PDA

View Full Version : The Interaction of Rules Development & Profit Maximization



Reinholt
06-05-2010, 15:21
Based on one of the recent answers in GW's FAQ, I wanted to bring up a point that I think is often lost in the chatter about gaming, based on my own personal views as someone who has been both a GW shareholder (though I sold long ago and went short) and plays the games:

I cannot understand the GW practice of creating rules that discourage the purchase of their models.

The goal of the company, ultimately, is to maximize long-term profits (they are a public company); at the same time, they paradoxically manage to include at least one or two bad units in a game and then often double-down on them in FAQs. Or, once in a blue moon, they make a truly poor decision that damages the playability of many units and then ride it.

In this case, they have ruled that a specific combination of abilities in WotR is usable per the FAQ, and this produces some extremely strong and distorted wins in combat when you use it against characters that don't have access to that combination. The net result, having played with this rules interpretation a bit to test it already, is that you never, ever take a character who doesn't have the ability that makes the combination tick (Epic Strike, for the WotR players out there) if you are playing competitively.

So why did this land in other GW? GW has blown hundreds of thousands of pounds on molds for Lord of the Rings, most likely, and is now making rulings in their games that actively reduce the value of future cash flows from these things! Nobody is going to buy this stuff if it gets them killed in the game every time they use it.

At some point, certain symptoms of corporate dysfunction become obvious. In this case, it's clear that one hand does not know what the other is doing at GW. Strong leadership would ensure that the various teams were not making decisions that harmed the long-term sales and value of the company on an ad-hoc basis (which is what appears to have happened here), as it leads to poorer future gaming products for everyone when GW under-performs.

So to that end, I issue two challenges:

1 - If you are a GW shareholder, write to them and tell them to knock it the <expletive deleted> off. Here's the contact information:

http://investor.games-workshop.com/contact_us.aspx

2 - If anyone from GW reads this, stop doing this sort of things and fix the stuff you have already done.

Things like this make my blood boil. Why not just take your money and BURN IT?

It would achieve the same thing, but you wouldn't have storage costs for your useless molds.

Chaos and Evil
06-05-2010, 15:27
I cannot understand the GW practice of creating rules that discourage the purchase of their models.
Perhaps it's intentional, in order to make the rest of the model kits look better at killing things in the game (And thus better value for money).

Spectrar Ghost
06-05-2010, 15:34
I'd prefer balanced rules and better value for money by spending less money. From a shareholder POV though, spending the cash to produce a product that few will buy in order to make the other units look better is counterproductive. Many people try to get one (or more) of each unit they'd use, so when a unit is not competative with other choices to the point it will not be taken, that investment is not cost effective.

Reinholt
06-05-2010, 15:37
Exactly. Or you could have the unit entries in the book existing to be converted, but not bother to produce molds for them. The fact that GW produced the molds before the WotR game was designed for many of these models tells me that this was not the plan, also.

You'd never produce a crappy product to make another product look better unless the sales you expect to drive with it would exceed the cost of production of the poor product. However, given that most people will build armies to a given point value, this seems unlikely... they are going to have 1,000 points, 2,000 points, whatever. The question is what goes in it.

It's not like intentionally crippling models makes people buy larger armies. Conversely, it does hurt your brand by making people think your game designers are idiots if you don't explicitly state you are including things for the sake of completeness but without intending them to be competitive (such as in Blood Bowl, where the joke teams are clearly spelled out).

Lord Inquisitor
06-05-2010, 15:45
Is there any possibility that the design team are simply tasked with making balanced systems and due to closed playtesting/time constraints simply make mistakes?

Writing rules specifically to make certain units profitable is something GW are often accused of, but I rarely see evidence for this. Indeed, occasionally you see new big release units that have such appalling rules to make them unusable. Equally, while new armies are usually made more competetive and brought up to speed, there appears to be no evidence that there is a big "codex creep" design to make the latest army the most desirable purely from a rules power standpoint.

Ultimately any deviation in the design team to do something other than create a balanced system is going to lead to customer dissatisfaction in the long run. Now, of course, imbalances in the systems or bad FAQs are another matter, but this should be approached on the principle that this is simply inferior product support rather than trying to suggest that rules should be written to sell specific models directly.

Chaos and Evil
06-05-2010, 16:24
Ultimately any deviation in the design team to do something other than create a balanced system is going to lead to customer dissatisfaction in the long run.
The ongoing success of Apocalypse would tend to disprove that statement.

Ozorik
06-05-2010, 17:06
Is there any possibility that the design team are simply tasked with making balanced systems and due to closed playtesting/time constraints simply make mistakes?

Thats a very strong possiblity but it doesn't actually change anything. The odd mistake is fine but to allow these mistakes to last for years without correction or to continue making similar mistakes in other rules sets is a clear indication that there are deep seated management and/or QC problems within GW.

Reinholt is correct in that poorly designed rules and game balance will, almost inevitably, adversely affect sales or result in stock not being sold.

Lord Inquisitor
06-05-2010, 17:38
The ongoing success of Apocalypse would tend to disprove that statement.
Meh, Apocalypse still uses points values. If Warhound scout titans were 100 points each, that would spoil any game they were used in. Now Inquisitor does very well with no points values at all, but that's not really something that can be very well applied to normal 40K play.

It's still beside the point somewhat - engineering overpowered units to sell more models would undoubtably have a negative effect in the long run, even on Apocalypse.


Reinholt is correct in that poorly designed rules and game balance will, almost inevitably, adversely affect sales or result in stock not being sold.
Maybe I was misinterpreting his point, certainly I agree with that but suggesting that rules be written from a sales perspective seems counterproductive.

Reinholt
06-05-2010, 18:16
Maybe I was misinterpreting his point, certainly I agree with that but suggesting that rules be written from a sales perspective seems counterproductive.

I am not suggesting they write the rules to sell specific models. I am, however, suggesting that they not write rules which actively damage sales.

I think those are two very different things - you don't have to push product, nor should you, with your rules. Don't create uber-units that everyone must have (and coincidentally are very expensive) in obvious ploys for cash.

However, the reverse of that is not writing rules where certain units are garbage. You don't want people having bought stuff and then finding out they wasted money, nor do you want to be producing things that are pointless in the game. The rules should facilitate the fair purchase of all models, and to that extent, should have sales in mind.

Wintertooth
06-05-2010, 18:19
http://warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=9350

Top Warhammer sellers from 2005 there. Ogre Kingdoms, Chaos Warriors, Dark Elf Warriors. All considered pretty much worthless for competitive play at the time. Orcs and Goblins the second most popular Warhammer army. Never been rated competitively. High Elves and Dark Elves (so uncompetitive they revised the book) above the then-popular Skaven SAD and Bretonnian flying circuses.

GW's audience either doesn't recognize, or doesn't care, about competitive units. LOTR players probably least of all. The tournament scene is almost non-existent. If they're overpowering stuff to sell it, it appears to have backfired catastrophically.

yabbadabba
06-05-2010, 22:59
Big question is why have they done this - there will be a reason.

