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dalezzz
16-11-2015, 18:17
So I've just read vermintide has sold over 300000 copy's ( it's good!) and I'm willing to bet most of those sales are from fans of the setting .
mordheim seems to be doing well , although I've seen no numbers , I'd wager most of these are fans of the setting too (it's also good)
warhammer total war will sell a stupid amount I'm sure , seems likely this will sell to as many total war fans as warhammer fans though , if not more

so so do people think GW will bring it back in some form? The announcement of the specialist games and the fact GW seem happy to have a 30 and 40k gives me more hope than I've felt for a while , add to that the obvious (even for GW) fact that people like the setting a lot and appear to be pretty lukewarm at best to the AoS stuff and I think it's only a matter of time before we are playing "Middenheim" and "End Times Quest" alongside many other delights :p

MagicAngle
16-11-2015, 18:31
From the "specialist games" rumors and confirmed rumors, they appear to be avoiding the Old World. AFAIK the only Warhammer-based game confirmed is Blood Bowl, and that's really more of a bizarro Old World than the real thing. I think this reflects a company-wide imperative to focus on the godawful (my opinion) AoS setting to the exclusion of the Old World IP.

I think it will be a few years before the (likely) failure of AoS percolates into the mindset of the company, and only then will they look back at what they can salvage of the old IP. I'd expect no work to even start on such a thing until 2016/2017 and then a 2-year development cycle dropping a newly refurbished Old World setting in ~2018/2019. Pure speculation, of course.

Karak Norn Clansman
16-11-2015, 18:42
Probably, once and if GW's silly IP fever has passed and pride has been swallowed. The very developed fantasy setting that is the Warhammer world is worth money, and why kill the golden goose for good?

If nothing else, WHFB could end up as a Specialist Game... :p

2DSick
16-11-2015, 18:43
From the "specialist games" rumors and confirmed rumors, they appear to be avoiding the Old World. AFAIK the only Warhammer-based game confirmed is Blood Bowl, and that's really more of a bizarro Old World than the real thing. I think this reflects a company-wide imperative to focus on the godawful (my opinion) AoS setting to the exclusion of the Old World IP.

I think it will be a few years before the (likely) failure of AoS percolates into the mindset of the company, and only then will they look back at what they can salvage of the old IP. I'd expect no work to even start on such a thing until 2016/2017 and then a 2-year development cycle dropping a newly refurbished Old World setting in ~2018/2019. Pure speculation, of course.

Oh no... Now you have me in fear of bloodbowl-in-space.... Bugger!

Folomo
16-11-2015, 18:44
Because they can't claim the IP :p

Spiney Norman
16-11-2015, 18:47
Being realistic I would have to say no, at least not until someone buys GW out, the current management have neither the humility or intelligence to admit they made a mistake reorganising the setting.

Leogun_91
16-11-2015, 18:48
There is a Man O War game on the way as well and each successful old world game is a likely sequel or spinoff. I would suspect the old world to become increasingly digital however. If GW are smart they'll sell the IP soon while it's still worth something.

Grimgormx
16-11-2015, 18:55
have you tried ninth age? So far it looks balance enought.
Google ninth age

Ayin
16-11-2015, 18:58
If GW are smart they'll sell the IP soon while it's still worth something.

Doubtfully ever going to happen. Too much of GW's current IP is tied into it, from Nagash and Sigmar to the Choas Gods, and a sale of the IP of the setting without all of those parts would be pretty a near pointless buy for another company.

NagashLover
16-11-2015, 20:07
Well. I see the Old World when I read a Gotrek and Felix book.

I see the Old World when I boot up Vermintide or Shadow of the Horned Rat.

I see the Old World when I lay my models down for a game (currently 8th edition and any others decided to play with) that happens roughly once a week.

I see the Old World in fan made/supported systems (though most need a huge amount of improvement).

I also see the Old World when I go to painting models yet to be done.


Not sure why some can't see the Old World now, other than suffering from the consumer mentality of needing something marketed as "new and shiny". Especially considering how much people complained and hated the Old World, or how GW handled (currently handle) things...they want the company that put it down to pick it back up? That is...so amusing.

TL;DR

Probably not.

Smooth Boy
16-11-2015, 20:09
I have to sadly say no. If AoS dies then fantasy as a genre for GW probably dies with it. 0.00001% chance, but if the company did sell or had a total reversal then maybe, but I'm talking 'once pigs fly' chances.

Karak Norn Clansman
16-11-2015, 20:45
Oh no... Now you have me in fear of bloodbowl-in-space.... Bugger!

That's called Dreadball.

de Selby
16-11-2015, 23:55
There's been a recent flurry of decisions that seem oddly like something a normal company would do. Lets wait and see I guess.

Leogun_91
17-11-2015, 00:31
Doubtfully ever going to happen. Too much of GW's current IP is tied into it, from Nagash and Sigmar to the Choas Gods, and a sale of the IP of the setting without all of those parts would be pretty a near pointless buy for another company.If they' be really smart they would increase the price and sell both AoS and WHFB IP in one deal forcing someone to buy both. Otherwise it should be easy enough to sell the IP with a contract for some shared IP to go with it. I doubt GW would do it but finacially it would provably be a good move and defenitively a safer move.

Shifte
17-11-2015, 00:42
Of course. But not in the short or medium term.

One day GW will just unveil an Orcs vs. Empire kit and will pretend the End Times never happened. That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be supported as it was, or that it'll replace AOS (if that game survives). However, one day a bright spark will have the idea and it will have been long enough for it to simply be 'classic Warhammer'.

In fact, weirdly, the longer they wait the more the decision would garner attention. If they did it tomorrow then the OW would only have been dead for 4 months. For a decision like this you really need to make it seem like a resurrection to get a bump.

Sir_Turalyon
17-11-2015, 00:57
so so do people think GW will bring it back in some form?
Absolutely. Few years down the line, when same old Old World stagnatia of last few editions is forgotten, nostalgia is widespread and demand it up, they will bring it again, announce triumphally that new, reinvented Old World is back in awesomest move GW did, ever, and pretend it wasn't them who discontinued the setting.

The fanbase immediately polarises between fanboys happy to have Warhammer back and hardcores grumbling new Old World sucks and is does not resemble real thing at all. Expect lots of internet drama.

Shifte
17-11-2015, 01:03
I think a divergent timeline one day would be great. One in which Mannfred von Carstein was stopped from murdering Gelt, or perhaps Teclis was able to control the winds anyway.

