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View Full Version : How did GW NOT sell The Old World to people?



rob451
17-07-2015, 23:59
It seems like everybody knows how to make The Old World look absolutely awesome except for GW.

Consider these video game trailers...

Total War: Warhammer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epK0ouN0l7U)
Warhammer Online: Trailer 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JglnSrfJtyQ)
Warhammer Online: Trailer 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKOhzfkCdbY)
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNFGJQIW5ZM)
Warhammer: Battle March (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-FUFqQOXe0)

Now consider the Age of Sigmar "Trailer"

Age of Sigmar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AQseMwiSYY)

I get that they're trying to sell people models but videogames have understood for decades that what you first have to sell people is the world and the vision. This is why they use cinematic trailers before all the game play ones. This is why every GW "Trailer" is just cringe inducing.

Everybody else knows why The Old World is amazing except for GW it seems.

Shandor
18-07-2015, 00:18
When they make an Age of Sigmar Addon for Total War Warhammer im going to burn my minis too :P

Chicago Slim
18-07-2015, 01:38
Warhammer Fantasy is and has been some amazingly great IP. I'm sad to see it go, and I agree that it's perplexing to me that GW managed to fail to market this amazing world.

Ah, well. We had some good times...

GrandmasterWang
18-07-2015, 01:59
Gw DID sell the old world.... it's why most of us are posting here.

Loved the total war trailers. Wouldn't surprise me to see GW release something Old World related when the game comes out at all.

The fact that GW is promoting all these Total War trailers on the Warhammer app and talking about the Old World shows it's still going strong

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ShruikhanTK
18-07-2015, 05:35
Oh man I hadn't seen that trailer yet, I need to buy me some Demigryph knights....atleast 2 boxes that looked so freaking cool. Aye Oldworld was so freaking cool, GW....what the hell....why?!

SteveW
18-07-2015, 05:39
All of the games based on fantasy have failed in every possible way. Such an amazing IP but the video-games it has spawned have been trash.

Smooth Boy
18-07-2015, 05:42
I hate to sound like a broken record but it was probably down to price. A video game, even one that needs a relatively well spec'd PC, is easier to sell than 500 worth of models.

Sothron
18-07-2015, 06:27
There's a part of me that hopes Total War Warhammer is such a huge hit that it forces GW to at least bring back WHFB in the classic Old World setting and maintain it as at least a specialist game.

GrandmasterWang
18-07-2015, 06:49
All of the games based on fantasy have failed in every possible way. Such an amazing IP but the video-games it has spawned have been trash.

I strongly disagree with that. Shadow of the Horned Rat and Dark Omen were both damn fine games for their time. Also they did a good job of representing the brutality of the Warhammer world. Imo of course.

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Spell_of_Destruction
18-07-2015, 07:14
I would love to see comprehensive sales data for WHFB vs 40K from the late 90s to 2015 (i.e. total sales for every faction across both ranges). In the absence of such data, it's difficult to say exactly why WHFB failed to reach the same level as 40k in terms of sales. I don't know if it's necessarily because they failed to sell the setting so much as they failed to develop a protagonist with a wider appeal.

What is clear is that from the release of 3rd ed onwards Space Marines were a major sales winner for GW. Aside from their aesthetic and thematic appeal, they're easy to use, easy to paint and require relatively few models.

WHFB never had an equivalent faction and in truth it always had a steeper learning curve than 40k. When I picked up 6th edition after a two year absence since 5th, I remember getting my ass handed to me for a good 6 months before I started winning games with any regularity.

Perhaps GW's biggest flaw with WHFB is that over the years the 'bad guys' have tended to have the stronger army books. Empire have always been a solid mid tier army since the release of 6th but they're not the sort of army I would put in the hands of a beginner. High Elves (who some have argued were the closest WHFB has to a poster child) were terrible until they received their 7th ed book in 2007.

While I think that 'Sigmarines' are a bit transparent, there's an undeniably wider appeal to 'superhero' good guys. Of course the fact that there was no dominant faction in WHFB (in terms of sales) is what appealed to many of us vets but sadly that doesn't necessarily make for impressive sales figures.

Lexington
18-07-2015, 07:17
It's been clear for a long time now that GW has a vision of what the modern consumer wants in a fantasy world - Gods and Monsters dueling eternally in a world of nothing but constant battle, with no visible consequences beyond some vague concept of masculine honor. You can see this as far back as Mat Ward's first Codexes. They failed to sell the Old World because they don't believe it's a world that can be sold. Unfortunately for them, consumers don't seem to agree.

skeptico
18-07-2015, 07:46
A few thoughts on this.

