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View Full Version : What if Games Workshop made an effort to have a digital initiative?



Captain Micha
17-02-2009, 12:53
Brought back their web content?

What if they charged you for it, similar to how Wizards Of The Coast does for DDI? (Dungeons & Dragons Insider)

Would you buy into it?
It could save us the horror of having the possibility of getting 4 marine releases per edition! They could actually print the -real armies- out in a given edition for once!

In this idea, they could publish fun house rules to try out, you could possibly get designer blogs, and sneak previews (playtests) of new army lists (DDI does this with classes in D&D so yes it is a viable business model). They could even release those sublists that everyone loves so much. Such as Sisters Of Battle, Inquisition, special Tau Lists (Such as a -good- Farsight Enclaves list, or Kroot Mercs).

Heck they could even release a -good- army builder (similar in style to the DDI character builder).

Is this not the best solution to the problem? They could do all the marine love they want that way, could possibly use this to lower their mini prices (or at least codex prices... 22 dollars ....for a magazine? :cries: ) and possibly actually get the other armies -all- released before it becomes "new edition time".


Providing the price was right (around what I pay for DDI and Xbox Live permonth ($4.95 for DDI per month with a year subscription and $3.50 or so for a year of Xbox Live with my card) I would buy into it.

t-tauri
17-02-2009, 13:27
Moved to other GW as it's not 40k specific.

Osbad
17-02-2009, 13:38
Depends on the content. The devil is in the detail, and they'd have to do a heck of a load more with it than they do at the minute with WD.

Not going to pay for "hobby advice" ever as there's too much for free on the web already. Not going to pay for "fun" stuff ever for the same reason.

However, I'd love an online copy of the one thing that GW can do that the law prevents anyone else doing - an online/downloadable ruleset that was properly searchable and cross-referenced by hyperlink and was viewable on my PDA. I'd be on that like white on rice!

Never gonna happen though.

zedeyejoe
17-02-2009, 15:18
If I understood the question I might answer. I wonder why some people expect everyone else to understand a series of letters (ADD).

Magos Explorator
17-02-2009, 16:17
The Dungeons and Dragons Digital Initiative annoyed a whole host of players around the tme of the 4th edition release, as it was felt that we'd lost the content of the magazines (Dungeon and Dragon, whose paper forms were scrapped then) and there were worries that to get the full value of the D&D products you'd have to pay extra for the online service (and be online while playing).

I think there's some mileage in online-based content as opposed to that in the rulebooks. Certainly White Dwarf used to have lots of extra rules in it which people generally didn't mind being used in pick-up games. However I think GW would have to be careful not to give an impression that those who opted for offline play were missing out!

Marshal Argos
17-02-2009, 16:26
I haven't decided how I would vote, but I wanted to say that I like the Idea. But, using the prices you listed as examples it's to high. I have spent in the last 5 years about $70 on GW publications, thats about a dollar a month. Now, if this subscription included online codexs and their updates, and there was a promise to update these more than once every 5-6 years I might consider it but until then...

I think I just decided how to vote.

Captain Micha
17-02-2009, 17:04
The Dungeons and Dragons Digital Initiative annoyed a whole host of players around the tme of the 4th edition release, as it was felt that we'd lost the content of the magazines (Dungeon and Dragon, whose paper forms were scrapped then) and there were worries that to get the full value of the D&D products you'd have to pay extra for the online service (and be online while playing).

I think there's some mileage in online-based content as opposed to that in the rulebooks. Certainly White Dwarf used to have lots of extra rules in it which people generally didn't mind being used in pick-up games. However I think GW would have to be careful not to give an impression that those who opted for offline play were missing out!

Oh please, there were whinasaurs just bemoaning the fact that 4e was coming at all! Also, the mags were dead before DDI was even announced IIRC. DDI is just supplemental, it by no means is required to have. Actually DDI is pretty much separate from the books on every level beyond the Compendium and Character builder.

