Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Matthew Ward Departs From Games Workshop
It seems the prayers of Games Workshop's fans may have finally been answered.
The much criticised writer of Codex: Grey Knights, Codex: Blood Angels and the Fantasy Daemons armybook updated his LinkedIn page to say that no longer working for Games Workshop. According to this he departed back in May of this year after over a decade of working for the company. While there has been no official announcement from Games Workshop itself relating to his departure, this page does appear to belong to him rather than being a faux account. Many of his skills are endorsed by current and former members of the company, and the image used is not one which can easily be found via a quick Google search.
This is something many people have been hoping to happen for many years, ever since the writer was given the reigns during Warhammer 40,000's Fifth Edition. Deeming "they can never be Ultramarines" to be a detrimental failure of many chapters, and lacking any apparent respect for his fellow co-writers or the lore the setting was based upon, his works were lambasted by both critics and the community alike. This is to say nothing of the rules of his armies. Rather than encouraging tactical awareness or skill for their use, many were built to win through sheer raw power, with the aforementioned Daemons armybook infamously triggering the early release of an entirely new edition thanks to it breaking the game.
However, on a personal note I do wish to point out to the community that, even if this proves to be completely true, it will not be the answer to all our problems. While Ward was responsible for a severe drop in the quality of Games Workshop's main franchises, he is not solely responsible for this. Phil Kelly and other writers have produced similarly negative works despite being better regarded among fans. The likes of Warzone: Damnos in particular veered into the same invincible Ultramarine trends Ward was infamous for, and other codices have displayed severe problems.
Furthermore, while many of Ward's books were those which most frequently featured them, it was the design team rather than he which produced the likes of the Centurion, Dreadknight and Stormraven. While this means that we will hopefully see no further Bloodtide incidents or something so terrible as Codex: Iyanden, it's hardly going to improve the company overnight.
Finally, this may not even be the sign of Games Workshop finally getting its act together. As mentioned last week, others responsible for Games Workshop's financial slump and enmity with its own fans are now abandoning their positions. For all we know, this could be him taking the same action before the company folds rather than, as many fans would wish, being sacked for gross incompetence.
I can personally only hope that this is a sign of Games Workshop attempting to push for better quality as things become progressively worse rather than signs of it finally dying out.