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Korpacz
07-01-2014, 19:05
I'm trying to understand why GW is so secretive with their products. Here are the only three reasons I could come-up with:

1. Protecting their intellectual property rights: If a company comes out with a great product that sells well, other companies copy that product, by keeping it a secret they are giving them selves lead time to sell their amazing product before it gets copied. I'm not sure how well this applies to GW, they already protect their IP vigorously with cease & desist letters and there isn't a ton of direct competition.

2. Building up suspense and anticipation for the product in order to create a frenzy of demand: I think they'd do better by leaking sneak-peeks of products a couple months in advance.

3. Push out old stock: Maybe they're worried existing stock will become obsolete and not sell. If they're coming out with a new book, chances are that army isn't selling anyways.

Why the secrecy GW?

HurrDurr
07-01-2014, 20:19
You just named the 3 most common reasons that you'll see warseer talk about. That's after more than a year of reading on here. It's sad to say but the shock value of keeping things in the dark until release date probably gives them the best sales figures.(sad because no one here likes being in the dark about these things)

Scammel
07-01-2014, 20:27
The LotR/Hobbit license. The community's/my understanding is that New Line needed GW to prove that it could keep a much firmer lid on things than in the past, lest Hobbit spoilers end up leaking.

leopard
07-01-2014, 20:30
Guess it started with LotR, from then it will have expanded to everything else for the same reason everything does.

Someone who counts beans and drives a spreadsheet will have found it provides an upwards shift in revenue and/or profits, that may be true or may not be (it could be close enough to be hard to tell) but if the perception is there, the secrecy will remain.

VaeVictisGames
07-01-2014, 21:02
The LotR/Hobbit license. The community's/my understanding is that New Line needed GW to prove that it could keep a much firmer lid on things than in the past, lest Hobbit spoilers end up leaking.

That seems to be why it initially started. But after the fiasco with Chapter House, and Mantic's aping, i can't see GW dropping the policy even if they do give the Tolkien license up when it runs out.

Jind_Singh
07-01-2014, 21:08
This would be best under the general GW threads as opposed to here.

But it's pretty much all 3 things that you said - there was a day when they had black boxes direct to the stores, now they have this way - to be honest I prefer the last minute reveal, gets me more excited.

I was talking to a manager once and they said that it's been shown that the new approach has been working better for their sales too company wide.

If it's not broke - don't fix it!

baransiege
07-01-2014, 23:13
Different industry, but at companies I've worked at early product leaks have been incredibly damaging. Show something too soon and all the hype has died down by the time people can actually order the things, not to mention how it cannabilises sales of your current product line. I assume GW see a similar thing with their products.

SteveW
07-01-2014, 23:22
It's really simple. If GW states in June that in december we are getting Dwarfs, every other mini company will release dwarf stuff around that time to compete for a very limited market share. When GW were the only game in town, there was no need to care and we got White Dwarfs with a few months advance notice on releases. Now with 3D printers and a mini sculptor in every town, they need to play it a bit closer to the chest.

That's one of many reasons, add in all the other reasons given and you have yourselves an answer to the OP's question.

Knifeparty
07-01-2014, 23:36
If you notice, GW won't put unit entries inside army books they don't have a model for anymore either. The whole Chapter House thing I think really changed the way GW releases models and such. This can be seen all the way up until late into 5th edition 40K and half way through 8th edition Fantasy.

Many of the entries in old books like the Tyranid codex and such had unit entries that had no models. Other companies started making models that GW had not released yet and it was seriously eating into their profit margin.

Remember when GW started releasing units and rules in White Dwarf before the Army Books were even updated for 8th edition. Units like the Terrorgeist/Zombie Dragon, Skull Crushers and Hellstriders were released before the army book because I think they were intended for a second wave after the army books were released but were released early due to policy changes stating that they need to have all models represented in the book at the time of release. This way no other company can quickly make models for them and thereby eat into GW profits.

This is one of the reasons for terrible looking units like Chaos Marine Mutilators which I think were hastily slapped together as a stop-gap to release with Chaos Codex. I think the real intention was to make a dual kit with mutilators/oblitorators and release that but their schedule sped up too much and they needed to pull something together quickly.

If you look at the Dark Apostle for the Chaos Space Marine army entry. He has no access to Terminator armour, bike or jump pack in the book, where as a normal space marine chaplain does. I don't think this is a mistake, I think they literally want to make a sculpt for every conceivable type of armour or war gear before they make it a unit entry (within reason).

There are some older armies that still have unit entries without models. I think it comes down to what GW feels is a worth while investment in trying to fill in gaps in it's line up. For example, I think that Tomb Kings don't sell enough for GW to feel the need to quickly make a sculpt for a Heirotitan, because there's not much market for it and no other company is bothering to make one either from my knowledge.

They are even trying to distinguish unit entry names and make sure that they are legally protected. For example, you can't legally protect Spearmen, or Executioners. But you can if they are called Dreadspears and Har Ganeth Executioners. Even if the names sound stupid, it's for a reason.