Karak Norn Clansman
17-11-2015, 08:48
One reason why GW can quite easily switch back to WHFB, is that all their armies' ranges are still intact. None have been discontinued. Change names back to old ones, and incorporate the new Chaos and Sigmarine stuff into the setting, and voila. AoS can still continue as a side-show, but whatever its merits in and of itself, it cannot fill the void which WHFB left behind. Insert parallel but divergent dimensions in the Realm of Chaos, trickery of Tzeentch, clashing visions of mad gods or whatever reason you fancy for keeping both settings.


Absolutely. Few years down the line, when same old Old World stagnatia of last few editions is forgotten, nostalgia is widespread and demand it up, they will bring it again, announce triumphally that new, reinvented Old World is back in awesomest move GW did, ever, and pretend it wasn't them who discontinued the setting.

The fanbase immediately polarises between fanboys happy to have Warhammer back and hardcores grumbling new Old World sucks and is does not resemble real thing at all. Expect lots of internet drama.

Sounds prophetic, and more than a little likely.

Cheeslord
17-11-2015, 08:54
There is a Man O War game on the way as well

Do you have any more information on this? I really liked Man'O'war and would definitely take a look if it reappeared.

Mark.

stortotta
17-11-2015, 08:57
Do you have any more information on this? I really liked Man'O'war and would definitely take a look if it reappeared.

Mark.

Sad to say, it's a computer game. http://manowarcorsair.com/

NoobLord
17-11-2015, 09:03
They could do a 'Dallas', i.e. the last season (AOS) was just a very detailed dream dreamed by a character in the old world while in the shower (outhouse) but he comes back to his senses and everything continues from where it left off a year previously.

Rakariel
17-11-2015, 09:27
No, I think we won`t see it again.

dalezzz
17-11-2015, 09:38
Not or a lot of hope overalls then I see :D and I can certainly see what you guys are all saying


There's been a recent flurry of decisions that seem oddly like something a normal company would do. ALets wait and see I guess.
This gives me a little spark of hope however , I guess that's what inspired the topic


as for wfb I don't mind that it's unsupported ( would have been good if they did beastmen and skaven and Brets of course, or even not get rid of it at all! ) as I'm happily playing 8th anyway , but this whole thing has made me realise that it was always the setting I've been attached to and that's what I'm hoping to see supported again

lbecks
17-11-2015, 09:38
No more Old World. But I think GW should go ahead and make a new world and a 9th edition of fantasy. Make an event out of it with new models. It can co-exist with AOS.

dalezzz
17-11-2015, 09:46
See id have almost no interest in that , empire are my first love and such a setting wouldnt have the empire , they could well have something practically the same .... But it just would t be the empire .. Weird I suppose

Cheeslord
17-11-2015, 12:37
Thanks for that. Might still check it out (though we all know it will inevitably be compared to ACBF so ... it had better be good!)

Mark.

TheLionReturns
17-11-2015, 13:17
I doubt we would see a return any time soon. AoS has been long in the planning and development and I think GW would be negligent not to give it a chance for a sustained period.

One thing that did strike me when reading through the End Times series, was a question as to whether they were using Norse mythology as inspiration, particularly Ragnarok. I have not studied Norse mythology academically so may have some details mixed up but my understanding was that Ragnarok was a time of the death of the Gods where the world is submerged in water and the cosmos destroyed. It is pretty easy to draw similarities between this and the destruction of the old world and the emergence of the AoS setting. Preceding Ragnarok is the Fimbulwinter, a time of consecutive winters characterised by constant warfare and brother turning on brother, again with parallels possible to be drawn with the End Times.

Anyway following Ragnarok, the world is said to emerge again from the waves reborn, which could be a potential future 10th edition. I doubt this would be the old world as was, if they went this route, but perhaps one reshaped and influenced by what has been released during AoS, but more recognisable as the old world than we have now. Anyway it is one theory for those looking for a straw to clutch at.

Col. Tartleton
17-11-2015, 14:15
I don't even trust the current team with the old setting.

Matt Ward left and it got worse...

Lets all think about that for a few minutes.

de Selby
17-11-2015, 18:14
I think that treating the old world as a historical setting might pay dividends. We now have a 'complete' history of the world from beginning to end. Release new sourcebooks covering the entire thing with no particular 'present day' but famous scenarios drawn from all points in the history.

Take a 'Sigmar's eye view', and imply that if the outcome had been different in any of the famous battles of the old world then perhaps the end could have been averted. Imply that Sigmar and the other gods, who transcend time and space but can't interfere personally in the old world, are trying to subtly alter history, and this provides a motivation for re-fightng battles from any point in time with any forces, but particularly the End Times ones that everybody liked. Call it Warhammer Ultimate Edition or something.

Coldhatred
18-11-2015, 02:13
I think that treating the old world as a historical setting might pay dividends. We now have a 'complete' history of the world from beginning to end. Release new sourcebooks covering the entire thing with no particular 'present day' but famous scenarios drawn from all points in the history.

Take a 'Sigmar's eye view', and imply that if the outcome had been different in any of the famous battles of the old world then perhaps the end could have been averted. Imply that Sigmar and the other gods, who transcend time and space but can't interfere personally in the old world, are trying to subtly alter history, and this provides a motivation for re-fightng battles from any point in time with any forces, but particularly the End Times ones that everybody liked. Call it Warhammer Ultimate Edition or something.

I'd dig that alongside AoS. However, GW would probably consider it as a cannibalization of sales rather than a sales generator in it's own right. Plus, if they weren't happy with the sales of 8th Edition they (and I) wouldn't expect Historical-Hammer to do much better if even that. There would have to be a cost-benefit analysis and, even though I'd like it, I doubt the conclusion would a positive outcome.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Khaines Wrath
18-11-2015, 02:41
No I don't think it will be back. Fortunately I have a tonne of army books on my shelves to remember it fondly.

From a creative stand point I think its a tragedy, from a financial stand point my wallet thanks GW.

Æon
18-11-2015, 23:23
GW did their best to burn all bridges by destroying the world, renaming everything and switching to round bases. Going back to the Old World seems extremely unlikely at this point, as much as I would prefer it. Maybe if AoS fails horribly and is cancelled in a few years time, we'll see a relaunch of Warhammer FB in the distant future, a bit like how the specialist games are now returning. Another possibility is that GW or it's IPs are bought by a larger company who sees Warhammer Fantasy Battles as a more valuable property than Age of Sigmar.

