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GW Blitzes GAMA Trade Show

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16 Mar 2018 14:41 #265845 by Space Ghost
This whole issue is similar to a debate about why Masters of the Universe tanked in the late 1980s. Shortly after they started, t overtook all other toy brands in the mid-80s like a juggernaut and it seemed like the sky was the limit. Then, the began to diversify too much and it came at the cost of supporting original, core characters. So it became easy to find things like Buzz-Off, Fisto, or the emerging Horde line at Toys 'R Us, but it was nearly impossible to find the core characters (He-man, Trap-Jaw, Mer-man, Man-at-Arms, Beast-man, Webstor, etc.). As such, kids became disinterested because all the support seemed to be going to weird offshoots like He-Ro.

So, I imagine there is some truth to what Jeff and Michael are saying
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16 Mar 2018 14:42 #265846 by Jackwraith

Michael Barnes wrote: Space Marines are the face of Games Workshop. They are the brand identity. Most people that get into Games Workshop start with Space Marines, and most of Games Workshop's sales come from people getting into the game. The sales of Space Marines support the entire operation, including the availability of all the other factions and everything else. Reciprocally, all the other factions and everything else support the sales of Space Marines.


This is correct. In terms of sales at least in the first decade of this century, at one point Space Marines alone comprised 40% of all sales for Games Workshop. Not just 40% of 40K. 40% of everything and this is when the Specialist Games were still actively supported and WHFB was a viable product.
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16 Mar 2018 15:06 #265848 by Michael Barnes
Think about like this...if you have been into 40k for 10, 15, 20 years...you are likely the customer that wants a Kroot codex and plastic Sisters of Battle. The 15 year old kid who just got into the game wants Space Marines.

That kid takes his first paycheck into a GW store and buys a Dark Imperium box. He likes it. Then he goes back after more paychecks (or after knocking over a bank) and buys paints and brushes. Then he buys the Dark Angels Codex. Then he’s looking at a couple of Rhinos or a Land Raider. He picks up a box of Reivers and the Triumvirate set with Cypher in it. He’s picking up White Dwarf and preordering the Dark Angels Battleforce. And he gets Moonbase Klasius and some terrain pieces. A year later he’s thinking about getting into Age of Sigmar, Necromunda, or Shadespire. Or maybe he bought some novels and is interested in starting a Chaos army or whatever.

You, veteran 40k gamer, went into the shop three or four months ago to buy a pot of Nuln Oil and on impulse picked up a Riptide.

So yes, they have to support all levels of the hobby, but they know where the real sales are. And it’s not in promoting the factions that don’t bring in that “honeymoon period” money. This is why all the veteran stuff tricked out over time.

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16 Mar 2018 15:22 - 16 Mar 2018 15:23 #265849 by Colorcrayons
And that is the perfect and accurate illustration of not only their business model, but of short term business strategy itself.

It's not always bad, but there are enough people of my demographic that expect more and refuse to buy little Timmy the space marines he is so desperately pining for.

I've been burnt for frankly longer than I care to admit, why further encourage that by spending more money and allow my own children to experience that.

With that amount of personal experience with GW and now my kids are their target, they have to adapt.

But to each their own. It's interesting that we all hope that GW will eventually spread a bit more love before doubling down on the easy sale. But when that's pointed out, it's all devil's advocate complacency about why it won't/can't/shouldn't happen. *Shrug*

But I think Sagrilarus made a good point. Make better stuff and people will buy it. And is pretty much my point as well.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2018 15:23 by Colorcrayons.

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16 Mar 2018 15:23 - 16 Mar 2018 15:23 #265850 by Michael Barnes
But you forget that they keep making new 15 year old boys.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2018 15:23 by Michael Barnes.

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16 Mar 2018 15:42 #265851 by barrowdown
I had no idea that HIPS production had come far enough to manufacture humans. GW is truly on the cutting edge of future tech.

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16 Mar 2018 16:00 - 16 Mar 2018 18:23 #265853 by Mr. White
The He-man cautionary tale is apt.

This industry is littered with the corpses of failed or no longer existing table top wargames. For the longest time PP seemed the biggest challenger, and locally that seems to have all dried up. the PP area at my LGS, which is quite large, is very small. Seems like the line is in retreat.

Who are Warhammer's main challengers these days? Seemingly, it's Star Wars. Batman. Conan. Heavy, heavy hitters that have been multimedia monsters for _generations_. You don't stay afloat in that sea on the backs of newly crafted steampunk dwarves and snake ladies. You only sit at the table if you have a strong IP and brand yourself.