DeeKay
07-05-2010, 02:32
Personally, I do suspect that something along these lines is going on at GW, perhaps even intentionally.

Why, you ask? Take for example, the Eldar Shining Spears. In 3rd Ed, they were too expensive and would do too little damage to make themselves worthwhile in a 40k game. Come the release of the 4th Ed Eldar book and their points cost dropped dramatically and their special rules and equipment made them perfect for the 4th Ed metagame (at least where I am). No GT Eldar army was without them or Harlequins, which are now virtually never seen.

I suppose you can say the same about the 4th Ed and current Nids. Nidzilla was rather powerful in 4th and come the new book, come a completely new way to play if you wanted to play competitively, complete with the new models you needed to do so.

Basically, IMO it boils down to GW writing dud rules in order to maximise profit in the long run. Units that are currently useless will probably find themselves in every competitive list when a new codex or a new edition is released, resulting in more units sold over as longer period of time by people who stay in the GW product range (I simply refuse to refer to it as the GW hobby, simply because others are ignorant of the alternatives out there!)

With regards,
Dan.

Ozorik
07-05-2010, 07:06
Big question is why have they done this - there will be a reason.

The reason, if it isn't simple incompetence, must be extremely subtle. I can see no advantage in deliberately creating unbalanced games, from any perspective.

Shifting kits is a poor reason given the extent of GW's product lines and the relative scarcity of 'broken' units. The most unbalanced unit currently in warhammer are arguably flamers which are metal. In fact the deamon army is interesting from this perspective in that only 2 units in the entire army as plastics and these units (bloodletters and deamonettes) are reasonably priced for their abilities.

yabbadabba
07-05-2010, 07:23
If it is down to making a or b unit over competitive to increase sales then all that will change with 8ed WFB. If even some of the rumours are true then there is a paradigm shift in games design and ethos at GW and uber-competitiveness is out, thematic and campaign based gaming is in.
The rules have to shift the models, and we can see that in things like the LR Squadron options in the IG codex, Stormtroopers, etc. That a faction of GW's alledgedly playing public play their games with a different approach to the Design Studio is well known, so to put down to incompetance or pure financial needs (considering this was started about ES in LotR was it not?) is a very blinkered approach.

ashc
07-05-2010, 10:40
As I have stated before, you would think it in GWs best interests to be able to write rules for models that make people want to buy the whole range, and not just the latest power units. As Reinholt has said, it really makes no sense.

Cases in point being the likes of Carnifexes for Tyranids and Scouts for space marines. I can't imagine many of those are flying off the shelves these days.

radical ed
07-05-2010, 11:36
I think its important to look at who buys GW models. The arguement that rubbish rules should equal rubbish sales, and in turn why even bother making them, only works if everyone that buys GW models is there to ensure there army is a streamlined winning machine. If your into the tournament scene, or competitive play, then the "less well balanced" models wont feature. But if your into the narritive of the game, and building themed and/or fluffy armies, these "rubbish" models will feature in your armys. Hell some people dont even play the game, they just paint and model!

I suspect that the vast majority of GW customers dont play in tournements, or compititivly, so will buy what looks good. Remember, at the end of the day, GW make the best toy soldiers in the world!

Ozorik
07-05-2010, 13:28
Remember, at the end of the day, GW make the best toy soldiers in the world!

In your opinion.


so to put down to incompetance or pure financial needs (considering this was started about ES in LotR was it not?) is a very blinkered approach.

Why is it blinkered to assume that GW's terrible record for game balance is down to anything other than incompetence? Its either that or some Machiavellian scheme.

yabbadabba
07-05-2010, 14:25
Why is it blinkered to assume that GW's terrible record for game balance is down to anything other than incompetence? Its either that or some Machiavellian scheme. Because explanations from the games design team, decisions on FAQs, actually talking to one or two leads me to believe that they will continue to make decisions based on their design ethos and not on whatever other people decide to read into the game. To suggest that the design team deliberately set out to be incompetant is laughable.

Still doesn't stop anyone from buying a different product, house ruling or waiting for FAQ's.

Ozorik
07-05-2010, 14:38
To suggest that the design team deliberately set out to be incompetant is laughable.

I wasn't suggesting that they deliberately set out to be incompetent. Aside from being an oxymoron there is no logical reason that anyone would do this.

A friendly and enjoyable gaming environment is a worthy aim but producing substandard, ill thought out and badly tested rules is a very strange way to go about producing one. If you don't have a gaming group which is able to adapt the rules (or mature enough to not take advantage of flaws) so that you can play by the spirit of the game then a friendly and enjoyable gaming experience is a rarity.

mrtn
07-05-2010, 14:44
Basically, IMO it boils down to GW writing dud rules in order to maximise profit in the long run. Units that are currently useless will probably find themselves in every competitive list when a new codex or a new edition is released, resulting in more units sold over as longer period of time by people who stay in the GW product range (I simply refuse to refer to it as the GW hobby, simply because others are ignorant of the alternatives out there!)I see arguments like these often, but I've never had the impression that it's true.
There are loads of units with bad rules that gets redone in plastic, with new just as bad rules. Just look at the poor bestigors, they haven't been competitive for ten years (or even ever?), but their models get better and better.
The stormvermin got brilliant new models, but rules-wise they're still so-so.

Reinholt
07-05-2010, 17:03
Because explanations from the games design team, decisions on FAQs, actually talking to one or two leads me to believe that they will continue to make decisions based on their design ethos and not on whatever other people decide to read into the game. To suggest that the design team deliberately set out to be incompetant is laughable.

Still doesn't stop anyone from buying a different product, house ruling or waiting for FAQ's.

From a shareholder's perspective, this is exactly the problem! I do want GW to stop providing incentives to go buy from other companies!

Here is the issue: Let's assume we have two groups of players, those who play for thematic, fluff-based reasons and appearance, and those who play for competitiveness and want balance.

Now, if you produce cool looking models and games with interesting backgrounds, you get the first group. If you produce balanced games that are streamlined and play well, you get the second group.

This tells me you should produce a streamlined, balanced game that plays well with cool looking models and interesting backgrounds. The two things here are not mutually exclusive. Worrying about balance and fixing the problems with it will not drive away the first group.

That's my fundamental problem with GW. They are <expletive deleted>ing it up for no good reason; it's not like "hey, these people in the theme and cool models group will quit if we don't make crappy and unbalanced rules that are barely understandable in English" is a viable counter-argument here. The cost of producing good rules is also quite low. Contrary to the protestations of game designers at GW, it's dirt cheap to hire technical writers and get things organized. It smacks of laziness and arrogance not to do so, which is why I threw out "incompetent". Because that's precisely what it is - I have never found it pays to avoid calling a spade a spade when it comes to evaluating a business.

So if GW wants to understand why customer retention is falling, and why sales volume and player base is eroding, things like this would be a good place to start, as the strategy they are currently using indicates they'd lose a decent portion of their gamers with even some basic analysis.

lanrak
08-05-2010, 21:05
Hi Reinholt.
Although I agree totaly that the poor quality of the rules writing at GW towers is having a detrimental effect.

