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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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1. Board Game: Généric [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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As promised, Todd (whose letter was the inspiration for this Geeklist), was kind enough to write a GENERIC letter than ANYONE can use instead of writing their own.

If you don't feel comfortable writing your own, if you don't have the time or if you simply want to get one sent as quickly as possible, then PLEASE USE THIS GENERIC LETTER!

Simply open up your normal email program, compose a new letter and COPY and PASTE this letter into yours.

Add your name and send it to the email addresses above - it's that easy!

Here is the letter:

Quote:
Dear Games Workshop,

Recently, the legal department of Games Workshop demanded the removal of content from a variety of gaming websites. One such site was BoardGameGeek (BGG), of which I am a member. I am extremely disappointed by this action, as it hampers my ability to play, enjoy, and promote GW games. As a result, I and other BGG users will find it difficult to support GW or their games in the future. I have adopted this letter as a common statement of our opinion on this matter, though it is no way an official statement of BGG or its owners.

Even to a company of GW's stature, BGG should be considered a significant online community. There are currently almost 300,000 registered users at BGG and the site receives over 1 million unique visitors every month. During the recent rerelease of Space Hulk, the site's front page (showing recent user threads and contributions) was overwhelmed by Space Hulk related news, images, and conversation. As a result, BGG's Space Hulk page is now the third ranked site in Space Hulk Google results, trailing only Wikipedia and GW itself. Over 2700 users have taken the time to register their ownership of the new Space Hulk release in the site's database.

In the particular case of BoardGameGeek, the recent legal action resulted in the removal of hundreds of user-created files. The vast majority of them consisted of player aids, rules summaries, collected Q&A's, variants, and similar items - tools that encouraged users to purchase and enjoy GW products. Beyond just supporting GW titles, these files reflected BGG users' love of developing a community around their favorite games - many spend as much time discussing such games and creating supporting material for them as they do actually playing. For the BGG community, as in broader social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, the chance to talk with friends about their interests is just as important as what is actually being talked about. The recent legal action undermines this community, discouraging users from investing their time and money in GW games, regardless of their quality.

It would be tempting to dismiss the concerns of BGG's users as inconsequential. Space Hulk is, after all, only a tiny fraction of GW's business in comparison with Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, which enjoy a smaller presence on the site. But such reasoning is short-sighted. Compared to most gaming sites, BGG's demographic is considerably older - many began gaming with Games Workshop's earliest releases, as well as those from TSR, Avalon Hill, and others. Most are educated professionals and thus no longer have the time to paint armies of miniatures. Many, however, are parents or soon-to-be parents of the young adults that GW relies upon to fill the ranks of the hobby. Hobby gaming has become a multi-generational activity, as evidenced by the numerous family gaming pictures and conversations at BGG. Twenty years ago, parents knew nothing of hobby gaming and were happy to support any activity that got kids away from the video game console. But the future will see increasingly knowledgeable adults that steer young people into activities where they are encouraged to contribute to communities like BGG. GW's recent legal actions only demonstrate their ignorance of how consumers' expectations of producers are changing.

I hope Games Workshop will reconsider its position. Specifically, I would appreciate a more detailed, genuine dialogue with BGG's owners and users. The site and its users appreciate a publisher's need to protect its business interests - by all means, user contributions that harm GW or create genuine legal issues for it should be removed. At the same time, sweeping, indiscriminate demands that nullify hundreds of hours of fans' efforts indicate a publisher's disdain for its current and future customers that they cannot and will not continue to support.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME HERE
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2. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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I'm somewhat surprised that my letter was so well-received in the original thread. But the more people that write, the better. In the short-term, it probably won't mean anything. But there's one certain way to make sure nothing changes, and that's to stay silent. Companies do, occasionally, change due to public opinion, however gradually that might occur. Anyway, here's my original letter...

Quote:
Hi Games Workshop,

Some twenty or so years ago, my friends and I played the early versions
of WFB, 40K, and Blood Bowl. We enjoyed the games greatly, despite the
fact that (as middle-class 12 year olds) we had little money with which
to purchase all the books and figures we wanted. As your product line
evolved to require more and more rulebooks, codices, and expensive
figures, we stopped playing, as we lacked the money to participate.

I purchased my first new GW game since then just a few months ago, when
Space Hulk became intensely popular at BoardGameGeek.com, my regular
gaming community. Despite the game's price tag and my prior experience
with GW products, I was impressed enough with the reviews that I
purchased not one, but two copies of Space Hulk. I have enjoyed the game
very much and have even picked up a brush to paint minis again for the
first time since I was a teenager. I had even been considering the
possibility of creating a small 40K army or Mordheim band to play with.
My son, I thought, might enjoy playing with them when he got a little
older, and mini painting would be a nice hobby for him.

Recently, your company's legal department sent a sweeping takedown order
to BoardGameGeek, demanding the removal of a variety of user-made files,
many of which were merely summaries of your existing rules/FAQ's or
which were created without the use of any GW assets. While GW may
consider this to be routine legal policy, I find it extraordinarily
disappointing. I enjoy games not just for the experience of playing
them, but also for the chance to participate in a community of players
that talk about and support the games they love. Your company's actions
undermine this community and thus my enjoyment of your titles. The fact
that the overwhelming majority of the affected files only support, not
hamper, your sales makes this action all the more senseless and
destructive.

I have no interest in supporting a company that shows so little love for
their product that they discourage an active player community out of a
thoughtless, short-sighted policy of threatened litigation over every
perceived transgression. Nor would I encourage my kids to participate in
a hobby that supports this behavior, especially when it is so expensive
in the first place. There are numerous other gaming opportunities in the
industry today - I will make sure that we support those in the future.

