‘Warhammer’ Producers Warns Fans That Game Does Not Support Fascism

'Total War: Warhammer III' (Image courtesy of Sega)

'Total War: Warhammer III' (Image courtesy of Sega)

Some of Warhammer 40K players think the game’s fascist Imperium of Man faction is awesome – and that’s a problem.

To clarify this point— which some of the game’s fans appear to have missed — producer Games Workshop put out a statement saying that you do not, under any circumstances, “gotta hand it to them.”

“There are no goodies in the Warhammer 40,000 universe,” Games Workshop stated. “None. Especially not the Imperium of Man… We believe in and support a community united by shared values of mutual kindness and respect. Our fantasy settings are grim and dark, but that is not a reflection of who we are or how we feel the real world should be.”

The statement comes just a couple of weeks after the controversy broke out when a player wore Nazi symbols to an unofficial tournament in Spain and the organizers didn’t throw him out, despite complaints from other players.

Warhammer 40K is a war game where futuristic armies of humans, mutants, demons and aliens duke it out on elaborate tabletop battlefields. It’s dark medieval fantasy with a touch of hyper futuristic cyberpunk for good measure.

Most fans get that it is just a game, and if they were living in its universe it would be exceedingly nasty, brutish and short. But some of its aesthetics and lore have been co-opted by the alt-right, white supremacists and other crypto-fascist groups. They think the Imperium of Man — a feudalistic galactic empire modeled after Rome, full of enslaved races and ruled by a 10,000-year-old psychic kept alive by cyborg implants called the Emperor of Mankind — is a model on which to base their politics.

Games Workshop reiterated its stance against hate groups and others seeking to co-opt its creative work, including banning individuals wearing hate symbols at Warhammer events.

“If you come to a Games Workshop event or store and behave to the contrary, including wearing the symbols of real-world hate groups, you will be asked to leave. We won’t let you participate,” the company wrote. “We don’t want your money. We don’t want you in the Warhammer community.”

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