Its appears to be a disjiont in perspective and priority at GW plc.

Game developers strive to write rule sets with clarity brevity and wit.;)
Simple rules with involving and complex gameplay is the target.

Most develop the game system first, then add the models along with the rest of the asthetic conciderations at a later date.
(Many game devlopers use paper cut outs -outline scenery etc so the asthetics DOES NOT influence the rules decisions.)

However GW are a '...Minatures company first and foremost...'
The beleif of the GW senior managment may be that thier target audience is that heavily influenced by the asthetic , that the rules sets are '...just the iceing on the cake...'

If they belive that the rules add to sales slightly , then they get the bare minimum resources to keep them in operation.Cycle the rules army-codex releases to inspire the new players to buy new armies.

Remember GW plc appears to be operating a 'churn and burn ' policy of new customers.NOT attempting steady long term growth with retension of existing customers , but grabbing short term profit at the expence of long term growth.

GW remind me of Captain Red Beard in Black Adder II.
' Maratime opinion is divided on the subject of taking a crew along, everyone else things its absolutly necisary, I dont.'

Every other games company belives the quality of the rules is of paramount importance.Great rule sets grow the customer base by retaining AND drawing in new customers.

GW plc belive thier customers will just drink the kooolaid and '...not worry about the rules too much...':rolleyes:

Gamers belive the rule set is of the highest importance.

GW game devs play for 'fun,' and belive the rules are '...not that important...'

GW corperate think they are '...in the buisness of selling toy soldier to kiddies...'

Its all going to end in tears ....isnt it?:evilgrin:

Tae
08-05-2010, 21:55
I cannot understand the GW practice of creating rules that discourage the purchase of their models.


Neither can I, which is why when I saw the model (and cost) of the new Tyranid Pyrovore model I was utterly shocked at its new rules.

With the exception of fluff based lists I simply cannot see why anyone would ever take one. It has a horribly short range, a combat upgrade (power weapon) but only 1 attack to use it, is prone to exploding - but not consistantly to even make it a good suicide unit and is fighting for a space within the Elite section of the army which, with the exception of the Pyrovore itself, is filled with units that serve a role and will perform well in virtually any Tyranid army.

Honestly, it just absolutely beggars belief how the rules for the Pyrovore slipped through. I know they do play-testing but honestly, it's examples like this that make GW look as if it doesn't actually play its own games.

DeeKay
09-05-2010, 01:14
Come 6th Ed, I wouldn't be too surprised if every Tyranid army had at least one Pyrovore to make the list competitive. The rules for the Pyrovore will be changed to make it incredibly good (if not completely broken) and existing Nid players will want to buy the Pyrovore en masse if my theory is right. I know I've seen this sort of thing happen before at GW.

That appears to be GW's way of trying to retain gamers whilst making them fork out as much cash as possible each rules set. Make some rules really good then at the next opportunity change them so the old lists are no longer competitive and the players have to buy more models.

With regards,
Dan.

Lord Inquisitor
09-05-2010, 03:19
[color="Orange"]I am not suggesting they write the rules to sell specific models. I am, however, suggesting that they not write rules which actively damage sales.
Fair enough, I misunderstood. However, phrasing it as "more-balanced rules = better sales" would be better than "underpowered rules = less sales" might be better.


I see arguments like these often, but I've never had the impression that it's true.
There are loads of units with bad rules that gets redone in plastic, with new just as bad rules. Just look at the poor bestigors, they haven't been competitive for ten years (or even ever?), but their models get better and better.
The stormvermin got brilliant new models, but rules-wise they're still so-so.
Or, in 40K, the Possessed and Chaos Spawn formed the biggest two kits released with the most recent CSM codex - yet the former turned out to be underpowered and the latter positively unusable.


Come 6th Ed, I wouldn't be too surprised if every Tyranid army had at least one Pyrovore to make the list competitive. The rules for the Pyrovore will be changed to make it incredibly good (if not completely broken) and existing Nid players will want to buy the Pyrovore en masse if my theory is right. I know I've seen this sort of thing happen before at GW.

That appears to be GW's way of trying to retain gamers whilst making them fork out as much cash as possible each rules set. Make some rules really good then at the next opportunity change them so the old lists are no longer competitive and the players have to buy more models.
It's not very consistent. I don't believe this is the case. Things like the Chaos Dreadnought got worse. Shining Spears I thought was an odd example (never seen them on the tabletop before or after the current 'dex!). Lictors went from bad to worse as well.

Personally I think it's simply a case that a unit that's woefully underpowered is often looked at for a big improvement, rather than a small tweak, and upgunning a unit can often result in doing too good a job and with insufficient playtesting results in an overpowered unit.

Usually I think incompetence or lack of playtesting is the only explanation necessary ("never ascribe to malice" and all that). Look at the Lash of Submission, obviously too good for the points, to the degree that tournament players base their entire list on the possibility (or certainty) that they'll face an opponent with this power. When the Daemon codex rolled around, they acquired a similar power, but much reduced in effectiveness and far more balanced - clearly the designer learnt from the lesson of the Lash. Did they make the Lash to sell Daemon Princes? Or did they simply not realise just how stonkingly powerful Lash would be? The latter is much more likely otherwise why not make Pavane as powerful to sell Keepers? It was compounded by a FAQ that took the very most powerful interpretation of Lash.

Then again, is it really a major issue? While it did change the metagame, everyone learnt to deal with it. Better rules and more thought-out FAQs would certainly make the game more enjoyable ... but did the Lash really hurt sales?

Reinholt
09-05-2010, 05:22
I doubt the lash rules hurt sales, but if you want some rules that did hurt sales:

Sisters Repentia. Chaos Spawn. Possessed. Eldar Storm Guardians. Pyrovore. Swooping Hawks.

There's a few. This is my issue; I agree that everyone makes balance mistakes, and that the games are not perfectly balanced. Great. But when you have things that are obviously underpowered and do not fix them for years on end, it harms your sales of those lines. Why did you even make models for them? Why didn't you catch this stuff in playtesting or quality control processes?

This is my objection here.

Darnok
09-05-2010, 10:17
Chaos Spawn. Possessed.

I can't tell about other examples, but I got loads of these. Not for the rules, but for the excellent models. My point being: cool models sell, no matter the rules.

And to be honest, I think the amount of people who care for (competetively) balanced rules - i.e. the tournament crowd - is just too small for GW to care about. In my opinion the vast majority of people care about good looking models. And I never felt that "bad" rules did hamper this.

Grimstonefire
09-05-2010, 10:40
I can't tell about other examples, but I got loads of these. Not for the rules, but for the excellent models. My point being: cool models sell, no matter the rules.

And to be honest, I think the amount of people who care for (competetively) balanced rules - i.e. the tournament crowd - is just too small for GW to care about. In my opinion the vast majority of people care about good looking models. And I never felt that "bad" rules did hamper this.

