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View Full Version : Space Marines Sell better- Self fufilling prohecy?



RunepriestRidcully
06-08-2010, 09:31
Basically, as well as there been loads of pointless varients (and I play Space wolves)the is also another thing that means marines sell so well.
They have pretty much all their options (HQ,Elites,Troops,Fast Attack and Heavy support, Including Special Charecters) in store, whilst every other army, even the fantasy and LOTR ones, have a good amount of it as mail order only, and if your like me and arew not good with computers (that is why I prefered the old system, okay and you could order bits as well) you basicallly have don't have many options, whilst Marines there is always Sicarius, Pedro kantor, etc So really its not marines sell well because everyone likes them, but more, parts of the ranges for everyone else can be hard to get a hold of. Anyone else noticed this?

spurker
06-08-2010, 09:45
You have the cause and effect the wrong way around. GW don't stock all the other models because they don't sell very well. Making a model has a cost (designer, manufacturing ot moulds etc) and they have to more than recoup their costs for it to be worth while producing a model. Having a model in store also has a cost, and again, they have to weigh up cost versus profit. They don't have a hidden agenda. If something sold better than space marines, what reason would they have to suppress it and promote marines? It just wouldn't make business sense!

Zweischneid
06-08-2010, 09:56
Yeah.. I think you got it upside down.

GW even only developed games like Rogue Trader and later 40K because back in the 80s, when it was a company doing mainly fantasy stuff, they released a puny little Space Marine mini. It had no rules, no background, no story attached to it. But it was a runaway success almost instantly anyways.

Ever since than, GW has just followed on from there.

Really, just look at other companies out there.

Does Nokia sell more mobile phones than rubber boots (it's original calling) becaue it's pushing them or because people over the last decades happend to be buying rather more mobiles than rubber boots?

Space Marine just sell. Simple fact. GW is trying to push other things. Just look at GW's currently frantic efforts to push WFB 8th edition for example.

And the mail-order argument? Seriously. Have a look at the Forgeworld Website and compare the selection of Space Marine stuff they carry compared to the selection of Eldar/Tau/Ork/Dark Eldar stuff they carry. To me, that looks like GW would have no issue expanding the Space Marine sections in their store even further if they could.

spurker
06-08-2010, 10:53
Also, free delivery on orders over 10 atm, with fast delivery too and mail order really isn't so bad. Besides, in the age of internet shopping, I buy most stuff on line anyway, it has the added bonus of me not needing to deal with parking, other shoppers or pushy sales staff!

Poseidal
06-08-2010, 10:53
What's the breakdown of players in Starcraft?

In that setting, all three races more or less get equal respect. It's not balancedin the same way in 40k.

Do Terrans have a lot more players than Protoss and Zerg?

Zweischneid
06-08-2010, 10:58
What's the breakdown of players in Starcraft?

In that setting, all three races more or less get equal respect. It's not balancedin the same way in 40k.

Do Terrans have a lot more players than Protoss and Zerg?

1.
Yes, Terrans are the most popular in Starcraft. The early teasers and trailers announcing Starcraft II were also all dominated by Marines/a Terran PoV.

2.
I think there is more "switching". You get all 3 forces anyways in the box and there is no cost in simply playing Zerg for a change. You don't need to put another pile of on the table and spend hours upon hours painting.

[edit]

Also, Blizzard kinda made the brilliant move to gave Zergs at least the "face" of an identifiable human character with Kerrigan; who quickly became one of the most popular Blizzard Characters ever. They've tried to replicate it in Warcraft 3 with human heroes falling/turning/shifting to other factions.

Though it is likely heresy to 40K purism, for what it's worth, 'Nid's, Eldar, Tau, Orks, etc.. . might actually be boosted quite a bit if they had human "turncoat" HQ special characters that lead them as identifiable, human champions the player can emphazise with.

FlashGordon
06-08-2010, 11:20
Marines get more attention because every single one is a Chuck norris with chuck norris approved power armour.

frogomatik
06-08-2010, 11:41
I can only speak for myself, but I play space marines, and would do so regardless of any other factors. my grandpa, my dad, my uncle, and myself all served in the 'core. Marines like other marines, generally speaking. It wouldn't matter if they were the worst army in the game or the least supported army. I play marines because they are marines, and to some degree I can identify better with them.

Chem-Dog
06-08-2010, 13:12
1.
Blizzard kinda made the brilliant move to gave Zergs at least the "face" of an identifiable human character with Kerrigan; who quickly became one of the most popular Blizzard Characters ever.