This is just clutching straws, though. The Old World is probably gone forever, and if AoS fails, GW will just abandon fantasy gaming in favour of various 40k-related game systems.

Spiney Norman
19-11-2015, 11:44
I think that treating the old world as a historical setting might pay dividends. We now have a 'complete' history of the world from beginning to end. Release new sourcebooks covering the entire thing with no particular 'present day' but famous scenarios drawn from all points in the history.

Take a 'Sigmar's eye view', and imply that if the outcome had been different in any of the famous battles of the old world then perhaps the end could have been averted. Imply that Sigmar and the other gods, who transcend time and space but can't interfere personally in the old world, are trying to subtly alter history, and this provides a motivation for re-fightng battles from any point in time with any forces, but particularly the End Times ones that everybody liked. Call it Warhammer Ultimate Edition or something.

This has mileage I think, the Horus Heresy game has been a massive success despite being a historical setting, I think a game set in the old world, probably at a specific time (say like the time of three emperors or Grom's invasion of Ulthuan) could work really well as boxed games from the new specialist games studio. It's probably something that is more likely to come from the FW guys (who are running the new SG studio btw). I think games like warmaster or man o war set in the old world could work really well.

Ayin
19-11-2015, 14:45
I don't even trust the current team with the old setting.

Matt Ward left and it got worse...

Lets all think about that for a few minutes.

That is almost mind blowing. Mid way through 7th I could not have imagined this would be the case.

Allen
20-11-2015, 11:38
No, we're not going to see the old IP back: it was way too stereotyped and not enough defendible. Mantic's miniatures and game system widespread popularity clearly show they were right fearing the "genericness" of their IP. Also, WHFB was (at least in GW eyes) a losing horse: too much resources were poured in a system that produced unremarkable results.

People should stop seeing GW as a group of moustache-twirling villains or a team of bumbling incompetents, and start looking at them as a corporation. They're a company producing material goods and they planned the rotation WHFB-AoS years ago, with great investments and expenses. They're not going to back up on what is essentialy a huge (and dangerous) financial gamble just because someone on the web go full angsty and nostalgic. They're too much committed to AoS to simply back up and restart WHFB - it's all or nothing for them now: either they success and prosper or fail and disappear. I honestly don't understand how adult, intelligent people cannot understand that. As I said in another thread, having a so called "emotional investment" in a game is not an alibi to turn off the brain.

Agrimax
20-11-2015, 13:06
No, we're not going to see the old IP back: it was way too stereotyped and not enough defendible. Mantic's miniatures and game system widespread popularity clearly show they were right fearing the "genericness" of their IP. Also, WHFB was (at least in GW eyes) a losing horse: too much resources were poured in a system that produced unremarkable results.

People should stop seeing GW as a group of moustache-twirling villains or a team of bumbling incompetents, and start looking at them as a corporation. They're a company producing material goods and they planned the rotation WHFB-AoS years ago, with great investments and expenses. They're not going to back up on what is essentialy a huge (and dangerous) financial gamble just because someone on the web go full angsty and nostalgic. They're too much committed to AoS to simply back up and restart WHFB - it's all or nothing for them now: either they success and prosper or fail and disappear. I honestly don't understand how adult, intelligent people cannot understand that. As I said in another thread, having a so called "emotional investment" in a game is not an alibi to turn off the brain.

You only have to look at how many “ratmen” miniatures are available despite the longstanding GW IP on “Skaven” to know that calling something non-generic doesn’t stop generic models that look suspiciously similar, that GW lawyers can do absolutely bugger all about. It’s a demonstrably false premise – moreso when you’re trying to appeal to people who like those existing fantasy races so have a relatively limited real scope to change their style while maintaining that appeal.

I don’t think anyone has turned off their brain except GW if they actually expected AoS to be met with the widespread acclaim they pretend it has. Doesn’t make them evil, certainly does make them fairly incompetent given the ways they could have introduced such a game without alienating a significant majority of their existing player base.

Plenty of companies will back out of a product line if it’s failing and there isn’t a clear path to correct it, because otherwise continued investment is throwing good money after bad and just compounds that error. We don’t have more than indications of how badly AoS is doing to know whether GW should be at the point of considering that, but it’s certainly not something a good company would dismiss.

Even if not completely backing out, they should by now have considered and implemented major changes to address the criticism AoS has received. If you want examples of where companies quickly backtrack on major design elements of products, look no further than the Xbox One. http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/19/4445984/xbox-one-policy-reversal-changes

Holier Than Thou
20-11-2015, 13:34
No, we're not going to see the old IP back: it was way too stereotyped and not enough defendible. Mantic's miniatures and game system widespread popularity clearly show they were right fearing the "genericness" of their IP. Also, WHFB was (at least in GW eyes) a losing horse: too much resources were poured in a system that produced unremarkable results.

People should stop seeing GW as a group of moustache-twirling villains or a team of bumbling incompetents, and start looking at them as a corporation. They're a company producing material goods and they planned the rotation WHFB-AoS years ago, with great investments and expenses. They're not going to back up on what is essentialy a huge (and dangerous) financial gamble just because someone on the web go full angsty and nostalgic. They're too much committed to AoS to simply back up and restart WHFB - it's all or nothing for them now: either they success and prosper or fail and disappear. I honestly don't understand how adult, intelligent people cannot understand that. As I said in another thread, having a so called "emotional investment" in a game is not an alibi to turn off the brain.

I think most people ARE viewing them as a corporation, it's just that they are also viewing them as incompetent. And to be fair, Games Workshop seem to have an affinity for spectacular moustaches so it's not unreasonable to assume they may be partaking in a bit of moustache-twirling.

Okuto
20-11-2015, 13:43
GW has already thrown their cards on the table.....you can't take that back and GW doesn't have the sense and sanity to admit they made a mistake

Even if they did, I have no more :eek: to give. I've already moved on to frostgrave for my fantasy wargaming needs

Commodus Leitdorf
20-11-2015, 14:13
We probably wont see it again. Which is sad because considering GW could have handled everything much differently and it still could have worked.