If handled properly though lists like say the Red Host (using a Lizardmen example that used to exist on the site) would be what you could see in their digital initiative product. things like Sisters of Battle and the Inquisition could pop up here as well as the other colors of smurf. As well as said Army Builder, a Compendium of it's own etc. I won't expect them to have a virtual wargame table because Wizards managed to turn that one into vaporware, but it would be nice to include as well.


I haven't decided how I would vote, but I wanted to say that I like the Idea. But, using the prices you listed as examples it's to high. I have spent in the last 5 years about $70 on GW publications, thats about a dollar a month. Now, if this subscription included online codexs and their updates, and there was a promise to update these more than once every 5-6 years I might consider it but until then...

I think I just decided how to vote.

You'd get more than just the joke of webcontent that they did while they were still doing it. You'd get an army builder (which if done like how Wizards handled it would be pure awesome sauce), said webcontent, probably cheaper codexes/armybooks, and more or less a sure fire bet that they could actually release all the armies that warrant a printed codex in every edition versus 3 marines gauranteed to fill up the release slots. Dude five bucks a month? That's less than a hamburger at a restaurant.

Getting things like the old pdfs they used to make (like the Red Host, Kroot Mercenaries, etc) would be worth that easily. Also White Dwarf must be much cheaper out of the states because I remember a subscription price of something ludicrous like 70 dollars for a year's worth (And that was at a discount for being a subscription!). As well as an army builder, and rule compendium would be easily worth that. To say nothing of an online table top game setup.

blongbling
17-02-2009, 17:15
well sounds like you have it all sewn up there my friend, ill ask GW to get in contact and you an sort it all out then

Captain Micha
17-02-2009, 17:31
:) We all know that's not going to happen. The idea has a merit of good business sense behind it :p .

I could only wish they'd do this.

Gazak Blacktoof
17-02-2009, 17:34
I'm not sure.

As other have said it depends on the quality and quantity of the content. I don't consider GW's other monthly publication worth paying for so I doubt if I'd pay for this either.

If the content was useful and the articles well written I'd pay for a digital magazine just as I would pay for a paper magazine but GW are unlikely to pursue this route for codexes and codex updates because they want to be able to sell the hobby in their bricks and mortar stores.

If codexes were ever made available online I'd see charging for errata and FAQs as an abuse of power. I don't pay for computer game patches at the point of use and wouldn't want to have to pay for fixes for a table top game either.

I have no experience with DDI so I'm not sure exactly what is being asked.

TheBigBadWolf
17-02-2009, 17:43
Nah, I dont like the idea at all.

So, we would be paying to get house rules that I could make up myself or get of the net, published in WD or is actually still on the new site.

Sounds like a great idea :rolleyes:

Templar Ben
17-02-2009, 18:32
I think it is a great idea.

For the customer:
You will have access to information quickly. There will be playtesting of new ideas. People will also get to see the direction of where the developers see the game going.

For GW:
A new revenue stream. That is always good, especially in this case where there is basically no marginal cost and GW has a large customer base already that will convert immediately to a large number of customers.

A built in QA program. This will be a way for GW to float a balloon on a new idea (Fishmen for instance) and get playtesting done by people that are looking at it with completely fresh eyes. Even if it doesn't result in a change in points or to remove a rule, it will at least remove those quick looks that people point out the day a new Codex is released.

A way to market slow lines. I know many have heard me bring that up before but I will say it again. GW doesn't need to come up with new models. GW needs to have a reason for customers to buy more of the existing models. That results in more revenue without the need to cut new molds, design new packaging, or add the SKUs to the distribution plan. This would work with the above idea to show how you can make your fishmen with Brettonian Men at Arms or a new bitz pack that hasn't sold well.

For the customer that doesn't use it:
The people that don't use it will get benefits as well. The products released will have had a good review so the obvious errors/abuses should not be present. GW can publish an annual each year that pulls the gems from the proposals so that those that don't want to have online content (or like me would want a bound hardcopy as well) can buy it.