Nothing to do with the fact she's hot, in a gribbly alien kinda way....:shifty:



The OP's question is a chicken/egg issue really, do SM's get better support because they're popular or are they popular because they get better support?

I'm leaning to support = popularity.
EVERY issue release of 40K has seen SM's "in the box".
RT had 2 sets of counters featuring Orks and SM's (included for the sake of completeness).
2nd Ed had SM's and Orks
3rd Ed had SM's and Dark Eldar
4th Ed had SM's and Tyranids
5th Ed has SM's and Orks

Of the dozen or so young gamers in my club, two play Tyranids (having started playing in 4th Ed) and the rest play Marines or Orks. One has chosen Chaos Space Marines but he recieved a massive load of used/unwanted miniatures from a relative.

If GW wanted to develope the sales of other factions, they'd do well to support them by introducing them in a new edition of the game.
An extreme departure from the everything-in-the-box formula is to have starter sets for EACH faction, buy the core starter kit and any 2 faction starter sets at a (relatively) reduced price.
Or even a Warmachine style approach...All you need to start playing your army + rules lite in a starter kit, an ideal way to concrete the Combat Patrol rules as a quick and officially supported way of playing.

Hunger
06-08-2010, 13:47
That could be a good seller Chemdog - something like a battleforce + rulebook and templates for 65 - 75.

yabbadabba
06-08-2010, 13:56
Considering that when GW had every model it made for an army list available instore, Marines were still far and above the best seller, its not about promotion. Look at Dark Eldar, Orcs, Empire, High Elves, Lizardmen, Brettonians, Tyranids and Orks (don't think I've missed one), none of them have come even close to the same consistent sales level, even when they were in the boxed game. GW have merely focussed on what is an iconic and excellent sellling line.

spurker
06-08-2010, 14:00
That's a really good idea Chem-Dog. Tell it to GW, who knows, they may go for it!

yabbadabba
06-08-2010, 14:01
That's a really good idea Chem-Dog. Tell it to GW, who knows, they may go for it! Wrote it in to them in 2000. Got a thanks, but no thanks. I know several staff who have also suggested it, especially with the new small rulebooks.

Lord Damocles
06-08-2010, 14:04
It can't have hurt the popularity of Marines that they've generally outclassed their boxed game opponants.


What's that? 3rd ed. Dark Eldar couldn't actually win..?

Hellebore
06-08-2010, 14:04
With the multi starter set they could each revolve around a specific conflict the armies in question were involved in. That could be a booklet with a few missions and little bits of story.

As for sales, well I've observed drastic changes in sales practices over the last 15 years in several different GWS in Australia.

15 years ago they didn't have the starter box set up for newbies to play. They had an army for each race in the window and would ask the newbie to choose one they liked. They'd then put them on the table and give them an intro, describing how they worked.

Gradually, since mid 3rd to 4th ed this has been slimmed down to just playing with what comes in the starter box.

Not only that but the sales pitch has changed. When before they would describe the armies and ask the kids what they liked, now they TELL them 'you play the goodie space marines and I'll play the baddy tyranids/orks' (depending on edition. They then make up the rules and ensure the kid wins.

I haven't seen an impartial sales pitch in a GW in almost 10 years. They don't even tell the kids coming in that there are multiple types of armies, they just say 'here play space marines' when they walk in.

This is observable evidence, but only for the areas I've frequented (southern east coast of Australia). I don't know if this was true everywhere else.

However, if they don't actually tell the kids of all the different armies in the game and only introduce them to space marines, it's inevitable that exposure will have SOME effect.

EDIT: It's like a car salesperson only showing a new client one type of car and ignoring all their other stock.

Hellebore

spurker
06-08-2010, 14:06
Wrote it in to them in 2000. Got a thanks, but no thanks. I know several staff who have also suggested it, especially with the new small rulebooks.

Oh well, I suppose they have their own business plan and I don't think they're gonna share it with us!



It can't have hurt the popularity of Marines that they've generally outclassed their boxed game opponants.


What's that? 3rd ed. Dark Eldar couldn't actually win..?

Aren't there more points worth of space marines in AOBR?

Hellebore
06-08-2010, 14:12
Space marines aren't the 'way you need to learn the game' so there is no reason for them to be the only one to be introduced (this isn't aimed at anyone, just a defence against the idea that marines 'need' to be the gateway army).

Try an experiment. Get someone, preferrably a kid to walk into a GW and as for an intro game.

Get them to ask if they can play with a tau army instead of the marines on the table. See if the staff are allowed/can actually do that. I doubt they would. If they can, great.

But it's pretty damning if they won't even let a prospective client testdrive one type of car - 'sorry, the only type of car you're allowed to test drive is the ford fiesta' 'but I want to buy a Ford Focus' 'have you tried out the fiesta?'

