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View Full Version : Specilaist games: Q&A With Jervis at GenCon



erion
19-08-2005, 13:17
Here's the link. (http://www.gamingreport.com/article.php?sid=18255&mode=thread&order=0)

Olith
19-08-2005, 14:13
Good read, thanks.

Jedi152
19-08-2005, 14:15
Wow. Whoever was reading the questions really loves their BB!

Good BB news though: New cheerleaders and coaches, and a remade Zug for humans, and a new dwarf team in the works!

Charax
19-08-2005, 14:33
and still no sign of the missing Inquisitor figures, dispite it being responsible for the most sales...

erion
19-08-2005, 14:42
and still no sign of the missing Inquisitor figures, dispite it being responsible for the most sales...

I thought that was very interesting as well.

rkunisch
19-08-2005, 16:52
Wow, this was the first time that somebody talked about the reason of the Fanatic downsizing. I never thought that the numbers were that bad.

A good find, thanks.

Have fun,

Rolf.

fracas
19-08-2005, 17:06
good read
thanks

Odin
19-08-2005, 17:14
"There have been grumblings that Imperium 40k is stagnant with technology."

So says the questioner. What the hell is that about?

"Q: Are you releasing all the figures that were sculpted/prepared?
A: We'll release all the good ones. The models are going through studio quality control, which is more strict."

Oh yes, that'll be the strict quality control which let through Chaos Troll, Chaos Ogres and Yhetees. ;)

erion
19-08-2005, 17:26
"There have been grumblings that Imperium 40k is stagnant with technology."

So says the questioner. What the hell is that about?

"Q: Are you releasing all the figures that were sculpted/prepared?
A: We'll release all the good ones. The models are going through studio quality control, which is more strict."

Oh yes, that'll be the strict quality control which let through Chaos Troll, Chaos Ogres and Yhetees. ;)

Not to mention those things with the Ogre hunter.

Grimshawl
19-08-2005, 17:51
First off dont take this as another GW bashing session, however I have been deeply involved with Fanatics forums and the playtesting work on many of the epic army lists as well as the Necromunda and BFG forums and have traded emails semi regularly with the Fanatic crew, their MODs and the Army Champions as well as many in the community, and I am regularly stunned by how amuaturish there atempts to manage the Online support/ Forums and Website are, and in general just their poor atempts at public relations, I personaly like Jervis but even knowing that he is not responsible for the cutbacks at Fanatic it is still hard not to be disapointed how the Fanatic crew has dealt with these cutbacks.
As to the poor showing of profits from Fanatic, well considering some of the decisions about how they are going to market the specialst games range, and the lack of the models in the stores as well as the choice of not releasing some of the more in demand armies, forces,/ models as well as poor handling of the Fanatic magazine has all contributed to the overall sickly condition we currently see.

warpoet
19-08-2005, 19:02
From the interview:

"Games Workshop's business is to get people to collect armies of miniatures."

Remember when it was to make, and support, good games?

Charax
19-08-2005, 19:38
Yes, I do, and I feel old because of it.

Mikhaila
19-08-2005, 20:44
It's always been about 2 things:

1) Make the best games in the world.
2) Sell more lead.

Those were the two rules i always heard for the last 20 years, 15 of that as a retailer. For any business, a good part of your focus has to be the job of simply staying in business. A company can make the best games in the world, but if they don't make a profit, they are dead and gone, and no new games out of them.

Rule number one is the goal of the company, the lofty ideal to which you hold, the hoop you need to jump through.

Rule number two is what keeps you in business, so you have the opportunity to fullfill rule number one.

RobC
19-08-2005, 20:51
Most corps neglect rule 1, thus forcing them to put more emphasis on rule 2. And thus the chain continues.

Replace lead with [beans], [books], [CDs], whatever.

Helicon_One
19-08-2005, 22:25
From the interview:

"Games Workshop's business is to get people to collect armies of miniatures."

Remember when it was to make, and support, good games?

Those two goals aren't mutually exclusive though. Make and support a good game, and people will want to collect armies to play it.

Tim

warpoet
20-08-2005, 02:16
Those two goals aren't mutually exclusive though. Make and support a good game, and people will want to collect armies to play it.

Tim


Not exactly.

I think a lot of folks believe that some of GW's best work comes in smaller games with smaller collections of figures.

But true, no one will collect the (insert newest spiffy army here) if the game it goes with blows chunks.

mmmmm, chunks.

Ivan Stupidor
20-08-2005, 02:46
Best line: "I am amazed at the numbers of plastic space marines sold. I can't believe it , I keep expecting it to be a front for drugs."

Inquisitor Samos
20-08-2005, 04:09
"Q: Are you releasing all the figures that were sculpted/prepared?
A: We'll release all the good ones. The models are going through studio quality control, which is more strict."

