Ian Williams on Total War: Warhammer


I really enjoyed this piece by Ian Williams over at Giant Bomb about how Total War: Warhammer fits into the business plans of world-creators Games Workshop.

What I especially like about it is how Williams contextualizes the kind of rubber-band relationship that Games Workshop has with their game. He suggests that the search for profit over the past few years is going to cause a whiplash where people who want that old product are not going to be able to find it now that it has be eradicated in the search for additional monetary gain.

I also wonder how much of it is a problem associated with the heavy-metal, working-class aesthetic being forced to “grow up” in the increasingly disciplined world of intellectual property. Dungeons and Dragons (and the like)’s ability to borrow orcs from the Tolkien estate was critically important to generate a general mythology of fantasy that allowed people to have some degree of familiarity from generic fantasy product to generic fantasy product, but now that is understood to be a liability. I wonder what the proliferation of walled gardens of intellectual property is going to mean for the future of the “freedom” to move from different universe to different universe. Knowing a whole hell of a lot about DC Comics doesn’t help you much with watching Marvel films, and maybe enjoying X Fantasy game might not give you the ability to understand Y Fantasy world in the way that it did fifty years ago.


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