Category Archives: Corporate Behaviour

(Lack of) Creativity in the Games Industry

A little while ago GMort at the House of Paincakes blogged about the edition cycle of table top wargames.  This sent me spiralling off on a tangent in the comments section (as I am wont to do) about the lack of creativity in modern game design, and games design companies that are content to find new, easy ways to extend the life of their flagship games for years – or even decades – rather than, you know . . . do their job and design new games.

We all know that this is an issue in the video games industry, particularly the so-called ‘hardcore’ market where annualised franchises are the order of the day.  It’s also an issue where tabletop games are concerned.  The latter industry seems to reflect it’s younger sibling in this regard.

I was really, really pleased to read this piece today by Gabe Newell, managing director of Valve and my new hero.  It restores my faith that there are still actual creatives striving to actually create in the wasteland of sequels and undead husks that is modern gaming.

You know who is to blame though.  It’s us.  Every time one of us buys a game with a numeral after the name, or the latest edition of Warhammer, gaming gets a little bit more bland.

Discussion welcomed as always,

James

Good Games Abandons Games Workshop

Yesterday I heard that my favourite local game store, Good Games in Conder, is no longer going to be carrying Games Workshop products on the shelf as they are too expensive to display.  I inadvertently discovered this when I tried to convince the owner Brad to knock twenty dollars off the price of an Infinity order in exchange for some unopened Games Workshop models I had lying around.  Needless to say I had to pay full price, but it was worth a try right?

A game store no longer displaying Games Workshop product is a huge step.  They have undeniably the most popular range of miniatures games.  This comes soon after the Combat Company, one of our largest online retailers, posted this press release damning Games Workshop’s treatment of independant stockists and stating that they were considering taking legal action against Games Workshop.  Good Games and the Combat Company are both very involved in the wargaming community in Australia, so it will be interesting to see what effect this has on Games Workshop’s falling sales.  Their exorbitant prices have already damaged their market here quite considerably.

Of course, Games Workshop is not alone in applying the so-called “Australia tax.”  Recently representatives from Apple, Microsoft and Adobe were subject to a parliamentary enquiry where they were challenged to adequately explain why their prices were so much higher here than elsewhere.  They failed to offer any convincing explanation, and so basically responded with “if you want US prices move to America.”

And the US amabssador wonders why we all pirated Game of Thrones, and asks us nicely to stop.  We’re descended from convicts buddy, we’re not going to bat an eyelid over “stealing” something that is free-to-air in the US.  Especially when your corporations practice aggressive region coding against us.  We might be a nation of dirty cyber criminals but we aren’t stupid.

There are currently three games stores in Canberra (not counting video game shops): Good Games, The Games Capital, and Games Workshop Woden.  Now Good Games is no longer going to stock Games Workshop products in-store, and The Games Capital hasn’t run any Games Workshop game events in years as far as I know.  Interesting times indeed for miniature wargaming in Australia.

All the best,

James