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Chaoswolf

GW bringing back specialist games

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I had forgotten about it, but actually GW did bring Necromunda back some years ago. They rolled the rules into a new rulebook and released some new models (with interchangeable weapons, which I thought was a really nice feature for WYSIWYG figures). I can only assume that support for it dropped off (again) at some point, though I couldn't say for certain since I didn't get to play it at the time.

Yeah, I remember that. They did three gangs in that style I think; Orlocks, Goliaths and Arbites. I have the Orlock set, and it's pretty cool.

 

 

I know they did Van Saar and Scavvies, too.  I remember seeing pics of the "new" Van Saars, but I had a full gang (plus some) of the old models and never picked them up.  I did pick up some of the newer Scavvies, but it was on eBay after Necromunda had disappeared for the second time.

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Mind you, on the Necromunda front... Heresy has some dynamite Not-DuLaques....

 

And there is a model that I would love to find a way to use in a narrative Necromunda/Ash Wastes campaign -

752144_sm-Cars%2C%20Civilian%2C%20Inquis

I like its subtle and understated style....

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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Looking forward to seeing what they do with Mordheim.

 

While it would be nice to see the return of Warhammer Quest... last I heard, they had lost the graphics files for all of the tiles.

 

The Auld Grump

My understanding is that Space Hulk originally "died" for the same reason.  But they redid the tiles for their "limited edition" re-release, so there is still hope for Warhammer Quest, right?

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Mind you, on the Necromunda front... Heresy has some dynamite Not-DuLaques....

 

And there is a model that I would love to find a way to use in a narrative Necromunda/Ash Wastes campaign -

752144_sm-Cars%2C%20Civilian%2C%20Inquis

I like its subtle and understated style....

 

The Auld Grump

That's beautiful... I want one...

 

 

Looking forward to seeing what they do with Mordheim.

 

While it would be nice to see the return of Warhammer Quest... last I heard, they had lost the graphics files for all of the tiles.

 

The Auld Grump

My understanding is that Space Hulk originally "died" for the same reason.  But they redid the tiles for their "limited edition" re-release, so there is still hope for Warhammer Quest, right?

 

It's 2015... not like those graphics files would be hard to recreate. In an afternoon.

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Every tile for Warhammer Quest and every edition of Space Hulk can be had off the internet for free. I refuse to believe that GRAPHICS are the reason for not reissuing the games. 

Based on what I know of GW, I'm certain it's financial. I suspect it's simply that they feel that there will not be a hugely smashing enough return on the investment to make it worthwhile. That's the problem with when a company gets big enough: niche products simply aren't worth their time. Which makes me wonder how desperate they are, to bring back the specialist games in the first place...

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Every tile for Warhammer Quest and every edition of Space Hulk can be had off the internet for free. I refuse to believe that GRAPHICS are the reason for not reissuing the games. 

 

Based on what I know of GW, I'm certain it's financial. I suspect it's simply that they feel that there will not be a hugely smashing enough return on the investment to make it worthwhile. That's the problem with when a company gets big enough: niche products simply aren't worth their time. Which makes me wonder how desperate they are, to bring back the specialist games in the first place...

Depends on whether they're paying attention to some of the more lasting companies from other industries... Take 3M for example. Pretty much their entire company is based on fringe, niche products that make just enough to pay for themselves. Masking tape, for example. And they had some folks tinkering with different types of glues at one point, invented some weird kind of glue that stays just nicely tacky for a long time... I wonder how that's doing... ::P: Basically, if it pays for itself, they'll do it. (Or at least that was their model, I don't know if it still is.)

 

If someone smart at GW is paying attention to that kind of thing, they may be looking to set up their own version of that - as long as the fringe games make enough to pay for themselves, they may find it worthwhile to keep them going. That way they have a much greater range of properties that might be exactly the right thing to capture folks' imagination at some point as market tastes shift, etc. Just because they're fringe games today doesn't mean they'll always stay fringe. It also gives them an opportunity to test out new talent - throw 'em on a fringe game for a bit, and if they mess things up, well, at least they're only messing up a fringe game. The ones who seem to do well with those games can be brought in to help out with the big properties.

 

Now, is GW actually thinking along those lines? Not a clue. But at least there's a possibility that they're doing this for good reasons... ::): 

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If someone smart at GW is paying attention to that kind of thing, they may be looking to set up their own version of that - as long as the fringe games make enough to pay for themselves, they may find it worthwhile to keep them going. That way they have a much greater range of properties that might be exactly the right thing to capture folks' imagination at some point as market tastes shift, etc. Just because they're fringe games today doesn't mean they'll always stay fringe.

