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View Full Version : Go To AoS. Go directly to AoS. Do not pass HeroQuest, do not collect new players.



Niall78
24-07-2015, 12:45
Sorry about the mangled Monopoly title. I've never been great at thread titles. This post isn't even about Monopoly - although it does attempt to show how companies don't know why they were successful and how to replicate that success.

I'm a very long term war-gamer, board game and RPGer. I was saving my pennies in the very early Eighties to buy Middle-Earth books and miniatures from GW/Citadel before they became the behemoth they evolved into.

I was just thinking about how many customers made their way to GW to make them as popular as they became. I would think it was the easy availability of starter games. What were these?

For WFB it went something like this :
HeroQuest > Advanced HeroQuest > WFB/WFRP (You could add stuff like BloodBowl, Mighty Empires or Man O' War that wasn't as available but again gave a great introduction to the miniature war-gaming hobby with simple rules, good tactics and nice game boards and models.)

For 40K :
Space Crusade > Space Hulk > Advanced Space Crusade > 40K/Epic (Again for years there were many other introductory products that sucked younger gamers into the scene.)

The core introductory products were available in every toy shop courtesy of being jointly published by Milton Bradley. Bringing a huge demographic within striking distance. GWs other games were advertised with these products. If a customer liked them - and many fell in love with them - they'd move to other products within the setting eventually becoming big spenders on the core products - WFB and 40K. White Dwarf also helped a lot. People picked it up to check out new rules, upgrades or painting advice for the starter products they owned and then saw the bigger range of offering available - allowing them go grow into more complicated systems as they matured themselves.

Your miniatures for the starter games gave you a core of models for the bigger tabletop games allowing easier transition to the core games. For example if you owned Space Crusade, Space Hulk and Advanced Space Crusade you had a fairy decent amount of miniatures that could be transferred for use in the tabletop game. The starter games got people into playing games involving rules and dice. Got people into constructing and painting miniatures. Got people into involving their friends into such games.

Each of the starter games also provided entry into the rich universes of both the 40K and WFB settings. These settings anchored all the products and anchored customers as well as they feel in love with the settings. The settings even gave cover for poor and shoddy rules updates and price gouging as love for the setting overwhelmed the negatives.

What does any of this have to do with AoS? AoS's success is predicated on dumping a lot of things that made the game interesting for the veterans. Dumping the thirty year old setting, dumping a lot of the core game play mechanisms, dumping a lot of tactical complexity, dumping balance and replacing it with a game that appeals to younger less experienced gamers with no real interest or love in the history of the setting. This isn't what made the original game popular! The original game was the end point where a lot of the players from your starter products would end up after a natural progression lasting a year or two. They came from HeroQuest and progressed - they didn't just one day decide to spend hundreds of pounds on a miniatures tabletop system that required building and painting.

AoS has none of the support mechanisms that enabled the new player growth of WFB. It also has lost a lot of its veterans by nuking the setting and radically changing the game mechanics. This coupled with the heavy competition in today's market from other game producers offering much better rules and GW near total lack of engagement with its play-base though modern mediums - a completely different approach to all its rivals - means the future isn't that bright.

Where do you get new players for a system if you don't engage with customers or potential customers the way every other company does? How can you hook in new players when the starting point is so high and there are no introductory products - the kind of products that made you strong in the first place? How do young people even know you exist? In the 80's your starter was in every toy shop in the country - now you are invisible in general toy shops and - apart from fan sites/forums and your shop - the web.

Cancelling the WFB universe and replacing it with AoS is GWs jumping the shark moment. The day they killed the golden goose after starving it for years and replaced it with a half dead turkey. They almost have nothing left to destroy at this stage. They've killed every other product that supported their core settings. They've now killed a core setting - one of the richest fantasy settings ever created - in the hopes of attaining a miraculous 80's style success without any of the supports that made the 80's success possible. All the time ignoring that there is now serious competition in the market that is incredibly better at engaging their potential customers though modern technology and has better offerings for that customer.

This also creates a major issue for the surviving great setting. Where is your new blood coming from? Space Crusade is long gone. As is the mighty Space Hulk. Very soon that setting might need a reboot to bring in the new players the starter games used to supply. Price rises will only hide the dwindling though greying player base for so long before a major shake-up is deemed necessary. AoS might be the toe in the water for just such a move.

ScruffMan
24-07-2015, 12:51
Things were much better for the gamer back then alright. Do you think that Age of Sigmar will be enough for a potential competitor with an ethos similar to old GW to fill a gap in the market?

I have read that there are plenty of good games and companies out there that could fill this role but do any of them have the ability and cojones to attempt to take that step up?

Niall78
24-07-2015, 13:15
Things were much better for the gamer back then alright. Do you think that Age of Sigmar will be enough for a potential competitor with an ethos similar to old GW to fill a gap in the market?

I have read that there are plenty of good games and companies out there that could fill this role but do any of them have the ability and cojones to attempt to take that step up?

I've heard people commenting on forums that KoW was taking over things like the tournament scene in places like Germany. That means that already the veteran war-gamers are heavily engaged with GWs competition. Older players are also happy enough to jump around systems and proxy miniatures if the offerings from other companies are good. The days of utter market dominance are long gone in both the fantasy and science fiction tabletop market. GW still has a big pie but has a give more of it away every year to other companies.

I think games like Magic, Flames of War, X-Wing, etc. are grabbing the kids and engaging them with interesting rules, interesting games, communication through modern technology and keen enough prices . It's hard to win them over to very expensive systems with lack lustre rules afterwards.

I don't think any one has the ability to get as big challenge GW directly - I think it will be death by a thousand cuts from many smaller companies.

Kerill
24-07-2015, 13:54
Aye as I stated elsewhere it was the slow draw for my generation via the Hasbro games into the GW soft games (AHQ for me) then into WFB. Most 40K people I know started with space crusade. A games company that can achieve the same would still be successful despite online gaming. Hell a combination PC game and starter game would rock.

Lord Inquisitor
24-07-2015, 14:03
X-wing is remarkable in that it seems a vast proportion of players have never played a wargame before. Good game, tournament friendly with company support, sold in not just hardcore game stores, prepainted, instantly recognisable and nostalgic brand. No surprise it's taken off like crazy.

I don't know that GW have necessarily shot themselves in the foot, if WFB wasn't selling it makes sense to do something and if this works for the teenage, GW-store-dwelling demographic that only play "mega battles" on GW tables then it might do okay for GW?

But they seem to have almost driven their long-time players into the arms of Kings of War, which has been waiting for this opportunity. And while the WFB market might not be worth maintaining for GW, they've given their competitor a huge boost. Enough to make Mantic a contender? Dunno. Sure doesn't hurt them.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 14:10
Aye as I stated elsewhere it was the slow draw for my generation via the Hasbro games into the GW soft games (AHQ for me) then into WFB. Most 40K people I know started with space crusade. A games company that can achieve the same would still be successful despite online gaming. Hell a combination PC game and starter game would rock.

Most of the new players back then came through such progression through the widely available starter games. They are the rock of GWs success in my opinion.

I think it is incredible that GW have pulled AoS on WFB just as the Total War:Warhammer hype was beginning to build. Most companies would chop their arm off for the type of success that kind of synergy can produce. A massive percentage of hardcore tabletop Battletech players credit the highly successful MechWarrior games for introducing them to the setting and the game. A hard-copy games company can live off a very successful computer game release for years as it brings a whole new audience to their setting and revitalises their player base with fresh blood. To not tie into such a potentially successful product - in fact to completely destroy the setting that the computer game is representing - seems counter-productive in the extreme.

Kerill
24-07-2015, 14:19
Might be a case of the left hand and right hand doing different things or total war having their own schedule for these things separate from GWs plans.

I assume the space marine element in the AoS is meant to try and suck 40k space marine players into the game, they being a large audience segment. Its still not bringing new people into the hobby as such though.