Darnok
07-01-2014, 23:41
They want you to buy the most recent stuff, and expect their current "policy" on news and rumours to help with that. That's it.

Lord Dan
08-01-2014, 01:22
2. Building up suspense and anticipation for the product in order to create a frenzy of demand.


This. From their 2011-2012 financial report:

"For those of you who are Games Workshop Hobbyists, our new products pipeline is probably what interests you most. Sadly this is not something that I can say too much about: keeping details of our future releases secret until just before they are available to buy adds to the excitement and success of each launch. In the last 12 months we have narrowed the disclosure window to the weekend before release and sales of new products - and of White Dwarf which showcases the new products - have been significantly higher as a result."

Source: http://investor.games-workshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Final-group-accounts-3-June-2012.pdf

That's pretty much it. I don't foresee them changing anything if it really is working for them.

Archon of Death
08-01-2014, 02:24
Well, I'm glad it's working for them. To be honest, I'd MUCH rather see the rules and review them for a few weeks before investing in the minis. However I would suspect they anticipated this and would rather have their customers buy bum products than not buy at all. Personally, I'd return them if the rules for them were bad.

Bitten Black Sheep
08-01-2014, 08:29
The other thing to consider is that under their leaky policy of 4/5 years ago there were considerable leaks of new rules for 8th edition. Many players took each (rumour of) a rule change under consideration separately rather than collectively. Individual rule changes were criticised as how they would spoil 7th edition in isolation. As a result there were a lot of rage quitters even before 8th got released. GW must have suffered considerably from a drop in player base. By keeping new developments in tight it prevents this inconsidered and out of context judgement of the change which can lead to rage quits.

zoggin-eck
08-01-2014, 08:58
I think the answers have been covered before.

Whatever it is, they seem to think it works or are happy with the approach. Every company I've worked for had a similar "want people to buy whatever's new" attitude and didn't promote their next moves anyway.

Avian
08-01-2014, 12:29
The other thing to consider is that under their leaky policy of 4/5 years ago there were considerable leaks of new rules for 8th edition.
That was me! Good times, good times! ;)

Personally, I'm of the opinion that what's good for the butcher isn't necessarily good for the pig, and I think people could do with being a little less understanding.
(I also don't like 8th edition and I'm considering Hordes instead now that 9th edition is apparently nowhere close.)

Scammel
08-01-2014, 13:00
Personally, I'm of the opinion that what's good for the butcher isn't necessarily good for the pig, and I think people could do with being a little less understanding.
(I also don't like 8th edition and I'm considering Hordes instead now that 9th edition is apparently nowhere close.)

Eh, I like early info when it happens to pop up but I don't see why we should expect it or why there's something inherently 'wrong' with the strategy. As long as they release enough info for folks to know what the product is and when it's on sale, I don't see why there might be an imperative to do any more.

Sotek
08-01-2014, 13:02
Someone who counts beans and drives a spreadsheet will have found it provides an upwards shift in revenue and/or profits, that may be true or may not be (it could be close enough to be hard to tell) but if the perception is there, the secrecy will remain.

As a marketer and person with a brain, these numbers can be manipulated for either argument 'sales are down - hide more stuff' or 'sales are up because of hiding'

Avian
08-01-2014, 13:19
Eh, I like early info when it happens to pop up but I don't see why we should expect it or why there's something inherently 'wrong' with the strategy. As long as they release enough info for folks to know what the product is and when it's on sale, I don't see why there might be an imperative to do any more.
Well, I certainly wouldn't like it if I only heard of new movies a week before they release it in the cinemas. I like knowing about them some reasonable number of months in advance, and then a teaser a couple of months out. It shouldn't reveal too much, but it should make an effort to build excitement and anticipation.




Many of the entries in old books like the Tyranid codex and such had unit entries that had no models. Other companies started making models that GW had not released yet and it was seriously eating into their profit margin.
How can it eat into their profit margin if GW doesn't make the models? Heck, for the Tyranid releases, it seems GW don't plan on ever making those minis. Can't take away sales GW never tried to make possible, after all.




It's really simple. If GW states in June that in december we are getting Dwarfs, every other mini company will release dwarf stuff around that time to compete for a very limited market share.
Firstly, I'm 100 % for more companies making minis I can use in my armies. Secondly, for the last couple of years, Avatars of War have been putting out dwarf stuff, competing for that market share and that is entirely without any release info from GW. In fact, I would say that HAD there been info from GW that a Dwarf book was imminent, AoW would probably not have put much effort into making a Dwarf army of their own, as they would be competing with a much larger, much more well known company for the same market share, which would hurt them more than GW. It also shows the time scale involved - AoW have been working on this Dwarf stuff for years now and it's still far from complete.
Sure, you'd get small garage businesses putting out character models and things, but that would hardly be much competition.

Shadoer
08-01-2014, 13:42
My personal pet theory is the reason for the increased secrecy is because GW themselves don't know what they are going to release next. Triumph & Trechery as well as Sigmars Blood came out of left field, and currently the reliable rumors rotate between 9th Edition Fantasy coming out this year to somekind of new edition or patch for 40k.