1. Games Workshop's IP doesn't come through very strongly in any of these trailers. It's striking how, when you see the designs of the races and troops in a video game, rather than in a miniature or piece of GW art, it looks much like any other fantasy game on the market. A lot of GW's aesthetic, I think, can only really be realised by their own design team, or through the mediums of mini sculpting and art.

2. I've loved GW for 25 years or so. But like many others, I've always found the Empire aesthetic (and even more so Bretonnia) just a bit boring. Historical armies with monsters and exaggerated tech thrown in doesn't do it for me at all, nor for quite a few others. As such, I'm afraid I didn't find the first trailer engaging at all - generic orcs versus weedy looking historical human soldiers is not for me.

3. All in all, the Old World is a rich and lovely setting, for RPG games, small-scale questing plot lines, and board games like Warhammer Quest. But it's not a good setting for a game of epic, constant war, like WFB. Why? Because the world's too small for the nations to constantly be at war - it's not believable to have high civilisation and a state of constant war. In the comparable Middle Earth setting, war rarely happens. In Warhammer, it's every day of the week. That's not a world you can quite believe or engage with fully, and it doesn't help players imagine that their own battles and campaigns have consequence, since once the fighting's over, the borders of the nations are just the way they've always been. This is in contrast to 40k, where play happens over a galaxy, and everyone can easily imagine that there is a planet, etc at stake in their campaigns.

4. There were elements of the WH World (Nippon etc) that were not very politically correct or 21st century. Again, I've got a lot of history with, and affection for, Warhammer. But let's not pretend the world didn't have clear limitations.

Mateobard
18-07-2015, 08:14
A few thoughts on this.

1. Games Workshop's IP doesn't come through very strongly in any of these trailers. It's striking how, when you see the designs of the races and troops in a video game, rather than in a miniature or piece of GW art, it looks much like any other fantasy game on the market. A lot of GW's aesthetic, I think, can only really be realised by their own design team, or through the mediums of mini sculpting and art.

did we watch the same trailer for Total War? Because all that made me want to do is play that game, and war hammer fantasy. The ip was hugely present in that video. Orcs wer GW orcs, Giants were GW Giants, demigriffs... It was amaze balls.




2. I've loved GW for 25 years or so. But like many others, I've always found the Empire aesthetic (and even more so Bretonnia) just a bit boring. Historical armies with monsters and exaggerated tech thrown in doesn't do it for me at all, nor for quite a few others. As such, I'm afraid I didn't find the first trailer engaging at all - generic orcs versus weedy looking historical human soldiers is not for me.

it seems the definition o f weedy has been expanded to include complete badasses armed with the courage of men and a halberd!




3. All in all, the Old World is a rich and lovely setting, for RPG games, small-scale questing plot lines, and board games like Warhammer Quest. But it's not a good setting for a game of epic, constant war, like WFB. Why? Because the world's too small for the nations to constantly be at war - it's not believable to have high civilisation and a state of constant war. In the comparable Middle Earth setting, war rarely happens. In Warhammer, it's every day of the week. That's not a world you can quite believe or engage with fully, and it doesn't help players imagine that their own battles and campaigns have consequence, since once the fighting's over, the borders of the nations are just the way they've always been. This is in contrast to 40k, where play happens over a galaxy, and everyone can easily imagine that there is a planet, etc at stake in their campaigns.

second time I've seen this talking point online today. The old world was a fine setting for huge wars, and was for 30 years. As for political correctness, Age of sigmar seems even more bleached white with the good and bad guys all following Viking white cultural patterns.

Nkari
18-07-2015, 08:59
A few thoughts on this.


3. All in all, the Old World is a rich and lovely setting, for RPG games, small-scale questing plot lines, and board games like Warhammer Quest. But it's not a good setting for a game of epic, constant war, like WFB. Why? Because the world's too small for the nations to constantly be at war - it's not believable to have high civilisation and a state of constant war. In the comparable Middle Earth setting, war rarely happens. In Warhammer, it's every day of the week. That's not a world you can quite believe or engage with fully, and it doesn't help players imagine that their own battles and campaigns have consequence, since once the fighting's over, the borders of the nations are just the way they've always been. This is in contrast to 40k, where play happens over a galaxy, and everyone can easily imagine that there is a planet, etc at stake in their campaigns.

