PDA

View Full Version : On the subject of magazine content.



xxRavenxx
14-03-2013, 11:48
I keep seeing banded around the issue of GW's flagship product lacking content, and its finally convinced me to make a comment on it myself.

I think the first thing to state is this: If you're not twelve, its not for you.

Of my customers who buy a whitedwarf, 90% are in the 12-15 bracket. They are new to a hobby, and devour the painting tips, while oggling the paintjobs on the WD models, and enjoying the pagentry of the battle reports. (which are presented in the style of a bad Japanese fighting based cartoon.)

That said, the magazine obviously lacks content for all established gamers who know what they're doing. I have personally seen one painting technique in 5 years that I didn't know how to do. (It was a glazing technique for ghosts, that hadn't occured to me as a possibility till I saw it on the vampire counts.) I never read the battle reports, and I get roughly 20 seconds of enjoyment from looking at a nice paintjob.

I can't help but feel that this is not the fault of its producers though. I don't buy whitedwarf anymore because it has no appeal to me. In the same way I don't buy fishing magazines, or Heat. I am not the target of the magazine, and to expect it to then be enjoyable is wrong.

I've chatted to people before about what could be added as content, and there is a fundamental problem which GW really can't fix: They are a business making a magazine about their own business.


They cannot review their products.
They cannot review other people's products. (ala WGI)
They don't wish to report on tournaments, and tell people the top lists. (ala PP via NQ magazine).

What content then do they have available? WD is sparse because they have nothing else to add. They do paintjobs, conversions, look at their artwork, do some light tutorial work, and then they're out of options. If I were to do a painting magazine, I think I could produce three incredibly helpful issues, where I could teach someone to paint to a good standard. Issue four would suck because I'd used all my content up.

WD as an entity is useful only to kids who need to find their feet still. Arguably even then its not useful, just enjoyable. I do think though that to complain about its existence is facile and superficial. It has a target audience, it meets their expectations, and makes them happy.

I suppose what I'm getting at is this:

Is it Stephenie Meyer's fault that you don't like Twilight? Or is it your fault for not being a thirteen year old girl? Now apply this to WD.


[edit]: I didn't have time to get this in first time round (work loomed...) so I'm getting it added now:

I think the biggest problem focused magazines have, is that they are focused.

Take NQ. Its fairly popular, and covers a lot of tournament play, which interests most WM players. But I personally find it too boring to subscribe to. I know how to paint. I know what warmachine models exist. It offers me nothing.

WGI offers more. It picks games each issue to look at, focus on and review. (Though obviously with a FoW focus.) It has a near bottomless wealth of content, because it can grab resources from a variety of games. (Hundreds of them). It still seems to be very historical focused though.

In the UK, that seems to pretty much be it for magazines. I do find it interesting that all three existing mags are now owned by three of the biggest companies in the Tabletop Gaming industry.

I wonder if any of them make real profit, or if they are now all loss-leaders for their company? (WGI obviously used to make some profit.)

The last thing I'm curious on, now that I'm musing out loud, is the internet. Beasts of War offer anything a magazine could offer me, for free. I can find all my painting resources on peoples blogs and youtube pages. Does a magazine have anything to offer people in the modern world?

violenceha
14-03-2013, 11:54
And you didn't put this in the already existing, appropriate thread, because?

Sureshot05
14-03-2013, 12:16
You're 100% correct that if your not 12 it's not for you, but it was designed for a far greater range of ages in the past and still sold so it's not a fair argument to state that now as a reason to stop discussing it's flaws.

- They can provide decent battle reports. Maps on their own would be a better report. It just startles me to see them miss out on unit actions and then reveal in turn 3 that unit X attacks unit Y and it's the first we've heard of X.
- They can provide better painting articles. They did this briefly in the last couple of years (the masterclass series).
- They can provide fluff stories and optional rules (done in previous dwarfs as well)
- They can provide conversion articles and how to: (half did this last issue to be fair).
- They could discuss tournaments and top lists. (done very occasionally in past as well).
- They could discuss more than the latest release (this appears to be slowly edging back thankfully).

Each issue should have something aimed at the veterans as well as the new players. It's a poor excuse to say "It's targeted at new players" when older issues managed this and drew in players (see any of the 200's). Even prior to 200, they did all this, it was only at issue 310 that they made a very clear conscious shift away from including rules, articles for vets and other things.

Herzlos
14-03-2013, 12:24
It's definitely worth noting that WD is aimed at 12 year olds new to gaming, and not adult veterans.

But I still don't think I'd be impressed with the magazine on the whole if I were 12, beyond the painting stuff. 1/3rd a mag of new releases would frustrate me because I couldn't afford most of it, and my attention span is limited for reading magazines which contain no content relevant to me.