Thi new mordheim computer game could be such a chance- special edition set with 2 warbands and scenery cards for the game along with a good PC game (if it is) could be a great lead into WFB (if it still existed of course).

Theocracity
24-07-2015, 14:21
X-wing is remarkable in that it seems a vast proportion of players have never played a wargame before. Good game, tournament friendly with company support, sold in not just hardcore game stores, prepainted, instantly recognisable and nostalgic brand. No surprise it's taken off like crazy.

I don't know that GW have necessarily shot themselves in the foot, if WFB wasn't selling it makes sense to do something and if this works for the teenage, GW-store-dwelling demographic that only play "mega battles" on GW tables then it might do okay for GW?

But they seem to have almost driven their long-time players into the arms of Kings of War, which has been waiting for this opportunity. And while the WFB market might not be worth maintaining for GW, they've given their competitor a huge boost. Enough to make Mantic a contender? Dunno. Sure doesn't hurt them.

This seems like the most cogent analysis of the market I've seen around here. X-Wing's succeeded with new customers for a lot of reasons that GW can't replicate, and the KoW style competitors are benefitting from veteran GW customers without being weighed down with GW's overhead of technology and real estate investments.

AoS might not be what a lot of longtime fans wanted from GW, but from their perspective it's probably worth trying to be active in the hope they can create a new market out of it.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 14:31
X-wing is remarkable in that it seems a vast proportion of players have never played a wargame before. Good game, tournament friendly with company support, sold in not just hardcore game stores, prepainted, instantly recognisable and nostalgic brand. No surprise it's taken off like crazy.

I don't know that GW have necessarily shot themselves in the foot, if WFB wasn't selling it makes sense to do something and if this works for the teenage, GW-store-dwelling demographic that only play "mega battles" on GW tables then it might do okay for GW?

But they seem to have almost driven their long-time players into the arms of Kings of War, which has been waiting for this opportunity. And while the WFB market might not be worth maintaining for GW, they've given their competitor a huge boost. Enough to make Mantic a contender? Dunno. Sure doesn't hurt them.

You mad sorcerer! I'm finding it impossible to multi-quote your crazy purple text!

Notice how Star Wars:Armada ramps up the complexity of both the game and the tactics while retaining ease of use and balance. There's now talk of them releasing an epic sized Star Wars space game. Soon they'll have the market for space battle games cornored having an introductory, an intermediate and an advanced player scaling system in place. Each game being fun, balanced and tactically satisfying and allowing a player new to such games to advance their skill level and want of a deeper game as they progress through the product line.

They've given the field to KoW - a few other systems will also feed off the scraps. Everything now bar 40K has been deemed unnecessary and dumped. All the games that brought people into the hobby in the first place. One of the two major settings - one of the oldest richest fantasy settings ever produced. There's nothing now left to amputate. At every amputation their competitors filled the missing space badly weakening new players exposure to GW core products in the process. It's a bit like watching a snake eat its own head at this stage.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 14:38
I assume the space marine element in the AoS is meant to try and suck 40k space marine players into the game, they being a large audience segment. Its still not bringing new people into the hobby as such though.


I remember when a lot of 40k players also played WFB. I think the mad spiral of prices and model bloat in the last decade or so meant people had to concentrate on one or the other. This especially applies among younger players.

Where the hell is the fourteen year old demographic talked about by GW going to get the money to support both 40K and AoS? Even a spoiled rich kids parents eyes would water at the cost.

Poncho160
24-07-2015, 14:43
GW might be a bit confused if they think the Sigmarites might appeal to 40k space marine players based purley on looks.

Space Marines sell so well, because they are bad assed giant marines in space, with personalities, armed with mini rocket launchers for a baisc gun and they wield chainsaws as swords. Its the extensive fluff and the amount of time GW has put into them, that makes them sell so well.

Would I have bought anything for FWs HH, if there was no story or fluff behind it? Not a chance.

There is nothing in the fluff of the Sigmarites that is even similar. GW can not hope to capture the imagination of people (and thsoe peoples money) with these new models, based on looks alone.

ScruffMan
24-07-2015, 14:46
Games Workshop also got a bit lucky with Space Marines I feel. Looking at them objectively there is not so much unique or particularly "badass" about them, just right place, right time and good fluff (!), something they should remember. As such they have been corrupted with success yet have no idea how to replicate it.

I'm not sure if they can get back to their golden age, the world has moved on but if they do really want to Specialist games and interacting with the community would be the way to go I think. Would that be profitable for them in this day and age? I don't know.

Kerill
24-07-2015, 14:51
GW might be a bit confused if they think the Sigmarites might appeal to 40k space marine players based purley on looks.

Space Marines sell so well, because they are bad assed giant marines in space, with personalities, armed with mini rocket launchers for a baisc gun and they wield chainsaws as swords. Its the extensive fluff and the amount of time GW has put into them, that makes them sell so well.

Would I have bought anything for FWs HH, if there was no story or fluff behind it? Not a chance.

There is nothing in the fluff of the Sigmarites that is even similar. GW can not hope to capture the imagination of people (and thsoe peoples money) with these new models, based on looks alone.

I imagined the "fiendish plan" as "I can proxy these models for the new idiothammer from my space marines....player plays a small game of AOS...likes it...then they need to buy other models to make a full warband/whatever its called"

heliodorus04
24-07-2015, 14:53
X-wing is remarkable in that it seems a vast proportion of players have never played a wargame before. Good game, tournament friendly with company support, sold in not just hardcore game stores, prepainted, instantly recognisable and nostalgic brand. No surprise it's taken off like crazy.

I don't know that GW have necessarily shot themselves in the foot, if WFB wasn't selling it makes sense to do something and if this works for the teenage, GW-store-dwelling demographic that only play "mega battles" on GW tables then it might do okay for GW?

But they seem to have almost driven their long-time players into the arms of Kings of War, which has been waiting for this opportunity. And while the WFB market might not be worth maintaining for GW, they've given their competitor a huge boost. Enough to make Mantic a contender? Dunno. Sure doesn't hurt them.

The future of casual (/skirmish) miniature games in the U.S. is Fantasy Flight. And also the hybrid board-game/role-playing game/miniature game like Descent and Imperial Assault.
Think of how many kids raised on instant gratification, and recycled and repetetive branding (as in Star Wars, D&D, and maybe Pathfinder) have any interest in painting miniatures when X-Wing/ Armada have well-painted miniatures. The rules are free. The game is well supported by a company that more or less comes across as being interested in the competitive and casual play balance fields. Even 40K should be afraid. At least Warmahordes requires fewer models. X-Wing is an amazing game, easy to recommend, easy to get into. Oh, and did I mention you can bump into it at Barnes and Noble, not secluded tiny shops in crime-ridden strip malls (as the GW Store in Denver Colorado is).

Nothing GW is doing gets to the heart of why GW loses goodwill.

memitchell747
24-07-2015, 15:02
It don't make sense for a retailer, either. His WFB stock became obsolete, overnight, without warning. There is no real reason for anyone to buy it, except to fill out now obsolete armies. The retailer has no reason to promote 8th Edition, it's obsolete, and he is not going to be able to sell what stock he already has. AoS as a game is not competitive. That' OK for friends in their basement, but unsuited to leagues or campaigns. Those are major promotion tools for retailers who have in store gaming. AoS is barely suited for two strangers in a store who want to play a pickup game. And, the long term viability of an extremely expensive, fun but dumb game with a fragmented and even hostile fan base, and a convoluted patchwork theme is sketchy at best.