Oh yes, that'll be the strict quality control which let through Chaos Troll, Chaos Ogres and Yhetees. ;)

Not to mention those things with the Ogre hunter.
I think you fellows have the wrong idea about what "studio quality control" does. It's concerned with whether or not the castings (figures) come out of the molds looking as they should, in other words with minimal casting problems and in their appearance at least close to the master model.

Studio QC has nothing at all to do with whether that master model was a travesty of a representation of whatever concept in the first place. That should be properly blamed on the person(s) in Design or wherever else who approved the particular figure that seems a travesty in the first place.

Case in point: the Thorian Inquisitor figure, which to my mind is a brilliant concept, I'd love to have one, or even several (ahhh, the conversion possibilities!)...... but apparently it can't be suitably cast such that it passes studio QC, more's the pity. :cries:

Thanks for posting the link, erion! :cool:


As to the poor showing of profits from Fanatic, well considering some of the decisions about how they are going to market the specialst games range, and the lack of the models in the stores as well as the choice of not releasing some of the more in demand armies, forces,/ models as well as poor handling of the Fanatic magazine has all contributed to the overall sickly condition we currently see.
I'd have to say I pretty much agree with Grimshawl.

It's difficult to see how anyone can reasonably expect to achieve good sales of lines that aren't effectively marketed, aren't made easily available, have items that typically never come out on time beyond the first releases (if even then), and for which supporting publications and even basic release-related information are haphazardly produced or even not provided at all...... and all of those things were happening in what was the apparent "heyday" of the Specialist Games' popularity. I sometimes find it a wonder they performed as well as they did; that speaks volumes about the commitment of we players of the Specialist Games, if nothing else.

Odin
20-08-2005, 11:48
"But true, no one will collect the (insert newest spiffy army here) if the game it goes with blows chunks."

Well, people collected plenty of armies during 3rd Edition 40K, and that blew chunks.

sigur
20-08-2005, 12:56
Good point Odin. 3rd edtion blew huge chunks made of huge stuff with the word "huge" written on them in huge letters. The strange thing about GW is that it basically lives (has customers) because of 2 things: Very good-looking miniatures and the things they did years ago. The first to get new people into the hobby, the second (I'm talking about background, images and so on) is the thing that keeps the veterans/old people in.

Latter was done years/decades ago and was bent more and more within the last years. The veterans who care about background and the feeling wailed in agony, but still stick to their beloved hobby. GW doesn't do anything to support them.

At least they're trying to improve the 40k system which is also not much more than charades because after 3rd edition, everything that could come was an improvement.

Misfratz
21-08-2005, 22:24
Maybe there can be new alien races which allow us to explore a new archetype.As in the 'Dwarf' archetype... :p

Seriously though, interesting things:
LotR = 20%
Space Marines = 40%
Everything Else = 40%

That's a weird breakdown, but from Jervis' other comments it seems to be relatively stable.

Is there any chance of the Space Marine bubble bursting?

t-tauri
21-08-2005, 22:50
Is there any chance of the Space Marine bubble bursting?
Better hope not because if that one goes down, so will GW. 40% Space Marines? I wonder if that's 40k or the entire GW turnover? It seems like it's the whole GW turnover. In that case then two out of three releases need to be Space Marines to keep that going.

starlight
21-08-2005, 23:39
I am amazed at the numbers of plastic space marines sold. I can't believe it , I keep expecting it to be a front for drugs.

Obviously spoken by someone who doesn't understand business, marketing or see the correlation between marketing and sales. If I was in GWHQ, I'd be shocked at how LOW the sales numbers are for Marines. Marines sales (40%) should match their advertising and support percentages. Any guesses?

As was pointed out we have Marines at 40%, LotR at 20% and SG at 5% meaning that all of the other armies are splitting 35% of GW's total revenue.

Now assuming that "Marines" includes all flavours and variants including Chaos and Daemonhunters(etc) and all relevant vehicles, bitz and such that still leaves 15 WFB and 7 40K armies splitting 35% for 1.6% average each. If you don't include Chaos Marines(etc), it's WORSE! Let's hope that they count Forgeworld separately altogether!

Think about it, if you don't play Marines your army represents less than 2% of GW's revenue. That's a rounding error to a firm the size of GW, not a market segment.

That explains a whole lot of things. :(

Grimshawl
22-08-2005, 12:40
Who is surprised by this, we have been force fed Marines untill I'm sick to death of them, at the same time I'm not surprised that the other 40k races are lagging this bad, most of them have been neglected for some time. It would also be interesting to find out how the fantasy stuff breaks down in terms of the armies that are bread winners and those that are bringing in very little.

config
22-08-2005, 19:45
We can only hope that GW does not create their own Smurf Bubble. They should support the other product lines (races) to keep people in the hobby and stop to squeeze out their cash cow (Kids;SM) until it's dead. Sooner or later kids will move on to new stuff (xbox360;PS3) and the vets will be done with SM.