There are naturally some issues to work out. How much is the cost of the website in startup and maintenance? How much will it cost to have a developer dedicated to web content? What is the payback period?

I just don't see a reason to reject it out of hand.

Misfratz
17-02-2009, 18:40
Is this not the best solution to the problem? They could do all the marine love they want that way, could possibly use this to lower their mini prices (or at least codex prices... 22 dollars ....for a magazine? :cries: ) and possibly actually get the other armies -all- released before it becomes "new edition time".I don't understand how what you propose - charging a subscription for online content - would result in what you claim: cheaper models and codices; more regular creation of new army lists. I don't see the connection.

In my mind, an extra online offering from GW has to concentrate on getting their hobbyists together in order to play, so that people will be more involved in the "Hobby" and buy more models. I'm not sure why GW hasn't gone all Web2.0 in order to try and do this, but, given the GCN requirements I suspect it is because they are worried about bad publicity if there are problems involving children.

Captain Micha
17-02-2009, 19:26
It gives them another source of $.

Also, if it's handled like DDI errata would not be charged for. It's still free.

Also if you read my other posts you'd get an idea what you could actually expect from them. Grant it, Gw in my opinion has never delivered quality as well as Wizards Of The Coast has (since I've been playing their stuff at least). But this thread's a pipe dream anyway so I'm allowed to assume that they'd deliver Wotc quality for once damnit!

(For about the same price point)

Gazak Blacktoof
17-02-2009, 21:54
I'd rather have decent quality white dwarf articles. I prefer paper over electronic formats.

Magos Explorator
17-02-2009, 22:18
Oh please, there were whinasaurs just bemoaning the fact that 4e was coming at all! Also, the mags were dead before DDI was even announced IIRC. DDI is just supplemental, it by no means is required to have. Actually DDI is pretty much separate from the books on every level beyond the Compendium and Character builder.


As far as I know/remember...

There were a lot of 'whiners' but I don't think WotC handled the matter well with the fanbase! It may be that the DDI is not needed for 4e play but the way that it was presented as 'important' left a lot of players confused or uncertain about it, which I think lost them before they had a chance to see. I guess what I am saying is that although peoples' perception may differ from the facts, it's the perception which will initially keep or lose them!

Paizo's licence for the Dungeon and Dragon magazines was discontinued shortly before the DDI was announced, but this was because it was up for renewal at that time (and WotC's intention to replace the magazines was the reason).

JLBeady
17-02-2009, 22:19
Kudos to the OP for the thread. Interesting topic.:)

Echoing the other poster's comments, I would say the devils are in the details. While you mentioned a couple of elements, the online army builder being the most attractive to me, I would want to know how much for how much.

One of the things another site that I frequent does is they have insider type information blogs and e-newsletters for subscribers. They of course have private forums, but promise participation and more direct access to company personalities. Finally they throw in a once a year or once a month discount on stuff bought from their online store or get access to store exclusives. How many people on this site would pay a nominal fee each month/year in order new releases a certain amount of time before the official release?

Are these things that might make a GW pay for content site work....maybe. Again, it just depends on the price and what you get.

IJW
17-02-2009, 22:31
and more or less a sure fire bet that they could actually release all the armies that warrant a printed codex in every edition versus 3 marines gauranteed to fill up the release slots.
Maybe I'm being dense, but I don't see the link either. Studio staff enthusiasm for an army, artwork, writing, playtesting (if any), figure sculpting (especially plastics) and book design are what take the time, not printing physical media. None of that would be reduced/speeded up for online content.

I think it could be a good idea, but I think some of your perceived benefits are unlikely at best.

escobar
17-02-2009, 22:56
Great idea - for all the reasons templar ben outlines. The payback for games workshop in terms of new product development is pretty powerful but I doubt they would ever do it a they are a pretty conservative business.

An army builder would be great for customers but even more valuable for gw - continuous user research (with metrics). targeted advertising, cross promotions...