Theocracity
24-07-2015, 15:13
The future of casual (/skirmish) miniature games in the U.S. is Fantasy Flight. And also the hybrid board-game/role-playing game/miniature game like Descent and Imperial Assault.
Think of how many kids raised on instant gratification, and recycled and repetetive branding (as in Star Wars, D&D, and maybe Pathfinder) have any interest in painting miniatures when X-Wing/ Armada have well-painted miniatures. The rules are free. The game is well supported by a company that more or less comes across as being interested in the competitive and casual play balance fields. Even 40K should be afraid. At least Warmahordes requires fewer models. X-Wing is an amazing game, easy to recommend, easy to get into. Oh, and did I mention you can bump into it at Barnes and Noble, not secluded tiny shops in crime-ridden strip malls (as the GW Store in Denver Colorado is).

Nothing GW is doing gets to the heart of why GW loses goodwill.

At the same time though, a lot of those elements aren't things that GW can up and change on a dime. Even if they could magically divest themselves of those strip-mall properties without losing their shirt on broken leases, they probably would have a difficult time negotiating with B&N for their highly competitive shelf space - a fact made worse by the whole hobby element that's intrinsic to GW's culture and probably not a field that B&N would be interested in providing space for. Not to mention the vastly superior brand recognition that Star Wars has (despite people around here's fondness for old Warhammer fluff).

X-Wing is a great game that's taken advantage of market elements that GW can't really follow. That makes things difficult for GW, but it's not like they could have really done anything differently on those accounts based on the inertia of its operations.

Honestly I think that X-Wing would be eating GW's lunch even if the game had crappy rules, just because of its market positioning advantages.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 15:23
At the same time though, a lot of those elements aren't things that GW can up and change on a dime. Even if they could magically divest themselves of those strip-mall properties without losing their shirt on broken leases, they probably would have a difficult time negotiating with B&N for their highly competitive shelf space - a fact made worse by the whole hobby element that's intrinsic to GW's culture and probably not a field that B&N would be interested in providing space for. Not to mention the vastly superior brand recognition that Star Wars has (despite people around here's fondness for old Warhammer fluff).

X-Wing is a great game that's taken advantage of market elements that GW can't really follow. That makes things difficult for GW, but it's not like they could have really done anything differently on those accounts based on the inertia of its operations.

Honestly I think that X-Wing would be eating GW's lunch even if the game had crappy rules, just because of its market positioning advantages.

One of my points would be that GW should have simple balanced fun games introducing their settings in Barnes and Noble, Tesco, WalMart, where-ever like they had in the 1980's. It was exposure to such products that feed the original massive expansion of GW in the first place.

Poncho160
24-07-2015, 15:28
A long time ago, maybe GW should have considered making a Star Wars game, because as we know anything Star Wars sells.

Worked for lego.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 15:38
A long time ago, maybe GW should have considered making a Star Wars game, because as we know anything Star Wars sells.

Worked for lego.

They'd have had to pay a bucket load of money for a Star Wars licence. As it stands they own outright one of the biggest fantasy and one of the biggest science fiction IPs in gaming history. Handled right they are as valuable as any other major IP.

Theocracity
24-07-2015, 15:51
One of my points would be that GW should have simple balanced fun games introducing their settings in Barnes and Noble, Tesco, WalMart, where-ever like they had in the 1980's. It was exposure to such products that feed the original massive expansion of GW in the first place.

I'm not sure having a 'simple, balanced game' would be as much of a benefit in those outlets. They'd probably need to de-emphasize the hobby element to perform well in those areas - and I think that's an element that's too ingrained in GW culture to do properly.

Edit: having a simple balanced game wouldn't hurt, obviously.


They'd have had to pay a bucket load of money for a Star Wars licence. As it stands they own outright one of the biggest fantasy and one of the biggest science fiction IPs in gaming history. Handled right they are as valuable as any other major IP.

They did make a ton of money off LOTR, but once again I think the hobby element weighed them down. It's a more profitable license for toys, Legos, licensed board game variants and video games because those can all be sold in walmarts without the need for hobby knives, glue and paint.

Edit: I misunderstood your point. But I think Fantasy and 40k have nowhere near the reach of any of the other IPs we're talking about.

I love the hobby element of GW - it's probably the reason I'm still interested at all - but it's not exactly a vibrant cultural phenomenon with lots of profit to be had. I love that GW sticks with it, even though it's hurt their ability to compete and has lead to the state it's in.

Poncho160
24-07-2015, 16:17
They'd have had to pay a bucket load of money for a Star Wars licence. As it stands they own outright one of the biggest fantasy and one of the biggest science fiction IPs in gaming history. Handled right they are as valuable as any other major IP.

Not by a long shot. Warhammer and 40k are very, very small niche IPs, only a very small percentage of any population has even heard of them. Heck even GW as a company is not known by the majority of people.

It is that kind of thinking that has led to a certain stagnation within GW. If GW were to actaully invest some of their profits, into IPs that were known world wide, like they did with the LOTR franchise, and market it correctly, they could make a fortune.

GWs size and manufacturing capabilites should mean that they could easily expand their product line to appeal to a broader range of the population, but for some reason they do not.

Why do they not make a Marvel, a Star Wars, Star Trek range, they would sell like hot cakes.

Spiney Norman
24-07-2015, 16:30
Why do they not make a Marvel, a Star Wars, Star Trek range, they would sell like hot cakes.

Probably because FFG has the licence for Star Wars games and Wizkids has licenses for Marvel (heroclix) and Star Trek (ST Attack Wing). Game of Thrones could have been a colossal win for them if they'd jumped on it about 2-3 years ago, but alas, I fear that ship has now saled.

Theocracity
24-07-2015, 16:53
Probably because FFG has the licence for Star Wars games and Wizkids has licenses for Marvel (heroclix) and Star Trek (ST Attack Wing). Game of Thrones could have been a colossal win for them if they'd jumped on it about 2-3 years ago, but alas, I fear that ship has now saled.

Yeah, I feel like the licensing landscape has really been mined out ever since the nerd-industrial complex started booming. There's not many properties left that are in GW's wheelhouse - it's not like they would get much traction with the Dr. Who Strategy Battle Game or something similarly stupid.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 17:33
Not by a long shot. Warhammer and 40k are very, very small niche IPs, only a very small percentage of any population has even heard of them. Heck even GW as a company is not known by the majority of people.

It is that kind of thinking that has led to a certain stagnation within GW. If GW were to actaully invest some of their profits, into IPs that were known world wide, like they did with the LOTR franchise, and market it correctly, they could make a fortune.

GWs size and manufacturing capabilites should mean that they could easily expand their product line to appeal to a broader range of the population, but for some reason they do not.

Why do they not make a Marvel, a Star Wars, Star Trek range, they would sell like hot cakes.

I wouldn't exactly call them niche. They aren't Star Wars or Star Trek but they have had a high enough visibility over the last thirty years. The settings have featured in many successful computer games. There's half a dozen games in the pipeline or just released featuring the settings - including one by Creative Assembly that will be a major AAA title. GW comes straight to most peoples minds if you mention tabletop or miniature gaming - much to the disgust of many war-gamers . ;)

The fantasy setting is probably the best known behind Tolkien and DnD.

The IPs are valuable. The problem is the IPs aren't being exploited like they were. GW used to publish many games, in many niches, at many skill levels featuring both settings. Now the they publish one game based on one of those settings. A game that costs significant time and money to commit to.

Sephillion
24-07-2015, 17:39
Yeah, I feel like the licensing landscape has really been mined out ever since the nerd-industrial complex started booming. There's not many properties left that are in GW's wheelhouse - it's not like they would get much traction with the Dr. Who Strategy Battle Game or something similarly stupid.

What? There could be armies of Daleks, Cybermen, Angels…

TheKingInYellow
24-07-2015, 17:45
AoS is just more proof that GW really has no idea what they are doing and continue to make money based on the brand loyalty that they are eroding at an ever quicker place.

