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View Full Version : State of the War - A look at the current state of the Warhammer 40k community



f2k
29-04-2016, 17:30
I saw a link to this (http://www.totellstories.com/40k/) on, of all places, the Dust 1947 Facebook page.

As surveys go, it's not really that surprising - Games Workshop isn't doing well, but we already knew that.

What strikes me the most is the fact that over 50% of the responders are over 30 and that only 10% are younger than 21. That really seem to hammer home the main issue that Games Workshop faces: they're releasing tons of stuff, but they simply aren't recruiting enough new players.

Keep in mind though, that a sample size of just over 1000 responses isn't very big.

veterannoob
29-04-2016, 17:47
Interesting, thanks for the link. Not sure how much I actually read into that but much of it comes in line with what I would guess. The self-reported data on younger players is more interesting to be honest as I mostly tend to see them play GW or Second, FLGS store. Obviously some events with age requirements or held at/with alcohol, bars, titty bars(j/k...or am I?:shifty:) keeps younger players out.

i expected eldar to be deemed most powerful and not SoB as weakest, so again, interesting in a good way. Was also a little surprised ho few reported the codex supplement armies, mainly AdMech. Thanks again.

BFalcon
30-04-2016, 10:43
I think that document is a huge wakeup call to GW - over half the responders thought that GW was "supported 3rd party websites but were too aggressive on IP" or worse... that's GOT to be a concern to them - they can't afford negative publicity like that.

Another notable point: Most are veterans of over 8-10 years... not the "Little Timmy" that GW seems to want to attract and only those playing for under 5 years have really embraced AoS as a group. Also of interest, as it notes, is the income-to-spending relationship - the over 30's seem to spend more on their hobby, yet GW has intentionally aimed at teens. Perhaps they'll think twice about this now.

The most damning statistic in there by far, though, is the fact that over half go to independant stockists and not GW - with the GW stores being particularly low when compared to the FLGS... personally, I think they've gotten things backwards - they always put GW stores in cities where there lots to do and are priced so the poorer kids can't afford their stuff. This means they're competing with all the other attractions that want teenager money. Perhaps they ought to start thinking about going for smaller towns where there's less going on and bringing their prices down at the lower-end to try to get teens who are bored into playing their games?

Certainly bringing back Epic, Blood Bowl and Gothic would help a lot - games that don't need huge tables to play could be played by teens in their own homes a LOT more easily than 40k which needs a snooker-table at least for a decent game. Epic, especially, could be played in a 3x4-foot area, which was great.

Thanks for that link - certainly interesting reading, whatever you read into it - THIS is what GW should have been doing all these years - they'd have stayed in touch with their customers a lot more then. :)

MarcoSkoll
30-04-2016, 12:04
Another notable point: Most are veterans of over 8-10 years... not the "Little Timmy" that GW seems to want to attract and only those playing for under 5 years have really embraced AoS as a group.
Don't make the mistake of conforming to selection bias. The "Little Timmys" are much less likely to have responded to or even been aware of an internet poll.

I'll try to respond more in depth when I'm on a proper computer. The results are interesting, but have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Inquisitor Engel
01-05-2016, 00:19
Don't make the mistake of conforming to selection bias. The "Little Timmys" are much less likely to have responded to or even been aware of an internet poll.

Absolutely. The fact that they don't even acknowledge this as a possibility tells me these guys are a far throw from a proper stats group.

I'm on pretty much every major GW centered community and I saw no links or advertising for this survey anywhere. That tells me there's a high probability for a sampling error. Not that I disagree with the broad conclusions, but I'd seriously question some of the results based on the potential for confirmation bias alone.

MusingWarboss
01-05-2016, 00:39
Certainly bringing back Epic, Blood Bowl and Gothic would help a lot - games that don't need huge tables to play could be played by teens in their own homes a LOT more easily than 40k which needs a snooker-table at least for a decent game. Epic, especially, could be played in a 3x4-foot area, which was great.


This was always the issue with the ever-increasing model count of 40k and WFB, there is a physical limit to playing area size in most peoples homes, certainly in the UK where we have some of the most cramped housing stock in Europe.

Board games and skirmish are things that can be feasibly done at home, Apocalypse on a 12'x6' table is not.

Very few people can leave tables set up in a dedicated room and even a garage set up needs to be packable away in case the garage needs to be used for other things.

Most of the 80s/90s games scaled well from skirmish to reasonably large and could be done at home easily enough. The board games were fantastic entry points precisely because you could play them on a small table.

It'll be nice to see more of those return.

Inquisitor Engel
01-05-2016, 02:24
-snip-.

Indeed. I think this, alongside the prepainted models, is why X-Wing got so popular. It requires a 3x3 space to play. That's it. If you get into the bigger point battles, then you're looking at 3x6. Try having even a 500 point battle of 40k in a 3x3 space. It's assault phase on turn 1.

f2k
01-05-2016, 07:18
Absolutely. The fact that they don't even acknowledge this as a possibility tells me these guys are a far throw from a proper stats group.

I'm on pretty much every major GW centered community and I saw no links or advertising for this survey anywhere. That tells me there's a high probability for a sampling error. Not that I disagree with the broad conclusions, but I'd seriously question some of the results based on the potential for confirmation bias alone.