What content then do they have available? WD is sparse because they have nothing else to add. They do paintjobs, conversions, look at their artwork, do some light tutorial work, and then they're out of options.

They own one of the largest, most complete sets of backgrounds with plenty of scope, and dozens of armies. They are in the best position to provide limitless content.

When I was young, WD came with dozen-page articles on various armies or units, providing some sort of back story or fiction or new chapters. Or mini-games* I can play with my existing figures (I bought a pack of Bretonnian Knights to play the Jousting game in one article), or discuss strategies or providing scenarios* for me to play.

I really don't believe that GW doesn't have any potential content to fill the magazine with, I will believe that they don't want to provide the investment required to make it a good magazine.

At this stage even revamping old articles would be an improvement, because most of the current readerbase won't have seen it the first time. They aren't above doing so; wasn't one of the OK armies in a recent issue one that had featured on the blog about 3 times previously?

*The sad thing is that they still do provide campaigns, scenarios, additional game content and in-depth painting guides, but have decided to sell them independantly instead of including them in the magazine "for free". If they kept that sort of thing in the magazine, the magazine would contain some actual decent content and probably have a bigger readerbase. But they've gone for the cynical cash grab and removed anything valuable from the magazine.

Brother Loki
14-03-2013, 12:33
To look at the kinds of content that people would like to see you generally need to look back in time to White Dwarf of the 1990s. Prior to around issue 100 they did articles for all sorts of games, both their own and others. Obviously once their stores stopped stocking other people's products this was going to change, and it did, but even so there was plenty of useful gaming content in the magazine.

All through the 1990s the magazine was full of articles which presented actual gaming material, be it new model rules as things were released, army list variants, new scenarios and campaigns and so on. These were articles which provided something of use to the reader - something they could take away and use in their own games. These meant that the magazine had a value beyond the immediate - it was a resource that was worth keeping for future use. It was, for all intents and purposes a gaming supplement, rather than a 'journalistic' magazine.

Over the last decade or so, with a few exceptions such as the 40k flyer rules etc, the magazine has lost this 'supplement' status. It still isn't really 'journalistic' for all the reasons xxRavenxx points out - they can't really provide maningful product reviews and the like - but instead of the useful content of yesteryear it is now primarily filled with promotional material. It is sales led rather than design led, which is potentially a criticism of the whole company nowadays.

I firmly think that the best way to promote gaming products is with useful content, rather than sales patter. WD from 10-20 years ago used to do that. Most other successful gaming companies (WotC, Fantasy Flight, Privateer etc) still do that.

When I started reading White Dwarf (around issue 90) the magazine (and indeed the whole hobby) was clearly aimed at people older than me (I was around 11-12) - it was somehow aspirational - it may have been toy soldiers, but it was somehow 'grown up' and that was part of the appeal. It didn't talk down to youngsters or anything, it simply wrote as if everyone was on the same level, and that level was a reasonably intelligent, educated adult. More recently, it seems as if the magazine is still treating everyone as being at the same level, but that level is now an easily impressed 12 year old without any critical faculties. Consequently it now no longer appeals much to adults, as xxRavenxx points out, but I wouldn't be surpised if it also doesn't appeal to 12 year olds as much as it used to either.

xxRavenxx
14-03-2013, 12:36
And you didn't put this in the already existing, appropriate thread, because?

Because I attempted to describe why other magazines DO work in the context, making it not just a WD post?

MiyamatoMusashi
14-03-2013, 12:54
White Dwarf was once a fascinating read every month.

Thus I refute your suggestion that White Dwarf cannot be a fascinating magazine, QED.

Nothing new here.

MLP
14-03-2013, 13:06
To look at the kinds of content that people would like to see you generally need to look back in time to White Dwarf of the 1990s. Prior to around issue 100 they did articles for all sorts of games, both their own and others. Obviously once their stores stopped stocking other people's products this was going to change, and it did, but even so there was plenty of useful gaming content in the magazine.

All through the 1990s the magazine was full of articles which presented actual gaming material, be it new model rules as things were released, army list variants, new scenarios and campaigns and so on. These were articles which provided something of use to the reader - something they could take away and use in their own games. These meant that the magazine had a value beyond the immediate - it was a resource that was worth keeping for future use. It was, for all intents and purposes a gaming supplement, rather than a 'journalistic' magazine.

Over the last decade or so, with a few exceptions such as the 40k flyer rules etc, the magazine has lost this 'supplement' status. It still isn't really 'journalistic' for all the reasons xxRavenxx points out - they can't really provide maningful product reviews and the like - but instead of the useful content of yesteryear it is now primarily filled with promotional material. It is sales led rather than design led, which is potentially a criticism of the whole company nowadays.

I firmly think that the best way to promote gaming products is with useful content, rather than sales patter. WD from 10-20 years ago used to do that. Most other successful gaming companies (WotC, Fantasy Flight, Privateer etc) still do that.