Twenty years ago, I mowed lawns to buy a couple of $8 blister packs.
Today, my household has a six-figure combined income and two young
children. Your old customers, whom you seem so ready to dismiss, are now
the ones that could be developing a new generation of GW customers and
even reentering the hobby themselves. Your actions concerning the files
at BoardGameGeek matter greatly to me, and to you as well. I hope you
will reconsider your position.

Sincerely,
Todd Pytel
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3. Board Game: Man O' War [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1155]
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Here is my letter:

manowarplayer wrote:
To Games Workshop,

I have been a huge fan of your gaming products for the last 25 years or so and I am the owner of many of your games including, Warhammer, Bloodbowl, Lord of the Rings, Mighty Empires, Talisman, Battlefleet Gothic and my personal favorite, Man O War. I own thousands and thousands of dollars of miniatures for these games that I have purchased and painted over the years. I have actively promoted your products to both interested family and friends, as well as to complete strangers at gaming conventions where I have run many, many games of yours.

Your products have always been appealing and something that greatly interested me (even if a bit pricey) and more often the dilemma I faced was not IF I wanted to buy something you manufactured, but WHICH of the many items could I get with my limited discrectionary funds. Typically I would travel to my local gaming store and buy several boxed miniatures each week and this was something I've done for years. I currently am purchasing your Lord of the Rings miniatures but to give you a more extreme example, I purchased over 50,000 points worth of Man O War ships when the game was in print.

I also have eagerly looked forward to each issue of White Dwarf (my collection is complete all the way back to issue 45) with its monthly collection of amazing photos, new product information, strategy guides, painting guides and battle reports to see what new thing you could tempt me with. Reading about your products and the fantastic events your games inspired always gave me great pleasure and kept the fire of the hobby burning bright within me.

Until yesterday.

Recent actions by your companies' overzealous legal dept have now made me question IF I want to buy your products ever again. I am an avid member of Boardgamegeek (BGG) and the blanket "Cease and Desist" order that was sent demanding the removal of a large number and variety of user made files is deeply concerning to me. Many of these files were simply rule summaries or player aids to HELP people get more enjoyment out of your games and they in no way, threatened the sale (or future sale) of any related products. There will always be those that abuse your copyrighted material, but at BGG, people attempting to profit from any unauthorized duplication were always dealt with harshly by the majority of the active community of gamers. Having player made scenarios, campaigns, player aids, rule summaries, and other files removed from all your games to thwart the actions of an extremely small minority of people is questionable at best and extremly self destructive at worst. The fact that the vast majority of the affected files promote and support your games makes the actions requested by your company even more short sighted and destructive.

In case you are unaware, BGG is probably the world's largest database of game information, has tens of thousands of members and your products receive a lot of support and free publicity through the community of like minded gamers that come to the site.

While your Legal Dept. may consider their actions as necessary and part of company policy, I find it to be extremely disappointing that a large company that relies heavily on the goodwill of it's fanbase allowed such a heavy handed, misguided and ill-conceived policy to be implemented without any kind of discussion with the owners of BGG. It would have been very easy to allow BGG to address your companies concerns in a public forum where an equitable solution could have been reached. Instead, I'm afraid that all that has been done is that you have stirred up the emotions (and closed the wallets) of a great number of fans whose reach and influence goes far beyond the BGG community. These people shop online, frequent their local gaming stores, buy products at your own Game's Workshop stores and promote your products at local gaming conventions. I find it unfathomable that someone actually thought that this would be a good idea to "solve" your copyright concerns.

As for my reaction to this news, let me use the words of another BGG user that summed up his feelings much more succinctly than I could:

"I have no interest in supporting a company that shows so little love for their product that they discourage an active player community out of a thoughtless, short-sighted policy of threatened litigation over ever perceived transgression. Nor would I encourage my kids to participate in a hobby that supports this behavior, especially when it is so expensive in the first place. There are numerous other gaming opportunities in the industry today - I will make sure that we support those in the future."

I could not have said that better myself.

I think that your companies policies about the internet are about 15 years behind the times and you don't recognize the value of an online fanbase. I would think that a company that relies on the disrectionary spending of it's customers would take a more nurturing approach to a perceived problem than to treat them all as potential thieves and apply draconian measures to stop them.

I have defended you in year's past in other debates about your policies and pricing, but surprisingly (even to me), I find I cannot do so anymore. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to your products by other manufacturer's that don't treat their customers dismissively and I know that many others are feeling the same as I. My hard earned dollars will not only go elsewhere, I can also say that they will most likely go farther as well.

I am saddened to say that I will not be purchasing, promoting your products or recruiting new gamers for your games anytime in the future as long as these ill-conceived policies and destructive corporate attitudes are in place.

I think that you have lost sight of what the real goal is - a loyal customer base, as you've strayed off the path of being an appreciated and respected gaming company and headed down the road of detached corporate entity. Everyone knows you are in business to make a profit, but the history of questionable business decisions over the past few years (culminating with this one) are doing more to hurt your bottom line than any copyright infringement issues you may think you have.

I truly hope that you reconsider your position on these matters as I think you have produced some of the best games ever made.

Sincerely,

Scott Di Bartolo
Modesto, CA.
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4. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
Florida
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I have to jump in on this one, too. Here is my letter:

As a long-time fan of GWS, I find the rather heavy-handed way all the player aides and such your company has requested BGG pull from their site a poor business decision. It will only cause future game buyers to steer away from your products- I have found most board gamers to be of above average intelligence as well as have a long memory. This recent action can only cause a loss of sales, as this event will be remembered for years by readers of BGG, who I assure you will repeat in a most grandiose way what was done by your legal department any time a new Games Workshop product will come out, and do their best in an intelligent and convincing way to have possible customers NOT buy future GWS game releases.