Most importantly though - a new revenue stream - creating services around their products and getting greater returns on existing assets...

zedeyejoe
18-02-2009, 08:56
Ah, so its a service where books/errata are released online and you pay for it? Just trying to understand what is being talked about.

warhammergrimace
18-02-2009, 10:56
I currently get DDI and quite like having the mags in PDF format. Also I enjoy getting snippets from products prior to their release date.

GW could do something similar, they could publish updates quicker via the web, supply us with more hobby content, give better support to the specialist range. There are lots of possibilities they could do, even provide a army list builder via the subscription.

Its a good idea, weather or not it would get implemented and how good the content would be is different matter. They do tend to be behind everyone else in these regards and ahead in others. I'm surprised there are no DVD painting guides, I know that a couple of years back there were plans for some, but it seems they've have been scraped.

Charax
18-02-2009, 12:13
Any digital content they asked people to pay for would be pirated in days, if not hours - I already have a friend who sends me the D&DI class previews as soon as they come out and I know where to find the rest of the material online too. GW are already paranoid about piracy and that, combined with the fact that GW's fanbase is wider than D&Ds, will mean that the moment they asked people to pay for content, it would be available free elsewhere.

For this reason, it's highly unlikely GW would go for paid web content, even if I'd like to see it.

There's also the issue of who's going to be making this content? the studio? (resulting in huge delays between rulebooks as they're busy filling up the web content) Wizards have much longer periods between releases and a larger creative staff so they can actually afford to take the time to produce web content. furthermore, D&D books are huge - giving away the first few levels of a class is insignificant compared to the overall content of the book. The equivalent for GW (giving away profiles for new units in a codex/army book) represents a far greater percentage of potential revenue-generating material being given away.

A new IAL? pointless, GW know they can't possibly compete with Army Builder now, they tried and dropped the ball with the lack of updates and splitting the program in two, they can't claw back any kind of position with that.

Playtesting? From what I heard a while ago GW cut back on external playtesting due to leaks, so I can really see them opening up playtesting to the whole world...

I'd love to see GW embrace the digital age, but it's simply not going to happen.

Satan
18-02-2009, 12:21
I think this is a model which we'll shortly see others using besides WOTC, so my guess is that a move like this is inevitable for some players in the business. But I don't think that GW would do it just yet. But it's an interesting idea, and I think that in time as digital distribution grows and becomes more socially accepted, this kind of model will prevail in many different types of businesses.

Captain Micha
18-02-2009, 12:58
Any digital content they asked people to pay for would be pirated in days, if not hours - I already have a friend who sends me the D&DI class previews as soon as they come out and I know where to find the rest of the material online too. GW are already paranoid about piracy and that, combined with the fact that GW's fanbase is wider than D&Ds, will mean that the moment they asked people to pay for content, it would be available free elsewhere.


Gw does not have more customers than Wizard's trust me. GW is more comparable to white wolf, than Wizards and WW has less than half of what wizards has with D&D alone. (To say nothing of Saga starwars)


Piracy isn't that much of an issue for DDI, because they'll make back what they "lose" with interest easily. You might have one guy piratting for every four or five (or even more than that) paying customers. Also they could make the army books larger rather than keeping them at "large vastly over priced magazine" status. Wizards released snippets of Martial Power (which is part of the 20 USD bookchain ((At least they are 20 bucks on amazon). Honestly, why Gw even has customers anymore just astounds me, given how much they charge for how little book content they give. Aside from that you have the whole people like paper thing and it would cost more to print out your pirated codex/armybook than it would to purchase it. (Or would it due to how absurdly small it is and how much they charge? Anyone actually done the math on this ?)