When I started reading White Dwarf (around issue 90) the magazine (and indeed the whole hobby) was clearly aimed at people older than me (I was around 11-12) - it was somehow aspirational - it may have been toy soldiers, but it was somehow 'grown up' and that was part of the appeal. It didn't talk down to youngsters or anything, it simply wrote as if everyone was on the same level, and that level was a reasonably intelligent, educated adult. More recently, it seems as if the magazine is still treating everyone as being at the same level, but that level is now an easily impressed 12 year old without any critical faculties. Consequently it now no longer appeals much to adults, as xxRavenxx points out, but I wouldn't be surpised if it also doesn't appeal to 12 year olds as much as it used to either.

This. I'm bordering on the idea of buying White Dwarf issues backwards so each magazine gets better every month. White Dwarf was a great magazine in the 90's and as you say it was "grown up".

zoggin-eck
14-03-2013, 13:19
Stories (not from the army books or novel extracts), original art (not from the army books) and scenarios/short campaigns would be more than enough for me, and certainly appealed to me when I was 12.

A good example of "what a non-White Dwarf magazine can do" as in, review and showcase other games, is the new (Gary) Gygax magazine, which I enjoyed the first of, and hope it continues.

Scammel
14-03-2013, 13:21
I will say this - as magnificent as the magazine was under the editorship of Paul Sawyer (when I got into the hobby), it was pretty damn inaccessible for a newbie. It's a good thing I was enthralled by the models and artwork etc. because otherwise there was a chance I'd just feel too much like a tiny fish in a big hobby pond to get further involved. Modern battle reports are very much 'STUFF IS GETTING KILLED BY OTHER STUFF AND THIS IS GOOD' and whilst it lacks the level of depth a vet would find engaging a new player can at least grasp what's going on. Older battle reports would have paragraphs dedicated to the applications of Pythagoras and make lots of references to armybook content and rules that the writers must have taken for granted the audience would know about.

Herzlos
14-03-2013, 13:29
Modern battle reports are very much 'STUFF IS GETTING KILLED BY OTHER STUFF AND THIS IS GOOD' and whilst it lacks the level of depth a vet would find engaging a new player can at least grasp what's going on.

As a vet, I struggle to figure out what's going on in the current battle reports*, and as a 12-year old I had no problem following the old style battle reports with the mix of commentary, maps and photos. The current ones feel like they could be concluded in 2 pages: the lists and what kills what on the first page, and some random photos of units facing other units on the other.


*At least until Dec 2012, when I dropped my subscription.

shelfunit.
14-03-2013, 13:44
I mostly agree with what you are saying Raven. The problem is not the "target market" for WD so much as the fact that it actually has a "target market" full stop. For nearly two decades the magazine was aimed at (first) general RPGers and fledgling* fantasy/sci-fi miniature collectors of all ages and then shifted to solely GW versions of the same, now it is aimed solely at beginners in the 10-15 age bracket. The problem with "lack of content" should not be a problem either - they managed perfectly well for a couple of hundred issues. The real problem is that all the"content" is being syphoned off into add on pay-per-view content like the 'eavy metal masterclasses, the "new" tale of 4 gamers and very minor, small page count "source books like the death from the skies release. Put this stuff back in the magazine where it belongs and a fair amount of the lack of content issues will be solved.

*in the sense the market was just opening up to these model types, not "beginners".

lbecks
14-03-2013, 13:46
I was happy with Latham's run.

shelfunit.
14-03-2013, 14:04
I was happy with Latham's run.

Much like WD once you got to 21 it was all over...:p

BigbyWolf
14-03-2013, 14:32
I had no problem following the old style battle reports with the mix of commentary, maps and photos.

I preferred the older old style reports that presented the battles as a story, rather then a report.

I had some absolutely fantastic WDs back in the day, and I really wish they could recapture that but am wise enough to understand that unfortunately they won't. It's ironic that when I was 12, the magazines were aimed at someone older, and now I'm in my 30's it's made for the younger generation.

Saying that, it doesn't really bother me that much, I haven't bought it in years and probably won't buy another one because, as xxRavenxx points out, it really is a magazine for kids. Anyone older that buys one and complains about the content really only has themselves to blame these days.

Rick_1138
14-03-2013, 14:58
I am thinking that the lack of pro painting articles may preclude to GW producing a high end painting guide ALA the new ring bound offering but for carrying out advanced techniques.

Cost it 35 and id buy it, and i think many would.

The Eavy Metal book that came out a few years ago is very useful and i often flick back to it, however the space hulk painting guide in the specific WD mag is the most thumbed article i have.

However this all depends if GW see it as worth their effort and if the EM team actually have the time to do it.

But i think it would be a decent seller, or make it LTD ed, sell it at 50 in pleather and be done with it, id still buy it.