I'm inclined to agree with Darnok.

The point is that GW will continue releasing models for all sorts of units, and I for one would rather they released them in waves than wait for them to update the book.

Releasing new models specifically for an update, where the rules turn out to be duds obviously isn't great, but at the same time, the list as a whole and the other models should be enough for people to want to play them.

At the end of the day, people can always buy models for other units or convert their own if they don't like the aesthetics of the GW releases.

Designing books with obviously flawed or underpowered units to me seems simply to be bad writing/playtesting.

DeeKay
09-05-2010, 20:24
It's not very consistent. I don't believe this is the case. Things like the Chaos Dreadnought got worse. Shining Spears I thought was an odd example (never seen them on the tabletop before or after the current 'dex!). Lictors went from bad to worse as well.

Personally I think it's simply a case that a unit that's woefully underpowered is often looked at for a big improvement, rather than a small tweak, and upgunning a unit can often result in doing too good a job and with insufficient playtesting results in an overpowered unit. [/QUOTE]

This, in a roundabout kinda way, proves my point. Dreadnoughts in the 3.5 list were pretty good, almost to the point where little if anything else in the HS section was worth taking (remember Obliterators were 0-1 and Elites). Change it about even a little and the unit becomes near useless and people need to overhaul their army to fill the 150-odd point gap in their lists. Same goes for units that were initially bad then got great. Means people have to add to their collections either way, meaning more money for GW.

Your second point is probably right, and it is simply a case of incredibly poor playtesting, but I can't help but think there is a fiscal agenda behind the rules sets. I'm a cynical git like that!

With regards,
Dan.

Syns
11-05-2010, 01:14
I cannot understand the GW practice of creating rules that discourage the purchase of their models.


Reinholt could you give some specifics? It seems to me that there may be a few specific cases of models / rules that you are refering to.

I kind of see it the other way around. With each new book you can clearly see what new unit is going to be the new power house of the army that most players don't own the models for.

I agree that there are two different player types, tournament and fluff players. Fluff players don't care what happens to the rules they are gonna play the units for the backround more than the table top abilities. Where as the tournament players are going to buy the latest and greatest units to win.

Regretfully in my experience tournament players spend more money than fluff players. With every new book the tournament players build a new army based on the new heavy hitter units.

ashc
11-05-2010, 09:06
There is another kind of player, the one who plays for background but still likes to think they have a good solid ruleset with plenty of options within their codex. Bad rules hits those people too.

lanrak
14-05-2010, 13:01
Hi all.
ALL 'gamers' want well defined rules set , that deliver the most game play with the minimum fuss.;)

'Collectors' that occasionaly give thier artwork an airing by pushing them around a table and throwing some dice, may NOT care about the rules that much.

GW belives its customers are primarily 'collectors' and give a minimum amount of resources to actual game development.

Actual 'gamers' tend to give up on GW after a short period of time, and move to companies that engage with -support gamers more than GW do.

This coupled with GWs pricing strategy , is ensuring an ever decreasing customer base -increseing prices.

GW could be a sucessful minatures company.
By JUST selling minatures in the most cost effective way.(Direct online only.)

GW could be a sucessful games company, (with associated minatures).
By developing rule sets focused on great game play ,to generate and keep gamers interest.

But using game development as a blunt marketing tool , driven by assumptions of a fictional demogrhaphic , just makes over priced product that fails to keep gamers interest .

TTFN
Lanrak.

frozenwastes
17-05-2010, 16:41
I cannot understand the GW practice of creating rules that discourage the purchase of their models.


It's not just in matters of rules imbalances either. There are entire units that they've decided not to sell people.

The no mixing of Chaos. Daemons, mortals and beasts in fantasy and daemons and marines in 40k. They purposely gave up any and all opportunity to cross sell chaos players. New Daemons are being released this summer. Guess who's not going to be buying them for their Chaos Space Marine armies.

Space Wolves losing the Leman Russ variant. How many of the new Leman Russ kit are they going to sell to Space Wolf players because of that move? Zero.

It's not just that there's bad rules and bad units that might impact the sales of their models, but they are actively limiting the opportunity for sales by removing things from lists altogether.

yabbadabba
17-05-2010, 17:09
It's not just in matters of rules imbalances either. There are entire units that they've decided not to sell people.
The no mixing of Chaos. Daemons, mortals and beasts in fantasy and daemons and marines in 40k. They purposely gave up any and all opportunity to cross sell chaos players. New Daemons are being released this summer. Guess who's not going to be buying them for their Chaos Space Marine armies.
Space Wolves losing the Leman Russ variant. How many of the new Leman Russ kit are they going to sell to Space Wolf players because of that move? Zero.
It's not just that there's bad rules and bad units that might impact the sales of their models, but they are actively limiting the opportunity for sales by removing things from lists altogether. Its a good point but unfortunately GW's experience has lead them to believe they need to ring fence each individual but of IP in order to keep closer creative control over licencing. This apparently originally stemmed from their negotiations over the LotR franchise. I am sure GW would love to cross pollenate if they could.
Out of interest, how many other companies have opportunities for cross pollenation? Not many I reckon.

frozenwastes
17-05-2010, 18:07
Its a good point but unfortunately GW's experience has lead them to believe they need to ring fence each individual but of IP in order to keep closer creative control over licencing. This apparently originally stemmed from their negotiations over the LotR franchise. I am sure GW would love to cross pollenate if they could.
Out of interest, how many other companies have opportunities for cross pollenation? Not many I reckon.

Well GW was doing it. Near the end of 3rd ed, there were lots of opportunities to take mixed 40k armies. You could take deathwatch marines, cypher and the fallen, sisters of battle, inquisitors, kroot mercs, etc.,. The Eye of Terror codex had that list for traitor guard types.

Privateer Press has a full faction in Warmachine that is available to the other factions in their game-- Mercenaries. They've made the occasional "we're not going to sell people this model" move like GW though.

If it was a matter of keeping each army as a discrete IP unit, then they can still make the sales through things like apocalypse. They should release a smaller game version of apocalypse in their Battlemissions type book format. One where you have a lot more freedom in what you can take and takes itself a lot less seriously. They should just start ignoring the force org chart and take some cross codex choices in White Dwarf battle reports. And the most they should say about it is "I decided it would be cool for some of the Ultramarines to show up to help my gaurdsmen, so I took two tactical squads in my Cadian army." Start setting the tone that buying and playing with the models you want is okay, even if they're not in your codex. GW has largely abandoned the "TOURNAMENT LEGAL!!" approach of the past, so why not fully embrace it and use it to sell more models?

yabbadabba
17-05-2010, 18:48
Well GW was doing it. Near the end of 3rd ed, there were lots of opportunities to take mixed 40k armies. You could take deathwatch marines, cypher and the fallen, sisters of battle, inquisitors, kroot mercs, etc.,. The Eye of Terror codex had that list for traitor guard types. They were doing it well before then mate.