Also, there were good D&D character builders before the current one (which trumps them all so far that I've tried). If Gw was smart they'd consult another company to make the stuff. (I believe wizards consulted Atari for the character builder and the as of yet unseen game table)

"Due to leaks" that's why you take the stance Wizards does, let it be playable in rpga and what not till the army sampler is released (it doesn't even have to be a full army, wizards has released half a class before.. actually twice, once with the Bard, and once with the Barbarian). It'd result in better gameplay for everyone involved in the end and give them free play testing (Which would mean, it actually got playtested at all. Because whatever it is they do, doesn't count as playtesting in my eyes)

Given how little the studio and design team works at all at Gw, it's not like it would interfere with the army schedules. Yes Wizards is by far larger than Gw, but they don't have to release -every week- like Wizards does, heck they could scale it back to once a month and do just fine. They could also adopt a very Wotc like policy and include more freelancers to cover the gaps. (which is exactly what wizards does)


Ah, so its a service where books/errata are released online and you pay for it? Just trying to understand what is being talked about.


No, the errata would be free. (Like anyone cares about it anyway since they are so horrible about releasing errata) but special books and armies like Blood Angels, Kroot Mercenaries, The Red Host (lizardmen list), Lost and the Damned etc would be online articles that you pay for. Also some sub codex armies like Sisters of Battle, and the Inquisition would be lumped into being Digital releases as well.



Maybe I'm being dense, but I don't see the link either. Studio staff enthusiasm for an army, artwork, writing, playtesting (if any), figure sculpting (especially plastics) and book design are what take the time, not printing physical media. None of that would be reduced/speeded up for online content.

I think it could be a good idea, but I think some of your perceived benefits are unlikely at best.

If they can manage to keep every fantasy army current they could easily keep the 40k ones current without marines clogging up the release schedules. The only thing holding them back from doing 40k right is the marine love, since they are unwilling to release more than three or four codexes a year.

warhammergrimace
18-02-2009, 15:21
The digital book idea would be good, though the only down side would be you'd have to carry around your laptop and army with you.

Yet saying that most of my D&D books are now mostly in PDF format. Its much easier than having several books.

As for pirating issues, most of the army books are online for free download already. In fact people had copies of 5th ed (40k) well before it was released in the shops, and still people bought their own copies by the bucket load.

So there would be a small amount who'd get hold of pirate copies, but most gamers would still pay for the content, in the same way most D&D gamers do currently.

BLZBOB
18-02-2009, 16:45
Heres a thought, we know they are possessive over their IP rights and are fearful of perceived loss of sales through piracy and counterfeiting. But (sorry for starting a sentence with But, it is sometimes however unavoidable), what if they were to offer access to such a service to WD subscribers? You get a 12 month subscription here is access to some additional content that didn't get put in the mag. Heck they could even offer up sample playlists and rules for 'just for fun' and then print them in the mag/chapter approved on the back of this stealthed playtesting.

Just a thought.

The Phazer
18-02-2009, 17:11
I'd have no interest in purchasing periodical content via anything other than a nice physical copy. Sorry. Articles I'd read online, but enough to actually pay actual money for? No.

As said above however, I'd be all over a digital copy of the rulebooks/codicies, say made available for a Kindle so I could search or bookmark them, and had access to every army book while gaming without having to carry round a tree. Ideally such a thing would update to take care of erratta too.

Don't see it as very likely, but it should be.

Phazer

bomblu
18-02-2009, 17:27
Nope...i like the written stuff as it is...digital data can be easily coppied / shared ect. One has to simply stick a pendrive in his pc and copy the data (not to mention filesharing ect)

More pirating = less money for GW = less models = sad gamers

The Chain of Being ;)

guillaume
18-02-2009, 18:17
Nope, the point of WD is to print in full color at high quality some nice picture of minis.

If you have that online, then you completely loose the visual appeal, since most people would then print it on crappy office paper on grayscale....

I agree that GW could still have more online. Certainly the US GW site of old was a treasure bound website with lots of articles.

Noserenda
18-02-2009, 18:45
Yeah, bring back the old US Website that was worth a look over.

Online codexes etc? Never liked the idea personally, and not a fan of signing up to something for a year just so I can field a Blood Angel army.