Maybe it's time for a little damage control action by sending a public letter to BGG readers?

I know it is too late to change what has been done, but believe me, drop in at the BGG web site and check out the tone in the air. It is not at all GWS friendly right now.



And may never be again.



Thanks for your time and attention in this matter.

volnon
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5. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Luis Espinosa
United States
Norfolk
Virginia
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An open letter to whom it may concern,

I won't sugarcoat this letter. This is a very bitter letter. Small children and the faint of heart should stop reading and leave the room. I would like to start by discussing Games Workshop's scribblings, mainly because they scare me. The thing I'm the most frightened about is that we must cast a ray of light on Games Workshop's smarmy programs of Gleichschaltung. If we don't, future generations will not know freedom. Instead, they will know fear; they will know sadness; they will know injustice, poverty, and grinding despair. Most of all, they will realize, albeit far too late, that Games Workshop has remarked that there is something intellectually provocative in the tired rehashing of blathering stereotypes. This is a comment that should chill the spine of anyone with helpful initiative. To make sure you understand I'll spell it out for you. For starters, Games Workshop somehow manages to maintain a straight face when saying that the best way to reduce cognitive dissonance and restore homeostasis to one's psyche is to force us to bow down low before it's powerful legal department. I am greatly grieved by this occurrence of falsehood and fantastic storytelling which is the resultant of layers of social dishevelment and disillusionment amongst the fine workers of a once organized, motivated, and cognitively enlightened company.

Many people think of Games Workshop's abominable letter of cease-decease as a joke, as something only half-serious. In fact, they're deadly serious. People who agree with Games Workshop's philippics are either stupid, drunk, on drugs, paid off by Games Workshop, or are dysfunctional varmints. I will now cite the proof of that statement. The proof begins with the observation that sometimes the best course of action will be obvious, sometimes not. For proof of this fact I must point out that I find it necessary, if I am to meet my reader on something like a common ground of understanding, to point out that self-centered boneheads in general, and Games Workshop in particular, intend to fabricate all sorts of shock-and-awe, ad hoc rules and regulations.
I challenge them to move from its broad fan destroying generalizations to specific instances where rules where broken and to prove that we were mistaken.

I'm not the first to mention that there is much more of this to come. In fact, I have said that to Games Workshop on many occasions, and I will keep on saying it until it stops trying to descend to character assassination and name calling. If we let Games Workshop sow the seeds of expansionism we'll be reaping the crop for quite a long time. It is more than a purely historical question to ask, "How did Games Workshop's reign of terror start?" or even the more urgent question, "How might it end?". No, we must ask, "What is this petulant fascination Games Workshop has with pharisaism?" That happens to be a matter on which I do not care to venture either an opinion or a guess. I do, however, feel that I should state that mandarinism is a plague upon us all, a pox that will likely not be erased in the lifetime of any reader of this letter. To Games Workshop, however, it's merely a convenient mechanism for causing riots among fan forums.

As it turns out, by balancing the theoretical untruth and nonsense of Games Workshop's policies with the reality of this phenomenon we can see that we live in uneducated times. Its winged monkeys probably don't realize that because it's not mentioned in the funny papers or in the movies. Nevertheless, Games Workshop's policies come in many forms. Some of its are lies in the form of contrivances. Others are in the form of machinations. Still more are in the form of folksy posturing and pretended concern and compassion in order to lure more customers to its doors.

The public is like a giant that Games Workshop has blindfolded, drugged, and gagged. This giant has plugs in his ears and Games Workshop leads him around by the nose. Clearly, such a giant needs to address the continued social injustice shown by evil parvenus. That's why I feel obligated to notify the giant (i.e., the public) that Games Workshop has conceived the project of reigning over opinions and of conquering neither kingdoms nor provinces but the human creativity and helpfulness. If this project succeeds then argumentative muttonheads will be free to assuage the hungers of Games Workshop's protégés with servings of fresh scapegoats. Even worse, it will be illegal for anyone to say anything about how I'm sticking out my neck a bit in talking about Games Workshop's inveracities. It's quite likely it will try to retaliate against me for my telling you that I want my life to count. I want to be part of something significant and lasting. I want to catalogue Games Workshop's swindles and perversions.

The acid test for Games Workshop's "kinder, gentler" new whinges should be, "Do they still elevate loquacious, oligophrenic thugs of one sort or another to the sublime?" If the answer is yes then we can conclude that the real question here is not, "Is Games Workshop hoping that the readers of this letter won't see the weakness of its argument relative to mine?". The real question is rather, "Why can't Games Workshop relieve its aching sense of inadequacy without having to conduct cease-and-decease letters. Games Workshop would be better off if it just admitted to itself that one of the goals of exclusivism is to render meaningless the words "best" and "worst". Games Workshop admires that philosophy because, by annihilating human perceptions of quality, Games Workshop's own mediocrity can flourish. Having already explained that Games Workshop considers "fandom" to be a dirty word, let me now state that if Games Workshop can't be reasoned out of its prejudices, it must be laughed out of them. If Games Workshop can't be argued out of its selfishness, it must be shamed out of it.

Yet there's more to it than that. Games Workshop commonly appoints ineffective people to important positions. It then ensures that these people stay in those positions because that makes it easy for Games Workshop to stifle the voices of those who are simply seeking to be heard. Under the label of "illogical" are those, like Games Workshop, who leave a generation of people planted in the mud of a brown-nosing world to begin a new life in the shadows of interdenominationalism. (Actually, Games Workshop prefers to see problems talked to death instead of solved, but that's not important now.) Although this is explicitly or implicitly expressed or presupposed in most of the material I have presented, we are here to gain our voice in this world, and whether or not Games Workshop approves, we will continue to be heard.