I mean you basically had all the survivors of the various armies together in the Empire, huge revelations changing the makeup of factions. I understand GW had a game that had massive model support but was not selling. They had to discontinue older stuff, I get that. You could have honestly burned the whole world but kept The Empire in tact but have it, I don't know, protected by the last magic of the Old ones. The Slann could have taken their ships to the center of the Empire and started a grand ritual to shield the place. You could have had the whole "Sigmar Reborn in the Emperor" happen which could have caused havoc among the Chaos Gods as Nurgle, Slaneesh and Khorne all turn on Tzeentch. For in Sigmar Tzeentch unwittingly (or knowing him, intentionally) created a force capable of Unbinding Chaos.

You could then jump the story ahead 1000 years and completely re-worked the factions, the Elven nations reclaimed old cities from the days of their Empire but call themselves something different...and definitely not Aelf (I mean GW, come one! Druchii, Asur, Asrai....you HAVE original names for them already just pick one! Same does for the Dwarfs! Duardin? Psh! Dawi it is and will always be!) The Brets and Empire can be re-worked and mingled together, heck throw the Dwarfs in there too.

I mean long story short is you could have burned the world but saved the Empire. You could have had all the old work of the Old Ones a burning mutated wreck caused by the collapsing of the gates and you could of had just the lands of the Empire stuck floating through the twisting realms of Chaos as the last bastion of hope. Just killing everything off and then having a spark of a new world is...okay? I guess....but this whole thing could have been handled much better.

Allen
20-11-2015, 14:54
Plenty of companies will back out of a product line if it’s failing and there isn’t a clear path to correct it, because otherwise continued investment is throwing good money after bad and just compounds that error. We don’t have more than indications of how badly AoS is doing to know whether GW should be at the point of considering that, but it’s certainly not something a good company would dismiss.

Even if not completely backing out, they should by now have considered and implemented major changes to address the criticism AoS has received. If you want examples of where companies quickly backtrack on major design elements of products, look no further than the Xbox One. http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/19/4445984/xbox-one-policy-reversal-changes

Microsoft isn't exactly a good comparison - as far as I know it's not small-to-medium sized enterprise working in a very niche market with at least three consecutive years of less than stellar business results. Yeah, GW could backtrack...if their results weren't so unappealing, if they had any way to mitigate the disaster of such a quick dismission of two mainline products. Hell, if they had something to return to.

At the moment GW as a corporation simply can't afford any backtracking: there's a lot of resources poured into AoS and the boardgame line, and on the horizon we're already seeing the return of some Specialist Games under the aegis of Forgeworld. There are too many products being launched in a very short time, too much money and resources being allocated in what is clearly a huge gamble to regain market presence and improve revenues. Hoping that they will someday will see the light and bring back WHFB (a product that they very clearly and very publicy deemed not worth of further investment) is just wishful thinking.

Agrimax
20-11-2015, 15:35
Microsoft isn't exactly a good comparison - as far as I know it's not small-to-medium sized enterprise working in a very niche market with at least three consecutive years of less than stellar business results. Yeah, GW could backtrack...if their results weren't so unappealing, if they had any way to mitigate the disaster of such a quick dismission of two mainline products. Hell, if they had something to return to.

At the moment GW as a corporation simply can't afford any backtracking: there's a lot of resources poured into AoS and the boardgame line, and on the horizon we're already seeing the return of some Specialist Games under the aegis of Forgeworld. There are too many products being launched in a very short time, too much money and resources being allocated in what is clearly a huge gamble to regain market presence and improve revenues. Hoping that they will someday will see the light and bring back WHFB (a product that they very clearly and very publicy deemed not worth of further investment) is just wishful thinking.

The size of a company and the market they operate in doesn’t change basic principles of economic success, only the scale. Microsoft got through the Xbox one backlash largely unscathed primarily because they did 2 things:


They announced their intent long before releasing the product, giving them time to make changes before it was on the shelves if necessary
They actually listened to their customers and what they wanted. When it turned out it wasn’t what they intended, they weren’t too stubborn or arrogant to react.


There’s nothing to stop a company of GW’s size (or smaller) from doing precisely the same thing. Yes, they can afford to do it – because continuing not to do it and ploughing more money into a product that isn’t working has every potential to cost them more. It’s the sunk cost fallacy at its worst.



ETA: As mentioned earlier, since we don't know the actual situation and only have indicative information that isn't to say at this stage it's the right decision. Only that you absolutely cannot dismiss it as an option.

Allen
20-11-2015, 16:17
The size of a company and the market they operate in doesn’t change basic principles of economic success, only the scale

I beg to differ. A smaller company, operating on vastly inferior budget with way lot manpower and earning money in a completely different niche market simply have less options...starting from the most obvious one, money. At the moment GW simply cannot backtrack and bring back a product that discontinued a few months ago...I thought it was obvious, but apparently it isn't. They're investing in a new product, and they didn't start doing that during the "End of Times" campaign: they started at least a couple of years ago. Trying to steer back the ship could only end in a disaster for a corporation like GW - not in stellar financial conditions and with very few (to none) competitive products at the moment on the market.


Yes, they can afford to do it – because continuing not to do it and ploughing more money into a product that isn’t working has every potential to cost them more. It’s the sunk cost fallacy at its worst

Show me official numbers that demonstrate they can afford a complete 360° turn, discontinuing the new product they created in the last 2/3 years and launched less than six months ago in order to return to an older product that wasn't even profitable in the beginning. Not only that, show me the rationale behind the idea that a "probable failing product" is better than a "confirmed failed product" - a rationale so strong and clear that could force a company navigating in quite bad waters to spend an helluva of money and time returning on their steps.

Disclaimer: "failed" is taken from GW perspective. We can invest everything we want on little plastic soldiers, money and emotions and whatnot. But the ultimate owner of the game, the setting and all the other things is the developer of the product itself. GW assessed WHFB and found it unworthy of further investment. Is it sad, wrong, infuriating, stupid and so on? Yes. But that's it. The owners pulled the plug not out of spite but because they think they can make more money in a different way. Time will tell if they're right.



ETA: As mentioned earlier, since we don't know the actual situation and only have indicative information that isn't to say at this stage it's the right decision. Only that you absolutely cannot dismiss it as an option.

Bringing back WHFB isn't and wasn't ever an option, the only exceptions being this and on some other forum. No one from GW even hinted at this possibility. It's something that goes against all logic, from a corporate point of view. You discontinue a product that wasn't spinning good numbers and launch something new with great expenses...then this new thing is not well received. What should you do? Turn back to something that you declared being unfit for the market or try something else entirely, maybe investing more on this new thing you just launched? Good God...logic, people. Logic.