Gossipmeng
14-03-2013, 15:12
I don't understand the whole white dwarf debate to begin with. It was amazing apparently and now it is not - don't purchase it.

Instead, you have this entire internet full of professionally produced hobby articles, blog, battle reports, and forums where you can comment and interact with the authors to some degree.

Can we stop complaining about white dwarf..... there are free alternatives available that are of higher quality than any magazine.

BigbyWolf
14-03-2013, 16:49
Instead, you have this entire internet full of professionally produced hobby articles, blog, battle reports, and forums where you can comment and interact with the authors to some degree.

This is spot on, and exactly why I use WarSeer. Better battle reports, fantastic plogs and more wargaming discussion than you really need. WarSeer is my White Dwarf.

Plus, we technically get all their scoops before they do. :D:yes:

violenceha
14-03-2013, 19:55
Well, now that you've edited your post to contain more than your general opinion on White Dwarf...

All magazines are an advertisement delivery system and this is why White Dwarf fails. It's not raising revenue, it's a catalogue.

Kijamon
14-03-2013, 20:14
I remember when I was 9 and my big bro picked up white dwarf and we sat and read it together. Epic was around so there were giant death bots, battle reports were written in comedy fashion. There were silly battles, stories, all sorts of stuff.

I used to pretend to be the guys, I used to try and copy the drawings, think how I would have battled differently.

White Dwarf now has no purpose for me any more, I don't need to draw pretty pictures and I can do my own research on units. Plus painting tips are only google away.

JWhex
14-03-2013, 20:45
The internet makes the WD completely redundant. Since most 12 year olds have web access these days I am surprised anyone buys it at all.

The old WD issues were not worth today's asking price even if one adjusts for inflation. Also, in the past, the quality of the WD was variable from month to month, now it is just terrible every month. In the past, even when restricted to GW products, the WD could develop content for a wider range of games. Now it just covers the big three and ignores the specialist games completely. The abandoned specialist games accounted for a lot of articles in the older WD.

Rogue Star
15-03-2013, 06:11
I think the first thing to state is this: If you're not twelve, its not for you.

Um... why? I'm not saying that's not what it currently is, but forumites talk like this is acceptable. This is how it should be. Why?

If GW wanted to provide the basics to kids starting, you could have a behind the counter pamphlet, like they used to hand out freely. GW used to do two, one for the basics of miniature painting, taking care of your brushes, applying transfers, drybrushing, etc, and a hobby booklet that detailed Warhammer, 40K, Heroquest, Necromunda, etc in two to three pages.

A monthly magazine, aimed at beginners, is worthless. It doesn't need new content, GW are constantly getting a steady influx of new customers as old ones leave. After say 4-5months, why would you need a new article, the new 12 year old has been in the hobby for five months, he won't need the details anymore than the older members. It's a complete waste of the publication.

Herzlos
15-03-2013, 07:08
The last thing I'm curious on, now that I'm musing out loud, is the internet. Beasts of War offer anything a magazine could offer me, for free. I can find all my painting resources on peoples blogs and youtube pages. Does a magazine have anything to offer people in the modern world?

Yup, some of us like professionally edited coherent things to read, and the tactile reading experience. I can read my magazine on the train, a plane, beach, stuff it in my bag or leave it in a box for a decade and it's still useable.

Some things also look better in magazine format (images and maps), so don't translate well to 7-10" tablets. I've got an e-Reader that I use occsionally for books, but I'd much rather have an actual book.

But of course, I think the magazine crowd tends to be older i.e. those that grew up with magazines, which is another reason aiming WD at the demographic who probably won't subscribe to a magazine seems odd.

Mind you, we've no actual figures on WD readership.

shelfunit.
15-03-2013, 07:39
Mind you, we've no actual figures on WD readership.

It doesn't appear in this list (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/table/2012/aug/16/abcs-consumer-magazines) so certainly sells less than 10,000 copies month in the UK.

Herzlos
15-03-2013, 08:49
Good point, and probably less than that now. It's certainly harder to come by than it was 10 years ago.

I meant in terms of readers demographics, currently ~95% of the readers are ~12-15, but how does that compare to other gaming magazines, or WD of the past? If it's always been bought predominantly by the 12-15 age group then I can see why they market it as such (though I still believe they are capable of much better).

xxRavenxx
15-03-2013, 08:54
Um... why? I'm not saying that's not what it currently is, but forumites talk like this is acceptable. This is how it should be. Why?

Well, to rehash what I said in my initial post, because you wouldn't complain that a cartoon isn't for adults, or that a motorbiking magazine hasn't got content you enjoy. The people I see buy it in store, are majoritively of its target age group, and like it a lot. And I do mean A LOT.


It doesn't appear in this list (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/table/2012/aug/16/abcs-consumer-magazines) so certainly sells less than 10,000 copies month in the UK.

