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Monday, October 22, 2012

More details about my trip to Battlefront HQ

Hi everyone!  I know many of you have more questions about my trip to NZ, and I do apologize for somewhat vague information posted to date.  This was largely due to plans still being finalized and not wanting to speculate.  But, to answer your questions, concerns, and advice (which have ranged from the hilarious to the downright spiteful), I've decided to assemble a quick FAQ.  As you'll learn, transparency is of the utmost importance in this project so feel free to ask any questions below so long as you obey our golden rule!

Q. Why are you being flown to NZ anyway?
A. Battlefront have made some controversial decisions lately, as you all probably know.  The internet has been alive with discussion, and speculation at a fever pitch.  People understandably want to understand decisions and voice their concerns when decisions affect them.  My visit is one piece of a larger puzzle in an initiative by Battlefront to take a step back, and introduce transparency and openness into their operation.  I won't speak to any decisions because I am not privy to that information, but a wide range of issues are being considered and discussed within the organization.  My role is simple- I will be representing the community in asking the tough questions and allowing Battlefront the chance to respond to these concerns.

Q. But isn't it an all expenses paid trip?
A. Well, the plane ticket is covered, yes.  Why?  Though we strive to make sure WWPD is the most professional outfit we can make it, it is still our meta-hobby.  If we had the money to fly me to New Zealand on our own we would!  But Battlefront is keen to have this objective look into their organization and be shown to the outside world.  One does not simply walk into Auckland.

Q. So why you?  Can't anybody with a camera do it?
A. Sure, anybody with a camera could ask some questions.  But over the last few years WWPD has become the leading independent resource for FoW.  I am confident I can represent the community  by being thorough, and knowing the right follow up questions to ask.  Furthermore, Battlefront cannot do this themselves- that would defeat the whole purpose!

Q. So what exactly do Battlefront want out of this?  Isn't them buying your ticket a conflict of interest?
A. They want exactly what's been stated- a transparent look into their organization.  My primary "deliverable" will be a short documentary with commentary and interviews with the staff.  Additionally, we will have audio content for our podcast and I'm sure I'll squeeze an article or three out of my visit to NZ.  Once the video deliverable is met, I owe Battlefront nothing else, nor do they owe me.  No further relationship  has been defined- express or implied.

Q. Then what does WWPD get out of it?
A. We get the scoop.  This is what we do!  That and I can finally deliver this ring to Mount Doom and be rid of it.

Q. Can you elaborate on the process?  How do I know Battlefront won't just tell you what to do once you're there?
A. I've been very clear from the get go, and Battlefront has been in agreement that I have final creative control over the output.  We are working out the process now, but I will retain a copy of all of the raw footage shot.  Whether I end up doing the edits, or its a collaborative process (James from Battlefront is a practiced editor- I am not) I will have final say on the end result.  With my own copy of the raw footage you can be sure I won't let shenanigans go on.

Q. Can you elaborate on the relationship between WWPD and Battlefront?
A. Our relationship is exactly as it's always been.  We're friendly but neutral.  Yes, we love Flames of War and our love of the game has lead to many lasting friendships with Battlefront Employees.  But Battlefront has no say in how we run our show.  Battlefront periodically send us review items and we review them and post them on our site.  They also provide us with prize support for live shows.

Q. What if Battlefront tries to buy WWPD while you're there?
A. Unlikely, unless they're willing to come up with One Million US in unmarked bills.  *cough*.

Q. What if BF leans on you to stop reviewing other manufacturers?
A. I would be unhappy about that.  Our independence is important to me- WWPD is my baby after all.  I'm sure they'd love to have that deal with us!  Why wait for them to lean on me?  I'm fairly certain I could cut a deal right now if I wanted to- but I don't.  I know that you, the fans, value our independence.  Yes, we love Flames of War.  You won't see any of our posts going off and frothing at the mouth over the latest brouhaha, but you will not stop seeing other manufacturers on WWPD.  (I mean, maybe for the aforementioned One Million US…)

Q. Will you start silencing people on the forum who speak out against BF?
A. Not unless they are breaking our golden rule.

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask them on our forum.  BUT remember the golden rule here.

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