It does not matter if, from an objective point of view, GW was wrong and WHFB should simply have been managed in a different way to be profitable. They are sure it was a broken product, so they will work on that premise. From their point of view turning back to WHFB is a stupid idea. It doesn't matter if we find it attractive, clever, business-savy or whatnot. Those in charge of those decisions does not share our view, and see the issue from a completely different point of view.

frankelee
20-11-2015, 17:44
If the financial year ends with no stock dividends to be paid out, anything can happen. However, I think realistically we're just going to see the Age of Sigmar world get tanked as the game fails to outperform, or even keep up with, what WFB did. And then they'll sell 40k and 30k and go out of business in 15 years.

Dosiere
20-11-2015, 18:34
I agree with those here who don't think WFB is going to just come back, no matter how AoS actually does over the next year or two. Despite some great changes that could have been made to create a 9th edition, GW clearly decided it just wasn't worth it.

However, I think especially if AoS doesn't do great it's entirely possible to see the old IP being used for new games. If I were GW I would seriously consider re launching the IP in a series of more casual board games aimed at both new and existing players. Bring back the HeroQuest and BattleMaster days!

There is no reason that the Old World fluff, aesthetic, and miniatures can't compete with games like Descent, Dungeon Saga, and Battlelore.

Holier Than Thou
20-11-2015, 18:44
Show me official numbers that demonstrate they can afford a complete 360° turn, discontinuing the new product they created in the last 2/3 years and launched less than six months ago in order to return to an older product that wasn't even profitable in the beginning.

Show us the official numbers that demonstrate WFB wasnt profitable.

rmeister0
20-11-2015, 18:54
Show us the official numbers that demonstrate WFB wasnt profitable.

Conversely, show us the official numbers the demonstrate WFB was profitable.

The issue isn't even if it was profitable or not, but that GW was not satisfied with the return it was getting. If it had been, they would not have killed the product.

TheGreatestGood
20-11-2015, 18:55
I thought GW was and has continued to create a profit for a good long time. The profits have diminished but are still just that, profitable.
I'd be happy to own a global business turning a profit year in, year out even with increased competition. Still I guess I don't have to worry about shareholders breathing down my neck

gd09garett
20-11-2015, 19:17
People should stop seeing GW as a group of moustache-twirling villains or a team of bumbling incompetents, and start looking at them as a corporation. SNIP

You do realize these are the same thing. "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

And in many ways it is true- the collective desire of the shareholders for immediate profits overcomes the reasonable and intelligent desire to not sacrifice the future for the now.

Agrimax
20-11-2015, 19:49
I beg to differ. A smaller company, operating on vastly inferior budget with way lot manpower and earning money in a completely different niche market simply have less options...starting from the most obvious one, money. At the moment GW simply cannot backtrack and bring back a product that discontinued a few months ago...I thought it was obvious, but apparently it isn't. They're investing in a new product, and they didn't start doing that during the "End of Times" campaign: they started at least a couple of years ago. Trying to steer back the ship could only end in a disaster for a corporation like GW - not in stellar financial conditions and with very few (to none) competitive products at the moment on the market.

And if it cost as much to develop 4 pages of rules and design a few new models and repackage others with round bases as it does to develop a next generation console, you'd have a point. The reality is, as I said, the principle is the same even if the scale isn't. The cost of rectifying errors is also smaller than if someone like MS screw up. I am not saying here they should immediately be backtracking all the way to WHFB necessarily, but if the 'success' of AoS is as indicated so far, I'd have expected to see them taking some action to address the concerns raised by their customers by now.



Show me official numbers that demonstrate they can afford a complete 360° turn, discontinuing the new product they created in the last 2/3 years and launched less than six months ago in order to return to an older product that wasn't even profitable in the beginning. Not only that, show me the rationale behind the idea that a "probable failing product" is better than a "confirmed failed product" - a rationale so strong and clear that could force a company navigating in quite bad waters to spend an helluva of money and time returning on their steps.

Disclaimer: "failed" is taken from GW perspective. We can invest everything we want on little plastic soldiers, money and emotions and whatnot. But the ultimate owner of the game, the setting and all the other things is the developer of the product itself. GW assessed WHFB and found it unworthy of further investment. Is it sad, wrong, infuriating, stupid and so on? Yes. But that's it. The owners pulled the plug not out of spite but because they think they can make more money in a different way. Time will tell if they're right.


Until a few years ago, WHFB was 2nd largest tabletop game out there, only losing out to 40k. It took 20+ years to build to that peak so it was hardly a flash in the pan trend, there was lasting appeal in the product. The reasons it has declined from that peak (not necessarily to the point of failure, that is your take on it) are well documented. Again, instead of attempting to work out why it was in decline and rectify the errors that led to that (maybe by listening to customers - notice the common theme), they just threw it away and took a wild punt on something new with no research into whether it had a suitably sized audience or not. Looking at it entirely from a business perspective and not with any emotional basis, that is a crazy decision. There is no other way to view it.



Bringing back WHFB isn't and wasn't ever an option, the only exceptions being this and on some other forum. No one from GW even hinted at this possibility. It's something that goes against all logic, from a corporate point of view. You discontinue a product that wasn't spinning good numbers and launch something new with great expenses...then this new thing is not well received. What should you do? Turn back to something that you declared being unfit for the market or try something else entirely, maybe investing more on this new thing you just launched? Good God...logic, people. Logic.

It does not matter if, from an objective point of view, GW was wrong and WHFB should simply have been managed in a different way to be profitable. They are sure it was a broken product, so they will work on that premise. From their point of view turning back to WHFB is a stupid idea. It doesn't matter if we find it attractive, clever, business-savy or whatnot. Those in charge of those decisions does not share our view, and see the issue from a completely different point of view.

Ultimately bringing it back would be an option. I don't disagree that now would be too early, there are far more smaller and less costly changes to AoS that could (should) be attempted first. However, from a pure business and not emotional view, it cannot be said to not be a rational option. Sunk costs are just that, sunk. Making future decisions based on money already invested is a potential road to ruin and where the actual logical fallacy arises. If WHFB was still profitable at the time it was canned, and that profit was ahead of what AoS brings in and there's no apparent growth as AoS matures to even approach being on a par, they can either accept they probably aren't going to get a fantasy product that makes them the money they want and give up altogether, or maybe try communicating and researching with customers - which could provide a new product altogether, or one largely based on WHFB but with the needed changes to push it back into expansion instead of decline. I don't believe it will happen, but that isn't down to the viability of doing it, it's down to the lack of business competence in GW to even consider it, with no reason to believe that is going to change any time soon.