The bottom entry in that list has 68,000 copies from what I can see?

So arguably (and clearly it doesnt) it couldn't sell more than 6000 copies? (Which is also true of WGI, which is meant to be popular).

shelfunit.
15-03-2013, 09:42
The bottom entry in that list has 68,000 copies from what I can see?

So arguably (and clearly it doesnt) it couldn't sell more than 6000 copies? (Which is also true of WGI, which is meant to be popular).

The magazine just above the bottom copy only sells 61,000 (I thought it was oddly ordered as well...) and the results are for the 6 months Jan to June, so I doubled up for annual sales.

Herzlos
15-03-2013, 10:34
Well, to rehash what I said in my initial post, because you wouldn't complain that a cartoon isn't for adults, or that a motorbiking magazine hasn't got content you enjoy. The people I see buy it in store, are majoritively of its target age group, and like it a lot. And I do mean A LOT.

I don't think anyone is complaining [something aimed at kids] isn't aimed at adults. They are complaining that [something that used to be aimed at adults] is now being aimed at kids.

It's good that it's target audience love it, but I'm not convinced that requires aiming purely to that target audience.


So arguably (and clearly it doesnt) it couldn't sell more than 6000 copies? (Which is also true of WGI, which is meant to be popular).

I'm not sure how popular WGI (Wargames Illustrated?) is, because it doesn't cater to fantasy or sci-fi, but there's always a bigger stack of them in newsagents than White Dwarf so I assume it sells better there (as it's got no dedicated distribution channel). It is, IMHO (as an older reader), a much better magazine in terms of editorial and content and doesn't feel like a catalog. I will concede though that it's probably a bit dry for younger readers, but it must easily have 3/4x higher wordcount than WD.

xxRavenxx
15-03-2013, 11:27
I don't think anyone is complaining [something aimed at kids] isn't aimed at adults. They are complaining that [something that used to be aimed at adults] is now being aimed at kids.


I never remember it being aimed at adults though. I do remember being younger however... I wonder if people sometimes transpose those things?

Herzlos
15-03-2013, 11:41
It certainly had more adult orientated content i.e. longer text heavy articles and less condescension. I was assuming the drop in reading quality was due to a correlation of target audience age and not of editorial apathy.

I've found a stash of older issues that appear to have much more text in them, and whilst I haven't read them yet I'd assume they are intending an older reading age.

Brother Asmodeus
15-03-2013, 12:06
G-Dubya knows its market and aims White Dwarf squarely at it.

Forums such as these should be the purview of veteran and established gamers but the corporate hate muddies everything creating Whingeseer, ******* of Lost Gamers, Spakka-Dakka and other such sites that become hobby flaming arenas. Yes there is some good content here but it gets so lost in the hate and nonsense.

It's a shame really with such powerful capabilities the intermawebz offers that we resort to this.

MiyamatoMusashi
15-03-2013, 12:18
Where are these hordes of twelve year olds just begging their parents to buy them the new White Dwarf every month? I realise Warseer itself isn't exactly focussed on twelve year olds, but if White Dwarf were as big as Twilight among that age group like Raven says, you'd think some of them would be here telling us how awesome the magazine is.

duffybear1988
15-03-2013, 12:36
Where are these hordes of twelve year olds just begging their parents to buy them the new White Dwarf every month? I realise Warseer itself isn't exactly focussed on twelve year olds, but if White Dwarf were as big as Twilight among that age group like Raven says, you'd think some of them would be here telling us how awesome the magazine is.

This.

Even as a 12 year old I wouldn't read WD these days. Really there is nothing to read - it's just pictures and condescending adverts.

Someone mentioned that the new magazine is easy to understand if you are a young person - well maybe if you are completely illiterate or English isn't your first language.

Those old battle reports were much easier to follow with all the maps, the graphics, and the pictures of each turn on the correct page. Now I stumble through the whole lot wondering what the hell is really going on.

Verm1s
15-03-2013, 12:44
if White Dwarf were as big as Twilight among that age group like Raven says, you'd think some of them would be here telling us how awesome the magazine is.

Here?

They most probably have better things to do, like going and wargaming with their friends.

And reading White Dwarf.

Gossipmeng
15-03-2013, 14:26
I never remember it being aimed at adults though. I do remember being younger however... I wonder if people sometimes transpose those things?

This is the truth.

Moralein
15-03-2013, 15:48
I don't think it was ever aimed at a particular demographic. It was written by a group of people who loved games and toy soldiers and their passion was what made it accessible to all. You can look back at older issues of WD and you can comment on how amateur some of the presentation was, but what you can't ignore is that the people involved loved what they were doing.