Plus, your argument is soured by a healthy dose of ignorance and screaming Bias, which hardly helps your position...

Templar Ben
19-02-2009, 03:55
Heres a thought, we know they are possessive over their IP rights and are fearful of perceived loss of sales through piracy and counterfeiting. But (sorry for starting a sentence with But, it is sometimes however unavoidable), what if they were to offer access to such a service to WD subscribers? You get a 12 month subscription here is access to some additional content that didn't get put in the mag. Heck they could even offer up sample playlists and rules for 'just for fun' and then print them in the mag/chapter approved on the back of this stealthed playtesting.

Just a thought.

That is what many magazines do currently. Fine Scale Model is a great example. There is online content for everyone to see (and see what they are missing) and then if you have a subscription you can access all of the extras.


I'd have no interest in purchasing periodical content via anything other than a nice physical copy. Sorry. Articles I'd read online, but enough to actually pay actual money for? No.

As said above however, I'd be all over a digital copy of the rulebooks/codicies, say made available for a Kindle so I could search or bookmark them, and had access to every army book while gaming without having to carry round a tree. Ideally such a thing would update to take care of erratta too.

Don't see it as very likely, but it should be.

Phazer

Well not everyone will want it but if they are able to pick up extra bucks from only 10% of the current market that would be worth something.

Codsticker
19-02-2009, 16:05
However, I'd love an online copy of the one thing that GW can do that the law prevents anyone else doing - an online/downloadable ruleset that was properly searchable and cross-referenced by hyperlink and was viewable on my PDA. I'd be on that like white on rice!

Never gonna happen though.

I'd like that; otherwise... why bother.

Reinholt
19-02-2009, 16:14
Charging for online content is a business model that doesn't work.

You can see people trying and failing repeatedly across a broad spectrum of various businesses (not just gaming). Piracy is one issue. The simple fact that people don't seem to like to pay for non-print copies is another. The third is that the real way you should be generating money online is either through advertising for others, or marketing for yourself.

If GW is smart, the reason they would release online content would be this:

They could sell more models.

Articles demonstrating cool modeling or painting techniques with links to everything you would need to do it yourself can generate sales. Articles about army background, tactics, and strategy with links to the key units and army books can generate sales.

Updates to codices (not the massive overhauls, but the smaller updates to tweak rules to get them in line with the new edition of books, such as BA and DA being standardized along with the other marines) rule sections, leaving the background in the print copies so there is a reason to buy them, would also probably drive army sales. Now people could look over the rules, cook up cool ideas, then get carried away and buy things, all before having to buy the book, which is often the barrier that stops people.

I think a well-handled online content section for GW could be a significant sales driver, if they do it properly. However, I doubt they will - GW seems positively terrified of making money online (typical of an old school gaming company, and related to why many of them are either gone or experiencing lower profit than they could), and seems to lack anyone who really has experience doing this kind of thing well.

RobC
19-02-2009, 17:32
Charging for online content is a business model that doesn't work.The Financial Times seems to be doing okay. They may be exceptional, but they're proof it can work if done correctly.

On the flipside, giving away content that you otherwise pay for (cf. most newspaper websites) is a surefire way to reduce your circulation revenues - though that's part of a wider issue including the contraction of advertising and the fact freesheets are killing their market. Oh, and bad journalism.

iamfanboy
19-02-2009, 19:43
Charging for online content is a business model that doesn't work.

You can see people trying and failing repeatedly across a broad spectrum of various businesses (not just gaming). Piracy is one issue. The simple fact that people don't seem to like to pay for non-print copies is another. The third is that the real way you should be generating money online is either through advertising for others, or marketing for yourself.

If GW is smart, the reason they would release online content would be this:

They could sell more models.

This is exactly WHY they should more aggressively pursue online distribution of rules.

Games Workshop has said it themselves, dozens of times: they're in the business of selling miniatures, NOT rules. I wish they'd think about it logically.