Poncho160
24-07-2015, 18:01
I wouldn't exactly call them niche. They aren't Star Wars or Star Trek but they have had a high enough visibility over the last thirty years. The settings have featured in many successful computer games. There's half a dozen games in the pipeline or just released featuring the settings - including one by Creative Assembly that will be a major AAA title. GW comes straight to most peoples minds if you mention tabletop or miniature gaming - much to the disgust of many war-gamers . ;)

The fantasy setting is probably the best known behind Tolkien and DnD.

The IPs are valuable. The problem is the IPs aren't being exploited like they were. GW used to publish many games, in many niches, at many skill levels featuring both settings. Now the they publish one game based on one of those settings. A game that costs significant time and money to commit to.

GW may seem like a well known setting, but I suspect that is becuase we are a bit biased because we play the game and read the fluff. Go into your work, college ect and ask how many people, outside of your gaming group, have even heard of a GW Space Marine, not many I suspect. I doubly suspect that anyone who says yes, will be a male.

It is no where on the same level as Tolkien or D&D, which have decades or exposure to the general world wide populace, I suspect that the LOTR is worth over a billion, where as GW is probably worth a few hundred million (105942621.51, using todays finishing share prices). If it was, Hollywood would have come knocking a looooong time ago, lol :).

GW is a mainly English speaking (except for some countries in Europe), male dominated, very small time hobby. Go anywhere outside of the countries where it is sold and no one will have heard of it. So that is most of the world :).

I honestly suspect that GWs IP is not worth very much at all to any outside party. Their manufacturing capabilities and retail estate is probably worth more.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 18:07
GW may seem like a well known setting, but I suspect that is becuase we are a bit biased because we play the game and read the fluff. Go into your work, college ect and ask how many people, outside of your gaming group, have even heard of a GW Space Marine, not many I suspect. I doubly suspect that anyone who says yes, will be a male. It is no where on the same level as Tolkien or D&D, which have decades or exposure to the general world wide populace, I suspect that the LOTR is worth over a billion, where as GW is probably worth a few hundred million (105942621.51, using todays finishing share prices).

GW is a mainly English speaking (except for some countries in Europe), male dominated, very small time hobby. Go anywhere outside of the countries where it is sold and no one will have heard of it. So that is most of the world :).

I honestly suspect that GWs IP is not worth very much at all to any outside party. Their manufacturing capabilities and retail estate is probably worth more.

Yeah but you could say the same about anything. Lots of people have seen Star Wars. How many of the people who know the films know you can correct little figures and play the space battles using dice and rulers? How many would care to play it? How many would spend a cent on such a game. All Hard-copy games these days are niche, of niche of niche - even with the ultimate licences like Star Wars or Star Trek. Of all the games and RPGs based on Star Wars or Star Trek (love Star Fleet Battles) none has been as big as 40:K over the decades.

Sothron
24-07-2015, 18:16
It is a pain the **** to get the remaining 3rd WHFB role play game supplements from Fantasy Flight Games. I want to finish my collection with them because they aren't going to reprint them. So sad.

Poncho160
24-07-2015, 18:45
Yeah but you could say the same about anything. Lots of people have seen Star Wars. How many of the people who know the films know you can correct little figures and play the space battles using dice and rulers? How many would care to play it? How many would spend a cent on such a game. All Hard-copy games these days are niche, of niche of niche - even with the ultimate licences like Star Wars or Star Trek. Of all the games and RPGs based on Star Wars or Star Trek (love Star Fleet Battles) none has been as big as 40:K over the decades.

But we were talking about popularity and GWs IPs are no where near as popular than any other fanatsy IPs.

Niall78
24-07-2015, 18:56
But we were talking about popularity and GWs IPs are no where near as popular than any other fanatsy IPs.

In terms of tabletop and board games the GW IPs have generated much more than the Star Wars or Star Trek IPs. The IPs certainly aren't as popular outside that niche but within that niche GW IPs were and probably still are kings.

taurus-marstein
24-07-2015, 18:57
Instead of AoS, GW should have re-released Mordheim in a box-set starter (that looks like a board game) and sold it in Toy stores.

That's my view based off of limited experience. I've only been playing for 5 years but you guys make a good argument for the "gateway games"

Lord Inquisitor
24-07-2015, 18:58
Not by a long shot. Warhammer and 40k are very, very small niche IPs, only a very small percentage of any population has even heard of them.

Dunno, there are enough computer games of GW IP out there that Space Marines at least are recognisable to quite a chunk of your video-game-playing target geek audience. Very often people who have no idea about GW or 40K but they have heard of Space Marine on the PS3 or, more likely for slightly older PC gamers, Dawn of War. I can't be the only one that has summarised 40K as "The board game version of Dawn of War. Only the board game came first."

GW has managed to get it's IP out there. I don't really understand why they don't have a pre-painted heroclix style game of Space Marines out in bookshops. It's not Star Wars, sure, but then they don't have to pay anyone licencing either.

Theocracity
24-07-2015, 19:25
Dunno, there are enough computer games of GW IP out there that Space Marines at least are recognisable to quite a chunk of your video-game-playing target geek audience. Very often people who have no idea about GW or 40K but they have heard of Space Marine on the PS3 or, more likely for slightly older PC gamers, Dawn of War. I can't be the only one that has summarised 40K as "The board game version of Dawn of War. Only the board game came first."

As someone who first got into 40k via Dawn of War, I certainly can see that.


GW has managed to get it's IP out there. I don't really understand why they don't have a pre-painted heroclix style game of Space Marines out in bookshops. It's not Star Wars, sure, but then they don't have to pay anyone licencing either.

I think it might be a mix of corporate culture and logistics. They might need a radically different manufacturing process to produce prepainted models, might not have developed the business connections to efficiently get those prepainted models on other retailer's shelves - and might not have anyone there who is interested in developing that business in the first place, due to the hobby-focused culture they've spent years developing.

I think it's telling that they shopped the 40k license for standard board and card games to FFG. They seem like they've been more comfortable focusing on developing their hobby business, rather than their rules or providing for non-hobby gamers. If that's their speciality and their strength, it makes sense why they would focus on it - though it does mean that competitors take advantage of the non-hobby market forces to put out non-hobby games that are popular.

Bigman
24-07-2015, 22:04
Developing the hobby business is fine, but I think a little misguided.

In the UK they have a store called "Hobbycraft". It stocks all kinds of hobby things, for many different hobbies (airfix / knitting / modelling clay / painting materials etc.

GW used to have a contract to sell their stuff there, a good place for attracting people who are the type of people they want...hobbyist not gamers.

You can guess what happened to that situation...they ended the trade agreement and all their stuff was removed from sale.

I know GW want to prioritise the nice fun hobby side, but the clientele they want to attract aren't really interested into heir product - specifically the time element - anymore.

In a world of instant gratification for youngsters, no group of boys of school age (at least not many) will bother with painting their minis, unless they have a parent or relation in the hobby...oh but wait...they just alienated half / third of them by destroying be the game they loved...now many are ambivalent to helping others and are giving words of warning to young gamers/hobbyists.

Lord Inquisitor
24-07-2015, 22:08
That's a fair point, Theocracy. And there's stuff out there by FFG that is directly WFB licensed like Warhammer Disc Wars. It is actually fascinating that they have a good working relationship with FFG even as FFG are a direct competitor with X-wing.

If that's the case, though, why not take it a step further, let FFG make the games and GW provide the miniature manufacturing? I bet FFG could have made AoS a much more functional and fun game. Cards for units, lots of cool little tokens for effects that sort of thing. With both companies focusing on their strengths you'd think that would be a match made in heaven.

Kahadras
24-07-2015, 22:14
Instead of AoS, GW should have re-released Mordheim in a box-set starter (that looks like a board game) and sold it in Toy stores.

This could have worked. GW has had plenty of good games over the years. I think that rather than dropping stuff to focus on 40K/Warhammer (now AoS) GW should have looked at other areas to expand into. They should have pushed their specialist games as hard as their core products instead of letting them wither away.

