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39. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
Nathan Loden
United States
Auburn
Alabama
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Here is my letter:

To Games Workshop,

I have never purchased a single game of yours. In fact, I am relatively new to the board gaming scene and have just begun purchasing games that my friends and family will enjoy for many years to come. I have recently become aware of your company because of the uproar your cease and desist letter has caused on the website boardgamegeek.com. I am curious how your company responds to all of this and it will determine if I ever consider purchasing the games your company makes.

A new gamer with a lot of purchasing power,

Nathan Loden
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40. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
Roberto Arbelaez
United States
Boca Raton
Florida
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Games Workshop Ltd.

To whom it may concern:

Large corporations are ultimately run by persons, and persons make mistakes. I wanted to write to you to point one of them, that is affecting a large part of your online community and impacting your organizational image, as well as making you lose large numbers of current and future customers, so you may take corrective actions.

Your recent "Cease and Desist" notice on Boardgamegeek.com has caused the removal of a large quantity of community created content, including scenarios and playing aids that were highly appreciated and sought after the large online community at boardgamegeek.com. This content enriched the experience with GW products in such a way that it made the products more desirable even after they became out-of-print, and the gaming experience much better.

I understand the idea behind your decision, and your right to do so, however your high-level decision makers may not have assessed adequately the large impact this action was going to have in their customer base, and the impact on their perception of your company, and of your product.

Right now most of your loyal fans and customers who are also members of these online communities have begun an active boicott on your products. Most of them have small children, whom they are introducing (or planning to introduce in the near future) to gaming. Your company is now widely regarded as arrogant, narrow-minded and not customer-oriented at all, and these same fans and customers are discouraging their friends and relatives from acquiring your products, that they so fervently endorsed in the recent past.

I understand your executive's motivation in protecting one of GW's corporate assets, its intellectual property. However, it should be clear to them that the way they chose to protect that asset is having an impact on the most important asset of the company: its customer base and its corporate image.

I know your shareholders will be concerned over the impact this will have in the near future's P&L, but they will be mostly concerned about the impact this will have in their plans for future market share growth, especially in the highly competitive environment your organization is now facing.

I urge you, under due diligence to your company, board of directors and stock holders, to escalate these issues to your corporate leadership, so that they can make the necessary inquiries and validate the impact this decision is having on your company's customer base, and make the necessary adjustments.

Kind regards,

Roberto Arbeláez
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41. Board Game: Cave Troll [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1253]
Meng Tan
Australia
Bridgeman Downs
Queensland
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I will not be sending the following letter to GW, and not for what you may think is the "obvious reason" (i.e., that sarcasm is wasted on the stupid), but because after the initial few hours of righteous outrage, I came to realise that I really don't care what happens to GW or their products. Without casting aspersions on the sincerity of the preceding writers, had it been my signature at the bottom of any of those letters, I'd have labelled myself a concern troll.

What I do care deeply about is the community as a whole, particularly with respect to products I own/play, so I agree that we should show love to publishers who deserve it, and not waste bile on those who won't listen anyway.

But, for S & G (or just S), here is what I drafted.

Quote:
To Whom It May Concern:

This is yet another letter in response to the flurry of cease-and-desist letters sent by GW to various gaming fansites, including BoardGameGeek. While I was outraged at first, upon reflection, I believe this is a good thing:

1. I am grateful that, by threatening your would-be supporters, you have taught me and my fellow gamers to value the sense of community we often take for granted, and to show our support for publishers that support us.

2. I am grateful that I have not wasted money purchasing products of yours whose value to me would be greatly diminished without the aforementioned gaming community.

3. I am grateful that you are re-testing the hypothesis that treating your customers as enemies rather than allies is good for business. While others believe that the RIAA/MPAA have debunked this theory already, I believe it is worth examining again.

Please accept my thanks for and encouragement of this latest marketing strategy.
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42. Board Game: Rogue Trooper [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:4826]
Ricatoni
United States
Chula Vista
California
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Dear Games Workshop

As a member of Board Game Geek I was recently able, through that community, to purchase the one GW product I have been looking forward to owning since I read the series comic books so long ago. The support materials of reviews, sessions, frequently asked questions, and more at Board Game Geek only increased my excitement of this singular ownership of one of your products.

Unfortunately the magnitude and coverage of your cease and desist action by your legal department has marginalized would be fans of your products such as I. While I understand the need to protect Intellectual Property, I also understand that you do not need a bazooka to hunt a rabbit. Just because you can do this legally does not mean that you should market-wise. Your actions have let the wind out of my sails.