Privateer Press has a full faction in Warmachine that is available to the other factions in their game-- Mercenaries. They've made the occasional "we're not going to sell people this model" move like GW though. Hmm, this doesn't really the same because you have a separate army list allying with all the others, rather than say, for instance, Khador taking a Menoth unit.


If it was a matter of keeping each army as a discrete IP unit, then they can still make the sales through things like apocalypse. They should release a smaller game version of apocalypse in their Battlemissions type book format. One where you have a lot more freedom in what you can take and takes itself a lot less seriously. They should just start ignoring the force org chart and take some cross codex choices in White Dwarf battle reports. And the most they should say about it is "I decided it would be cool for some of the Ultramarines to show up to help my gaurdsmen, so I took two tactical squads in my Cadian army." Start setting the tone that buying and playing with the models you want is okay, even if they're not in your codex. GW has largely abandoned the "TOURNAMENT LEGAL!!" approach of the past, so why not fully embrace it and use it to sell more models? Actually, I think you have it the wrong way around. There is nothing stopping players doing whatever they want with their armies including allying, GW have always encouraged it. Its the players that have gone over the top with a desperate fanaticism to the text. This slavish devotion to a tournament approach to gaming, while not discouraged by GW, has come from the community. Apocalypse is just a way to remind people that this is their game and they can play it how they want. While GW cannot directly endorse this in print by making "official" alliances, players should feel comfortable enough to do it themselves.

frozenwastes
17-05-2010, 19:14
They were doing it well before then mate.

Well yeah, 2nd edition had explicit ally rules and 1st had "take whatever you want'.


Hmm, this doesn't really the same because you have a separate army list allying with all the others, rather than say, for instance, Khador taking a Menoth unit.

Well, except they are. Mercs are a full faction. But other than that, Privateer doesn't do much for cross pollination. Not any more than GW anyway.


Actually, I think you have it the wrong way around. There is nothing stopping players doing whatever they want with their armies including allying, GW have always encouraged it.

They've done a really **** poor job of encouraging it then. There's no mention in any of the rulebooks or codexes outside of apocalypse that encourages it. The codex tells you to obey the force org chart. There's "how to build an army" sections in every codex that tell you to take stuff from just that codex.


Its the players that have gone over the top with a desperate fanaticism to the text. This slavish devotion to a tournament approach to gaming, while not discouraged by GW, has come from the community.

I think the tone of the community was set that way during the Andy Chambers "Chapter Approved" and "Official/not-official/partly official" years. Since then GW has taken some steps to undo the damage, but they're still making stupid decisions that shrink the potential pool of customers for a given product.


Apocalypse is just a way to remind people that this is their game and they can play it how they want. While GW cannot directly endorse this in print by making "official" alliances, players should feel comfortable enough to do it themselves.

Why not? "GW cannot directly endorse this" is BS. Of course they can. All it takes is a white dwarf article, a PDF or a chapter in the next rulebook telling you how allies work. Then when a new model gets released (like say the Leman Russ kit) they can create a simple set of upsell instructions for the local red shirts to try to get a space wolf player to add one to their purchase. When they redo the Dark Eldar, they can upsell either chaos players on hiring some pirates or Eldar players on hiring some less corrupt corsairs. It even creates cross selling upsell opportunities for other codexes.

If their IP is so hard to protect that them mixing models of their own product lines challenges it then it's pretty much worthlessly indefensible.

yabbadabba
17-05-2010, 19:42
They've done a really **** poor job of encouraging it then. There's no mention in any of the rulebooks or codexes outside of apocalypse that encourages it. The codex tells you to obey the force org chart. There's "how to build an army" sections in every codex that tell you to take stuff from just that codex. GW sees their rulebooks as a start to somebody's hobby journey - not the be all and end all. You can see this in the BRB where they encourage you to expand on their work. My take is this is one area where GW have reacted to customer feedback - the wrong stuff in my opinion - and have created product that has spoonfed the customer. If the rumours of WFB are correct we could be seeing a partial shift away from this. Again I lay the blame in part at the customers' door, but also at GW's for not saying "get on with it" enough.


I think the tone of the community was set that way during the Andy Chambers "Chapter Approved" and "Official/not-official/partly official" years. Since then GW has taken some steps to undo the damage, but they're still making stupid decisions that shrink the potential pool of customers for a given product. Something that was fun and a way of introducing new things to the universes, or clarifying more grey areas of the universes suddenly became some misinterpreted idol built upon a false altar. I never saw Chapter Approved the way you suggest mate; but there again I have always considered my hobby to be mine and not GW's. I also remember Andy Chambers, Jake Thornton and others saying how those Chaoter Approved articles came and bit their **** occasionally.


Why not? "GW cannot directly endorse this" is BS. Of course they can. All it takes is a white dwarf article, a PDF or a chapter in the next rulebook telling you how allies work. Then when a new model gets released (like say the Leman Russ kit) they can create a simple set of upsell instructions for the local red shirts to try to get a space wolf player to add one to their purchase. When they redo the Dark Eldar, they can upsell either chaos players on hiring some pirates or Eldar players on hiring some less corrupt corsairs. It even creates cross selling upsell opportunities for other codexes. GW have done this before - don't you think that if it was viable they would do it again? While I can't reach out and put my hands on the exact reasons, there is nothing in your example which hasn't been done before. This isn't about "they should do it" or even "why don't they do it?" but "why don't I do it?". My question is why you need GW to do this for you? If it is for any kind of "officialdom" don't you think that GW might be better off sorting out all the other models, army books et al that need updating, and leave you and your playing group to interpret it how you feel?


If their IP is so hard to protect that them mixing models of their own product lines challenges it then it's pretty much worthlessly indefensible. Its not as simple as that. Its not just about protecting IP, but defining it and exploiting it. I had someone explain it to me an age ago, and I never bothered to remember the exact details as a) it made sense and b) it didn't affect me.

Let GW worry about their sales. You should focus on getting the best out of your hobby for your own purposes.

frozenwastes
17-05-2010, 21:22
My question is why you need GW to do this for you? If it is for any kind of "officialdom" don't you think that GW might be better off sorting out all the other models, army books et al that need updating, and leave you and your playing group to interpret it how you feel?

I don't. No one "needs" it. But that's off topic for this thread. This thread is about how GW's rules decisions (negatively) impact their sales because of illogical decisions and game balance failures.


Let GW worry about their sales. You should focus on getting the best out of your hobby for your own purposes.

Umm. I was just staying on topic for this thread. If you don't *like* the topic of the thread, you can browse away to another one.

As for GW's sales, I don't worry about it per se, but it's been frustrating year after year seeing more of the same from GW. I used to have a lot of fun with their stuff and there were tons of local players, monthly mini-conventions, and a thriving 40k/WFB community. That's all gone now. It's easier for me to find Warmachine opponents and the biggest miniature wargaming clubs don't play 40k or WFB much at all.