Theocracity
24-07-2015, 22:24
That's a fair point, Theocracy. And there's stuff out there by FFG that is directly WFB licensed like Warhammer Disc Wars. It is actually fascinating that they have a good working relationship with FFG even as FFG are a direct competitor with X-wing.

If that's the case, though, why not take it a step further, let FFG make the games and GW provide the miniature manufacturing? I bet FFG could have made AoS a much more functional and fun game. Cards for units, lots of cool little tokens for effects that sort of thing. With both companies focusing on their strengths you'd think that would be a match made in heaven.

Yup, agreed. Unfortunately there's all sorts of business elements - financial complications, contract negotiations, staffing considerations, etc - that can get in the way of these kind of dream unions. And unfortunately all that corporate nitty-gritty is pretty opaque to us lay people. We just want better rules, and aren't responsible for figuring out (for example) what to do with a department full of writers whose jobs just became redundant.

Bede19025
24-07-2015, 22:30
X-wing is remarkable in that it seems a vast proportion of players have never played a wargame before.

Star Wars, genius.

Dosiere
25-07-2015, 00:08
I would most likely not have gotten into this hobby had it not been for BattleMasters ( still a great game for kids btw) and HeroQuest. D&D didn't hurt either. I'm actually not sure why they don't release true starter sets like those again, probably because of IP and licensing issues. The whole point is to make these truly accessible to kids. I remember I begged (and begged, and begged) at Toys R Us for that BattleMasters game back in the day. It was so damn cool at the time. If it had only been available at a GW store I would never have seen it. When I was older it made the idea of getting into Warhammer much easier, since I already understood the general idea of tabletop wargaming and had been exposed to the IP and the aesthetics of Warhammer before.

X-Wing is a fun game in its own right, the Star Wars IP makes it instantly recognizable to literally anyone though. I played my first game of X-Wing the other day, it seemed kind of stupid and complicated when I saw it, but playing it I realize what a cool system it is. Far superior to my one other "full game in a box" experience with Space Hulk.

Abaraxas
25-07-2015, 00:53
Like so many, I went from D&D Basic set to Heroquest to Space Crusade to "the Warhammers".

As to why they don't do another Heroquest/Space Crusade or why they killed the wonderful setting of WHFB...it's got me beat.

Herzlos
25-07-2015, 07:08
A long time ago, maybe GW should have considered making a Star Wars game, because as we know anything Star Wars sells.

They made some Star Wars stuff in the 80's, but I don't think it ever made it to production.

Herzlos
25-07-2015, 07:21
In terms of tabletop and board games the GW IPs have generated much more than the Star Wars or Star Trek IPs. The IPs certainly aren't as popular outside that niche but within that niche GW IPs were and probably still are kings.

Sure GW are the big name to people already interested in tabletop or board game geek gaming, but leavee niche and they become pretty unheard of. Most of the GW IP based games are either shovelware or ancient (the only 2 exceptions being Space Marine and Total War: Warhammer). Hollywood has no interest in buying into another generic fantasy IP for what GW would want for it, because there are other sources out there that are as good without all the baggage. The name might bring in some people, but probably not enough to justify.

Waterstones, the bigger bookstore chain out here has a gaming table/section in most stores that always has X-Wing (+expansions), Armada, Munchin, MtG, HeroClix and a few board games. They'll have a small section of Warhammer/40K books in another section, but no other cross-over. Not even the FFG stuff. It just doesn't get anything like the exposure it should (or used to do*),


*Back in the UK in the 90's, you could buy the GW boxes (Blood Bowl, Hero Quest, Space Hulk, 40K 2nd, WHF 3rd) in chain stores all over the place, in catalogues right next to traditional board games like Monopoly. That seems to be how an awful lot of the current 30+ year old gamers got into GW in the first place. That just doesn't exist any more.

Griefbringer
25-07-2015, 08:01
They made some Star Wars stuff in the 80's, but I don't think it ever made it to production.

I don't know what GW/Citadel were planning to do, but at some point towards the late 80's Grenadier was producing Star Wars miniatures and West End Games put out a set of rules for a Star Wars miniature game (or maybe that was in the beginning of 90's). I should have a copy of those SW miniature rules that I bought for cheap somewhere, though I don't think I was particularly impressed by them.

Bigman
25-07-2015, 10:02
Sure GW are the big name to people already interested in tabletop or board game geek gaming, but leavee niche and they become pretty unheard of. Most of the GW IP based games are either shovelware or ancient (the only 2 exceptions being Space Marine and Total War: Warhammer). Hollywood has no interest in buying into another generic fantasy IP for what GW would want for it, because there are other sources out there that are as good without all the baggage. The name might bring in some people, but probably not enough to justify.

Waterstones, the bigger bookstore chain out here has a gaming table/section in most stores that always has X-Wing (+expansions), Armada, Munchin, MtG, HeroClix and a few board games. They'll have a small section of Warhammer/40K books in another section, but no other cross-over. Not even the FFG stuff. It just doesn't get anything like the exposure it should (or used to do*),


*Back in the UK in the 90's, you could buy the GW boxes (Blood Bowl, Hero Quest, Space Hulk, 40K 2nd, WHF 3rd) in chain stores all over the place, in catalogues right next to traditional board games like Monopoly. That seems to be how an awful lot of the current 30+ year old gamers got into GW in the first place. That just doesn't exist any more.

Your point about Hollywood is interesting, because the generic fantasy feel is exactly the reason why GW apparently canned the old world races and are replacing them with high fantasy equivalents.

If GW wanted to make a movie out of the fantasy setting, it would be in their interest to make sure that they fully owned the IP on everything, to make the most from any film rights...it's just a pie in the sky from me but if a film is in the works (or has been theorised) it could explain some of their grasping for straws attitude to IP.

I feel we will have a much better idea in a years time. I do plan on visiting my GW local for hobby stuff from time to time, so I will be sure to ask the manager regularly how he feels he is going.

on a side note - interaction with community, maybe others can comment on this -

GW has the gcn network over here in the UK, registered clubs with Crb (child protection) documented owners, who run the local gaming clubs.

There is also a huge number of non-gcn network clubs across the country.

GW stores are only allowed to recommend gcn clubs because of the child protection checks, so non gcn do not have it - therefore they're not recommended.

What's is the view on thi, because to me I see one side, but it must kill local growth, not to mention the fact that they don't even want people on sites like TWF or here looking for clubs because they're afraid they will see the real GW?

Seems like a weird counter intuitive situation to me.

Herzlos
25-07-2015, 19:47
Your point about Hollywood is interesting, because the generic fantasy feel is exactly the reason why GW apparently canned the old world races and are replacing them with high fantasy equivalents.

If GW wanted to make a movie out of the fantasy setting, it would be in their interest to make sure that they fully owned the IP on everything, to make the most from any film rights...it's just a pie in the sky from me but if a film is in the works (or has been theorised) it could explain some of their grasping for straws attitude to IP.

You'd still have the same problem; GW's new IP is still pretty generic so far, and is completely new; it doesn't have any rich history or depth or fanbase, so why set a film in this new world for GW money, when you could set it on Asteroth (depth), the 9 planes or whatever in Thor (mindshare), or one of hundreds of other fictional environments out there that are deeper, better written and cheaper? Like the world from Raymond E. Feists series, which has magic and monsters and dimensions and at least 9 books of depth. Or if you're going to be paying out money on a total unknown, why not create one that suits better yourself?

I doubt GW has changed the fluff to make the IP easier to sell, and if it's done for film rights they've completely swung and missed because there's no depth, and there's nothing that appeals to film makers - no love interests, personal developments (all of the Sigmarines are dead and can't remember their past lives), and so on.