I started reading WD when I was 18 (about 20 years ago), it was my brother's copy (at 12 he was the age that it's currently aimed at) and I loved it. I'd never come across GW or their games, but I could follow the battle reports and after a few issues I could even follow the rules (these were discussed in the reports). I loved the models and the background.

I really don't understand, why it now has to be aimed at either kids or adults and can't appeal to both. It used to appeal to everyone, why can't it do that now?

lbecks
15-03-2013, 16:15
With the size of the current font you'd think it was aimed at the elderly with bad eyesight.

Mastodon
15-03-2013, 21:14
It doesn't appear in this list (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/table/2012/aug/16/abcs-consumer-magazines) so certainly sells less than 10,000 copies month in the UK.

This list wont count any sales made inside GW's own stores, or indeed anything outside of the standard retail chain ala Newsagents WH Smiths etc.

Its the same reason their Black Library books only make the best seller lists in America. They dont give their stores sales data to the places that collate those things.

JWhex
15-03-2013, 21:19
G-Dubya knows its market and aims White Dwarf squarely at it.

Forums such as these should be the purview of veteran and established gamers but the corporate hate muddies everything creating Whingeseer, ******* of Lost Gamers, Spakka-Dakka and other such sites that become hobby flaming arenas. Yes there is some good content here but it gets so lost in the hate and nonsense.

It's a shame really with such powerful capabilities the intermawebz offers that we resort to this.


The three forums you listed cater mostly to GW even though of course other games are represented. However, if you go to the Privateer forums you do not get the same sense of dislike for privateer as you get here for GW. It is a forum run by privateer but if the fans really wanted a place to complain about Privateer the way people complain about GW surely a forum would exist and have a lot of followers. Likewise for flames of war.

This suggests to me that a lot of the dissatisfaction with GW is justified.

Also, there are a lot more forums than the ones you mentioned that do not have high levels of GW hatred. Many of the race specific forums for whfb have a ton of good information and people spend less time hating on GW. I bet a lot of people that complain the most were probably very dedicated to GW when they started the hobby, invested a lot of time and money, and now they are having a proportionate opposite reaction now that they are "breaking up" with GW. On the other hand, GW really does engage in a lot of practices that are guaranteed to cause resentment.

shelfunit.
15-03-2013, 21:31
This list wont count any sales made inside GW's own stores, or indeed anything outside of the standard retail chain ala Newsagents WH Smiths etc.

Its the same reason their Black Library books only make the best seller lists in America. They dont give their stores sales data to the places that collate those things.

I was wondering about that, and subscriptions look like they are ommited as well. It to would be interesting to know what the proportions of "off the shelf" and subscription copy sales are. I vagely recall in the early 90's the magazines having a small bit of text showing the previous months sales - for WD then I think it was in the high 60's (thousands) worldwide.
On a worldwide basis though the sales simply cannot be that high though - every 100,000 copies sold a month will mean (approximately) 6m a year to GW sales figures, and that's already 5% of total annual income at that level.

Lars Porsenna
15-03-2013, 22:00
One thing I'd like to mention is that making a magazine that you think will appeal to 10-14yo boys probably isn't -- and never was -- the best or right approach. Consider: Star Wars was an important formulative piece of shared culture for my generation. Most of my generation were kids, often younger than the target age GW is aiming at. Yet it worked, not because it was aimed specifically at kids, but because it had adults in it doing (mostly) adult things, and was something for kids to aspire and look up to. And even when the movies clearly steered more towards that kid audience (like in Jedi) there were still enough elements that rather sophisticated kids could enjoy along with their parents.

Similarly WD in the past had this sort of thing. What could they do differently? Some of my favorite articles were the Index Astartes articles. But beyond that they could add short fiction, terrain construction articles, lots of things. Sure you need to cover the basics, but more advanced articles can help too...

Damon.

Mastodon
16-03-2013, 06:52
I was wondering about that, and subscriptions look like they are ommited as well. It to would be interesting to know what the proportions of "off the shelf" and subscription copy sales are. I vagely recall in the early 90's the magazines having a small bit of text showing the previous months sales - for WD then I think it was in the high 60's (thousands) worldwide.
On a worldwide basis though the sales simply cannot be that high though - every 100,000 copies sold a month will mean (approximately) 6m a year to GW sales figures, and that's already 5% of total annual income at that level.

I wouldnt say it was that high either, just that the lists will be skewed by the most likely sources of purchase not being on there.

shelfunit.
16-03-2013, 07:17
I wouldnt say it was that high either, just that the lists will be skewed by the most likely sources of purchase not being on there.

Your probably right on that - I think I got excited by there actually being some easily found figures for something for once :p

xxRavenxx
16-03-2013, 08:40
The three forums you listed cater mostly to GW even though of course other games are represented. However, if you go to the Privateer forums you do not get the same sense of dislike for privateer as you get here for GW. It is a forum run by privateer but if the fans really wanted a place to complain about Privateer the way people complain about GW surely a forum would exist and have a lot of followers. Likewise for flames of war.