I'm alright with that though, as I see GW's rules as basically crap. It's just sad that they keep shooting themselves in the foot and make decisions that are contrary to their own interests. I started playing miniatures with GW during the mid 90s and it's just been sort of disappointing to watch GW thrash about like it has.

spaint2k
18-05-2010, 07:10
To suggest that the design team deliberately set out to be incompetant is laughable.


Being incompetent is not quite the same as "setting out" to be incompetent, which would technically require some kind of competence in the first place.

I'm inclined to call mistakes (like for example the Ork summary sheet not matching the rules in the body of the codex) incompetence. When mistakes like this come up again and again, it begs the question of why GW doesn't hire a proofreader who can do a competent job.

Similarly, sloppily-written rules and contradictory FAQ updates beg the question of why doesn't GW hire a technical writer who can do the job competently.



Let GW worry about their sales. You should focus on getting the best out of your hobby for your own purposes.

Yabbadabba, I think you need to step back from the thread and refocus for a minute. frozenwastes makes some really good points that I don't think you necessarily disagree with. Your responses to him really come across as arguing for the sake of it. What, for example, would be WRONG with a White Dwarf battle report that "sets an example" of mixing and matching for the sake of the background rather than following the rules?

Cheers,
Steve

Brother Loki
18-05-2010, 08:44
Every time there's a WD report that doesn't follow the rules or army lists exactly, howls of protest erupt from the community complaining that GW are stupid for not knowing how to play their own game.

yabbadabba
18-05-2010, 09:07
Being incompetent is not quite the same as "setting out" to be incompetent, which would technically require some kind of competence in the first place.

I'm inclined to call mistakes (like for example the Ork summary sheet not matching the rules in the body of the codex) incompetence. When mistakes like this come up again and again, it begs the question of why GW doesn't hire a proofreader who can do a competent job.

Similarly, sloppily-written rules and contradictory FAQ updates beg the question of why doesn't GW hire a technical writer who can do the job competently. Oh I agree there is some awful examples of quality control, especially in the written material. But I challenge those who have said that it is a deliberate incompetence, planned with an outcome, as opposed to sheer unprofessionalism in quality control ;).


Yabbadabba, I think you need to step back from the thread and refocus for a minute. frozenwastes makes some really good points that I don't think you necessarily disagree with. True Steve and in part apologies to frozenwastes - rereading my post I realise that I had written it after having to wade through mountains of negative tripe in other posts, but I will support the essence of my points thus:


Your responses to him really come across as arguing for the sake of it. What, for example, would be WRONG with a White Dwarf battle report that "sets an example" of mixing and matching for the sake of the background rather than following the rules?Nothing, except:


Every time there's a WD report that doesn't follow the rules or army lists exactly, howls of protest erupt from the community complaining that GW are stupid for not knowing how to play their own game.

Steve there are people on here who have issues with GW going 3 points over a points limit in a battle report. There are people who believe that if GW hasn't written it, then it doesn't exist (contrary to GW's own guidelines), that sometimes the game will throw up a situation not covered by the rules and that it is perfectly ok to roll a dice to resolve it, that the only scenarios to play are the ones "officially endorsed" by GW. I'd love to see an Imperial Guard army with a unit of Blood Axe Kommandoes as mercenaries, or an Eldar army using a unit of Eldar Pirates using the Dark Eldar models and rules in WD and I think it would provide a massive shot in the arm for the hobby.

Now apparently there are good legal reasons why GW can't do that, but I can't remember them in detail and I certainly am not even vaguely cognizent with IP law. However, if we take GW's figure of 750 000 active GW gamers in the world, and we assume that 1% of those have issues dealing with such creativity, and that 1% of those bother to contact GW about it - thats 75 communications, per piece of creativity outside of the IP. Thats 75 people asking if it is now official, that it was illegal, can they do it at a tournament, that the IG wasn't the 8th Cadian as the colour scheme quite obviously made it the 110th Cadian - see where I am going? GW has done all this cross promotion before, so there has to be a reason for them not doing it, as opposed to it being an original marketing idea.

Whats wrong with saying "GW has to do this, but at home or in your club you can do whatever you want" and in this I think GW can make a bigger noise. This is in part what I think Warseer should emphasise so much more. Better? ;):D

Tarax
18-05-2010, 09:45
Every time there's a WD report that doesn't follow the rules or army lists exactly, howls of protest erupt from the community complaining that GW are stupid for not knowing how to play their own game.


Steve there are people on here who have issues with GW going 3 points over a points limit in a battle report. There are people who believe that if GW hasn't written it, then it doesn't exist (contrary to GW's own guidelines), that sometimes the game will throw up a situation not covered by the rules and that it is perfectly ok to roll a dice to resolve it, that the only scenarios to play are the ones "officially endorsed" by GW. I'd love to see an Imperial Guard army with a unit of Blood Axe Kommandoes as mercenaries, or an Eldar army using a unit of Eldar Pirates using the Dark Eldar models and rules in WD and I think it would provide a massive shot in the arm for the hobby.

There is a difference between playing and getting the rules wrong AND playing with a different scenario or other limitations. When in a BR an army goes 2 or 3 points over the point-limit, then that's just wrong. If they say that something causes instant death, but according to the rules it doesn't, then that's just wrong. If they play a scenario where they say beforehand that they combine 2 armies and use some alternative set-up rules, then that's the freedom the give themselves (and effectively say to players: This is how you can play too!).

yabbadabba
18-05-2010, 10:03
There is a difference between playing and getting the rules wrong AND playing with a different scenario or other limitations. If they say that something causes instant death, but according to the rules it doesn't, then that's just wrong. If they play a scenario where they say beforehand that they combine 2 armies and use some alternative set-up rules, then that's the freedom the give themselves (and effectively say to players: This is how you can play too!). Agreed.


When in a BR an army goes 2 or 3 points over the point-limit, then that's just wrong. Disagree, unless they said they were playing under strict tournament conditions. Otherwise its not wrong, just different. Normally, they write that the opponent agrees to the discrepancy but I can see that getting dropped in the editorial process as not essential.

As to editorial standards mate, did you miss this bit :D

Oh I agree there is some awful examples of quality control, especially in the written material. But I challenge those who have said that it is a deliberate incompetence, planned with an outcome, as opposed to sheer unprofessionalism in quality control ;).

frozenwastes
18-05-2010, 18:32
I recall Jervis saying something about how the majority of GW's customers don't actually play their games in any regular or measurable way. That their core market are "craft hobbyists" who like the idea of the game, make an army and might play occasionally, maybe. I think a loosening of codex restrictions would make it easier to sell these type of customers a product outside of their normal codex choices.

When these type of customers come into a shop (and according to JJ, they're the majority) there's a chance the latest stuff that's just been released isn't for their army. A very, very good chance as there are so many armies and GW's release schedule is one army at a time with a few releases here and there for other armies than the next big codex release.