Rogue Star
20-11-2015, 20:11
Show us the official numbers that demonstrate WFB wasnt profitable.

I don't think it was the profit of WHFB that was the problem (lower than 40K yes, but still enough most smaller companies like Mantic dream of it) but the size/investment of the game. GW, whether through market research (talking to people at Games Days) or just their own belief, seem to feel the problem was people couldn't afford to buy into both Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and Warhammer 40,000, because of the combined size of the investment. GW decided to replace WHFB with a smaller game.

Holier Than Thou
20-11-2015, 21:47
Conversely, show us the official numbers the demonstrate WFB was profitable.

The issue isn't even if it was profitable or not, but that GW was not satisfied with the return it was getting. If it had been, they would not have killed the product.

The issue is exactly that when he claims it "wasn't even profitable in the beginning".

Katastrophe
20-11-2015, 23:23
If the financial year ends with no stock dividends to be paid out, anything can happen. However, I think realistically we're just going to see the Age of Sigmar world get tanked as the game fails to outperform, or even keep up with, what WFB did. And then they'll sell 40k and 30k and go out of business in 15 years.

I partly agree. However, GW has shown that they'll borrow to pay dividends. So a loss may still result in artificial propping up of their stock prices.

Since they don't break out their sales numbers based on product lines we'll only be able to assume what didn't sell in numbers necessary to produce a profit.

Interestingly AoS may be profitable even with low revenue. I assume the costs of SigMarine and Bloodpeople design and production were actually incurred prior to this fiscal period (I believe sprue dates are at least a year ago). Thus aside from stock and boxing costs AoS actual incurred current costs are low. They are now reboxing standing stock for sale, once again costs already incurred.

They may look good. Now where the concern is of course going forward. If they are producing some units and books now which won't sell as they'd then be incurring costs they won't recoup.

Leogun_91
21-11-2015, 00:59
I thought GW was and has continued to create a profit for a good long time. The profits have diminished but are still just that, profitable.
I'd be happy to own a global business turning a profit year in, year out even with increased competition. Still I guess I don't have to worry about shareholders breathing down my neckA profit dropping extremely fast despite shutting down all their non-Nottigham HQs and changing most of their stores to one-man stores.
If that kind of staff-cuts are needed then there are problems other than not being as profitable as possible. What could they possibly do as their next step with dropping profits? The remaining multi-personell stores are allready decided to only remain such as long as they turn a profit (seems like a way to create hellish ammounts of workplace stress) and their prices are allready constantly rising. Will the next step be to fire main-designers? Will it be to close down stores? To cut down on employee benefits? We don't know yet but if they don't turn it around until the next annual report we will learn if there is anything more for them to do in order to stay profitable before this time next year.

Gondrak
21-11-2015, 13:33
Well, AoS seems to be doing very poorly.
What happens with WHFB might depend on GWs interest in the Fantasy/Medieval Tabletop Market.

MagicAngle
22-11-2015, 02:53
The main glimmer of possibility for some sort of reprise for WHFB is that the End Times was really pretty successful. The fact that the AoS books cannot, apparently, sell anywhere near as well as the End Times series (particularly the first 3 books) cannot have been lost on the bean counters at GW. The opportunity to make a quick buck by doing some sort of "time of heroes" campaign along the lines of End Times through FW or specialist games is a possibility, I think. Wouldn't require a full new edition of WHFB - just a few mini and book releases. Still unlikely, though, at least for the next few years.

Albrecht Hexenjaeger
22-11-2015, 05:30
No, we're not going to see the old IP back: it was way too stereotyped and not enough defendible. Mantic's miniatures and game system widespread popularity clearly show they were right fearing the "genericness" of their IP. Also, WHFB was (at least in GW eyes) a losing horse: too much resources were poured in a system that produced unremarkable results.

People should stop seeing GW as a group of moustache-twirling villains or a team of bumbling incompetents, and start looking at them as a corporation. They're a company producing material goods and they planned the rotation WHFB-AoS years ago, with great investments and expenses. They're not going to back up on what is essentialy a huge (and dangerous) financial gamble just because someone on the web go full angsty and nostalgic. They're too much committed to AoS to simply back up and restart WHFB - it's all or nothing for them now: either they success and prosper or fail and disappear. I honestly don't understand how adult, intelligent people cannot understand that. As I said in another thread, having a so called "emotional investment" in a game is not an alibi to turn off the brain.

Really? Remember New Coke? Crystal Pepsi? McDLT? The Ford Pinto? KISS without makeup? It's never too late or too expensive to admit a mistake.

Whirlwind
22-11-2015, 11:27
I doubt we will seen WFB back in the next 18 months to 2 years, as this appears to be GWs development cycle. If they acknowledge that they have made a mistake then they could bring it back. However there has to be a fundamental shift in thinking because the issue that haunted WFB still remains; as in it just too expensive for new players to get started. When AoS was initially talked about the principle was that it was meant to be easier for new people to get started. But fundamentally the sticker shock has not changed (and realistically has got worse with the new models (and rumoured most £100 Archaon model). Given that this appears to be GWs geneal approach (of bigger more expensive models) I can only see this escalating as the approach appears to be "we are selling less so increase the price to compensate" - just compare the prices of each new large release since the new BT was released (each one has had a £5 jump each time). A new WFB at the current prices is just unviable. Without some progressive thinking from GW WFB will remain stagnating and AoS is likely to die quickly (possibly taking 40k with it).

On the other hand I'm not sure I would want a new WFB at the moment as I have no faith in the art; background writing; games writing; or model design as they are all degrading quickly in my view.

What is interesting is the sudden surge to try and restart Specialist games. There may here be evidence that GW are starting to recognise that they have lost a lot of sales from more veteran players (and likely with more disposable income) from the introduction of AoS. I would suggest that this is an attempt to keep these type of gamers/collectors under the GW umbrella and as it is FW they may be more flexible to at least returning to the WFB world.

Commodus Leitdorf
22-11-2015, 15:42
Yeah given the turn around time I highly doubt if they do go "whoops" we won't be seeing WFB or a 9th edition. Most likely we will see a heavily revamped 2nd edition of Age of Sigmar.

Drakkar du Chaos
22-11-2015, 16:50
GW canned specialist games and now they are back so yes it is possible.