Most likely is they've totally misunderstood the outcome of the chapterhouse case; that they lost a lot of the claims because the names were generic, and that if they rename everything to be nounverb they'll be successful when trying to sue the next bitsmaker into oblivious. Of course it's total tosh but they've demonstrated from the very start that they have no idea what they are doing.


I feel we will have a much better idea in a years time. I do plan on visiting my GW local for hobby stuff from time to time, so I will be sure to ask the manager regularly how he feels he is going.

on a side note - interaction with community, maybe others can comment on this -

GW has the gcn network over here in the UK, registered clubs with Crb (child protection) documented owners, who run the local gaming clubs.

There is also a huge number of non-gcn network clubs across the country.

GW stores are only allowed to recommend gcn clubs because of the child protection checks, so non gcn do not have it - therefore they're not recommended.

I've no idea what the deal is the the GCN, I get the impression GW do recommend them locally, but most clubs avoid registering because it's a lot of extra hassle (one or 2 certified members have to be there at all times), and I've no idea if they can recommend non-GCN clubs.


What's is the view on thi, because to me I see one side, but it must kill local growth, not to mention the fact that they don't even want people on sites like TWF or here looking for clubs because they're afraid they will see the real GW?

I always got the impression they were told not to acknowledge thay competition exists, so I kind of assumed they don't want to recommend generic gaming clubs because they'll get exposure to the dark side of wargaming, with balance and value, but I also figured they'd probably feel compelled to since they made a big deal of it when moving to the 1 man store model.

Poncho160
25-07-2015, 20:24
I have never figured out what GW are trying to protect with all the crazy names they keep putting out. So what if you are a third party manufactuer and you can't called your copy of GW figures, Sigmarites? Just call them something else, GW can't copyright a figure design...

If anything these new Warhammer models are so generic, they are less protectable.

Kyriakin
25-07-2015, 20:31
I have never figured out what GW are trying to protect with all the crazy names they keep putting out. So what if you are a third party manufactuer and you can't called your copy of GW figures, Sigmarites? Just call them something else, GW can't copyright a figure design...

If anything these new Warhammer models are so generic, they are less protectable.
Well, it would certainly make it easier for GW to locate, and shut down, such sellers on Google.

smaxx
25-07-2015, 20:50
I have never figured out what GW are trying to protect with all the crazy names they keep putting out. So what if you are a third party manufactuer and you can't called your copy of GW figures, Sigmarites? Just call them something else, GW can't copyright a figure design...
If anything these new Warhammer models are so generic, they are less protectable.
Well, there's been a reason for people to purchase proxies or third party lookalikes for Warhammer Fantasy or 40k, as people want to play those games. And getting cheaper if somewhat lower quoality miniatyres is an option when Your focus is in the game. But with Age of Sigmar, the only interesting thing at the moment are the miniatures. Thus, no market for copying, unless You can come up with close enough quality for lower price. Of course the game itself may also start gaining success and probably adds more depth to it's rules, so maybe one day there is a reason for copying. But then those Duardins and Aelfs won't really stop anybody from selling lookalikes.

Mawduce
25-07-2015, 21:17
I have never figured out what GW are trying to protect with all the crazy names they keep putting out. So what if you are a third party manufactuer and you can't called your copy of GW figures, Sigmarites? Just call them something else, GW can't copyright a figure design...

If anything these new Warhammer models are so generic, they are less protectable.

(company name here) makes angel miniatures that use bows, and have wings and swords and hammers with shields... proxy as sigmarines. Proxy any Orruk (or whatever) with any ORC model. Proxy any knight model with human factions and so on. I'm not sure what they are protecting. Not being able to play in a store? ok fine I'll go log onto Meet Up app and find a game club or use the internet to help make one in my area. None of the justifications for this make sense beyond them thinking it would allow them to make more money off new customers, or bring back old customers because it's a huge shake up and they can't ignore it.

Bigman
25-07-2015, 21:38
Like I was saying, this whole mess of newness and striving to protect their product from IP infringement is the wrong fight. They need to be fighting to attract all possible customers, but their trade policies and interaction with the community (in general- I know they've given free rules etc) doesn't and don't achieve what they want.

It's almost "you're not playing with my toys right, so I'm taking them and going home"

ColShaw
25-07-2015, 23:20
I was just in Half Price Books and they had HeroQuest for sale! I got all excited... until I saw the pricetag ($150US) and remembered I already owned a double set.

Rhetoricus
26-07-2015, 00:53
Has there been any reaction at all from GW? What I find extremely interesting is that there are no credits. At all. None. Who wrote the thing? This has even started to happen in 40k. The last SM codex was written by Robin Cruddace, says so on page 2. The new one, produced by GW in nottingham.

GrandmasterWang
26-07-2015, 00:56
Regarding copyrights. ... it doesn't seem as though GW has trademarked the term "Sigmarine" as none of the Sigmsrites are actually called this.

It would be hilarious if another company managed to slide in and copyright "Sigmarines" and start producing knock offs under that name.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

Griefbringer
26-07-2015, 09:55
I have never figured out what GW are trying to protect with all the crazy names they keep putting out. So what if you are a third party manufactuer and you can't called your copy of GW figures, Sigmarites? Just call them something else, GW can't copyright a figure design...


I would presume that one effect of having distinctive (strong trademark) names is that it is more difficult for GW customers to become exposed to those alternative manifacturer products, as long as written expressions are used.

For example, a fictional company Miniature Forge might decide that they want to produce a bunch of fantasy combatants in fantastic full-body armour, slightly inspired by ancient Romans but wielding big hammers, swods and bows. So they sculpt, mould and cast these models. Then they need to give this product a name. Not wanting to violate any trademarks, they decide to name the range Sunshinehorde Temps (TM), because in their fictional setting a huge horde of these is temporarily residing in the magical kingdom of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, defending it from an incursion of the bad guys. The individual models are then given other names. Guys with hammers are called Freedominators (TM) because they defend the freedom of the sunshine kingdom, guys with bows are called Legislators (TM) because they are upholding the laws of sunshine kigdom with their arrows, and their leaders are called Lord Collaborants (TM) since they are responsible for liaison and collaboration with the magical happy unicorns and other inhabitants of the sunshine kingdom.

Little Danny is an enthusiastic GW gamer, and is planning on starting to collect AoS Stormhost Eternal Liberators, but does not own any models though he knows how they look like. He has never heard of Miniature Forge models for Sunshinehord Temp Freedominators. Is there a chance he could see that name accidentally somewhere? If he sees the name, will he bother to investigate it. Of course, if he sees a picture of the models then things might be different - what is the chance of that happening?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the idea of somebody registering a trademark for Sigmarine, that could lead to interesting issues. Though I think it would be more fun to trademark that for a brand of margarine than for a brand of models.

KurganFr
31-07-2015, 05:21
Like many veteran hobbyists, my first experiences were with Hero Quest and Battle Masters (I used to see the ads for Space Crusade on TV but never got a set), then I walked into a GW store, saw the 4-page catalogue with WHFB, 40K, Man'o'war and Epic 40,000, pestered my parents for a 2nd Edition 40K boxed set for Christmas, and the rest is history. Those gateway games available alongside Monopoly in toy stores etc. are key to getting kids interested. Also, the rulesets can be age-appropriate in their simplicity while actually being interesting. Although I painted Airfix kits as a kid, it was years before I realised you could actually paint your Hero Quest set, but having a board game without the full hobby backing doesn't detract from the enjoyment. I don't know who has been running GW for the past 10-15 years, but they certainly aren't gamers, and don't sound like they've got much business sense either. Short-term profits for the shareholders are not worth sinking your company for.

75hastings69
31-07-2015, 05:56
on the whole fantasy space marine to try and appeal to the 40k players situation. Doesn't this then potentially lower their 40k sales if 40k players buy into AoS, or even if potential 40k buyers turn to AoS? Isn't that kind of "self competition" EXACTLY the reason they gave for dropping Specialist Games????