Space Marines

Stormcast

They fill that role. They are iconic. You know the brand by a silhouette. That's market penetration.

I know of no other universe that has as strong of a background and industry impact that sprang up _solely_ from the gaming tables*. D&D doesn't have these sort of icons. Nor does Magic. All these other top tier universes sprang from books and movies. They have a built in audience. GW did it from the tables up. That's impressive. You can't create that against all the other modern distractions, with making only short term decisions. I've mentioned before. I was upset by GW in the early 00s when SG went down. But it turns out that solid focus on fewer lines leads to greater success. We can't argue with their current status in the market.
(*Pokemon is closer to warhammer in origin, but even then, that line was launched on the foundation laid by the videogames).

In the past 4 months, they've announced 4 new AoS battletomes. 50% are brand new factions. That's great. At the same time, you have to keep the lights on.

Long term gamers do exactly what Colorcrayons does. take GW games and make them their own. Space Hulk to Aliens and Gorechosen to Kaiju. I mean, the Shadespire FB page is filled with people who have created all sorts of warbands. Subbing in Blight King models for the Stormcast seems to be a popular one.

This is all fine.

The complaints in this thread seem a little like a long ago spurned lover. I understand it. I was there in the 90s and 00s as well. To be honest though, GW is currently the best it's _ever_ been. Not just financially, but the quality of the games. Granted I adore and love the old school GW aesthetic, but I recognize that new BB, WHQ, and Necro are fantastic lines. Even though they carry recent industry cruft like extra cards, dice, bits, etc. Squats and 40k Beastmen are available again for the oldheads. Shadespire is an incredible value and game. All of this requires the solid, dependable foundation that Space Marines and Stormcast provide. If Shadespire has a second setting. Yes, have a stormcast warband. My son would love it. He's already over the moon with the three upcoming hunters. Other AoS Stormcast gamers will buy them as well. I think I can find a warband or two in the other seven. If not...I can convert.

Maybe it's just the nature of the tabletop market, and their necessary core factions, that's displeasing? I mean, why doesn't WotC make all Magic cards in a series available individually? Then i can buy what I want. Why do they sell the line as blind boosters?

That's rhetorical, btw.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2018 18:23 by Mr. White.

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16 Mar 2018 16:26 - 16 Mar 2018 16:30 #265858 by Mr. White
A second thought on Shadespire, specifically.

I'm going to guess that if sales of Shadespire is as strong as I believe, the next set will have a bit more gonzo factions in it. This first line was the initial salvo. You want that to be as market friendly as possible. that's why you have two stormcast and two khorne warbands. Many gamers have those armies. but you know what else you have? Orcs, dwarves, undead, and ratmen. Very, very traditional fantasy factions. Easy for a new-to-AoS gamer to relate to.

Once Shadespire has its fanbase, then the more outlandish AoS factions can appear. But maybe I'm wrong and am an apologist. Maybe sales aren't what I think they are. Setting 2 could be all safe warbands again with the line still needing to find its legs. Is that a deal breaker? for me it isn't, but I guess that's up to each consumer to decide.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2018 16:30 by Mr. White.

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16 Mar 2018 16:55 #265863 by Colorcrayons
I feel the He-Man analogy misses the mark a bit.
Because why He-Man failed was because you could no longer find iconic pieces to fight against suckerface, in GW-land its all He-Man all the time.
I remember He-Man, and it was boring when we all had him (though I guess we were luck early adopters according to history) and He-Man versus He-Man caused us to play something else.

I have no sour grapes against GW. I actually bitch because I like them and I want them to succeed more than just the burn and churn if 15 year olds with daddy's credit card.

If I do have sour grapes, it's directed at decades of apologists on dakka and other places defending some really stupid shit.

Poor rules, shoddy models, prices, poor treatment of staff, poor treatment of customers, etc. With a chorus line of jackboots ready to quash any criticism or dissent about the product they have invested so much time and money into.

Just like Kickstarter. Sunk cost fallacy combined with confirmation bias.

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16 Mar 2018 17:23 #265865 by san il defanso
Chalk me up as one of those who would appreciate seeing the non-Space Marine parts of the 40K universe featured more prominently. I'm not really neck-deep in 40K or anything, so to me all of the different chapters of Space Marines run into a confusing blur. I'm much more interested in the Orks, the Necrons, the Tau, stuff like that. That said, I don't spend enough money with GW for them to really listen to me much.
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16 Mar 2018 18:03 - 16 Mar 2018 18:04 #265868 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic GW Blitzes GAMA Trade Show
^HOT TAKE FOR SAG

I totally disagree. Some are intentionally ugly ass and nasty but not all of the other factions. Eldar? I think Tau, for example, are a well put together alternative to space marines with a different aesthetic that still does a lot of the things space marines do commercially---easy to paint, can be painted in bright colors, high tech gadgets, etc.