Hellebore

barrangas
06-08-2010, 14:13
I think it's less about popularity or GW trying to push one army over the other, it's about getting people into the game. Sure there is the cool factor, which is subjective, I started 40k because I liked Tau even though I was aware of 40k since 2nd Ed. SM, however, are tactical forgiving and cheaper to get people hooked with then armies like IG. What army do you recommend to the 12 year old coming into the store? Space Marines, why? Because they are not as likely to get thrashed as they are playing orks to start with.

Once you've got them coming in you then worry about pushing th other armies. A player who's already coming in is going to be willing to wait for mail order, unlike the first time shopper.

That said I do think GW has been pushing Imperial Armies a little heavily lately.

Zweischneid
06-08-2010, 14:30
With the multi starter set they could each revolve around a specific conflict the armies in question were involved in. That could be a booklet with a few missions and little bits of story.


I vaguely remember they did a bunch of Campaign Packs following that logic for Warhammer Fantasy once back in the lat 1990s. High vs. Dark Elves, Bretonnian's vs. Wood Elves, etc.., etc..

Zweischneid
06-08-2010, 14:39
Oh well, I suppose they have their own business plan and I don't think they're gonna share it with us!




Aren't there more points worth of space marines in AOBR?

Yes, there're 450 pts. of Orks and about 600 pts. of Space Marines.

The AoBR booklet tells you its 450 pts. of Orks and 585 pts. of Space Marines, though this isn't accurate any more as AoBR still used the old 4th edition Space Marine Codex where Marines were still slightly cheaper.

So it goes a bit both ways.. you get more Space Marines, but if you play the AoBR missions as written, Orks actually get a (small) bonus as Space Marines aren't as cheap anymore as they once (4th edition) used to be.

It should also be noted that while AoBR Marines are worth more in pts, you actually get alot more Orky models (i.e. 1 HQ, 5 Termies, 10 Marines + 1 Dread vs. 1 HQ, 5 Nobs, 20 Boyz + 3 Coptas)

Hellebore
06-08-2010, 14:39
They did one for 40k, the Something of Vengeance campaign. It's where Vet Sergeant Naaman was invented and the fight between Nazdreg and the Dark Angels on Piscina IV.

Hellebore

Kozbot
06-08-2010, 15:08
This is actually a pretty easy thesis to test. Find a GW store near a bunch of friends where the combined purchasing power of your gaming group can effect the over all sales of the store. For a quarter consistently buy up one of the smaller armies, preferably buying up the entire stock. Then see if the store starts stocking more of that army. Then ideally have some new person that's never been in the store before come in and ask what armies are cool/popular. It won't be a definitive answer for all kinds of reasons but it'll at least partially demonstrate the why of it.

As an aside at my former local gaming store they stocked a lot of marines/space wolves solely because of me. That's why I suggest going for a GW store. GW was a solid but not a major portion of this stores sales so my addiction to building space marines really pushed their sales and resulted in them stocking more marines and devoting more shelf space to them.

RunepriestRidcully
06-08-2010, 17:34
I think it's less about popularity or GW trying to push one army over the other, it's about getting people into the game. Sure there is the cool factor, which is subjective, I started 40k because I liked Tau even though I was aware of 40k since 2nd Ed. SM, however, are tactical forgiving and cheaper to get people hooked with then armies like IG. What army do you recommend to the 12 year old coming into the store? Space Marines, why? Because they are not as likely to get thrashed as they are playing orks to start with.

Once you've got them coming in you then worry about pushing th other armies. A player who's already coming in is going to be willing to wait for mail order, unlike the first time shopper.

That said I do think GW has been pushing Imperial Armies a little heavily lately.

Though in the situation of buying a model you like the look of, example, I was thinking of Buying Fuegan or an Eldar Auctarch because the models are nice, and if I could paint nicly was thinking of perhaps of starting a small Iyanden armie(I bought a couple of wraith guard, they did not used to be as expensive as they are now) but because they did not have either of the models in stock, I did not buy them, and uncertain I would be able to paint the non wraithguard units, decided to wait on the eldar army.
It is a bit like saying Walls ice cream is more popular then Ben and Jerry's because it sells more, when you stock the entire range of Wall's whilst only stocking Cookie dough of Ben and Jerry's

yabbadabba
06-08-2010, 18:59
But it's pretty damning if they won't even let a prospective client testdrive one type of car - 'sorry, the only type of car you're allowed to test drive is the ford fiesta' 'but I want to buy a Ford Focus' 'have you tried out the fiesta?' Was tried in the UK a while ago. I remember a GW store manager complaining that they had to paint 500pts of every army for intro gaming - not the painting of being the issue, but the unrealistic timescale for getting it done.


