You are around 50% right there UberBeast
It's really quite simple. Consumer walks into GW store and sees 40k Codex and historical gaming supplement. Both cost the same to make, are high priced and turn a tidy profit but if the consumer picks up the first GW can continue to keep selling to them. If they pick up the second then GW's relationship ends with them there. Throw in limited shelf space in shops which has to be maximised and the entire sales ethos of the shops being to upsell the product then a historical book is a waste of time, resources and shelf space that would be better served taken up by a core product.
WHH was always a personal project, a sideline with little opportunity unless GW moved into miniatures, something it was not going to do. As soon as the suits began to talk about what GW does, and that meant selling toy soldiers, WHH's number was only safe while there were old school hobbyists at the top. WHH has always fitted on the fringe of GWs product lines and has, in my observations, needed that patronage to keep going. For all his great things, Rob Broom left a disorganised mess of a personal fiefdom behind which also did not help matters. Without a miniature line, without an old school hobbyist providing protection, and without a booming sales company WHH was a dead man walking.
Now what that has to do with the retail business, well over to you.
Damn, I'd only just got my local game club/shop to believe me there was a games line called Warhammer Historical, and now they've gone and shut down(not the club/shop)...
If it's any consolation your LGS couldn't stock any WHH stuff anyway as FW made it direct only. Tell them that there's historical games out there by the guy who used to run WHH (War & Conquest), by the guy responsible for all things Warhammer (Hail Caesar) and a game which is very much like WAB (Clash of Empires). All of which are in print, well supported and well worth stocking
For those wondering about KGN... Something new on the horizon from Mr. Kinrade and chums;
I think Forgeworld would have found more success with WHH if they closed down the seperate site and added it to their main site. I think it would have increased sales a bit.
ALso GMG any ideas on how Mr. Kinrade plans to release KGK?
Cat say as yet though.
While I agree that selling rules without minis is not consistent with GW's business model, I absolutely disagree with this notion that doing so cannot generate a profit. Were that the case, Field of Glory, LaSalle, and dozens of other rules sets would not exist. It's a silly excuse with little basis in reality that I can see.
I think that the arguement is not that they do not generate a profit, it is that they do not sell miniatures that GW manufactures and in the context of GW's current buisness model, maintaining WHH (as low cost as it is) does not have the potential to yield MOAR!!! profit.
Originally Posted by Salty
Companies don't always follow the best business plan. Personally I think this was a stupid move on their part, and one that is merely a symptom of the kind of thinking that will see similar bad moves in the future. We can only speculate on the reasons why they closed down Warhammer Historical; low profit margin, incompatibility with their core products, or simple short-sightedness. For all we know Warhammer Historical merely fell prey to internal politics where a project head for one or both of GW's mainstream game lines pushed the board to cut Warhammer Historical rather than cut funding to their own departments. It may simply be that GW doesn't have the money to keep too many projects going.
We can make up straw-man arguments all day, but in the end it comes down to this: they had a popular product that the public wanted and they decided not to sell it.