Thursday, July 14, 2005

White Wolf Update

White Wolf has announced the withdrawal of their proposed general policy, but indicates it plans on persuing licensing agreements with several large LARP organizations. As RPGnetter cmdicely put it:

It sounds to me a lot like: "We're still going to bully the people we were originally planning to bully on the spurious basis that we can control how, when, and under what conditions people who have already bought our games can play them. However, we've found that the PR backlash from having a public, general policy to point to as part of that effort is too great to be justified by the amount of leverage it adds to our bullying, so we'll just bully them one-on-one in private without the public policy."

I tend to agree with his analysis of the situation. My take on it, as I posted to same thread:

Also, the fact that one or more decision makers at White Wolf actually thought the first policy was okey-dokey and that the customers wouldn't react still leaves me a tad bit uneasy. "Yay! Coke decided not to put dogshit in their beverages after all!" is not exactly a cause for celebration. Why didn't anybody at the Coca-Cola company understand the blindingly obvious fact that no one wants to drink dogshit?!?

I'm not a hard core White Wolf fan like many folks on this thread. I own a few of their products and some Sword & Sorcery stuff. I got a DriveThru account after the DRM fiasco died down when they switched to electronic watermarking. This whole flare-up has left me with the distict impression that White Wolf is not to be trusted and that I'd be better off by not buying anymore of their products and by not using the ones I already own. Maybe if Vampire was my favorite game and I was a LARPer I'd be happier with this turn of events, but the whole situation has soured me on White Wolf and its associates. I'm reminded me too much of the capricious and hamhanded antics of TSR and the RPGA in the late eighties and early nineties.

Now you may be saying to yourself something like "But Jeff, it sounds like there's nothing White Wolf could do at this point to earn back your confidence." Well, you'd be right. Perhaps, like in the case of RPGA, I will do business with WW after a few years and a radical realignment or two of the organization. Or perhaps, like in the case of TSR, White Wolf will be dead by the next time I consider buying their wares. Either way the matter is now closed as far as I am concerned.