I vaguely remember they did a bunch of Campaign Packs following that logic for Warhammer Fantasy once back in the lat 1990s. High vs. Dark Elves, Bretonnian's vs. Wood Elves, etc.., etc..
They did one for 40k, the Something of Vengeance campaign. It's where Vet Sergeant Naaman was invented and the fight between Nazdreg and the Dark Angels on Piscina IV. Yeah, "Storm of Vengeance" - every campaign pack ended up in the sales at a fraction of their original cost in my local GW :(. Shame they were very good, I still have them all.


This is actually a pretty easy thesis to test. [/snip]
GW was a solid but not a major portion of this stores sales so my addiction to building space marines really pushed their sales and resulted in them stocking more marines and devoting more shelf space to them.Back in the day, the most popular army was the one collected by the most popular staff member (back when GWs had staff). You could see it in any GW store in London, the only problem being that for 40K Marines were one of the most complete armies model-wise and many staff were split between them, and Eldar (painting kudos). But they were the good old days....

OK, lets throw some other bits of info out there. In '94(?) GW Released 40K the box set which had Marines vs Orks. This had to be a success, and ended up being a sales target, which stuck. When the BT box game was released, so was the rulebook seperately. When I went to buy the book off a mate (a manager of GW Hammersmith at the time) he asked me to buy the box game instead (I was collecting Marines). He said that because GW Sales team had only counted the book as half or 0 of a target point. As such, he was being pushed to sell the box sets (not marines).
Now add in there that Marines have been the most popular army since the release of the '94 box set, add in that the Box sets have always been good value (better than Battalions, and even better since Ebay).
Add in their just generally better all round iconistic appeal, compared to the other 5 other original armies (Guard, Orks, Eldar, Nids, Chaos - all of which were more "geeky" for various reasons)
Add in that for a beginner, Marines are easy to play, easy to assemble and easy to paint and are often promoted that way to beginners....

....is it any wonder that marines are better sellers than all the other races without the need for GW to push them for some conspiracy theory?

Poseidal
06-08-2010, 19:08
If they are already the most popular, they don't need more emphasis as they will sell anyway. Any additional resource is a waste of resource, as you get more and more diminishing returns.

massey
06-08-2010, 19:29
If they are already the most popular, they don't need more emphasis as they will sell anyway. Any additional resource is a waste of resource, as you get more and more diminishing returns.

Not a chance. Putting more resources into supporting a popular line just makes good sense.

There's a saying here, usually used when discussing sports. "Let the big dog eat." In other words, when something is working, you go with it. You don't put all your support behind an unpopular line just to try and "keep things fair".

Poseidal
06-08-2010, 20:20
Not a chance. Putting more resources into supporting a popular line just makes good sense.

There's a saying here, usually used when discussing sports. "Let the big dog eat." In other words, when something is working, you go with it. You don't put all your support behind an unpopular line just to try and "keep things fair".

You missed the smiley in the subject line.

But there's still a point of over saturation. Space Marines would probably sell even better if the enemies had more emphasis. In many fictional worlds, it's huge work done on the villain that has made them big:

Lord of the Rings: Sauron is a very interesting character, and a lot is spent on his history.
Star Wars: Vader is the most interesting and iconic character, not Luke, Solo or even Yoda.
Starcraft: Without the Zerg and a lesser extent the Protoss (both who are treated with respect as factions)
Mario: You're not interested in Mario himself (who's just a plumber from Brooklyn; an everyman for the player to identify with), but Koopa and the Koopa Kids
In Dr Who, the Daleks are the iconic figure. The Doctor himself changes each decade, the Daleks have remained roughly the same as they always had, but with developments there.

going more obscure now, Megaman's robot masters (huge in the day), the Borg made TNG interesting.

Lastly, the Ork, Eldar, Guard, Nid and Chaos lines are hardly unpopular. I would say each has room for expansion if they were treated as equals (or at least with respect in respect to marines) following from Starcraft's example.

The other direction is to put the emphasis on a mystical focus. Zelda and B5 do this more, where it's the mythical/mythos conflict that's important rather than the characters. Space Marines lend themselves to this with the Primarks, but baring them with the HH series has degraded this somewhat and made them less legendary. The ancient races (Eldar, Orks, Necrons etc) could add a lot to this angle, if they choose to develop it, and the Space Marines fit into their struggle as the observer; all the writing and content is about the ancient races, the Space Marines would be the ones watching it as the main characters.