Maybe someday the sun will shine again, fans will be able to express themselves freely and coexist with the imperialistic endeavors of this aforementioned company, but for now we must just hope that this letter and the voices now screaming aloud to the empty skies will somehow be heard and change would come.

Sincerely,

A fan
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6. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:100]
esa gröhn
Finland
imatra
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I thought long over this. I almost didn't send a mail to them because I was afraid I couldn't say things the way I wanted to say, as professionally as I've seen couple of you have said things. But then I thought that even a slightly misinterpreted tone in a message is better than no message at all, so I wrote this short mail to them.

"Greetings.

I've been fan of your products for almost 20 years. Warhammer is one of the most loved fantasy settings I know, and I've been buying many of your products, from the 80's much loved boardgames to your great miniaturegames. A month ago I was very happy to buy your new 3rd ed. Space Hulk and now I was drooling over your new skaven productline. But yesterday was a sad day, as I discovered that you had approached many great fan-sites that had kept your many games alive with C&D letters. I appreciate that you keep your IP protected, but I think that an overkill is an overkill. Fumbbl.com had kept bloodbowl alive for many years. I came back to your lovely game because of fumbbl.com. I even thought buying the new BB pc game because of fumbbl.com. Boardgamegeek.com had a huge active fanbase that made many good player-aids for your games and without BGG.com I wouldn't have learned of the new Space Hulk. And these are just two of the many great fansites that made marketing easy for you guys. And now you're threatening them with law-actions.. I know many other firms that would gladly take an active fanbase like this, and that wouldn't strike against the very consumers they're trying to get buying their products. I'm a little bit puzzled with your actions. But I can say, that I can gladly support other firms that appreciate their fans and consumers. Warhammer is great setting, but it isn't unreplacable. My money will travel to different direction in the future.


Yours truly
Esa Gröhn
ex-customer from Finland"
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7. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
Jonathan Kinney
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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It's funny, I'm not a player of GW games. Never have been. But I feel compelled to send something anyway.

For me it's a matter of ease of play. I'm a person who doesn't do well just reading rules. I like to be taught...either through a video tutorial, in person or through player aids. If I can't get that help for a game, then I won't spend the money. The interesting thing is that I'd say that my game spending has more than doubled over the last year BECAUSE of player aids posted on BGG.

If there was a GW game that interested me and I knew that the company had specifically forbidden someone for helping me ease my introduction to the game, then it's really simple. I wouldn't buy the game.

I have plenty of choice when it comes to games. I can't buy half of that I lust after, let alone what I might like to have. If Queen Games decided to pull all of their stuff off BGG, my response would be simple..."let's see what Z-Man or Rio Grande has."

So even though I've never purchased a product from Games Workshop, I can say, without hesitation, that they are permanently off my radar.

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8. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
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My letter wasn't much, I just whipped it together in 15 minutes and it -contains nothing witty, really. But here goes:

-----
I am a gamer and have bought and enjoyed amongst others, Talisman, HeroQuest, Warhammer Quest and recently Space Hulk. I consider you a fine games maker. Not so any more.

It came to my attention that you have purged the works of tens of your fans, who have uploaded player aids and erratas to BoardGameGeek, mostly for games you have abandoned for decades and that you don't even support any more.

You are spending your legal money on bashing the work of those who love your products the most. That behaviour is completely unacceptable. It is beneath my pride to ever endorse anything you do. This casts dirt on EVERYTHING you have created.

You are the filth of IP protection, an incarnate of the very reason why these laws should be abandoned. The perfect example of an application done purely and solely out of spite.

I will spend the rest of my days avoiding your products, and - what is worse for you - encourage everyone I ever see in the gaming market, to do exactly the same. Just through me you have lost more money than you could ever lose by letting some player aids for abandoned games sit on a website determined to keep the appreciation for your products alive.

I look forward to the day you close down your business and not even your most loyal fans are there for the funeral.

And oh, say "hello" from me to your new legal department. They are solely responsible for the loss of hundreds, maybe thousands of customers. Good work, guys.

Without any regards whatsoever
Simon
Sweden
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9. Board Game: DungeonQuest [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:929]
Scott Everts
United States
Foothill Ranch
California
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Here's the letter I sent them-

You have permanently lost me as a customer

Your recent action to remove huge amounts of content on BoardGameGeek has permanently soured me to your company. I own some of your games and was very impressed with your recent Space Hulk 3rd edition. But have no intention of ever purchasing another GW game again. If this is the way you treat your fanbase by having any support items like player aids or scenarios removed then you don't deserve any support from me. I spent many, many hours helping you for free by creating custom content for your games to share with the same fans that buy your games. But why bother if you are just going to send cease and desist orders to those same fans?

Other large companies I've dealt with have been very supportive of their fanbase and welcome added content. It helps the game and helps the company that creates the game. There are many, many boardgame companies out there so missing out on your games won't affect me in the least. But the hundreds of fans you lose because of this policy will certainly affect you greatly.

Sincerely, Scott Everts
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10. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Tim Myers
United States
Salem
Wisconsin
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Here is what I emailed Games Workshop:


Dear Games Workshop,

My kids bought me Space Hulk 3rd Edition for my 50th birthday this year and we have really enjoyed it but your recent legal attacks on BoardGameGeek asking them to remove fan generated content because it infringes on your intellectual property is over the line and totally amazes me.

We have enjoyed several Games Workshop games over the years, Talisman, Blood Bowl and a friends copy of Space Hulk. I have been a member of BoardGameGeek since 2003 and a patron since 2005. I value the information that BoardGameGeek provides me about a hobby that I enjoy. I would not have know about the new 3rd edition of Space Hulk if it were not for BoardGameGeek.