In the interest of gamers and gaming I hope you could reel-in your legal department and have them make their actions more discrete and consider the collateral damage they have caused you and your company. Hoping to hear a response with more sagacity than legality...I remain.

Erik Latoni Garcia
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43. Board Game: Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge Lost Money Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Nikki Ebright
United States
Centennial
Colorado (CO)
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I tried to keep it short and sweet, so here's my email letter (which I sent to all 3 of the email addresses):

Lil Red Head wrote:
Dear Games Workshop:

I have heard about your legal action requiring a wonderful fan website, Board Game Geek, to remove all instances of your games from their website. As a fan of the board gaming hobby, I am saddened by the actions of your company. The people who frequent boardgamegeek.com have formed a community of people who support each other, laughing together when times are good, coming together when things are bad, and providing support for each other in the forms of advice and information.

With the removal of Games Workshop from our lives, there will be a hole in our community, but we will come together and support each other in our loss, and we will move on. It is a shame that Games Workshop will no longer be a part of a wonderful gaming community, but it is obvious to me that the organizational philosophy of Games Workshop does not match the spirit and good will of the gaming community found at Board Game Geek.

It may be too late for your company to recover from the lost revenue, but I wish you well in your future endeavors.

Sincerely ,

Nikki Peters


Who knows if they'll care, but I hope it's short enough that if they're bypassing the longer letters, it will pique their interest enough to start reading more of them.
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44. Board Game: A Question of Scruples [Average Rating:4.59 Overall Rank:10929]
All My Hits Are Crits
United States
Berkeley
California
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I sending this out via email and post.

Quote:
Dear Games Workshop,

This letter is in response to the recent cease and desist sent to BoardGameGeek.com to remove any files pertaining to your library of products. Games Workshop is certainly with in it right to protect it property, and as a fan of many of your games I hope you protect them with zeal so as to be able to continue to support and innovate well into the future. I can easily imagine that tabletop gaming is not an easy industry to be successful in. But over the years Games Workshop has done just that, creating and then maintaining its position in the industry even as tastes and demographics change. But I fear that forcing the removal of this content from BoardGameGeek.com has done Games Workshop a disservice. Games Workshop has gone out of its way over the years to make its products appealing to new customers but no one company can do it all, only the best products inspire players to create aids and guides and Games Workshop has done just that. This is something to be proud of not force out of sight. You may find issues with some of these files then certainly they must be removed but much of the removed content was files the help new player understand and get the most fun out of many of your products, of no use without the games they referenced.

No one denies you have the right to make the request but people like me, people who enjoy and love your products are questioning how this decision will help Games Workshops continued success. You have your reasons for this decision, what I am asking is that you make some of those reasons public so that the many people who love your products so much that they have put time and effort into helping new players get everything they can out of them understand why you have forced there effort into the shadows.

Sincerely yours,
Scott McChesney
Acting Director of the Office of Special Games

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45. Board Game: Advanced Heroquest [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1560]
Shawn Simas
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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I've already sent out a two snail mail letters, unfortunately since I already sent them I can't post them here
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46. Board Game: Space Hulk Campaigns [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Shawn Fink
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Games Workshop-

I am extremely unhappy at how you sent out a batch of cease and desist letters to various websites. You've had tons of benign content removed from the Board Game Geek. As one of the prolific gaming companies, you should revel in the fact that players expand on your products developing player aids/scenarios/etc. I've been a long time fan, but this is a terrible way to treat your fan base.

As much as I love your products, I am boycotting any further GW purchases until you stop this practice.

Shawn Fink
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47. Board Game: Block Mania [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2606]
Robert Bor
Netherlands
Unspecified
Unspecified
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The helpful approach

BerZerg wrote:
Dear reader,

Upfront I apologize for perhaps sounding patronizing, but I sincerely feel you need a guiding hand.

Let me start by telling that I know your games fairly well. I have always found your company to be one producing games with average game mechanics, but with superior theme. The game worlds you create are immersing and give ample room for exploration. If not the exact father of Ameritrash, GW has certainly been the embodiment for a long time. Though not a fan of your products myself, I know plenty of people who are.