One rulebook costs $25. An army costs upwards of $200, $300. Offering the rules online wouldn't make a serious dent in book sales (not many people are willing to tote around laptops or print out 80+ pages when going to tournaments), but it would expand the audience who go, "Wow, that's one cool army! I wanna try it, I wanna try it!"

Hell, even offering it as a non-subscription service would sell more minis, and net GW more profit. The service itself would be a net loss, but it would be a leader into more money.

Unlike a lot of games that can be wrecked by spreading of books online, Games Workshop offers an undeniable physical asset that canNOT be threatened by widespread internet distribution: their glorious miniatures.

It would be, in the words of Peter Griffin, "Win fcking win, baby!"


Dammit. Does anyone have some Games Workshop email addys? I wanna send this post to them, edited appropriately.

Orinoco
19-02-2009, 20:38
It should come with your purchase of the real book.

Tyron
19-02-2009, 20:42
GW dont't believe in giving away freebies iamfanboy.

IJW
19-02-2009, 20:59
Offering the rules online wouldn't make a serious dent in book sales (not many people are willing to tote around laptops or print out 80+ pages when going to tournaments)
I wouldn't underestimate it - my gut feeling is that codex sales would easily drop by 30-40%, partly due to people like me who have codices for armies they own no figures for and never plan to, for the purposes of knowing what your opponent's forces can do.

30-40% could easily drop the print runs far enough to increase per unit costs by a large amount.


Dammit. Does anyone have some Games Workshop email addys? I wanna send this post to them, edited appropriately.
Go to the bottom right corner of any of the new GW website pages and try the 'contact us' link. ;)

Dangersaurus
19-02-2009, 21:48
I haven't (and won't) play D&D4 (actually D&D8) mainly because:

A) the de facto change away from a role-playing game to card-based tactical combat.
B) the last two editions of D&D were only slightly compatible with what came before. With D&D4 they decided "slightly" was too much.
C) all the money grubbing. I don't pay for cut-n-paste rulebooks, I don't pay for excuses on why the editing is so bad, and I don't pay for a chat room and a dice roller.
D) DDI as it stands is not the end of the road. I see what's at the end, and I don't like it. I doubt anyone but management truly grasps what is going to happen to their livelihood.

So... No. If GW sent White Dwarf (and eventually all paper product) the way of DDI, I'd find another way to get the material, stay with what I have or find a different thing to do.


As for pirating issues, most of the army books are online for free download already. In fact people had copies of 5th ed (40k) well before it was released in the shops, and still people bought their own copies by the bucket load.

Only because of the stigma of playing public games or Tournaments with pirated material. If the material becomes legally available, how do you tell the pirate printouts from the legitimate ones?

escobar
20-02-2009, 00:39
It is a big ask to think GW will go to online publishing of content for all their codices - as big a strategic decision as the switch to plastic.

That said - i think they could dip their toe in the water here. One quick win I see is downloadable icons and army symbols for printing your own transfers. They have all the assets in place and there is a definite demand from customers (see B&C and BoLS). I'm not sure how the webstore works but leveraging their assets and generating (admittedly modest) revenue would allow them to open up a new revenue stream at reduced risk. I see these as a micro payments system - 49p a sheet or what ever. Will people pirate it? - of course but the returns would probably still be worthwhile pursuing and it would allow GW to build internal knowledge about online publishing / payments systems.

As for who does the work? As far as I know GW is Quark based and newer version of quark allow you to publish for print and web, basically reconfiguring the same assets (not really my domain but as far as I know successful) so should be minimal additional work / costs for the studio once up and running.

I recently carried out some work in this area for a large toy and games manufacturer - looking at online services, micro payments etc. For them, starting at scratch it was a huge investment but they will move in this direction eventually. One of the issues with GW is that they are a vertically integrated company and so probably feel the need to build this expertise internally rather than outsourcing the running of it.