With the GW specialist games, there was also an intangible that was hard to quantify, and I think they ignored it.

 

It was never 40k and WFB that kept me buying GW products and playing their games. It was the Specialist Games that kept me buying and playing 40k and WFB. It was the SG games like Mighty Empires that kept our group running WFB campaigns. It was Epic that had us setting up linked Epic and 40k campaigns. Space Hulk and Advanced Space Crusade are what led me to build my Tryanid 40k army. Necromunda prompted me to build a Hive World IG regiment for 40k.

 

It was the same way for many of my friends and fellow gamers. One of our guys loved Necromunda so much that he would come play 40k with us just so he could recruit people to play Necromunda with.

 

The Specialist Games also expanded the GW settings well beyond the table top game. That made all their games more appealing to everyone.

 

But those sort of benefits are hard to quantify. It's hard to see how sales of Mighty Empires and Warmaster might be boosting sales of WFB. Or how Epic might also be pushing sales of 40k.

 

Now, is GW actually thinking along those lines? Not a clue. But at least there's a possibility that they're doing this for good reasons... ::):

I hope so. I hope they're learning the lesson that the best way to get a gamer to keep buying your products is to keep them playing your games as often as they can.
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Every tile for Warhammer Quest and every edition of Space Hulk can be had off the internet for free. I refuse to believe that GRAPHICS are the reason for not reissuing the games.

 

Based on what I know of GW, I'm certain it's financial. I suspect it's simply that they feel that there will not be a hugely smashing enough return on the investment to make it worthwhile. That's the problem with when a company gets big enough: niche products simply aren't worth their time. Which makes me wonder how desperate they are, to bring back the specialist games in the first place...

Has somebody perhaps pointed out that they have all this IP (necromunda, etc.) sitting around earning $0? I mean, 0£

 

Do nothing with it = 0£ —opposed to— Do something with it = ++£.

 

Seems like a plan.

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Now you just made me cynical again, TGP.

 

You made me think about the idea that maybe GW is just looking at these properties in terms of needing to release something for them in order to protect their IP from expiring.

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Has somebody perhaps pointed out that they have all this IP (necromunda, etc.) sitting around earning $0? I mean, 0£

Do nothing with it = 0£ —opposed to— Do something with it = ++£.

 

Seems like a plan.

 

 

Let's say you invest $10 for a year, and at the end of that year you get back $11. Woohoo! Ten percent ROI! But let's say there was another investment you could have made, that at the end of the year, you'd have gotten back $12 instead. Sure, the first investment made you money, but the second would have made you more

 

The biggest problem most companies face is finding the best possible use for the limited number of people they have available. For example, enterprise software companies often have obvious (but minor) bugs go unfixed for years because they're never quite important enough to justify the time spent fixing them. Sure, the software'd be better for it - but it'd be improved even more if that dev spent that time building a new feature instead. I can't imagine Games Workshop is any different - there's a limited number of people with the creative abilities required to create their products. So from the Games Workshop point of view, sure, they could invest $10 into some of these other games and get back $11 in a year's time... or they could invest that $10 into 40K and get back $12 in a year. Imagine you're in GW's shoes. If your focus was short-term profitability, the reality is that it's highly unlikely that these other games are going to make sense financially - they'll probably make you money, but not as much as you could make putting the investment into your cash cows. 

 

If there's one thing everyone can agree on when it comes to Games Workshop, it's that they know how to make money. They know all about opportunity cost. And yet they're still throwing money and people at these projects. That either means that they think these other things will make more money than 40K, or that they're looking at a long-term strategy. Since the former seems unlikely, I'm inclined to suspect the latter, which makes me cautiously optimistic for the future of some of these projects.

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I'm in the not very excited camp now. I used to be a big GW gamer with something from almost every game/system they put out. A major part of my collection is still GW minis. 2 things turned me off of them a long time ago, price and buying a new ruleset every few years that radically changed my armies. GW prices are still the number one reason I don't buy from them. The other major reason is that so much of what they do is "cluttered" and overwrought. Too many unneccessary details on the minis and fantastic poses that don't work for me. Other companies are producing more of what I want at a more reasonable price.

 

Another thing keeping me away from GW is gameplay. For years I've played Armies of Arcana as a Warhammer substitute. Just recently I've gotten into Frostgrave and Dungeon Saga instead of Mordheim and Heroquest/Warhammer Quest. I've dabbled with other rules for 40k but have drifted away from scifi lately. Not long ago we tried playing Mordheim again. We loved that game here and it was probably the most played out of everything we had. After playing other games the basic GW mechanic of roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save just seems so slow and clunky. Combat bogs down easily without much happening unless your over the top monster or character does something. GW did a lot of things right 20 years ago that got me into lifelong miniatures gaming. Now I don't know if they could ever do anything to get me back as a steady customer. Still I hope they do something with the specialist games on the off chance they can raise my interest. 40k and Age of Sigmar don't even have me browsing their store like I used to.