The recent "Cease and Desist" letter from your legal department caused the Administrators of BoardGameGeek to remove a lot of fan generated content which supports your products. Your customers that enjoy your products enough to devote hours of their time, without compensation, to make playing aids that help other gamers play or encourage them to purchase your products have been removed from the site. Why would you do this?

I spend over a thousand dollars a year on games and I have a lot of choices to make as to where my gaming dollars go. I want to spend it on products that are fun to play, have a companies support and the support of other fans of the game. The recent action by Games Workshop eliminates 1 of the 3, fan support. Also a company that does not want their fans to support their products, shows that the companies cares very little for the past or future buyers of their product, they are just out to make a buck.

I hope that you reconsider your decision regarding the "cease and desist" order sent to BoardGameGeek and allow the fans that love and support your games to do so again. Until then I have other game companies that appreciate fan support and my hard earned money.

Sincerely,

Tim Myers
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11. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
William McDuff
Canada
Prince Rupert
British Columbia
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Already posted on Universal Head's list in the comments:

Greetings,

While I understand you are unlikely to have much influence against this, I just thought I should mention that due to the recent internet-wide crackdown on Games Workshop intellectual policy, I will not be buying any more GW items or licensed items such as the Blood Bowl DS game and plan to sell off what I have.

While I support Games Workshop's right to make a profit and defend it's intellectual rights against piracy, I believe that cease and desist orders to take down helpful files for out of print games or player aids for current games is not an action of a company I feel I can support.

Thank you for the entertainment you have supplied me in the past, but I will find other sources of fun in the future.

Sincerely,

William McDuff
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12. Board Game: Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:100]
Calavera Soñando
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I actually posted one here before I realized there was this geeklist.

Here it is again here:

Quote:
Hello Games Workshop,

I am writing to you today as a prospective customer. I have never really been a miniatures wargamer, but in recent months have come into contact with some of your products and been deeply impressed - specifically, the roleplaying games set in your universe, and the board game Chaos In The Old World.

These two things lead me to spend some time online reading and learning about your impressive catalog of products, and in mid-October, decide to take the leap into miniatures gaming - I spent hours on research, made a large wishlist of products of yours that I wanted for Christmas, and even spent the time to break it down by price and availability. I figured that by this time next year I would be a full blown minis gamer - and why not? I have the free time, the money, and a decent community of Warhammer players here in the town where I live.

But then I saw your cease and desist efforts at Boardgamegeek.com, and other locations on the internet and was shocked! One of the reasons why I had a desire to get into minis gaming was because I knew there was a wealth of resources, such custom reference sheets, rules FAQ's, homebrewed maps, and other items posted there (and a number of other websites) to support my entry into be a neat new gaming hobby.

The idea that you would consider this sort of free marketing and community support a violation of your "intellectual property" is not only ridiculous, but, at least in my case personally, it has harmed your future business. I am not going to argue with you about the ethics of what you've done, nor will I try to convince you your choices were wrong. You are a business, and you will make whatever decisions you will make. But know this: because of your choice to restrict access to the additional online resources I would otherwise have had access to, I have decided not pursue minis gaming at this time. I cannot see getting into a complex and time consuming hobby without the support of those resources.

You have lost yourself a customer, permanently. Shame on you, Games Workshop. I had money to spend. Pity none of it will be yours.

Regards,

Matthew Scrivner
Tucson, AZ USA
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13. Board Game: Necromunda [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:616]
Eric Franklin
United States
Milton
Washington
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Sent this last night:

Quote:
To Whom It May Concern,

I am a Games Workshop customer, and have been for many years, now. I had a great run with my Warhammer Fantasy Battle Undead (later Vampire Counts) army, as well as my WH40k Squats army (for the short time it lasted). I have also run several local leagues for Blood Bowl, Necromunda, and Mordheim.

Recently, I have also enjoyed a number of GW-licensed products (including the Warhammer RPG, Chaos in the Old World Board Game, and the new Living Card Game) which were produced by Fantasy Flight Games.

I am not by any stretch your biggest customer, but I have been a reliable customer for well over twenty years, and have spent several thousand dollars over that period of time. I have also, by running leagues, encouraged a number of my friends to invest in GW products as well.

However, your recent actions towards fan-created materials on Boardgamegeek.com and other sites (see http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/48933 and http://www.geekdo.com/thread/467048) are troublesome. For the last several years, many of these (now removed) resources have been nearly critical in the running of my leagues. They’ve provided a wealth of non-official ideas, variants, scenarios, and so on.

It is beginning to seem as though you have lost sight of the fact that gaming is a niche industry that is driven by hobbyists and enthusiasts.

To that end, I am joining the rising number of voices who are participating in a boycott of your products (and those products based on GW-licensed products), and I will be encouraging my friends to do the same. I have no beef with Fantasy Flight Games, and will continue to purchase their (non-GW-licensed) product.

I will be watching BoardGameGeek (and other sites) for signs of a change or reversal in your policy. Should that change come, I will end my boycott.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,

Eric Franklin
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14. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
David Culp
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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Heres mine, emailed it just a while ago:

Dear Games Workshop,

It has recently come to my attention that you have requested that a large quantity of support files and fan created materials on http:\\www.BoardGameGeek.com be removed. Specifically, there are a number of threads addressing this issue (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/467427), (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/48933), and (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/467427). This is incredibly upsetting and disappointing to me. The majority of these files were simply support files, and fan created scenarios and rules summaries that made playing your games much easier. By offering these files for download, these users and Board Game Geek were helping to support your games, the vast majority of which were out of print and unavailable.