Sending this thread to someone in GW?
Good luck. As far as I can make out Ann Clark is the gatekeeper to senior management but how GW works, who deals with these things and who you can make an approach to are a mystery to me. JJ is 'new product development' in some way but whether he deals with this kind of thing I don't know and I'm sure their are more informed people on this site.

If i could figure out who to get a meeting with I would but it would seem hanging out in Warhammer World is the best way to engage them.:eyebrows:

lotrchampion
20-02-2009, 01:34
Personally, I would rather dish out the money for a codex/army book/sourcebook/whatever in most cases rather than try and print out an online publication; if I wanted anything like the quality of the actual codices, I'd be splashing out big time. I like having the codexes and army books in a hard form-and this is coming from someone who nromally swears by digitalisation! I think one good thing to do would be to host an online army builder on the website. Hell, the current Online Store now shows each unit's stats and the names of their special rules, which is really all you need on a printed out reference army list. I know there currently aren't points values available online, but its only a small step further. Such things are already available from unofficial sources for free, so its not beyond the borders of possibility. Small Java applet allowing you to compose an army list, validate it, and print it out. GW could also easily incorporate the current Online Store's ability to advertise at every turn itno it, which isn't a bad thing, especially for new players.

iamfanboy
20-02-2009, 20:02
GW dont't believe in giving away freebies iamfanboy.
Look at it another way: what are they 'giving away'? More importantly, which is their core product: books or miniatures?

Also, what is the primary complaint about the game: that the miniatures are awful-looking, or that the rules are too slowly updated and that ridiculously idiotic mistakes and contradictory rules creep into each incarnation of a book because they can't playtest properly (see: dual Lash princes and how Terminators or Bikes with an Icon are disgustingly inferior to basic Marked troops)?


I know quite well that Games Workshop fears and hates the internet. But if they would use it properly, their core business of miniatures would explode, while hardly affecting their fringe business of books. They shouldn't STOP printing books either; plenty of people like the hard copies sitting on their shelf, including myself.

In a lot of ways, it would be a de facto recognition of a de jure situation. I could go to any number of websites and download .pdfs of the rulebooks easily; in fact it was doing so that raised my interest in building a Vampire Counts army - the loss of a $25 book means that I'll be buying upwards of $200 in miniatures, and in point of fact I'll be buying the book anyway.

I would see it as a multi-layered operation, if they didn't want to do it completely for free.

FREE: Playtest rules with notation that the lists would not be allowed in tournaments without the permission of people running the tournaments; something like the ancient and fondly-remembered Chapter Approved back in 3rd Edition. Also available would be errata that is sized to be printed out and pasted right into a book; anyone remember the White Dwarf that came with Dark Eldar errata?

SUBSCRIPTION: 'Official' rules would be available only to subscribers, probably in .pdf format - perhaps purchase of a Codex or Army Book would include a code allowing someone to download the .pdf of that book? Shrinkwrap the books to prevent someone stealing the code outright.

One thing that Games Workshop should remember:
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i225/iamfanboy/hiregoodplaytesterssmall.jpg
Allowing forthcoming rules to be tested thoroughly, with small forum sections dedicated to each list so that complaints and thoughts could be raised by the community at large, would only benefit the game at large and raise GW's profit margins for a minimal outlay.

Gawd. Just thinking about it makes me /facepalm at Games Workshop. USE what's available. Don't fear it.

t-tauri
20-02-2009, 20:26
Basic army lists with background and magic/wargear available for free download. Printoff available from GW shops/prefered indys when you buy an army box/battalion/Battleforce and ask. All they need is a printer and internet.

Printed army books with background and modelling available from shops. The download would drive the sales of the miniatures and of the printed army book.

You can see the effect a new list has on model sales from the feeding frenzy on the IG rumour threads after the codex summary sheet was leaked by the French website. The pdf model would also lead to revisions and errrata being possible as and when the latest "lash prince" is spotted. I'd argue that revising the .pdf lists regularly would even drive sales further as they could use the revision to incorporate new models between codex/army book cycles.