I would point out that being baleful on their own moderated forums will buy you a fast ticket to their ban list. Besides which, you need another ten years to get the correct generation of disenfranchised teenagers who used to like a game but are now all grown up :)

Kaptajn_Congoboy
16-03-2013, 09:02
You have to be a pretty special shade of baleful to get a ban on the PP forums. Darknesse and Khobai managed it through years of dedicated flamebaiting (as they quite frequently argued consistently despite turning up the heat wherever they went, they were given a long leach) but the bans are hardly being handed out like candy. Threads are regularily locked, though, although the usual reason is that people start bashing other systems.



Take NQ. Its fairly popular, and covers a lot of tournament play, which interests most WM players. But I personally find it too boring to subscribe to. I know how to paint. I know what warmachine models exist. It offers me nothing.

It has interviews with the top players of 2-3 major tournaments and a page of lists in every second issue or so plus shoutouts and pictures from local events on their News from the Front section, which is pretty much how they cover tournament play. In addition to the painting, they also cover sculpting, modelling and conversion, model and rules previews as well as new theme forces, background, fluff and "history" articles, scenarios (with a "historical" theme this year, it seems), terrain making, RPG material, battle reports, fiction, league material, and so on and so forth. There is also coverage of their other games. All PP-related, of course, but NQ is a far cry from a pure tournament and modeling/painting magazine.

You haven't actually bothered opening the magazine much, have you ;)

azhagmorglum
16-03-2013, 10:20
I'm posting here my thought about WD from another thread :


As for WD, I share your point of view, but I think also it's going to be very difficult for them to drastically change WD (and I consider drastically an euphemism in term of how they need to modify their "hobby" magazine to make it look like an actual hobby magazine).
Instead what they could do is 1) lower the count page (one picture and a small textbox for presenting new releases would do for example, instead of big pictures, double-page showdown and whatnot), and 2) lower the price. That way they could I think lower their production costs (something every company tries to do nowadays) and they would sell the same number and maybe more without actually raising their little finger.

No longer is WD a hobby magazine per se in my opinion, and I don"t think GW is ever going to make it so again, because it would require too much energy in term of designing, thinking, writing and publishing, hence too much money for them to invest.
If they want to stick with the current formula, then I think they should do what I said in my quote above, because who needs hundreds of pages of the same pictures of the same models in one magazine? And surely those who desperately keep on buying it will be happy to at least pay a little less without losing any actual content.

Now if you're not happy with the direction WD has taken over the years, I suggest you suck it up and stop buying it entirely, thus you will save some money, and avoid yourself being disappointed over and over again. Leave GW's hobby magazine to those who love buying catalogues and get you hobby crack on the internet where you will definitely find a wider range of better written articles about every aspects of the hobby : collecting, painting, playing.

xxRavenxx
16-03-2013, 18:01
You haven't actually bothered opening the magazine much, have you ;)

I've read a couple, and I lump all of what you said within the confines of what I mentioned. I should have said "modeling articles" rather than painting, but interviewing people at tournaments is just tournament reports. As for RPG material, it wasn't in NQ when I last looked (which was prior to the second edition of IK). I stand by my comment that it offers me nothing. I can paint, I can sculpt well enough for my own needs, and dont care about tournaments. This isn't a knock at the magazine. Its good. Just useless to me. Like WD is useless to many people, but not to all.

Mastodon
16-03-2013, 20:25
I've read a couple, and I lump all of what you said within the confines of what I mentioned. I should have said "modeling articles" rather than painting, but interviewing people at tournaments is just tournament reports. As for RPG material, it wasn't in NQ when I last looked (which was prior to the second edition of IK). I stand by my comment that it offers me nothing. I can paint, I can sculpt well enough for my own needs, and dont care about tournaments. This isn't a knock at the magazine. Its good. Just useless to me. Like WD is useless to many people, but not to all.

WD sums up GW's approach to their business. They're not stupid, they know people will find things on the internet these days, so they choose to focus on the people just finding their feet. Beginner painting/modelling guides, not going into minute detail for battle reports etc etc.

If I want to find out how to paint a marble effect the first thing I'll do is type it into google, not head for a modelling magazine.

They cant compete with free online resources, so they're just not trying.