I began playing Games Workshops games in the very late 80's and have been a steady player of your games since that time. I have introduced a large number of people to your games and as a public school teacher I run an after school games club and have introduced a great number of school kids to your games, many of which continue to purchase and play your games. Because of your recent heavy handed and unfair tactics this will no longer be the case. I have bought my last Games Workshop materials and introduced my last student to your games. From here on out I plan to not get out my Games Workshop materials during game club meetings, I will not bring them to school and will highly discourage the play of any of your games with my current and future students.

I realize that this letter will probably have very little impact on your future decisions as you have already shown a complete disregard for your customers. I know that I am not the only one that feels this way and I hope that Games Workshop will reevaluate this recent turn of events and help to work with the community in order to resolve this situation. Until that time occurs, I am no longer a customer of Games Workshop and will dissuade everyone I can from becoming a customer.

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15. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
Keith

Apex
North Carolina
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Mailed this to them...

Quote:

To Whom It May Concern -

Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta once noted that, "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."

I was disappointed to learn of the cease & desist letter targeting your fans at Boardgamegeek.com. Not only does it extinguish the candles that may be lighting a passion for your products in others, but it generates a stiff breeze enough to blow out many candles creating a dark mood surrounding your company.

The main difference between a hobby and an eccentricity is that a hobby is meant to be shared and enjoyed with and by others.

The actions of your company directly extinguish the shared sense of enjoyment found from playing your games. Ultimately, that's what Games Workshop's bottom line is about. A product line without the community support that fans have so willingly given to Games Workshop over the years is one that you should be honored to have. After all, it's people coming together at local game stores, and tables in homes around the world that sell Games Workshop games.

When these people aren't competing they're socializing and sharing their passion online. The most significant hub for this activity is Boardgamegeek.com and swiping the fruits of that shared sense of community and hobby from gamers does nothing to further your bottom line. Hundreds of gamers, as I write this are furiously debating how best to protest your actions.

I understand your veracity in defending your Intellectual Property. I do not, however, understand the broad stroke approach to invalidating the hard work, high quality, and love that your fans have poured into after market support for games. Many of these games have not received an any attention from Games Workshop (or your legal department) in some cases 20 years or more.

In conclusion, I'd ask that Games Workshop take the following steps:
1. Re-evaluate your fan-developed derivative works policy.
2. Put that policy in writing some place with adequate promotion.
3. Reconsider the broad stroke cease & desist crusade currently underway.
4. Develop an honest attempt at outreach to the community you quickly alienated to develop a working relation so fans can continue to share within acceptable boundaries, while respecting fan's wishes to extend the life of your games through their creations.
5. Send an open letter to the community of gamers, at large, who support your products looking for input on how to be a more customer focused organization.

Thank you for your time in reading my missive. I hope that you will find the criticisms herein constructive and that, in the future, you will not be so quick to extinguish the collective candles of your fans in a puff of legal hegemony.
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16. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Assault On Black Reach [Average Rating:7.05 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.05 Unranked]
Lance McMillan
United States
Lakebay
Washington
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Here's a copy of the letter I've written to GW. I believe this style of letter has a reasonable chance of getting a response, and my encourage them to modify their ill-considered policy.

= = =

To whom it may concern:

I'm a parent volunteer who supervises a tabletop Games Club at (name of high school), near the town of (town name) where Games Workshop recently opened one of your retail stores. In the past couple months, I've invited the manager of that store to come in and help introduce the students to miniatures gaming using your products. As a result, I think it's safe to say that I've introduced nearly a dozen new enthusiasts to your products.

However, Games Workshop's legal department recently issued a "cease and desist" injunction to the BoardGameGeek online gaming discussion website. This injuction directed BoardGameGeek to remove a wide array of fan created gaming aides about a number of your games. Because this decision is in direct contravention of the Games Club stated goal of enhancing student creativity and sharing information, I will no longer be cooperating with the manager of your store in or allow any Games Workshop games to be played as part of our Games Club program.

While I understand your company's concerns about protecting its intellectual properties and trademarks, I feel that the arbitrary and heavy-handed manner in which this incident with BoardGameGeek was handled was unconscionable. Until I either hear that Games Workshop has rescinded the "cease and desist" order, or receive a suitable reply from you explaining the rationale for your decision to institute this injuction, I am afraid that I have no choice but to ban any Games Workshop games from being played or discussed at our Games Club functions.

If Games Workshop can not behave in a reasonable manner and permit fans to actively support its products, I see no reason to support Games Workshop -- especially when there are so many other game publishers who are willing to set a good corporate example.

Respectfully,
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17. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000 (fourth edition) [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1835]
Dave Causey
United States
Colorado
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To whom it may concern,

My name is David Causey.I'm 36 years old and a long-time Games Workshop customer from the USA. My first love was Warhammer 40000,and the "supporting" games in that genre. I have collected and played since 1994. But I will not buy your products again.

Was it really necessary to send stiff Cease and Desist letters to fan websites contending they violated your IP when they create FAQs,scenarios,and new rules? Were their actions so threatening? Was it worth the loss of good will? These sites mainly support OOP or unavailable games,and helped create a market that led to the successful release of the 3rd Version of Space Hulk.I learned about that game's release on BoardGameGeek.com,one of the sites that was C&D'd. I dearly wanted that game until today. I was also going to buy a decent-sized army of the new Space Wolves. Not now.

There are other games. Companies like Fantasy Flight and Lock 'n Load Publishing that care about their fans. Other high-quality miniatures like the "Infinity" range from Corvus Belli.

Copyrights and Intellectual Property must,of course be protected. But I wonder if Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox's lawyers have ever taken a look at Space Hulk?

