Thursday, December 11, 2014
Final word on 'Gamergate: The Card Game' and Onebookshelf
Last week, I expressed concern about the news that Onebookshelf.com (the exclusive distributor of titles from NUELOW Games) appeared to have dropped a product from Postmortem Studios in response to pressure from another publisher. The product was Gamergate: The Card Game, which I talk a little about in this post.
Today, Onebookshelf's Steve Weick sent out an email (which was also posted to Facebook, so you can read it here) about the situation. For me, the most important statements in it were:
"Some publishers also complained about this title, and a few publishers let us know they would not be interested in continuing to work with us if we carried it on our store. We will not allow any publisher to dictate content policy onto any other publisher, explicitly or implicitly. If any publisher ever decides to discontinue business with us because our content policy errs to the side of being too open, rather than restrictive, then we will respect their decision to leave our marketplaces and wish them well. To be clear, no publishers’ comments had any bearing on our decision to discontinue.selling this title."
Good for Steve Weick and Onebookshelf.
A distributor has the right to carry whatever they please, for whatever reasons they please. And no publisher should try to use their business relationship with said distributor as a club to force them to drop products from other publishers.
I can't say I'm completely happy with the end result. My sympathies are with designer James Desborough, but I can't fault Onebookshelf for the decision or their reasons for taking the steps they took. I do fault ANY publisher who approached Onebookshelf in an official capacity and said "pull that, or we pull our products."
I am occasionally troubled by our all-ages comics appearing next to porn comics on the DriveThruComics homepage. But I would NEVER (even if I felt I had the clout) be the kind of jackass who writes to Onebookshelf with threats.
It makes me a little sad that in the industry I love, there are people who are the sort of thugs that do.