Games Workshop declares war on fan videos

Games Workshop's latest terms of service expressly forbid animated fan-art and other films. The new policy shuts down a thriving subculture devoted to just this, and has left creative fans of the company's fantastical worlds (i.e. Warhammer) angry and deflated.

"Individuals must not create fan films or animations based on our settings and characters. These are only to be created under licence from Games Workshop."

Such policies sometimes reflect business dealings with companies that dislike fandom except as a kind of commercial baseline. Fan works generally make a property less attractive to potential licensees, no matter how obviously it signifies the property's value, because licensees want exclusivity and control and licensors are happy to sell it. The resentment this generates is so bitter because fan creators know that their work may be exploited but they never think they're going to get dumped.

UPDATE: Here you go:

These changes coincide with the recent launch of the Warhammer+ subscription service, which launches with two animated series. Games Workshop has also been pushing hard on official Warhammer animations, many of which were sourced from existing fan projects—even outright hiring the creator of those stunning Astartes shorts.

For fans, it reads as somewhat hypocritical for Games Workshop to shoot down fan animations at the same time it's benefitting from their work, as is the distinction between which kinds of fan works are allowed. We've reached out to Games Workshop for comment.

Enjoy one of the "In the grim future of Hello Kitty there is only war" mashups, while you can!