Allen
23-11-2015, 10:34
And if it cost as much to develop 4 pages of rules and design a few new models and repackage others with round bases as it does to develop a next generation console, you'd have a point. The reality is, as I said, the principle is the same even if the scale isn't. The cost of rectifying errors is also smaller than if someone like MS screw up. I am not saying here they should immediately be backtracking all the way to WHFB necessarily, but if the 'success' of AoS is as indicated so far, I'd have expected to see them taking some action to address the concerns raised by their customers by now.

You still don't factor in the health of the corporation in question. GW now is not Microsoft during the first run of the XBoX: GW had several issues with their economical status for at least two or three consectuive years. They had to cut off any kind of support to marginal games systems due to their economical problems (discontinuing the whole Warhammer Historical branch mere months after commercializing WAB 2.0 for example), they had to ramp up their prices and cut drastically their personnel costs (one man store anyone) just to average the same level of profits of the previous years.

TL: DR - they are in no shape to take a loss, and if something happens to AoS they may discover they don't have resources left to try another solution. ANY other solution.



Until a few years ago, WHFB was 2nd largest tabletop game out there, only losing out to 40k. It took 20+ years to build to that peak so it was hardly a flash in the pan trend, there was lasting appeal in the product. The reasons it has declined from that peak (not necessarily to the point of failure, that is your take on it) are well documented. Again, instead of attempting to work out why it was in decline and rectify the errors that led to that (maybe by listening to customers - notice the common theme), they just threw it away and took a wild punt on something new with no research into whether it had a suitably sized audience or not. Looking at it entirely from a business perspective and not with any emotional basis, that is a crazy decision. There is no other way to view it.

As many others have already said the problem in "not being profitable enough" is not linked to market share, popularity, emotional attachment or whatnot. It's linked to the actual ratio of investments-results of the company. GW invested "X" and wanted at least "Y" in return, and they didn't get it. It does not matter if that was hugely popular (it was not, as the volume of slaes was steadily falling), it does not matter if it was strategic (it was not, considering that its high entry cost could prevented customer investment in the other -profitable- game system), it does not matter if it was beloved by anyone (it was indeed but GW take for granted the love, esteem and financial investments of its customers)... they didn't get what they wanted, and didn't get it for many, many years.

So they decided to drop an all-or-nothing card and create a whole new product only slightly linked to WHFB. A foolish decision, I may add...but I'm not in GW board of directors, so my opinion is moot. The problem is, as I've already said, the "all or nothing": in the past they may pulled of a last minute retreat, discontinuing AoS and pulling back a new, trimmed down version of WHFB. At the moment they simply lack money and resources to do that.




Ultimately bringing it back would be an option. I don't disagree that now would be too early, there are far more smaller and less costly changes to AoS that could (should) be attempted first. However, from a pure business and not emotional view, it cannot be said to not be a rational option. Sunk costs are just that, sunk. Making future decisions based on money already invested is a potential road to ruin and where the actual logical fallacy arises. If WHFB was still profitable at the time it was canned, and that profit was ahead of what AoS brings in and there's no apparent growth as AoS matures to even approach being on a par, they can either accept they probably aren't going to get a fantasy product that makes them the money they want and give up altogether, or maybe try communicating and researching with customers - which could provide a new product altogether, or one largely based on WHFB but with the needed changes to push it back into expansion instead of decline. I don't believe it will happen, but that isn't down to the viability of doing it, it's down to the lack of business competence in GW to even consider it, with no reason to believe that is going to change any time soon.

See above. Your considerations could have been considered right in the early 2000s, or in the 90s. Nowadays GW cannot afford to discontinue AoS and develop a slightly (or radically) improved version of WHFB.That's the point, sadly.

Agrimax
23-11-2015, 13:20
GW are still massively cash rich relative to the scale of their operation despite the slow decline. Undoubtedly funnelling a chunk of that cash into reworking a game instead of into investors pockets wouldn’t be popular, but if it was ultimately in the interest of the company and would produce larger profits and hence dividends in the future, it would be the correct action. Not saying that would be a brave decision, but it would not be ruinous to them.

Even at the point where it was canned, WHFB was a big game as far as the industry goes. There is no realistic way it wasn’t ‘profitable enough’ by any objective economic measure unless GW were doing something very, very wrong internally.

Ultimately as I already said, this all comes down to years of not listening to customers – and that was the primary point of my comparison to other companies like MS, who backtracked because they realised that ultimately the level of customer discontent at their decisions was going to cost them more money than rectifying the situation. GW have had opportunities to correct the mistakes they made in the direction of WHFB, they didn’t take them. And with each continued misstep, the cost of rectifying the mistakes, restoring goodwill with customers and returning to growth gets more expensive. They are not yet at a point it couldn’t be done, but they certainly will get there if they continue the same approach with AoS and do nothing to listen to the legitimate concerns raised.

smaxx
23-11-2015, 15:00
It doesn't matter anymore. There's Kings of War and there's Ninth Age now. There is no way that GW could make a competitive product to those. And the veterans who arrange all events in Gaming Clubs are now free from GW and will not return. Don't know how things are in England, but that's what I think of the situation elsewhere. If GW produces really nice miniatures for those games, some people will buy them. About GWs games, no interest whatsoever anymore.

Denny
23-11-2015, 15:07
Even at the point where it was canned, WHFB was a big game as far as the industry goes. There is no realistic way it wasn’t ‘profitable enough’ by any objective economic measure unless GW were doing something very, very wrong internally.

Not to labour the point, but only GW's opinion matters concerning whether Fantasy was profitable enough, because they are the ones who make the game and receive the profits.
I've used this example before, but Superman Returns earned $391,081,192 internationally (I think it was in the top ten grossing films of all time for a while), but the film was not deemed profitable enough to warrant a sequel, and the whole series was rebooted with Man of Steel.

Something can be big and make money and still not be profitable enough as far as the company is concerned.

Agrimax
23-11-2015, 15:44
WB didn’t can the sequel immediately though, despite that ‘disappointment’. There were a series of delays in the production of the sequel that made them give up, including the director working on other films, the writer’s strike and people leaving altogether. Along with a realisation of what Marvel were up to with a wider narrative connecting multiple heroes that they considered was likely to be a rather successful approach (in other words yet again – listening to their customers, also not to labour a point).

