Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Polygon's review of the new Warhammer 40k boxed set discusses Games Workshop's hostility to giving artists credit

From Charlie Hall's review of the new boxed set for Polygon:
But all these successes come with some important caveats about how Games Workshop continues to conduct pre-release coverage. For instance, I’ve been sitting on a boxed copy of Warhammer 40,000: Leviathan for about a month now and I still don’t know how much it will cost. Same with the hardcover rulebook. I, as a critic, have literally no way to tell you whether or not this is a good value for your dollar right now. Nonetheless, in exchange for access, I’m effectively tied to a publication date and time — today, right now — when I’m supposed to give you my opinion on that box. And honestly, it’s not something that I’m super comfortable with.
I’m also not super comfortable with a few other things. Games Workshop has made some very strange decisions since January in how it puts its staff out into the world to engage with the company’s global fandom. Most notably, sources tell Polygon that Games Workshop’s painting presenters on YouTube and on Games Workshop’s own streaming channel are no longer allowed to show their faces on camera. That depersonalization of the brand extends editorially to the Games Workshop Community website as well, which no longer allows employees to denote their last name.

As a result, you get bizarre articles like this interview with “Steve,” the guy who’s designed not one, but two of the most striking new miniatures released in recent memory. Honestly, I’d like to know who this person is, and find more examples of their work out in the world to shower additional praise on — but these new policies make it a lot harder. This policy shift may, at least in part, be the result of past presenters spinning themselves off into successful branded YouTube channels and even non-Games Workshop hobby product lines.
Here's a good example--the announcement page, store link, and amazon link for this Warahammer novel credit the author and audiobook reader. The fan wiki just lists the author. Even though Games Workshop highlights the art and design to promote the book, they don't credit the artist or designer:

"This incredible Special Edition is on its way next month, and features a suitably luxurious cover with gold foil inlay, gilt page edges, and a red ribbon page marker. These individually numbered collector’s items are limited to only 1,250 copies, and also include an additional exclusive short story starring the Inquisitor."

I tracked down who I believe to be the artist:

*Previously: The latest issue of 28Mag, the Games Workshop hobby fanzine is available for free download