PDA

View Full Version : Just curious, does GW listen?



Lord Malorne
12-02-2009, 20:31
I am just curious (possibly the wrong place for this) but does anyone know of an instance where GW has taken player/community input into anything? I know the big summer campaigns were 'meant' to be shining examples of that, though IMO failed.

I mean for things like, FAQ's (oooh dangerous topic) which units should be re-released/updated, which armies to release (*pipe dreams here*) and general hobby malarky.

I mean for me, GW has a lot of fingers in a lot of pies, and though the horror stories of closed stores, downsizing and whatnot continue they still have a healthy supply of employess and make...money, now why do they not take any input in? (they possibly do, I honestly do not know).

Like for FAQ's, I hear Dakka (is that right?) do a ton, yet only a small amount get through the NO THANK YOU net, we have no choice which army comes out next, which I don't really mind as each army does need to be updated...often...then updated again, which gain more players for that army, good or ill (Daemons, VC's, SM's...et cetera).

What kind of input have I missed that you wish they would take into consideration? I know its a mass market...erm...market so realise what 'needs' to be done, what I am curious about is why do we the majority (the majority, as is the case in most places, rule) not get any input....Are we too quite? Does GW have internet access? Would they by chance look at warhammer forums? Would we get to give any input? Should we get more of a say?

Or do we already?

Foolish Mortal
12-02-2009, 20:43
I honestly have no idea if GW 'listen' to the gaming/hobby community, but the main question would be who would they listen to?

I haven't been on forums very long, but one thing I have learned, is that there are many, many people who want many, many things. GW could go mad trying to figure out what they wanted, bankrupt themselves trying to make it happen, and still there would be some who weren't happy.

I think they do a fairly good job as it is, but surely it would benefit them to at least 'keep an ear to the ground' to get a general feel for what they should do next.

All IMO.

Pantsless
12-02-2009, 21:18
They have used some community input on the FAQs, I think. I forgot the name of the group, but they're noted in several faqs.

starlight
12-02-2009, 21:30
Yes, GW does listen.


Recently they used the FAQs from (I believe) Dakka, and I know that when 3rd Ed Tyranids came out they borrowed an entire fan website as a complete WD article.

dookie
12-02-2009, 21:41
I think this is a daft question, of course they listen, they are a business, we spend money and pay thier wages, what? do you think theres one guy who decides which way the hobby goes?

for example?

"We want bigger games with deals on buying loads of stuff!" BAM!! Apocalypse! and the online deals.

"Why did you get rid of all the sprays? and left us with only chaos black and white?" BAM!! Spray gun! comes complete with 20 different colours you can load in to it. (thats more than they had spray cans!)

oh, and the FAQ's arnt orginally wriiten by the studio, they are taken from questions which come up on certain moaning sites, like this one..

Peace

Lord Malorne
12-02-2009, 21:54
Though your phrasing was pitiful your point was the point of this thread :D.

Those are a few instances, though not an example of community input, apoc was inevitable, not community input, the spary gun sucked, true what you said about the FAQ's, though not everything, or the most important questions are answered in the FAQ.

So no, I belive in most cases community input is overlooked, I exect that, I understand that, I was looking for instances where it was taken into account, like I heard a while ago they will be centralising WD so it is done by a group in the same area as opposed to all over the place...though what comes of that I don't know.

Anyone have any other ones?...any recent ones?

starlight
12-02-2009, 22:06
WD was centralised for cost-saving reasons, with continuity a distant second...

Condottiere
12-02-2009, 22:34
It comes down to the bottomline - if they think a community idea will result in more sales, they'll probably adopt it. If that idea will result in more sales, but require cost outlays beyond the petty cash box, they probably won't.

Havarel
12-02-2009, 23:16
Best example I can think of was a while back when GW released an FAQ for the Nid codex (4th Ed). It stated that units in synapse were immune to instant death from weapon strength of double the units toughness, but anything over that caused ID. So a Warrior would be safe from a Krak-Missile, but would be ID from a lascannon shot. There was a huge uproar from Nid players, and they quickly changed it.

Lord Malorne
12-02-2009, 23:36
Cool, never knew that.

Shatter Cake
13-02-2009, 03:20
Yeah they do listen. The problem is response speed.

Joewrightgm
13-02-2009, 03:48
I think that with White Dwarf, you definitly see GW changing back to the way things were.

I got a hold of March's White Dwarf, and I felt like I was reading something from 5-10 years ago: Full articles, beautiful spreads of armies, and nothing but 4-6 pages of nothing but armies of staffers; it was like pulling the centerfold of a playboy out, with the same amount of ohs and ahs, and she can do that!? being bandied about.

Orinoco
13-02-2009, 07:53
Yeah they do listen. The problem is response speed.

Really? When do they listen?

To respond to the OP: No. :(

reds8n
13-02-2009, 09:10
So no, I belive in most cases community input is overlooked, I exect that, I understand that, I was looking for instances where it was taken into account, like I heard a while ago they will be centralising WD so it is done by a group in the same area as opposed to all over the place...though what comes of that I don't know.

Anyone have any other ones?...any recent ones?


After heat 1 of the UK 40K GTs this year there was immense displeasure at the state of the FAQ they had, so they listened and then got some foolish volunteers/stout hearted fellows to step up and correct the issue. Overall i think the revised FAQs were/are much better.:angel:

They're for the right edition of the rules at least.:eyebrows:

Osbad
13-02-2009, 11:21
There are patchy instances of GW reacting to players' wishes.