Imagine your a redshirt. A guy comes in that you think you've seen before. He buys but doesn't come to the store to play often. There's a new Leman Russ, a new Manticore and a new Fire Prism kit. The guy plays Space Marines. Your chance of upselling him on the new tank release is pretty much zero. But if there was an overall culture of use anything you want, you'd atleast have a chance.

isaac
18-05-2010, 19:24
Well if the Space wolves still had the LR as an option, the new kit would be great for them as it contains the exterminator.

lanrak
19-05-2010, 08:29
Hi all.
Do people agree there is a massive disjiont between what the dev team work towards, what gamers want, and what the corperate managers enforce.

Like most have infered there is a happy synergy between all 3 core desires.Unfortunatley GW corperate dont want to entertain anything other than an out of date buisness plan.:cries:

The dev team want to inspire people to be creative.(Using GW products where possible.)Artistic and asthetic content.

Gamers want straight forward intuitive rules.Maximum game play minimum of fuss.Well defined instructions.

The coprerate managment want to boost turn over and profit.
They see insular marketing and strong brand identitiy (IP) to be the simplest method of operation.
Insulation of the GW Hobby (tm) from the wider TTMG hobby, using GW B&M stores.
'Strict use policy' (only use this GW product for this use,) re-enforced through all communication with the customer to re-enforce GW brand product.

Before GW became a PLC , the company was run by gamers for gamers.
'Here is a starting point go have fun!'

And there was loads of examples of new ideas for games, units,senarios, army composition etc every month in GWs gaming supliment WD.

After GW became a PLC it changed to
'We sell toy soldiers to kiddies.'

And they infer there is only GW product worth bothering with.Re-enforced with GWs minature mag WD.

All the 'strict use policy mentality' is customer feed back to the underlying influence of corperate restrictions on the game development team.(Getting customers to buy 'official GW products only'.)

Look at the work of the dev team mebers free from GW corperate managment, and the difference is quite notable.

IF GW wanted to target a particular demoghraphic, (which is definatley not me BTW.)
They would be better served targeting an actual demoghraphic rather than an assumed one, IMO.

Well defined rules + inspiring background and minatures appeals to far more people than JUST inpiring background and minatures.

TTFN
Lanrak.

yabbadabba
19-05-2010, 08:39
Well defined rules + inspiring background and minatures appeals to far more people than JUST inpiring background and minatures. I agree except GW have proved that wrong for almost 16 years :eek: :D

lanrak
19-05-2010, 11:28
Hi Yabbadabba.
As GW plc has a shrinking customer base, (based on price rises over inflation rate , yet praticaly static turn over.)
All GW plc have 'proved' is they have not alienated enough customers to make them panic, and revise thier short sighted buisness policy yet.:D

Starting off as a multi-million pound multi-national company means it takes a while for incompetant managment to run it into the ground.:evilgrin:

The talented artists at GW towers produce inspiring backgrounds and minatures.This is great!

BUT.
GW corperate belive that thier imaginary target demoghraphic,(spoilt kiddies with rich parents) are influenced enough by just asthetics to relegate rules development to bieng '...the icing on the cake...'

Where as a large proportion of ACTUAL GW customers who play their games want the rules to be the 'cake' , with the asthetics being 'the icing on the cake'...;)

ATM GW plc has traveled too far down the path of short term profit grabbing , at the expence of long term growth to dig themselves out of the rut they are in.IMO.

Of coure the up side to GW plc short sighted buisness plan, is that it makes all the other companies out there look fantastic value for money in comparison...:evilgrin:

Happy gaming,
Lanrak.

Brother Loki
19-05-2010, 14:32
Where as a large proportion of ACTUAL GW customers who play their games want the rules to be the 'cake' , with the asthetics being 'the icing on the cake'...;)


Do you have any evidence for this? I've been a GW customer for almost 25 years and I couldn't give a toss about the rules. I suspect those that do are a minority rather than the majority.

I think I could pretty safely make a bet that GW's turnover exceeds that of all the other miniatures/wargames companies in the world put together. They may not be especially profitable, but their model seems to more accurately reflect what the buying public actually want.

yabbadabba
19-05-2010, 14:41
Hi Yabbadabba.
As GW plc has a shrinking customer base, (based on price rises over inflation rate , yet praticaly static turn over.)
All GW plc have 'proved' is they have not alienated enough customers to make them panic, and revise thier short sighted buisness policy yet.:D Nope, they have proved they can do it right, question is currently are they just taking their existing customers for a ride while switching their focus, or do they have some real idea of what is happening with their customer base, or have they just employed a load of business types who are focussed on the wrong things? Or they even just deliberately heading for a buy out?
If anyone has some real evidence instead of specualtion or emotionally driven opinion I am sure it will go down a storm on here :D


GW corperate belive that thier imaginary target demoghraphic,(spoilt kiddies with rich parents) are influenced enough by just asthetics to relegate rules development to bieng '...the icing on the cake...'

Where as a large proportion of ACTUAL GW customers who play their games want the rules to be the 'cake' , with the asthetics being 'the icing on the cake'...;) Again, that is a very subjective view with no conclusion evidence to back it up, but hey, wargaming politics has been subjective from year dot so there is nothing new there!

A lot of "great ideas" for GW's business have already been tried by the company, so the point isn't why it is a good idea and GW should do it, but why GW had to stop doing it. What I will agree with you on is this Lanrak, if you are right and Jervis and all of GW's strategic management are wrong, then the company will go belly up, and that should start cascading soon.
Your real problem isn't people like you who criticise the rules, or the kids, or the hardcore anal tournament players, but the hobbyists like me who really don't give a **** and just get on with it. If we are in the majority then it is us, not everyone else, which will make GW sink or swim.

frozenwastes
19-05-2010, 18:09
If anyone has some real evidence instead of specualtion or emotionally driven opinion I am sure it will go down a storm on here :D


Go. Look. At. The. Numbers.

GW is obligated by law to do the same financial reporting as any other publically traded company.

You can go back a few years and look at their revenue. Graph it out if you like.

In any given year, their products had an average price per unit. You can use archive.org to look at previous years prices on their website.

Revenue from licensing is often listed as a separate item in their financials, so that's easy to remove. Then take their revenue and divide it by the average price of their products that you calculated from their previous years prices.

Then do the same for each year.

GW's unit sales are shrinking dramatically. The numbers don't lie.

And that's without looking at their revenue in terms of a Pound Stirling index, showing the value of their revenue in a basket of currencies.

It's simply mathematically impossible to raise prices, have the same revenue and not be selling less.

So no, GW have not been doing it successfully for 16 years. They've been doing it unsuccessfully to the point where they've had to slash staff and close stores. They've had to cut their dividend and watch their stock plummet.

yabbadabba
19-05-2010, 18:29
Go. Look. At. The. Numbers. Thats. Not. What. I. Asked. For.


So no, GW have not been doing it successfully for 16 years. They've been doing it unsuccessfully to the point where they've had to slash staff and close stores. They've had to cut their dividend and watch their stock plummet. First - stock plummet? What, from the artificial high of 8? Or that it as slumped as low as 1. Twice? GW are still doing it more than any other company out there, are still surviving, and have a track record of not only doing it well, but turning around poor performance.