Yours Faithfully,

David Causey customer 1994-2009


*Big thank you to manowarplayer for helping me correct my entry and teaching me how to add to a Geeklist!*
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18. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:2063]
Stefan Koller
United States
Manitou Springs
Colorado
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Here's my letter which I sent to GW UK. I already posted it in the main thread here. I also posted Todd's letter in my local (war)gaming forum, inviting people to send GW their love.

Spread the love! Write your own email! Suggested header: kiss my < | >

It's all futile but it feels KARMIC. Or is it KARTHARTIC? Who cares - GW won't know the difference between them anyway!

Quote:
Dear GW UK,

I've recently bought a couple of rather costy roleplaying hardbacks relating to GW's Warhammer 40K IP. I planned on supporting that product line by purchasing GW army books and blisters of the actual WH 40K game.

However, as a life long customer of games released by "Wizards of the Coast" and "Fantasy Flight Games", participating in online fan communities focused on their games has become an indispensable part of my hobby experience.

I have noticed your release of a handful of cease and desist notices to these fan based websites (DarkReign and BoardGameGeek, to mention two). I will hence abstain from purchasing your products.

Thank you for help me saving money and giving it to companies which support their fans. I spend a regular hundred quid a month on gaming product, and I am sure these companies will appreciate what you did for them.

Yours faithfully,

Stefan Koller
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19. Board Game Publisher: Games Workshop Ltd.
Dennis Gadgaard
Denmark
Copenhagen
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This letter will go by non-e-mail to GW from me...

To whom it may concern,

I have been a customer of your business for a number of years, since buying the then second
edition of Bloodbowl. I have since purchased the third edition of Bloodbowl, Necromunda,
Mordheim, two complete armies for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and four complete armies for
Warhammer 40K, along with countless army books, codexes and issues of White Dwarf.
I have played Warhammer online and the PC version of Bloodbowl.
I have no idea the amount of my money that have gone into buying your products over the last
15 or so years, but it is literally thousands of pounds.

This move by your legal department to issue cease and desist notices to a number of fan websites
strongarming them into removing files which do not threaten your IP (i.e. FAQs and errata) does
nothing but making you lose business and fast.
Take a look at the discussions on websites such as the ones listed at the bottom of this letter
for examples on how many people are pledging to never do business with you ever again.
I have seen GW product resellers (internet stores) having to pull of every single image of your
products, leaving the game consumer to buy your products blindly. And I have seen a game store
owner declare that he will cease and desist from selling your products.
Please remember that it is the enthusiasm and drive of the people that plays your games that keeps
your games vibrant and alive.

You see, the people you are (if you will pardon my language) severely pissing off with this move,
are not just gamers, it's the reviewers of your games, it's retailers of your games, and it's
parents of the younger generation of gamers which to judge from your marketing strategies are
your prime customer base. I doubt that anything short of an immediate retraction and apology will
swing the mood of your fans for many years to come, and personally I'm not holding my breath for
that to happen.

I will personally cease and desist from ever again spending any money on GW products.
I pledge to rid myself of any products I have bought covered by the GW IP, to never review, rate or
in any way promote a product covered by the GW IP, and to never again sit down a play any game
covered by the GW IP.
The gaming industry is much larger today than it was 15 years ago, and there exist today viable
alternatives to any game GW has to offer, so although there are a few games I'm going to miss
playing, I will not lack for entertainment by ceasing and desisting from using your products.

Sincerely,
Dennis Gadgaard

www.boardgamegeek.com
( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/467427),
( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/48933),
( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/467427)
www.fumbbl.com
(http://www.fumbbl.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic...)
www.dakkadakka.com
(http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/267171.page)
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20. Board Game: Gorkamorka [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3100]
Noshrok Grimskull
Germany
Bremen
Bremen
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Here's my letter:


Dear Games Workshop,

I'm a fan of your product lines and have been so since the day Gorkamorka was released. But your recent policy against fan generated content for your games that may or may not infringe on your intellectual property has me concerned.
This fan generated content kept players interested in your smaller releases years after they were out of print and offered valuable assistance even for your main releases like Warhammer 40,000. I would even say that they might have generated interest in your products, seeing how they showcased what can be done with your products. In a sense, this fan generated content provided free advertisement for you and brought intersting options and / or helpful assistence to your customers.

And with your recent policy you prohibited everyone from sharing their fan generated content and had sites like BoardGameGeek take down every file pertaining your products. I think this was an unwise business move as it generated unrest among the customers, especially those that put time and effort into creating said fan generated content in the first place.

Fan generated content shows active support by your fan base, especially when it is for products that are no longer in production - like Gorkamorka, Necrumunda, Blood Bowl, etc. And now you deal a blow against your active fan base?
I'd thought better of you...

Seriously concerned,
Michael Schau
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21. Board Game: Blood Bowl (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:166]
Tom Scutt
United Kingdom
Matlock
Derbyshire
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Here's the letter I'm going to send (via snail mail) to Tom Kirby
Any comments/typos/suggested changes please let me know.


Dear Tom,

I used to occasionally freelance for Games Workshop in the 80s/90s. I did some playtesting and wrote articles/rules for Space Hulk, Dark Future, Warhammer Quest and Blood Bowl. In the years since I have spent hundreds of pounds on GW products, and have introduced many people to the hobby. Although I haven't always agreed with GWs policies, I've been proud of it as a great British games company, and I still have friends there.

All of which deepens my despair at GW's recent blanket Cease & Desist order against sites such as www.boardgamegeek.com demanding the removal of all user-created files relating to GW products. BoardGameGeek has over a million unique visitors a month, and is by far the largest board and hobby game site on the net. At a stroke, your threat of legal action has alienated an entire community - one that effectively promoted, supported and advertised your products. Space Hulk 3rd ed. was riding high in the Top 10 there - its rating has slumped since the C&D order. I know that GW is probably not worried about the loss of custom from a few hundred angry BGG users, but it should be concerned about the negative PR effect on the hundreds of thousands of people who regularly visit the site.