If you take gaming concepts and compare your products to others, you will see that your products create communities of loyal fans, who not so much crave the games, as idolize the theme. You must know this because you sell products around a theme; miniatures, boardgames, comics, novels and role-playing games. In this sense, GW operates closer to popular literature or a football club than it does to gaming concepts.

Everywhere theme reigns, you must expect social bonding, flag waving and outbursts of creativity to be primary characteristics of a community. So it is with your products. People make up their own extensions to the foundations that you lay, resulting in labors of love. Many of the fruits of those labors are to be found on the BoardGameGeek website.

A company such as yours should, no, MUST cherish the community that adores its products. Pampering is the norm, not the deviation. Even companies where community plays a much less important role know this by heart. Your community consists of people who evangelize your games by spreading the word, sword and bible in hand, so to speak. They write lyrical reviews, fill the gaps in the rules that you leave behind and create player tools to clarify what you obscured. They are as much part of your product as what you create within your company.

Yet you chose not to cherish your community.

On BoardGameGeek your "Cease and Desist" letters have create a furore. And not in your favor. I cannot understand what has gotten into you. Has all business acument left your company? Are rampaging lawyers now running GW? Are you in a destructive downwards spiral of bloodletting that would put Khorne himself to shame? Chaos in the Old World indeed.

I will no longer hold you up. You have a lot of repairing to do and goodwill to rebuild.

Good luck with that!

Kind regards,
Robert Bor.
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48. Board Game: The Anger Control Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Dave Mansell
United States
Naperville
IL
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It's not much, but here's what I just sent off.



To whom it may concern,

Please add this letter to what I'm sure is a quickly growing pile of complaint letters regarding your recent Cease and Desist action against boardgamegeek.com. I spend thousands of dollars a year on board games, and your legal team's actions have permanently soured me against spending money on GW games and products, including the Blood Bowl game for XBox 360 (which I was highly anticipating.) Unless this demand is reversed, that "sour taste" will become an all-out boycott.

It is ridiculously short-sighted of you to devalue the fan community in this way. Boardgamegeek is an extremely popular gathering point for tens of thousands of gamers. If you refuse us the ability to generate fan content, there is no question that you will alienate the vast majority of that userbase and subsequently feel the result of that on your bottom line.

I would ask you to reconsider your position, but I feel that perhaps the damage has already been done. I hope you do what you can to reverse it, while you can, for your own sakes.

Dave Mansell
Chicago, IL
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49. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
Karl Rainer
Canada
Nanaimo
BC
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My letter:

Quote:
Dear Sirs,



Your recent actions regarding IP Content on Boardgamegeek.com have left me in a quandary with regards to future purchases of your product. Boardgamegeek is singlehandedly responsible for introducing me to your games, and the very things you have just succeeding in quashing there (user generated content, player aids, etc.) were the most important elements in attracting and stimulating my interest in your product. The vibrancy of the fan base represented by these efforts convinced me, far more than any of your advertising, that your games were worth playing and your product worth buying. Removing that content has begun to convince me otherwise.

Boardgamegeek worked for me, and was continuing to build my interest where your own marketing efforts had no impact.

The action has also angered me and thousands of other activist users on a site which has millions of discrete users and worldwide reach. This would seem to be an incredibly poor business decision, if I am indeed representative of a significant portion of your market.

Please explain your actions in either a reply or a more public forum.

I must regrettably keep my impending purchases of miniatures, the Bloodbowl computer game, SpaceHulk boardgame, and paint supplies in suspension until I can accept either your explanation or your apology and restorative action.

Karl Rainer
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50. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:2748]
Dear Aldie, Derk, and the BGG gang,

I am somewhat disturbed at your recent response to the GW letter. It really seems that you have overreacted, and taken down files that either fall within the GW guidelines, or that the creators could easily have brought into compliance. Further, you did so without any warning to the community, and have indicated that you will not allow further file uploads for GW games.
I am disappointed that you haven't opted to share the contents of the letter with us, your users/community. Other sites that have received letters have made them available, and this has allowed users to decide if GW was being reasonable in their requests, or not. In every case that I have seen, the requests passed the "common sense" test, and were not actually onerous or draconian.
I am, of course, most disappointed in the BGG users that violated BGG's guidelines for posting files, and thus put your business (and our community) into danger of legal action. I hope that none of my own uploads places you in such a position, either with GW, or another company.

I would hope that there would be more, and clearer, communication forthcoming from you on this situation, since elements of the angry mob have already decided to target FFG as well as GW as a result of how this was handled.

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