People love their space marines but I don't think it's because the other factions are ugly or suck.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2018 18:04 by Gary Sax.

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16 Mar 2018 19:21 #265874 by Michael Barnes
Aside from the GW stuff, Ninja Division (really?) must have gotten a license...they were showing Doomseeker. Looks like a pretty standard co-op adventure card game...in an Old World setting.

Ninja Division.

Heroes of Black Reach was shown too, it looks great. Wonder if it will be as impossible to get people to play as Heroes of Normandie and Shadow Over Normandie were...a shame, because it is a GREAT system. I'll definitely be grabbing one to review.

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16 Mar 2018 19:53 - 16 Mar 2018 20:13 #265875 by Mr. White

Colorcrayons wrote: Poor rules, shoddy models, prices, poor treatment of staff, poor treatment of customers, etc.


Not to be a jackboot, but these are all valid complaints....in 2003. There's been a huge change now. Easily the best models in the industry, great rules (I can vouch for Silver Tower, Gorechosen, and AoS), great customer service (they sent me a new battletome free of charge when the spine on mine broke).

I hear those old complaints though. I sold off all my GW stuff in about 05. they sucked. Seems different now. Or maybe I'm a battered and abused partner.

Either way, I'm with you guys. I far prefer the side factions...it's like the scum and villainy in Star Wars is intriguing...but there's a reason Vader and Stormtroopers are on the Legions cover and in that starter box.

Anyway, GW side armies...they're all there to play with. Tau just got a new codex. there are Tau novels. Heck, I bought Tau firewarriors from a F:AT to sub the SH termies with. We like them over Space Marines. There's a new 40k starter coming out that looks to be Necrons vs some mechanized imperial faction I don't know anything about. Genestealer cults got a full blown army and they look amazing. There were featured in a new boardgame. GW offered free rules to use Genestealer cults in Necromunda and Space Hulk. Have y'all played them? There was a Dark Eldar stand alone racing game. Who here bought it? Necromunda is an entire 40k line...with no Space Marines. Who here has gangs?

In AoS, Tzeentch got a full-on feature in the rebirth of WHQ. There's a full blown campaign going on centered around Death. New battletome, and campaign book. Free Death-centered short stories every other day on their website. Are y'all enjoying the Death focus? 2nd and 3rd fresh new take on elves dropping back-to-back. You dudes enticed to jump into AoS?

There's all sorts of ways to experience AoS and 40K outside of the SM and Stormcast POV. They stand in as the entry points though and that's fine. Shadespire is a new line. It requires the icons to be in full effect to get started.

One last thing I wonder about is if other lines have this sort of perception at focusing only on a few. I mean, for AoS there are 15-20 different battletomes. That's not counting 40K and all it's factions. Name another line in tabletop gaming that has 15-20 faction options with half the depth of content as these AoS armies do. How many factions are on offer in FFGs Star Wars games? 4? How many in Warmachine or Hordes? Maybe 10....both games combined.

Space Marines and Stormcasts will likely always be packaged in the starters. It's just business. There's plenty to do with all the side stuff too...if you want.

EDIT: I think some of the above came off as more aggressive than I meant. Sorry 'bout that.

SIDE TOPIC: In a sense, I'm kind of amazed we even got Age of Sigmar. If the numbers in this thread are true, it seems a totally valid option would have been for GW to shitcan fantasy altogether and go all in on 40K.
Last edit: 16 Mar 2018 20:13 by Mr. White.

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16 Mar 2018 19:54 #265876 by Colorcrayons
I gotta give credit where credit is due.

I'm not sure if GW has ever done this, but here is a 40k set that has no space marines. Old news to some here I'm sure.

www.warhammer-community.com/2018/03/05/f...ngw-homepage-post-1/

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16 Mar 2018 19:57 - 16 Mar 2018 19:58 #265877 by Mr. White

Michael Barnes wrote: Aside from the GW stuff, Ninja Division (really?) must have gotten a license...they were showing Doomseeker. Looks like a pretty standard co-op adventure card game...in an Old World setting.

Ninja Division.

Heroes of Black Reach was shown too, it looks great. Wonder if it will be as impossible to get people to play as Heroes of Normandie and Shadow Over Normandie were...a shame, because it is a GREAT system. I'll definitely be grabbing one to review.


And what's this?





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