Chapterhouse vs GW: The Human Story

February 7, 2011 by beerogre

So… the can of worms is officially open… Chapterhouse Studios have found legal representation, in order to take on GW in court (or out of it… which ever transpires first) and finally settle this whole affair.

This could be the beginning of the beginning, or the beginning of the end for so-called “GW aftermarket parts”… or it may all splutter out like a damp… er… squig! (poor humour I know).

But, let’s put all that aside and look at the human story… you know… the bit thats just too easy to forget, when your dealing with that whole corporate hatred thing.

… and what about the great minds we’re forgetting?

As each day goes by, Games Workshop are becoming more the faceless corporation, the pantomine villain. This is in part,  because they ARE acting more like a corporation… professional… business-like and profit driven. But lets take a moment to remind ourselves of the induviduals who helped define (or redefine) an entire industry, in this case Jes Goodwin.

Jes is a man who has basically dedicated his life to the development of the artistic direction of 40K. Dedicating your life to something in the creative industries, is an almost impossible task and Jes is one of the few (like Jervis Johnson, Rick Priestly, Alan and Michael Perry et al) who have poured an entire lifetime into creating the fictional world that we fans enjoy so much.. and that many take a little too seriously at times.

GW is not FORD or BP, where production is spread among enormous teams of 9-5, talented empolyees. The beating heart of projects in GW is undertaken by one or two individuals, before moving into the wider production process.

You see… in the creative industries, with every design you create and every sculpt you produce, you’re putting a little bit of yourself into it and you take it to heart, because in this kind of business… it’s never really ”just business”…

Now, I’m sure Jes could have clubbed me over the head with a Storm Raven, after I labeled it a “Storm-Toaster”… because yes… even gentle banter can wound the ego (and I use the word ego here in the most respectful way, as without it we would have no designers), but criticism is part-and-parcel of the industry and most likely, I’ll lavish the next model with praise.

But what about being inspired by… what about copying… what about theft?

Here’s what I mean. You spend your life creating something, only to see others coming along and at best making money of your hard work, but at worst abusing it with bad design and miserable quality.

How does it feel, I wonder, when you have your future ideas lifted and executed, before you ever get the chance to tackle them yourself?

I don’t believe you can dedicate a life to something and not feel a real pang of hurt, when you see your concept, your design, your creation… hell your baby… lifted and profited on by others!

Of course, these people may be doing what they do out of their love of the concept, but when they start to profit from it (or at least try too) it’s always going to leave a bitter taste.

You can make bundles of cash from your designs and it doesn’t matter one iota, because I’m pretty certain that individuals like Jes, don’t do what they do for the money, because when you’re that creative, you have to deeply love something to dedicate an entire life to it.

So what about aftermarket parts?

Well, I wonder could we see some kind of official endorsement for some of the talented companies who could produce them. I mean a situtation, where GW get a licence fee and Jes (and the team) can get the proper recognition… or even give an  input into the designs.

These talented individuals won’t be around forever, but I hope their creations are. At some point (and it’s already been happening in GW for a long time) others will pick the concepts up and run with them. Perhaps this could happen in other very talented and officially endorsed studios and we end up with an even bigger and fuller 40k universe.

However, I’m certain that the legacy of Jes and the other pioneers of the industry… those who made it all happen… will continue to inspire generations to come… ad who knows… maybe even into the 41st millennium.

BoW Warren

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