I very much doubt that they're professionel, as evidenced by the fact that over 100% of players play Space Marines... :p

But you're right... The sample size is pretty small and it looks like it was done locally (as it wasn't advertised on major sites), so take it with a grain of salt.

jtrowell
01-05-2016, 09:02
The problably divided the number of space marines armies by the number of people polled, ignoring the fact that that some people owned several marines armies.

It's nice to get the information that there were slightly more SM armies than people polled, but they should also have included the true % of people owning at least one SM army.

f2k
01-05-2016, 09:20
The problably divided the number of space marines armies by the number of people polled, ignoring the fact that that some people owned several marines armies.

It's nice to get the information that there were slightly more SM armies than people polled, but they should also have included the true % of people owning at least one SM army.

I'm sure that's what they did.

I will say though, that, anecdotally speaking, their findings coincide with what I've been seeing locally over the last decade or so. Peoples interest is waning, fewer players are recruited, and the few remaining players are getting older and older.

And the fact that Eldar are OP and that Tyranids suck is a well established truth... :p

Gorbad Ironclaw
01-05-2016, 15:17
I looked a few days ago and I think there is an asterisk with the marine number because it's a composite of all the different kinds of marines, meaning if you got say Space Wolves and Blood Angels you count for two armies. But yeah, it's not a 'proper' statistical study, but it's still interesting to see. It would be even more interesting to see if it was applied to different games, to see if there is a demographically difference.

BFalcon
02-05-2016, 01:13
Don't make the mistake of conforming to selection bias. The "Little Timmys" are much less likely to have responded to or even been aware of an internet poll.

I'll try to respond more in depth when I'm on a proper computer. The results are interesting, but have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

This is true - thanks for reminding me. The small sample size that someone else mentions is also of note.

This is one reason why GW putting flyers into boxes would be an excellent idea - backed up with a "reply by this date to be entered into our 'win a free box' competition" or something similar - get people responding. It costs them a few free boxes of minis and they get valuable data back.

lorelorn
02-05-2016, 11:21
I note that 8% of the respondents fall into the collector bracket, versus the 80% asserted by GW

Older players were most likely to not disclose how much they spent: Yep, fake internet surveys are a wife's favourite way of discovering the truth!

blackcherry
02-05-2016, 13:47
Older players were most likely to not disclose how much they spent: Yep, fake internet surveys are a wife's favourite way of discovering the truth!

It's actually a trend in older people in general, (at least here in the UK) not just wargamers.

Inquisitor Engel
02-05-2016, 16:41
Older players were most likely to not disclose how much they spent: Yep, fake internet surveys are a wife's favourite way of discovering the truth!

It could also be that simply because one has a greater amount of expendable income, you stop keeping quite as close a track on it, because $100 here, $50 there becomes inconsequential compared to the cost of a mortgage, etc.

The_Real_Chris
03-05-2016, 09:45
Well, GW seem to be going on a recruitment kick again with the whole Battle for Vedros, so maybe they do magically understand their market :)

heliodorus04
05-05-2016, 04:14
Reading a publication about its market would qualify as 'market research,' which we all know that GW admits it does not do...

Buddy Bear
05-05-2016, 09:49
Interesting that this survey says that it's older players which spend the most money, while apparently GW believes that their veterans spend no money, and they instead derive their profits from the Little Timmy's of the world who just got into the game and are spending their parents money.

Funny, also, how this says that only 8% just assemble models and don't play (the collectors), while GW believes that number is at 80%.

blackcherry
05-05-2016, 13:17
Interesting that this survey says that it's older players which spend the most money, while apparently GW believes that their veterans spend no money, and they instead derive their profits from the Little Timmy's of the world who just got into the game and are spending their parents money.

Funny, also, how this says that only 8% just assemble models and don't play (the collectors), while GW believes that number is at 80%.

It's also a potentially unrepresentative selection of the gaming community. Unless you want to admit that competitive gamers don't run the world like the internet believes ;)

Denny
05-05-2016, 13:48
It's also a potentially unrepresentative selection of the gaming community. Unless you want to admit that competitive gamers don't run the world like the internet believes ;)

On that note, was anyone aware of this survey?
I'm not over projecting our importance or anything, but I never heard about this and I spend way too much time online talking about this stuff.
Was this publicized on the various forums (dakkadakka, BoLS, here) and I just missed it?
(Quite possible of course, just curious)

toonboy78
05-05-2016, 14:12
i think it was on BolS a few months ago.

i took part in it.

as with most surveys they need taking with a pinch of salt.

while a 1000 is a pretty reasonable number where they got the responses from seems a bit narrow.

it was the same issue the pollsters in the UK had when they were doing last years general election prediction

f2k
05-05-2016, 16:28
Interesting that this survey says that it's older players which spend the most money, while apparently GW believes that their veterans spend no money, and they instead derive their profits from the Little Timmy's of the world who just got into the game and are spending their parents money.

Funny, also, how this says that only 8% just assemble models and don't play (the collectors), while GW believes that number is at 80%.

"Believes" being the keyword here. Remember, Games Workshop don't do customer surveys, so in reality they know next to nothing about the community.

Buddy Bear
07-05-2016, 10:15
"Believes" being the keyword here. Remember, Games Workshop don't do customer surveys, so in reality they know next to nothing about the community.

Yep. Maybe they should do market research? They they'd actually know rather than just taking blind shots in the dark. Wait, what am I saying? That's stupid. After all, market research is otiose in a niche.