It feels like they have some internal disagreement on how to go with things and keep shifting gears.

IcedCrow
08-01-2014, 13:50
Why the secrecy?

because it works. Because its flexible. Because it lets them control what they want to push next short-term.

Scammel
08-01-2014, 14:03
Well, I certainly wouldn't like it if I only heard of new movies a week before they release it in the cinemas. I like knowing about them some reasonable number of months in advance, and then a teaser a couple of months out. It shouldn't reveal too much, but it should make an effort to build excitement and anticipation.


There's an argument to be made about different practices in different industries, but again I'm not seeing the 'should' beyond the fact that some of us might like advance info. It's not 'should' on the same level as 'GW should accurately represent its' prices on their website' or whatever.


How can it eat into their profit margin if GW doesn't make the models? Heck, for the Tyranid releases, it seems GW don't plan on ever making those minis. Can't take away sales GW never tried to make possible, after all.


I've reckoned for some time now that the decision to not make those models was as a direct result of said 'competitors'. That old saying about mending the gate after the horses have bolted and all that.


Triumph & Trechery as well as Sigmars Blood came out of left field, and currently the reliable rumors rotate between 9th Edition Fantasy coming out this year to somekind of new edition or patch for 40k.


Nah, this is just people either not hearing/not reporting/making stuff up on these things. Triumph and Treachery came out of left field for you, not GW. Fantasy coming out next year was (potentially, we'll see how it pans out) the mere educated guess of the community, not GW.

Knifeparty
08-01-2014, 15:49
How can it eat into their profit margin if GW doesn't make the models? Heck, for the Tyranid releases, it seems GW don't plan on ever making those minis. Can't take away sales GW never tried to make possible, after all

If you create intellectual property and then intend to create a toy based on that property in order to make money on it in the future but can't profit as much off of it because I've gone and made a toy faster than you have that others have already bought, then yes it's eating into your profits. Protecting future investments is an important business strategy too.

If you you've noticed as well, many of the Tyranid units that did't have models are axed from this upcoming codex such as the mysetic spore.

Montegue
08-01-2014, 16:19
So, make your minis better and put them out at a better price point, with better customer service and a better community building effort.

I get that they want to be tight lipped, but I also think it's foolish for them to simply ignore the opportunity to generate good will by giving folks some real time to save up money to buy the new stuff.

Taking dwarfs as an example - I am only putting aside enough money to buy the Codex. I don't know what the new models or kits will do, and I won't be spending money on them until I do. Not only do I want to know what's coming, I want to be able to do some planning, possibly on a new themed army based on what's going to be available. But I don't even know for sure when it's coming out, so I can't plan for it.

This is preventing me from buying other models in 40k and Fantasy. Why? Because I don't want to spend time on something when my new army book and models might come out some time in the unforseen future (probably next month, hopefully, but GW isn't saying anything about it). The hobby is expensive, and setting aside fun money to participate takes planning. GW could generate a lot of customer good will by giving annual previews or a general schedule. Let the other mini companies produce alternative models. GW can produce *better* models, and are in a position in the market to offer those models at a better price. They can also bolster their service and community relations to help build even more good will.

AoW dwarfs are awesome. And what's even better is knowing what's in the hopper for their model range. I can, if I want, plan to buy an AoW dwarf army if I like their range, and I'm going to know what their range looks like, over time, as they post WiP shots, developer blogs, etc.

Scammel
08-01-2014, 16:50
Don't forget the flipside to being to build interest beforehand - there's the prospect of losing it beforehand, as well. Plus, that money you're putting aside for a future release you know about? A hypothetical you might be spending on that army right up to the couple-of-weeks-ahead-completely-see-through trailer and then drop another wad on the new stuff without having a 'run up' period where you don't buy anything. There are probably cons to the policy but there are also pros as well and whenever this topic comes up I get the feeling that people tend to put the fact that they're mildly miffed about not seeing their toys months ahead of schedule before sitting down and taking a balanced look at why GW might be doing it.

Montegue
08-01-2014, 17:26
Don't forget the flipside to being to build interest beforehand - there's the prospect of losing it beforehand, as well. Plus, that money you're putting aside for a future release you know about? A hypothetical you might be spending on that army right up to the couple-of-weeks-ahead-completely-see-through trailer and then drop another wad on the new stuff without having a 'run up' period where you don't buy anything. There are probably cons to the policy but there are also pros as well and whenever this topic comes up I get the feeling that people tend to put the fact that they're mildly miffed about not seeing their toys months ahead of schedule before sitting down and taking a balanced look at why GW might be doing it.

Let's say you're producing a video game. To promote it, you put effort into online dev blogs, links to concept art, and brief interviews about game mechanics. You provide forums for folks to talk about the game and generate buzz with linked social media. I think GW could take a limited nod from that system. Surely they have their reasons, I just think there might be a wiser way for them to do business.

Wintermute
08-01-2014, 18:39
Not this subject again.

Thread Closed

Wintermute