They have even been known on occasion to recruit volunteer playtesters. And sometimes listen to them. Adam Troke, for instance when he was in the Studio was a model of excellence when it came to managing playtesting. Mat Ward, on the other hand never seemed to want to take it other than in a few very specific cases, and then appeared to treat it as confrontational when he got it nevertheless.

The problem is then not that it doesn't happen, but rather when it does it is all a bit random and patchy. There isn't a corporate-wide strategy about learning about what their customers want. There was a perception amongst their higher-ups for instance that the quality of the rules is a non-issue and that if they pile out any old crap their fans will still buy it. That was proved to be a mistake in 2004, but since then they have made attempts to listen (some of the examples listed above) but it so much depends on the whim of the individual Designer responsible.

The approach is "I think this is cool, the customers are bound to like it", rather than "Lets see what customers find cool and do that". Some individual designers are customer savvy and know what many gamers want. Some aren't. There's no pressure put on those that live in their ivory tower and refuse all customer input to change their ways though, so hence the approach idiosyncratic - FAQs are produced at random intervals, rather than to a timetable, and some supplements are thoroughly playtested and other are not. For a £multi-million business, GW come across as being pretty amateurish when it comes to customer interface, and seem to be totally unaware that this perceived "wall of silence" actually does them harm as it adversely affects the word-of-mouth advertising their business model relies on.

*shrugs shoulders*

Scorpioni
13-02-2009, 12:45
The 6th edition Druchii update comes to mind :) Engineered by RL convo and online chat between people from druchii.net and GavT (correct me if I'm wrong)

starlight
13-02-2009, 16:03
Really? When do they listen?

To respond to the OP: No. :(

Numerous times have been pointed out...so there you go. Just because you don't like the results of them listening doesn't mean they don't do it...:p


Oh and the next few months will prove that not only are they listening, but that they are acting on what they hear. :p

yabbadabba
13-02-2009, 16:13
The 6th edition Druchii update comes to mind :) Engineered by RL convo and online chat between people from druchii.net and GavT (correct me if I'm wrong)

You're right. I have always thought that while GW could be seen as having a duty to listen to its customers, as a community we have never made it easy for us to approach them. Whats important for me is that GW have listened and there is proof. So maybe part of the problem is we say things the wrong way.

starlight
13-02-2009, 16:20
Partly that and partly that in many case *what* is being said is irrational...:eyebrows:

Gamers have to bear in mind that all that matters to GW is sales of minis. If they can be convinced that a change will sell more minis for a reasonable cost, the will do it. Sadly the higher ups think that gamers will buy regardless of the quality of the rules, which is only true for so long...:(

Polite, reasoned conversation goes a long way...

yabbadabba
13-02-2009, 16:25
Polite, reasoned conversation goes a long way...

I agree. Having been to too many GW's for sanity, I can say that the hordes of unwashed, bearded, mouthfrothing, BO stricken 30-40 somethings weighing down the studio with how great Zoats were and GW is crap for dropping them certainly doesn't help the cause.

That and the quite often astounding lack of business sense that poors out of these peoples mouth when standing in front of someone like JJ.

arch_inquisitor
13-02-2009, 16:38
I think it would be daft to assume that they are not listening. If your company had dedicated fan forums with thousands of users(customers), would you not poke your head in once in a while to see the what what.

From the way things are going I'd say they do listen but they only take that which might be profitable, so just because one or two peoples ideas were ignored doesn't mean they don't notice majority ideas.

Reinholt
13-02-2009, 17:06
GW's ability to listen, the quality of their responses, and the quality of customer input are all extremely variable, ranging from excellent to excretable.

The last one, obviously, GW can't do much about; they aren't their only customers. However, I lay the first two in the lap of management. There are companies that do a much better job of customer relations than GW (though it's constantly a thorn in the side of most companies, but that is largely because most companies do not have a skilled and uniform plan they execute on it).

I can think of at least two companies I do business with on a regular basis that dramatically exceed my expectations on customer service, though both are in a much more competitive market than GW (one makes cars, and the other sells clothes).

arch_inquisitor
13-02-2009, 17:08
I can think of at least two companies I do business with on a regular basis that dramatically exceed my expectations on customer service, though both are in a much more competitive market than GW (one makes cars, and the other sells clothes).

Put the red shirts on commission too and see how far they go to please you.

LeeHarvey
13-02-2009, 17:26
Does GW listen? HAHAHAHAHA.... that's rich. Honestly, they don't care what we want as long as we keep shilling out the money for their products. They couldn't give two ***** what the gamers want because for every one of us that leaves the hobby, they are able to suck in two kids who don't know any better. Until the numbers of fans leaving the hobby starts to hurt their pocket books, we are not likely to see any change for the better. We just have to deal with it.

Jellicoe
13-02-2009, 17:42
Depends at what level.

In terms of customer service at the store level GW are 1st rate and I have never had a problem

In terms of game design you can see nods towards old fluff in the newer codices - eg Shokk attack gun, conversion beamer etc that reflect I think customer comment. I do appreciate that they cannot please everyone or hear everyone but at the same time they do miss some obvious easy wins and also manage to make some absolute howlers. Not bothering with FAQs for ages was a clear example of an easy win missed. The editorial policy of the White Dwarf over the past few years is a clear howler, a magazine that was compulsive reading now broadly reviled as little better than toilet paper. The Furore that followed 'the Giant issue' (316) should have been enough indication that readers absolutely hated the new approach and no amount of spin on the GW site could hide the fact.

Occulto
13-02-2009, 22:19
A few times people suggested (on these forums at least) that players who couldn't go to the seminars they run at big tournaments and gamesdays, might appreciate a chance to hear stuff from the designers direct.

Not long after, GW started doing their podcasts.