Also, if we were to extend that comparison then how do you think Man of Steel would have fared as a reboot if it has thrown away the whole Superman origin story and come up with a completely new one with at best tenuous links to the previous version? Oh and probably lasted about 4 minutes before fading to a black screen with caption “now make up your own narrative”.

But in absolute terms yes, any company has complete freedom to make whatever choices it wants. What that doesn’t do is give them some right to immunity from criticism where those choices seem less than intelligent.

Albrecht Hexenjaeger
23-11-2015, 16:26
Everyone always points out that Warhammer was prohibitively expensive to get into...how is 40K NOT prohibitively expensive as well? If not more? The new Blood Angels Chaplain is $33 for one plastic model that's essentially no different than any other roughly $10 trooper, other than his effect in a game. Because one five man $50 gives you "a unit"? Not an effective one. Just like the only thing better than ten is twenty, or thirty, in Fantasy. It's an expensive hobby no matter what game you or companies you play.

Denny
23-11-2015, 16:37
But in absolute terms yes, any company has complete freedom to make whatever choices it wants. What that doesn’t do is give them some right to immunity from criticism where those choices seem less than intelligent.

Absolutely. BUT you can't say that 'objectively' the game was profitable enough. Well you can, but it doesn't mean a lot.

Its like if my wife dumped me for not being good looking enough. You might think I'm stunning and she was an idiot, but you can't say I'm 'objectively' good looking enough to be her husband; that's her choice. All you can do is ask me out, buy me pretty things, and hope I say yes. ;)


Also, if we were to extend that comparison then how do you think Man of Steel would have fared as a reboot if it has thrown away the whole Superman origin story and come up with a completely new one with at best tenuous links to the previous version?

Well, the reboot did at least throw away Superman's moral compass. :cries:
At breakneck speed too.

smaxx
23-11-2015, 16:42
Everyone always points out that Warhammer was prohibitively expensive to get into...how is 40K NOT prohibitively expensive as well? If not more? The new Blood Angels Chaplain is $33 for one plastic model that's essentially no different than any other roughly $10 trooper, other than his effect in a game. Because one five man $50 gives you "a unit"? Not an effective one. Just like the only thing better than ten is twenty, or thirty, in Fantasy. It's an expensive hobby no matter what game you or companies you play.
Well, it's not expensive if You play with painted miniatures, because quite few can paint so fast that the hobby really costs anything. Some people's hobby is to buy miniatures and that costs, but if You buy roughly the speed You paint, it's not that much You can spend per month. But there are differencies still depending on what You play - take this fine set of ~300 miniatures for 175£ for example : http://store.warlordgames.com/collections/new-releases/products/liberty-or-death-american-war-of-independence-battle-set You get two complete armies for Black Powder with the cost of half a GW army.

Agrimax
24-11-2015, 00:17
Everyone always points out that Warhammer was prohibitively expensive to get into...how is 40K NOT prohibitively expensive as well?

Increasingly I think people are coming to the conclusion it is.


It's an expensive hobby no matter what game you or companies you play.

Typically those with a similar standard game model count to GW games sell individual models cheaper, those with a similar cost per model require significantly fewer models for a standard size game. Still expensive maybe, but significantly less so overall than GW.

Leogun_91
24-11-2015, 00:21
Well, it's not expensive if You play with painted miniatures, because quite few can paint so fast that the hobby really costs anything. Some people's hobby is to buy miniatures and that costs, but if You buy roughly the speed You paint, it's not that much You can spend per month. But there are differencies still depending on what You play - take this fine set of ~300 miniatures for 175£ for example : http://store.warlordgames.com/collections/new-releases/products/liberty-or-death-american-war-of-independence-battle-set You get two complete armies for Black Powder with the cost of half a GW army.My mode for painting tends to be to buy up a unit of ca 30 and then take two-three nights to paint them up through speedpaint and I never play with unpainted miniatures (or at least very rarely, have missed a deadline once or twice and been forced to play with greys). With a busy schedule that can take me a whole month to fix a unit (and at times pauses are made due to lacking other equipment), going that route with GW costs a lot. Lets say I'll go with the new Blood Warriors that leaves me with a monthly cost of $186 excluding paints (and impulse buys you decide you didn't want after all or extra characters and monsters occassionally), that is a lot, far too much in fact. In addition the lore used to be my main part of the hobby and thus I bought every armybook at release which further adds to the cost, would I keep that habit in AoS together with that painting schedule I would bankrupt myself at a terrifyingly fast pace.

Allen
24-11-2015, 14:57
GW are still massively cash rich relative to the scale of their operation despite the slow decline

Yeah, that's why they borrowed money, reported declining sales AND decided to scale down their personnel costs just to avoid negative numbers on their books.


Undoubtedly funnelling a chunk of that cash into reworking a game instead of into investors pockets wouldn’t be popular, but if it was ultimately in the interest of the company and would produce larger profits and hence dividends in the future, it would be the correct action

On paper it's all fine and logic. In practice, any stakeholder will raise more than one eyebrow at the idea of scaling back their gains in order to finance yet another product development without any hard evidence that it will generate more profits later. Please, try to remember that we're talking about a company that was forced to cut key budget voices like number of store personnel in order to maintain a steady profit for its investors.


Not saying that would be a brave decision, but it would not be ruinous to them

It is actually a "brave" (or, more correctly, "bold") idea. And it will be ruinous for them even if they will consider it in any way that is not an informal discussion strictly confined to the Board. As I said, it's logic on paper - and actually it would be a sensible decision from the company point of view in an abstract way. But in reality corporations does not work that way...and the idea of decreasing investors' gain in order to fuel yet another revision of mainline products is simply irrealistic. No-one would greenlight such a project in GW.


Even at the point where it was canned, WHFB was a big game as far as the industry goes. There is no realistic way it wasn’t ‘profitable enough’ by any objective economic measure unless GW were doing something very, very wrong internally

GW screwed up with its business model, not with this or that single product. The idea of selling tons of miniatures at premium prices for decades is simply stupid: not only they priced their products outside the market, but they also alienated their customer base with shoddy (but extremely costly) rulesets and miniatures with faulty quality controls and some sort of built-in programmed obsolescence...after a while you have to discontinue this unit or that character because something new and better has just popped out.

It's the idea that is wrong, not the management of WHFB. If you look closely enough, the "failure" WHFB and the "top seller" WH40K were managed exactly in the same way. WHFB was simply unlucky and ran out of steam before its cousin.