Kaptajn_Congoboy
17-03-2013, 00:03
I've read a couple, and I lump all of what you said within the confines of what I mentioned. I should have said "modeling articles" rather than painting, but interviewing people at tournaments is just tournament reports. As for RPG material, it wasn't in NQ when I last looked (which was prior to the second edition of IK). I stand by my comment that it offers me nothing. I can paint, I can sculpt well enough for my own needs, and dont care about tournaments. This isn't a knock at the magazine. Its good. Just useless to me. Like WD is useless to many people, but not to all.

http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?4313-Table-Of-Contents-For-All-No-Quarter-Issues

...then I guess you've read NQ 33-39, about a year's worth of issues in-between the old and the new RPG. Then again, those magazines had general background material (of which a lot has RPG-relevant background material like character bios), brain teasers, theme forces, a short story which for once was half decent in the sea of horrid fiction the gaming world provides us with, scenario rules for terrain, the aforementioned rules previews, and no more than a couple of pages of News from the Front (the tournament reports) each. None of which come under what you mentioned earlier. But if you have decided that it is useless to you, I guess it is, but it makes you sound like a rare bird amongst those interested in PP's games and worlds.

warhammergrimace
17-03-2013, 09:01
Putting together a magazine with gaming content is quite difficult....I've been editing Irregular Magazine now for nearly 4 years...every issue is difficult due getting in enough content..our mag is free therefore we can't pay anyone, which is possibly why we struggle for content. I'm not a fan of WD as far a I'm concerned it's a glorified catalogue aimed at younger players...there are plenty of other options on the net, our magazine is just one possible outlet. Plus most of these other options won't cost you the earth either and in a lot of cases will be free. So why waste 5 on a magazine when there's a plethora of stuff online to serve your hobby needs.

Ps....check out www.irregular-magazine.com

Also anyone who fancies contributing to our magazine then contact us on; irregularmagazine@gmail.com

Cheers jason

tu33y
20-03-2013, 13:12
i must admit Raven often do not agree with your posts, and i think we may even have had a bit of a row once, but this post is dead on. it is EXACTLY why White Dwarf is on its uppers. i agree with everything you say: they limit themselves by being a "GW" magazine, not a "hobby in general" magazine.

i

Herzlos
20-03-2013, 15:42
They've been a "GW magazine" for years though and managed reasonable content, so whilst they have restricted themselves to GW only that isn't the sole reason it's not doing so well.

It's not a rose-tinted glasses thing either, I've skimmed through some older issues recently and they are much more content-rich than current ones.

therisnosaurus
21-03-2013, 03:00
two words

Mike walker

Scaryscarymushroom
21-03-2013, 03:46
I generally agree with Lars Porsenna, but would like to emphasize a different angle to the kids stuff. Things which appeal to children don't need to appeal exclusively to children, and the best of things that appeal to children also have something that appeals to adults. Many successful cartoons appeal to more than just children.

Examples:
Peanuts cartoon - For their humor in general, which could get quite sophisticated.
Animaniacs - Again for humor, and sometimes for episode themes. When I watched the show, I didn't realize I was watching a parody of Pirates of Penzance or Les Miserables.
New episodes of My Little Pony (my personal favorite from this list) - Which reference The Big Lebowski, the myth of Icarus, cartoons and Broadway musicals from the '60s, J.S. Bach, Cult horror films, Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse now, and even parodies of popular book titles which discuss adult topics. Full list of Allusions. (http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_allusions) It's a show that can be very mentally stimulating for adults.

There's even a Powerpuff Girls episode where Blossom ends up accidentally dressed like Cartman from South Park.

Contrast these examples with Blue's Clues. It's aimed at children, children love it. As an adult, it is nothing but painful to watch. :shifty:

Sykorax
21-03-2013, 19:42
They could very well turn the fact that its a GW owned magazine into a benefit. While general mags can put in reviews you can still find that stuff online.

They just need to add value where you cannot find it online. I mentioned it in the WD feedback post awhile ago - just add something in there that adds to the game so people want to buy it.

I don't mean give stuff like flyer rules and rules for new units - no one wants to carry around their codex and 6 WDs in order to field their army.

I'm talking about one of two things:

1. War gear, reference or mission cards. A real and nicely made card you can pop out and use with the game.

New chaos release? add a reference card for their magic lore.

Maybe add a mission card you can pull from a deck to see what mission you play so the more WD you get the bigger mission variety pool you have.

Off month? Add some non game breaking wargear card usable by all factions

2. New rules. Again, not one unit entry but a whole we set of rules that can be used for standalone play. Why play only 40k with 40k models? Give back combat patrol, war bands, space hulk style of play in space games etc. doesn't event have to be complex.

Host some mission using different rules so even beginners can just use those rules to play without having to study 200 pages of rule book before ppl can play. AoBR starter set play through kinda style - relive big events with small scale battles 400 pt battles and reduced rules. It'll encourage sales of a few boxes just to try it rather than - read this tome of rules, pay $2000 for this army then play.

Yeah it'll take some play testing and design balance, but sure beats wasting time on stuff no one reads and doesn't increase sales

Edit: also a point that being a gw product can be used as a benefit to their other products since what they write is authentic. No other mag can write up a set of rules or another game using gw models and sell