But that is not the point that we are talking about, is it? I asked about the decisions behind the strategy, not the symptoms,and how that reflects through GW's products and services. And I asked for actual evidence. Getting back on topic, many of the ideas espoused on here as options to improve sales have been tried and abandoned by GW, question is why? GW is a very different beats from my first experience with it as distributor of Iron Crown Enterprises' Middle Earth Roleplaying Game, and I am curious has to why the direction the board has taken with the company since the post LotR bubble.

Reinholt
19-05-2010, 20:09
Being in business is not the same as being successful. How long did it take GM to go bankrupt?

Yet would anyone have argued they were making top quality cars and were the envy of their industry at any point in the recent past?

GW has been losing customers year over year for several years in a row. This is not a good sign. You can continue this way for quite some time (especially without debt that you have to service), possibly a decade or more. But that doesn't mean you are good business producing a quality return on investment. It just means you're not yet dead, only rotting away.

In this thread, in particular, I'm suggesting they are doing things that are actively increasing the speed of the rot, not decreasing it. Because for all the discussion about rules players vs. non-rules players, it's a false dichotomy. Why not have quality, balanced rules AND cool models? Otherwise, it's like asking if you should build a car with an engine or a car with wheels. I would suggest you might want both.

Thus, the argument on if GW is doing well or not as a company should not be based around "still being in business". I mean, if nothing else, that argument will always work right up until the day where they file for bankruptcy, and then it falls off a cliff and dies horribly.

That's not the right way to evaluate a company.

evilsponge
19-05-2010, 20:19
Bankruptcy isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can often bring about the restructuring necessary to right a sinking ship.

frozenwastes
19-05-2010, 22:01
Thats. Not. What. I. Asked. For.

You're right, it isn't. My bad.


Getting back on topic, many of the ideas espoused on here as options to improve sales have been tried and abandoned by GW, question is why? GW is a very different beats from my first experience with it as distributor of Iron Crown Enterprises' Middle Earth Roleplaying Game, and I am curious has to why the direction the board has taken with the company since the post LotR bubble.

IWell, one that that was tried was that GW didn't always do "flavour of the month" army blitzes for codex releases. When I first got into 40k during the mid 1990s, in a given month there would be releases for 3 or 4 different armies. A new space marine heavy weapon guy, an Eldar exarch, a new ork buggy, that sort of thing.

And it was during this time that GW grew in it's greatest leaps and bounds from a UK based company to an international concern.

There were rules that allowed you to use a lot of different stuff in your armies (unlike the opposite now where there are next to no ally rules). There were games that took less models and were easier to get into. Each model counted for more on the table top.

Some people may deride 2nd ed 40k and 3rd and 4th ed Fantasy as the days of "Hero Hammer" but it was also the years of greats year over year growth GW had ever seen. Only the LOTR cash influx comes close to the growth of being a regional company to a truly international one.

What GW is doing now isn't really working. It hasn't worked for some time. With each passing year they sell less models to people who play their games less and less.

Does GW really need rules that are going to actively hinder purchases? Reduce the points values of troops to require more and more miniatures to the point where the majority of their customers won't be able to play a full game before their expected exit from the hobby?

I recall reading Jervis saying that the majority of GW's customers now no longer regularly or measurably play their games anymore. He called them "craft hobbyists" and declared them the core market.

But is that really what's going on? And if so, why do the do the demo game sales process? To sell people on the idea of not playing and just collecting? Perhaps it's more that a 2000 point army is going to take the average gamer a while to collect and that GW still expects people to no longer be their customer after 18-24 months. The majority of their customers like the idea of playing the game, but the task of getting all the models ready to actually play a full time game is so large that it doesn't get done by the majority of the customers before they quit.

And then GW can tell themselves that the core of their business is the "craft hobbyist" and thus they don't need to spend any effort on making the game good or even accessible. The "craft hobbyists" will get in by the demo game sales process, buy a rulebook/starter, maybe a codex or army book and maybe a unit or two and over the next couple years sort of work on them before they finally quit.

And GW can pat themselves on the back for going after their core market simply by doing more of what they've been doing and raising prices to bring in more money off of each churned "craft hobbyist" who goes through the process without the chance of ever getting enough stuff together to play the game in the size it's designed to be played at.

.

lanrak
20-05-2010, 09:58
Hi again.
Yes, I do get a bit emotional about how GW plc is being managed.Because I actualy care about how something good (GW studio staffs ability to inspire, )has been corrupted into a 'shallow wallet rape excersice' by the corperate managment.:mad:(This is an emotional statment BTW.)

IF....
A/ Jervis statments that GW plcs core demograhpic is the colletor- hobbiest, and the rules are just the icing on the cake.

Then why waste all that money on B&M stores and game development and rules -army lists?

This just means inflated prices for the collector -hobbiests ,so GW are activley pricing out thier core demoghraphic!

Instead of plastic minis being 50p to 1.20 each,(internet only retail,) they are 1.25 to 6 each !

(And if these collector hobbiests are the core demoghrapic, why is the highest volume of sales in the 'rank and file box sets' NOT the larger more detailed characters and creatures?)

B/ If frozenwastes is right, GW plc are just puting a positive spin on thier lack of ability to market thier product effectivley.

Minature only sales online = cost effective solution for marketing to collector-hobbiests.

Well defined quality rules = cost effective solution for marketing to gamers.

Poorly defined counter intuitive rules, that NEED explaining and asthetic aids found in B&M stores are just negatively effecting the marketing to to gamers,(directly) and collector -hobbiests (indirectly.)

To me option B seems most likely ....

As the rules development at GW towers has been negativley effected by corperate managment over the last 16 years or so...

GW reduced thier target demoghraphic from gamers and hobbiest of all ages and ability , to '...11 to 16 year olds...'
As this group was the easiest to please with pure asthetics, and minimum rules development resources.(Aparently :rolleyes:)
Tom Kirby said that GW was now '...in the buisness of selling toy soldier to kiddes...'

So after loosing a large proportion of thier potential customers ,(Specialist Games no longer supported.)

GW corperate spin 'maximising returns of a core product and demoghraphic'.

And as GW plc have reduced the resources available to game development and subjected it to corperate marketing interferance.(They determine the release shedule not the game devs.)

The quality of the game play has dropped that low that even the lead game developer doesnt expect most of GW customer to actualy play the 'game' he is responcible for developing!:eek:

GW corperate managment interferance has affectivley made the 'target end game ' unatainable to the majority of GW customers.

GW corperate spin, '...targeting thier core demoghrahpic of collector-hobbiests...'


I wonder how long it will be before GW s core demoghraphic will be '...children of multimillionares ....':D

I am aware lots of people ARE active hobbiests that are creative and able to take the products that GW sell and change them to meet thier own requirments , and have fun doing so.

However , other companies offer similar products for less money!

GW corperate managment continualy taking the path of least effort ,(put up prices,) can only be sustanined by the 'good will of hobbiests' for a limited period of time.

TTFN
Lanrak.