I now work in a senior position in the video games industry. All of the trends in that industry point to the future of making games as services rather than products; of working with a community rather than merely selling to a community. Companies such a Blizzard nurture and encourage their community, actively supporting fan-sites, fan-created add-ons, re-use of Warcraft imagery, etc. They realise that this brings new users to their games and keeps them there, generating revenue for the company. I think that this is a lesson that GW would do well to learn from.

GWs shareholders will want to know why the decision to issue these C&D orders was made when it so clearly negatively affects the company's PR and revenue. I urge you to rethink this policy - I believe if this was done immediately and publicly then no long-term damage will have been to the GW fan community.

Best Regards,
Tom Scutt
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22. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Vincent Waciuk
Canada
Ottawa
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Here is my letter to GW.

Tom Kirby CEO games workshop
Willow Road
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG7 2WS
United Kingdom


Dear Mr. Kirby,

As a long time customer of Games Workshop I am quite baffled by your company's recent behaviour.

On one hand I was very gratified and excited to see the release of Space Hulk Third Edition, a game which I feel is one of your best efforts ever. On the other hand your Cease and Desist order for Boardgamegeek has made me question my support of your company and products.

Boardgamegeek has long been a place where gamers like myself could research and find information on games we would like to play and possibly, or rather probably, like to own. By forcing the removal of any files related to Games Workshop products in the name of intellectual property protect you have reduced your own visibility and credibility in the very market you are trying to reach.

Actions such as this make me regret purchasing Space Hulk. I will most certainly not be recommending your products to anyone in the foreseeable future.

Finally, I will be taking my custom elsewhere. With the general economic climate such as it is, I feel it is necessary to support companies that will support their products in an open and free manner.

Thank you for your time and attention on this matter.

Sincerely,

Vincent Waciuk
Former Games Workshop Customer
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23. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
ŁṲÎS̈
United States
Mesa
Arizona
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Didn't know what to spend all this sweet GG on, so I bought the overtext.
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email sent:



Dear Games Workshop,

Recently I purchased a copy of Space Hulk 3rd Edition. My son and I were never really fans of miniature gaming, but this particular game was starting to get us interested in the Warhammer universe.

The pricetag was hefty for a boardgame, but what really sealed the deal on the purchase was the fan support it was receiving. The boardgamegeek.com website was just full of player aids and scenarios created by people that genuinely seemed to love the game. That type of enthusiasm spoke volumes.

My son and I had just finished assembling our Space Marines and were really looking forward to painting the set this holiday weekend. Now, after seeing the heavy handed tactics of Games Workshop, the budding interest in the Warhammer universe (and our curiosity of miniature gaming) has been extinguished.

Forcing a fan site to remove content that in no way competes with your company was a very bad idea. I will never spend so much as another penny on anything from Games Workshop again.

Thank you for your time,

Luis
Former GW customer



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24. Board Game: Battlecars [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:3863]
Ed Bradley
United Kingdom
Haverhill
Suffolk
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Here's the mail I sent and the picture I attached
:

To whom it may concern,

I've been a fan and customer of GW since 1981 when Citadel was a separate company and Warhammer didn't exist. I've attached a shot of some games I saved my pocket money for and now play with my own children.

Anyway regarding the round of C&Ds you have just issued. May I just say this has saddened me. As a video-games developer I fully understand your desire and your right to defend your IP but I must strongly disagree with how you have gone about it. In this internet age, fan communities should be embraced and nurtured, not seen as a threat to be crushed. Of course I don't expect you to stand by while others make money by infinging your copyrights but is that really what was going on in ALL these cases? These communities have supported and nurtured your IPs while bringing new people into the various hobbies. They have kept games alive that you yourselves have let wither. To act as you have seems small to me whereas Games Workshop is a gaming giant. This act has diminished you and I truly believe it will do your business far more harm than good.

Without such sites as boardgamegeek and dakkadakka I would not have made many of my recent purchases including Space Hulk (and the brushes, paints, sprays etc to go along with it) and several of the Black Library series' evangelised by these sites. They are filling a need you yourselves do not. Feel free to compare this email address with your customer records to see my recent purchase history.

I have no dramatic emotional stance to take or appeal to make but I am disappointed that a company of such stature feels the need to take a cheap shot at those that have supported it so staunchly for many years. This choice of policy is, I believe, a grave mistake.

Yours sincerely,
etc.
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25. Board Game: Space Hulk (third edition) [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:120]
Daniel Walker
United States
Marina del Rey
California
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This letter will be sent by snail mail to Tom Kirby:

Mr. Kirby:

I have had the good fortune to be reintroduced to board games recently after coming across the BoardGameGeek website. The enthusiastic community there made me realize that games have evolved quite a lot since Monopoly was patented in 1935. After repeated perusals of the site, I began to purchase a series of games that I would be able to play with both my newlywed wife and our friends.

Over the past few weeks we have enjoyed a wide variety of games by a wide variety of publishers. Midweek gaming sessions have provided a welcome respite from a particularly stressful time for us. We now very much enjoy looking for the next new game for our collection.

Unfortunately, your recent heavy-handed action against the BoardGameGeek community has alienated a substantial part of your fan base, including gamers who have supported your company for years. You have also succeeded in alienating an enthusiastic new gamer who will never forget this most petty of actions. Your games will never grace my shelves, no matter how highly they are ranked.

Sincerely yours,
Daniel Walker
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