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Let's say you invest $10 for a year, and at the end of that year you get back $11. Woohoo! Ten percent ROI! But let's say there was another investment you could have made, that at the end of the year, you'd have gotten back $12 instead. Sure, the first investment made you money, but the second would have made you more

 

The biggest problem most companies face is finding the best possible use for the limited number of people they have available. For example, enterprise software companies often have obvious (but minor) bugs go unfixed for years because they're never quite important enough to justify the time spent fixing them. Sure, the software'd be better for it - but it'd be improved even more if that dev spent that time building a new feature instead. I can't imagine Games Workshop is any different - there's a limited number of people with the creative abilities required to create their products. So from the Games Workshop point of view, sure, they could invest $10 into some of these other games and get back $11 in a year's time... or they could invest that $10 into 40K and get back $12 in a year. Imagine you're in GW's shoes. If your focus was short-term profitability, the reality is that it's highly unlikely that these other games are going to make sense financially - they'll probably make you money, but not as much as you could make putting the investment into your cash cows.

OK, let's say that you have $100 to reinvest. You know that reinvesting in the specialist games will net you a 10% return, and WFB/40k will net you a 20% return. So the obvious thing is to say "invest $50 in WFb and $50 in 40k, and we'll net $120." Do that for five years, and your original $100 has grown to $200 - doubled your money (assuming you were only reinvesting your original $100 each year). Smart investment, right?

 

Not necessarily.

 

What if each of your specialist games was also responsible for increasing the net return on your core games? What if each $10 you spent on an SG game not only netted you 10%, but increased the net gain on it's associated core game by 1% in the following year?

 

So that when you split your investment like this:

$40 to 40k

$40 to WFB

$10 to Epic

$10 to Warmaster,

 

it would net you $18 the first year, but by year 4 it's netting you more than $20 - $20.40 in year four, and $21.20 in year 5.

 

Of course, that sort of benefit is, as I said before, very hard to actually quantify - there is a lot of intuition/gut feelings and a little bit of luck needed to make the right calls for it to pay off. And publicly traded corporations like GW don't tend to like those sort of gut feelings as a business strategy, especially when numbers aren't growing. Guys like Steve Jobs can get a board to go along, but GW hasn't had anyone like that ever, as far as I can tell.

 

 

If there's one thing everyone can agree on when it comes to Games Workshop, it's that they know how to make money in the short term.

FTFY. I'm not at all convinced that GW is any good at long term strategies.

 

They may still be the gorilla in the room, but they've dropped from their previous 900 lb size.

 

Anyway, I've got to say I'm really looking forward to see what they do here. This could be the thing they do that draws me and others back to GW. Or not. I don't have my hopes up that it will, but I am looking forward to finding out.

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I think the stroke of genius here is giving the SG project to Forge World, who have been very successful in producing niche products for quite some time now. It's certainly a much better situation for the games to thrive than if they were done in the main studio.

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I think the stroke of genius here is giving the SG project to Forge World, who have been very successful in producing niche products for quite some time now. It's certainly a much better situation for the games to thrive than if they were done in the main studio.

Also, Forge World just plain has a better reputation - and even talks to their fans.

 

For a while, my group had a game - coming up with 'alternate' meanings for the letters GW.

 

The Auld Grump

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Now you just made me cynical again, TGP.

 

You made me think about the idea that maybe GW is just looking at these properties in terms of needing to release something for them in order to protect their IP from expiring.

This is the second time this thread that a business conducting a normal business practice has been framed as automatically a bad thing regardless of context.

 

First it was the concept of trying to make a profit (the term "cash grab" was used) and now it is the concept of trying to protect one's investment in time and dollars in creating and supporting an Intellectual Property. 

 

Again, I do not feel that this action in and of itself is bad, any more than trying to make money form your work is bad. Yes, one can gouge prices. And price gouging is somewhere closer to "bad" on the good/bad spectrum of business practices. And yes, one can over-aggressively work to defend one's IP in such a way that actively arms the fanbase or the company image (suing fans who post your company's terms on their social media, under the argument that the term is copyrighted, frex). But in and of itself, free of additional context, defending your IP is not bad, and it is not a bad thing to think that company wishes to protect this investment in time/money/other resources.

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