Most of my games where not about an "end times" size invasion, it was more warband size of beastmen and well, marauders, as well as marauding orcs and dark elves etc.. sometimes the empire did send a exploratory mission into lustria, or the southern desserts past tilea.
The constat threat of a Vampire count re-emergance sends smaller contingents of empire soldiers into sylvania to cleanse out undead stirings and investigate rumours of a new vampire count etc..


You dont need huge epic scale battles, you just have to think 2 seconds about WHY your fitghting this perticular army and you will find its quite easy to accept non empire ending battles. I mean, if your battle where 130 empire troos vs 150 beastmen, the battle is a tiny one and not empire shattering.. wich is what 99% of all battles where, tiny compared to the "end times" size invasions and battles involving 500+ ppl on a side ( about 12k+ big) But these kind of battles where rare, very rare..

Bishops finger
18-07-2015, 09:44
I have a horrible feeling GW will bring back the old-world and warhammer as we know it. GW know that a lot of us are gonna eBay and will be sucked in and have to start again hahah..with this vid ohhhh take me money...help! be strong!

innerwolf
18-07-2015, 09:54
The only thing that struck me as GW IP-amazeballs was the demigryph riders in motion. You know what? The WHFB models for them are pure shitte.

The rest came as pretty generic, if you ask me.

duffybear1988
18-07-2015, 10:02
They sold us the world but they couldn't sell the kits. In 12 months time AoS will be in the same position because the boxes are just too expensive.

What's going to happen is that Timmy has richer parents and gets more kits than Burt so Burt keeps losing. In the end Burt gives up and goes to play an actual wargame.

RunepriestRidcully
18-07-2015, 10:23
Swear everyone does better things with GW's Ip then Gw nowadays.
Seriously though, instead of the end times/age of sigmar, have the big chaos incursion end when the non chaos gods such as Sigmar, the lady, dwarven, Elven and Khemrian pantheons intervene (heck, that could introduce the Sigmarines if they were needed) and start interferring with the old world as much as the chaos gods do. This gives high Elves, Dwarves, Empire, ect a chance to catch breath, organise and then go on the offensive themselves, pushing into the Northern wastes, the gods/High elves/Slaan erecting temples and waystones as they go to drive the wastes/vortexs back, maybe have the High elves led by Eltharion and Tyrion launch an affective assault upon the Dark elves ect, the Tomb Kings clearing out the Vampires ect.
It wouln't have taken much effort to ease the setting out of "chaos is going to win, always" and a price drop so that yes, that 20 box was enough models for a functioning unit rather then needing three of them, and it would have done well.
Instead we have the Sigmarfest of Sigmarines in Sigmarite plate with Sigmarblades bearing the Sigmarboulous forged in the Sigmarballum.

Chicago Slim
18-07-2015, 12:02
Yeah, I think that part of the problem might be that something like 10 years ago, the GW staff themselves got caught up in how "metal" the bad guys were, and found themselves loving Chaos more and more. That threw off their perspective on the world, and it threw off their long-term strategy (ending in, well, Chaos wins...)

As I say, it was a good run, really-- 28 years or so, right? All things end, and while I'm sad to have no further relationship as a GW customer, I'm still going to be a hardcore WFB player for as long as I can find opponents!

That'll be the fun bit-- 10 or 15 years from now: "Oh, you still have a Warhammer Fantasy army, too? Okay, let's get a game in!"

lbecks
18-07-2015, 12:13
I hate to sound like a broken record but it was probably down to price. A video game, even one that needs a relatively well spec'd PC, is easier to sell than 500 worth of models.

That's part of the reason video games in general are exceedingly popular and tabletop miniature games are a niche. You also need to develop model making skills in miniature games, learn a textbook's worth of rules, and calculate everything yourself. Your cpu and gpu do that for you in a video game.

Specifically in warhammer fantasy i thought the models were ugly until the mid 2000's, 40k was what attracted me to gw products initially, and then a few years after that things started getting stupidly expensive.

Gharak
18-07-2015, 21:57
The only thing that struck me as GW IP-amazeballs was the demigryph riders in motion

I find comments like this proper tickle me. I saw the demigriff riders recently and thought wtf are they doing in the old world along with about the past 5 years releases. None of that fits with the previous 25 years of built up GW lore and asthetic in my opinion.

The greatest era of GW for skirmish was the realm's of chaos books. Mordheim was a pale comparison and a poor ruleset for a good skirmish game.