[Imagine a 42th millenium where the SM rebel against everyone else and cleanse the galaxy of the imperfect human and alien genpool. What will they do afterwards? Kill Chaos SM or eachother!?!]

fracas
22-08-2005, 20:15
the only way to make Fanatic more successful is to invest some money into marketing their games beyond the current format.
More prebox games with 2 armies. Put them on the shelves of hobby stores rather than relying on the web. and if you leave them on the web for god sake advertize somehow.

Shadowheart
23-08-2005, 05:43
Better hope not because if that one goes down, so will GW. 40% Space Marines? I wonder if that's 40k or the entire GW turnover? It seems like it's the whole GW turnover. In that case then two out of three releases need to be Space Marines to keep that going.

It's more like two out of three sales. Space Marine tactical squads simply get sold a hell of a lot more than Genestealers or High Elf regiments. If the Space Marine range of products was as big as their share in profits, it'd be bigger than the entire Warhammer Fantasy range. Or at least that's what the numbers suggest.
I'd be interested to know how the relative popularity of Space Marines has developed over the years. Nowadays you can build virtually your entire marine army out of really snazzy plastics, but on the other hand other armies (Imperial Guard for instance) have also become more viable choices due to more extensive use of high quality plastic kits.
One thing is certain, Jes Goodwin is incredibly important to GW's success. I hope they've paid him accordingly.

Fanatic/Specialist Games... well, they make some cool stuff, but it seems to be even more expensive than GW miniatures generally are, and it's harder to get. I'm glad they're there for the die-hard fans, but that's a small group. And when the games are this hard to get into, it's not a group that will grow much.
The old GW system of having one or two "non-core" games in stores for a time before abandoning them until the next relaunch left something to be desired. Setting up Fanatic to support the games after and in addition to their in-store periods was much welcomed. Having the Fanatic support instead of the original method wasn't so hot though. There has to be a certain balance between a professional, commercially viable approach and the "for gamers, by gamers" ideal.


People making money off of the support and effor we put into Blood Bowl, that's a bit depressing.

Jervis, being a long-time GW designer and a pretty clever guy, should have known better than to make that comment... making money off of other people's ideas and efforts isn't exactly a practice GW is unfamiliar with.

Delicious Soy
24-08-2005, 05:37
Who is surprised by this, we have been force fed Marines untill I'm sick to death of them, at the same time I'm not surprised that the other 40k races are lagging this bad, most of them have been neglected for some time. It would also be interesting to find out how the fantasy stuff breaks down in terms of the armies that are bread winners and those that are bringing in very little.Well the fact that marines get 'propped up' a lot more than other races would account for their popularity. If GW really wanted a more balanced sales sheet they could go back to the old system of releases things almost at random. Would certainly be more interesting but it'd probably do little more than redistribute the profits a little more evenly with probably less sales.

Grimshawl
24-08-2005, 12:52
I find it interesting that your conclusions lead you to beleive that doing anything other than continuing to force feed us space marines will obviously lead to less sales.

Mikhaila
24-08-2005, 13:14
I'm sure that the extra attention that marines get accounts for some of their sales, but its not the only factor. They have been the best selling 40k army since the game came out. Far and above the other armies, with sales of marines exceeding sales of the rest of the line.

Even now, 2 out of 3 people starting 40k in my shops start out with marines. Most go on to do at least one more army, but it's usually marines on the initial sale. Sometimes its a starter set, sometimes its just a handful of blisters, but marines seem to hit a chord with new players.

Odin
24-08-2005, 14:49
I think the 40K starter set really should have been Imperial Guard vs Tyranids. You need something to grab people, and the Aliens/Starship Troopers similarities would do just that. It would also encourage sales of one of GW's other armies.

Grimshawl
24-08-2005, 15:17
although I would love to see somthing other than marines going into the basic box I doubt GW would like anymore simularities between themselves and Starship Troopers at the moment.

Brandir
26-08-2005, 17:46
The most interesting comment in this interview was:

'perhaps we should be considering licensing these things out?'

In response to the question about other manufacturers essentially selling minis for GW's systems.

Would it work? Would any manufacturer be interested in this? If BB was licensed, perhaps we would see a new Wood Elf BB team released next month, wioth the new minis and rules based on the new WHFB rules. If Warmaster was licensed we could see a new army etc etc etc.

Mikhaila
27-08-2005, 02:26
The reason for going with SM and nids in the starter box, is both are very easy for a beginner to run, and win a game with. This time around, they built the starter box with the total beginner in mind. Easy, nearly snap together models. Terrain that doesn't take anything to build. Easy armies to play.

I'd love to see a second starter set with IG and Orks, just to have some variety, but if i have to pick two armies to be in the box, i'd still stick with nids and SM.

On the subject of letting go the license to certain games, i doubt that we are going to see that happen. You'd need a company that could do the printing and casting, have the ability to do new sculpts, and overall do a better job than GW does with the game now. That company also has to be able to pony up the cash for the license.

Any company with a crew with those skills, and the money, the sculptors, and the energy to do it right is going to be working on their own game, and not paying to re-hash someone elses.