75hastings69
31-07-2015, 05:58
.....What I find extremely interesting is that there are no credits. At all. None. Who wrote the thing? .....

probably no one, maybe just found the "rules" on the back of a fag packet in a public toilet somewhere.

Seriously would you even want to be credited with it??? Imagine putting AoS on your CV if you went for a job as a games designer elsewhere LOL, you'd not even get as far as getting an interview!

jtrowell
31-07-2015, 08:30
Mayeb the rules where written by Kirby's wife ... or son/daughter if he has one ? :shifty:

And it only costed the company one million dollar, a steal !

ooontrprzes
31-07-2015, 16:12
Probably because FFG has the licence for Star Wars games and Wizkids has licenses for Marvel (heroclix) and Star Trek (ST Attack Wing). Game of Thrones could have been a colossal win for them if they'd jumped on it about 2-3 years ago, but alas, I fear that ship has now saled.

Dark sword miniatures got the G.O.T license, and I'm not even sure anyone even realized it! Ha! colossal win eh? Ironically, going with a company with no gaming support means (hobby workshop) would've been a perfect place for them!

Skargit Crookfang
31-07-2015, 16:37
They're opening up a can of worms with this whole IP-centric vibe.

By moving the IP to such an extreme, it will allow the production of similar models (Orcs) with generic names to a greater extent than we've seen to date.

Copywriting the 8th ed. ruleset is tricky. Re-written, with a few changes and void the artwork, and distributed for free online could easily pass by without any litigation. That said, even if it did come to that point, they'd have not much ground to stand on, and futher come of as an overly-litiguous entity than they already are.

If they are fullbore on AoS, then let the WHFB have the same treatment that the BloodBowl, Mordheim etc. players get- willful ignorance, allowance of existence. Hell, they could just release the old army books and BRB in digital format and continue to make some coin off of those old system.

Lord Inquisitor
31-07-2015, 17:01
I played my first game of X-Wing the other day, it seemed kind of stupid and complicated when I saw it, but playing it I realize what a cool system it is. Far superior to my one other "full game in a box" experience with Space Hulk.
Space Hulk is still a very solid game! What bugs me about X-wing is the constant "min-maxing" of upgrades.

llort
01-08-2015, 02:04
I wondered the same thing as the OP. Where are the intro products? AOS is still uber-geeky for most.

You don't get rid of Mickey Mouse because Mickey Mouse products are selling poorly. You celebrate, at least having the Mickey Mouse brand when it is selling poorly, and you launch new "on brand" Mickey Mouse products. That is, WFB not doing well? Give 'm what they want.... a Risk-like Warhammer fantasy product in brick and mortar stores for noobs, and updated models, codex, and BRB for advanced players.

What's mind blowing, is you have folks with wallets in hand waiting for updated models/codex/and BRB and instead you serve a different dish. Serve the different dish, but also serve that which is expected. I don't know. The knew fad in business is to cull everything. It's like an author killing off characters because they have no idea what to do with them...

Overtninja
01-08-2015, 06:49
GW probably kind of ran out of things to sell it's long-term customers, which became really apparent during 8th edition. Pretty much every release that wasn't some over-the-top powerful mini was panned by the community because the response was generally 'eh, i have 3000 points of that army anyway, I don't need more.' You can't be a mini company if you can't move your product because everyone already has armies they've built over many years, and new players aren't starting up because their opponents are people who already have huge, painted armies.

People really weren't 'waiting for models/codex/brb' as you say. They weren't really waiting for anything at all, they had everything they needed already (and waiting on army books and stuff is miserable, not exciting - WE player here :p). GW set up a system they couldn't sustain because it was the same for so long that their fans had time to collect almost everything they'd ever want unless the rules of the game were changed to encourage buying - whether through minis or new editions with expanded model counts or incentives for larger collections. Either way, it wasn't working and they really felt it in their bottom line. How many people with huge model collections went to other games because they were new and different, I wonder? How many people sold off their armies out of boredom because they ran out of things to buy, paint, or convert?

GW needed to create a situation where their customers needed to buy new ranges so they could make and sell them new minis that would actually be used. If that was their goal, AoS will do it - at the cost of many customers that probably were starting to look elsewhere already. :s

Kyriakin
01-08-2015, 06:54
GW probably kind of ran out of things to sell it's long-term customers, which became really apparent during 8th edition. Pretty much every release that wasn't some over-the-top powerful mini was panned by the community because the response was generally 'eh, i have 3000 points of that army anyway, I don't need more.' You can't be a mini company if you can't move your product because everyone already has armies they've built over many years, and new players aren't starting up because their opponents are people who already have huge, painted armies.

People really weren't 'waiting for models/codex/brb' as you say. They weren't really waiting for anything at all, they had everything they needed already (and waiting on army books and stuff is miserable, not exciting - WE player here :p). GW set up a system they couldn't sustain because it was the same for so long that their fans had time to collect almost everything they'd ever want unless the rules of the game were changed to encourage buying - whether through minis or new editions with expanded model counts or incentives for larger collections. Either way, it wasn't working and they really felt it in their bottom line. How many people with huge model collections went to other games because they were new and different, I wonder? How many people sold off their armies out of boredom because they ran out of things to buy, paint, or convert?

GW needed to create a situation where their customers needed to buy new ranges so they could make and sell them new minis that would actually be used. If that was their goal, AoS will do it - at the cost of many customers that probably were starting to look elsewhere already. :s
While i agree with most of this, i feel GW had a moral duty to set up their loyal vets' futures by offloading the WHFB game to another company. After all, it still made a profit, just not enough.

The 9th thread has told me that many people need an "official" overseer in order to continue. Famous compers dont seem to have a sufficient mandate in that regard.

The games are so different, i doubt it would have cannibalized many sales and it would have avoided this PR disaster.

Niall78
01-08-2015, 08:32
GW probably kind of ran out of things to sell it's long-term customers, which became really apparent during 8th edition. Pretty much every release that wasn't some over-the-top powerful mini was panned by the community because the response was generally 'eh, i have 3000 points of that army anyway, I don't need more.' You can't be a mini company if you can't move your product because everyone already has armies they've built over many years, and new players aren't starting up because their opponents are people who already have huge, painted armies.

People really weren't 'waiting for models/codex/brb' as you say. They weren't really waiting for anything at all, they had everything they needed already (and waiting on army books and stuff is miserable, not exciting - WE player here :p). GW set up a system they couldn't sustain because it was the same for so long that their fans had time to collect almost everything they'd ever want unless the rules of the game were changed to encourage buying - whether through minis or new editions with expanded model counts or incentives for larger collections. Either way, it wasn't working and they really felt it in their bottom line. How many people with huge model collections went to other games because they were new and different, I wonder? How many people sold off their armies out of boredom because they ran out of things to buy, paint, or convert?

GW needed to create a situation where their customers needed to buy new ranges so they could make and sell them new minis that would actually be used. If that was their goal, AoS will do it - at the cost of many customers that probably were starting to look elsewhere already. :s

You could well be right about long term customers. But that ties nicely into the OP. Where are the modern Heroquests or Space Crusades to suck new players into the core systems? The same problem is surely facing 40K in the long term - too many older players with huge collections of armies and little need to buy more except for codex power creep every few years.

GW have failed completely to introduce new players to their games. They also have completely failed to scale their games and their game systems. What do I mean by that? They had no introductory games for WFB, they had no skirmish game for WFB, they had no Epic WFB to counter the bloat in miniatures faced by the main game - the main game was bloated beyond the scope of the system and of new players comfortably afford joining in.

Lets take Battletech - an old adversary of GWs main SF setting in the 80s and 90s. They have an introductory game that strips out a lot of the detail for new players. They have their RPG that doubles as a small unit skirmish game. They have the core tournament rules. They have advanced rules that allow nearly any variety of combat available for advanced players - want to fight on a zero-g moon in the grips of a volcanic eruption while fighting on a battlefield infected by biological and nuclear weapons - go for it the rules are there. They have Alpha Strike that allows the original game to scale up to much bigger battles. They have Battleforce that allows regimental scaled sized battles. They have Strategic Operations incoming that will allow universe wide conflicts to be simulated.

GW have failed to introduce this into their systems - in fact over the years they've stripped such systems out of their line. Gone are the introductory games. Gone are the skirmish games. Gone are the Epic games. Gone are the strategic games. Gone are a lot of the more advanced rules for the core setting in the normal game. Instead of allowing a clear progression for new players GW now expects a new player to throw down hundreds of Pounds/Euro/Dollars on a system that also requires a massive investment of time in painting - all the while not knowing if they will stick with this new game.

For €200 a person could get a very nice 'army' for Star Wars Armada. All pre-painted and all ready to go. With the introductory box-set a new Battletech player would probably have enough mechs forever if they didn't want to invest more or didn't get hooked into the setting. The price for getting into WFB or 40K is multiples of that - all the time waiting for the inevitable power creep or edition 'upgrade' that will mean hundreds more will need to be spent.

Gw have failed to introduce new players and failed to scale their main systems appropriately for many years. The have now reaped the dubious benefits of that with WFB. It won't be long before the same happens to 40k.

Niall78
01-08-2015, 08:45
While i agree with most of this, i feel GW had a moral duty to set up their loyal vets' futures by offloading the WHFB game to another company. After all, it still made a profit, just not enough.

The 9th thread has told me that many people need an "official" overseer in order to continue. Famous compers dont seem to have a sufficient mandate in that regard.

The games are so different, i doubt it would have cannibalized many sales and it would have avoided this PR disaster.

This should happen but it won't - we already know the contempt GW have for games they no longer support. I don't have to list them all. The players of these system even face lawsuits and cease and desist letters when they attempt to continue fan support for such games.

Niall78
01-08-2015, 10:34
Lets delve into on-line support for a minute. Such support is critical to any modern game system or setting - both as a way to draw in new customers and a way to keep those customers engaged.

GW doesn't do on-line support. It has a shop. It actively hunts any on-line support that it deems to have infringed its IP destroying many fan sites. There is no engagement with customers bar advertising.

It's the exact opposite of any other games company I have engagement with. All have fan forums - they even tolerate opposing view points on these forums. They engage the fans and get their opinions on the development of their universes. They have living rule books. They keep an up to date errata based on fan feedback - actively having their fans help weed out mistakes, help with balance and suggest upgrades. They 'alpha' products to gauge fan reaction and to help develop products and rules.

The on-line selling practices of GW also play a prominent role in hiding their products from new players. As a gamer I'll find whole new settings and ranges of models browsing well known on-line stores. My Amazon account will throw up all kinds of things as will my Google search engine. GW - because of hoarding their on-line sales to themselves - never show up in any of these mediums. Unless a person actively searches for GW games they are unlightly ever to be exposed to them through mediums that other companies use as a matter of course. This is unsustainable in the longer term. What happened to WFB is a symptom of that unsuitability. Why do I keep running into KoW on the web while I haven't run into WFB ever? It's a failure to engage modern media in a nearly completely way - the situation could be used as a case study in how a company should never operate on-line if they want to engage and keep customers.

akai
01-08-2015, 13:07
HeroQuest and Battlemasters were my introduction to the hobby. In GW recent financial report, they mention exploring their options with toy, craft, book, and comic stores...maybe they will make something that is more accessible to the masses like those games.

The Aelf, Duradin, Orruks name changes...does not seem too awful taking into consideration the Age of Sigmar fluff. Thousands of years have passed since the World that Was was destroyed and we are introduced to other Mortal Realms that still exist. Its not too hard to explain the names as an evolution from an older language or a derivative dialect of some sort of the races living on the different mortal realms (Example: Ancient Greek into English - Archos and Archaic; American English and British English - honor and honour). I will still call them by their ancient names though :)

HereComesTomorrow
01-08-2015, 14:10
GW probably kind of ran out of things to sell it's long-term customers, which became really apparent during 8th edition. Pretty much every release that wasn't some over-the-top powerful mini was panned by the community because the response was generally 'eh, i have 3000 points of that army anyway, I don't need more.' You can't be a mini company if you can't move your product because everyone already has armies they've built over many years, and new players aren't starting up because their opponents are people who already have huge, painted armies.

People really weren't 'waiting for models/codex/brb' as you say. They weren't really waiting for anything at all, they had everything they needed already (and waiting on army books and stuff is miserable, not exciting - WE player here :p). GW set up a system they couldn't sustain because it was the same for so long that their fans had time to collect almost everything they'd ever want unless the rules of the game were changed to encourage buying - whether through minis or new editions with expanded model counts or incentives for larger collections. Either way, it wasn't working and they really felt it in their bottom line. How many people with huge model collections went to other games because they were new and different, I wonder? How many people sold off their armies out of boredom because they ran out of things to buy, paint, or convert?

GW needed to create a situation where their customers needed to buy new ranges so they could make and sell them new minis that would actually be used. If that was their goal, AoS will do it - at the cost of many customers that probably were starting to look elsewhere already. :s

I won't reply to the "everytying new was OP to sell" comment because we all know its not true at this point.

I disagree with most this. As a 20 year vet I still have lots of stuff to buy (that I likely won't now due to the whole AoS debacle).

My biggest army is by far my skaven (aroumd 15,000pts) and before all this stuff happened I had been toying with the idea of expanding them again.

The problem GW had was that they weren't expanding the armies correctly or regularly. They either should have had armies rules updated every 5 years, releasing new units and updating old sculpts to encourage vets to buy. Especially with their recent shift to make everything plastic they had A LOT of new kits to make.

Take skaven as an example:
Gutter Runners
Rat Swarms
Plague Censer Bearers
Rat Ogres
Night Runners
Poison Wind Globadiers
Jezzails
Weapons teams

Therea 8 things that need a plastic kit or need an update. Also, there is still a lot of room to expand every army in the game. Yes, it's miserable waiting 10 years for an army update (I also have a Bretonnian army that I was waiting to expand), but I don't think thats why people weren't spending anymore.

The reason vets have such large collections is because of a love of the army/game. They would likely buy EVERY unit/model released regardless of if it played well on the table, even then, if GW actually had any interaction with the community, they could have just fixed the model next time they updated the book,which, if they stuck to a 5-year cycle, players would KNOW is coming, and therefore be more likely to buy with the intention of using it when the army is updated.

Look at PPs Warmahordes release methods. Two books a year, each faction gets a handful of new releases. Often, the models and units released are designed to bring something new to the faction. PP look at what the faction needs and then designs a unit to fufill a role wjole staying within the theme of the army. They actually consider armies as an overall entity and work to provide something that the army WANTS rather than just bolting on another monster with some semi-thought out rules and calling it a day.

Also, price is a BIG issue. When Nids got their update, thays when GW had priced me out of the game. The only models I've bought since were Thanquol and Boneripper (who I'd been putting off buying, waiting for an update), A box Stormfiends (I don't intend to buy more) and the End Times Nagash/Thanquol book. It doesn't help that 3rd party stores don't seem to stock Finecast, which makes up a lot of some ranges Special units. They can't say they make even the best plastics now (and honestly, I dislike a lot of GWs newer sculpts, the Prancethirster especially) . Have you seen what Wyrd are making in plastic and how (comparitivly) cheap it is? Same goes for PP. I got the Transfinite Emergence Projector on release. It was PPs first plastic model and it was gorgeous and well detailed. Other companies are easily surpassing them now in terms of sculpt and material.

Its not so much that vets have nothing to buy, its that GW have made it difficult to buy things in the first place.