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Chaoswolf

GW bringing back specialist games

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I have been thinking about this quite a bit. There are GW games that I dearly love to play; Warmaster, Mighty Empires, Mordheim, Space Hulk and Man o War.

 

I would love to see these back with full support again. New miniatures would be fine (and probably necessary for Man o War anyway since molds for at least the chaos fleet were destroyed) but re-casting the old ones would make me happy. There is a but there, the material chosen is going to have a huge impact on if I decide to buy back in or not. Metal would be great, straight up plastic would be acceptable but that finecast resin is right out, it just doesn't stand up to the gaming table. Maybe it would be okay for Warmaster since that is 10mm and is going to be tougher because its smaller, but I can see some of those pieces becoming even more fragile.

 

Pricing is a  potential issue, but if they really pull this off then I'm willing to deal with boutique pricing. I suppose it could increase the value of my unopened Mordheim packs!

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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.

 

Bryan - both times it was me, and both times it has more to do with my experiences with GW rather than a problem with normal business practices. I get normal business practices, I am self employed as a consultant, and I do have a degree in small business. My experiences with GW since about 1998-99 are all pretty much negative, and that does tend to color my perceptions of what they do, because they often take normal business practices and push them as far as they can go.

 

For example, protecting their IP - it's one thing to protect your intellectual property, it's another thing to use your size and money to bully other content producers to try and stake a claim on terms that are in general use, such as they did to author M.C.A Hogarth and her book Spots the Space Marine.

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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.

I didn't intend to make you cynical. ( But +1 to Bryan's word count regarding all this. )

 

It might also be that they want to asses the level of interest in these games and they think FW is the more efficient way to do that.

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Heisler: Rumours seem to be about more big boxed sets like the recent Horus Heresy game, with plastics designed by Forge World. But it's my understanding that FW resin is much better cast than finecarp was.

 

Kristof: Spots the Space Marine was a debacle for sure, and I imagine that GW regret that course of action themselves. But that's a world away from releasing a few games to safeguard their own IP. I don't begrudge them that.

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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.

 

Part of the value proposition for any of these games (RPGs, mini wargaming, etc) is the expectation that the game will continue to be playable for a long time to come. For RPGs, once you have the book, you're set - you can keep playing for 30+ years if you want without ever needing to buy another thing. Witness my dad's old blue D&D book - getting near to 40 years old now, and I could pull it off my shelf tonight and start playing a game with friends tomorrow if I wanted! But for GW's games, part of the fun of the game is acquiring your own army and painting them up, or having someone else paint them up for you. That means that if GW stops selling the game, it makes it virtually impossible for most people to bring new players into the game. Without the ability to bring new players in, the value of the game has gone down. In the absence of any clarification from GW that these games are a limited-time thing, there's a clear implication that they'll continue to support the game (even if only by continuing to sell the minis through their web store or something). If they're not planning to continue supporting these games, then they're being deliberately dishonest and frankly a little predatory. It's normal business practice for payday loan places, maybe, or used car salesmen... but that's not setting a very high bar, is it.

 

On the other hand, let's say GW is just floating some trial balloons, and after a year or so they decide that the effort and distraction just isn't justified by the resulting income, and decide to drop these games. That's less predatory, because they weren't planning from the start to drop the games. And if GW says right up front that they're a trial (or a limited-time thing), then it's not remotely predatory because they're not misleading customers about the conditions of the sale and so the customers are able to make a truly informed decision.

 

I'm not saying GW is being predatory with this. Heck, I've already said I'm cautiously optimistic. What I am saying is, given some of GW's previous business decisions, can you really fault people for being concerned that GW is doing this as a way to make a few extra bucks in the short term by misrepresenting their plans and thus the value of the product they're offering?

 

But again, personally, I don't think that's what they're up to. There's just not enough money to justify the hassle and the inevitable bad blood it would earn them with their customers. I'm not a fan of the way GW runs some aspects of their business but they've never struck me as outright stupid, which is pretty much what it would be to re-release some of these old games in a weird attempt to make a quick buck.

 

Anyway. Not sure how clear I'm being... It's late, I'm tired, and frankly I don't care very much about any of this beyond being an interesting example of the repercussions of business decisions in a fan-based industry like miniatures... Right. My point here - my belief is that the cynicism being expressed isn't related to GW attempting to make money. No-one's trying to argue that they shouldn't be trying to make money! The cynicism is all around whether GW is going to live up to the implied promise to continue supporting these games in even the medium term (2-3 years). Making money honestly = happy customers (or at least non-customers who made an informed decision not to buy a product they perceived as overpriced). Making money by deceiving customers = sadness and woe. If we were talking about Reaper, I think pretty much everyone would be comfortable they were getting the full story. But people are (and I think somewhat deservedly) more cynical about GW's actual intentions.

 

Right. I'm leaving this thread for the night. ::): 

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I understand the trepidation. When this announcement out, my first thought was "Didn't they just cancel them?"

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I understand the trepidation. When this announcement out, my first thought was "Didn't they just cancel them?"

 

It only seems like that! Other than the re-release of Space Hulk I think its been at least five years and much longer for some of the older titles.

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Kristof: Spots the Space Marine was a debacle for sure, and I imagine that GW regret that course of action themselves. But that's a world away from releasing a few games to safeguard their own IP. I don't begrudge them that.

Spots the Space Marine is just one of many examples, though.

 

Back in the late 90s, when my best friend and I had our store, we did a line of decals intended for use on the Space Marine Shoulder pads. After about a years worth of sales, we got a polite letter from a GW lawyer reminding us they have to defend their IP property, and asking if we would send them pictures of the decals so they could determine we weren't using their IP. I gladly sent them samples so they could see for themselves that we were not violating their IPs, and we got another letter thanking us for them. That was the end of it.

 

Fast forward a few years later, and their standard response to other companies I am aware of was to actually start out with a C&D letter, rather than a polite inquiry.

 

Like I said, I have no problems with companies protecting their IP. But I will admit I am predisposed to being cynical of GW many times, even when I want to be hopeful. From my perception, somewhere along the line GW lost sight of their customers being a valuable resource for anything other than their wallets.

 

I really want this announcement to turn out to be them finally realizing that, but I am cynical that it is. Surprisingly enough, though it was seriously blasted, GWs approach with Age of Sigmar has me wondering if they're finally seeing the light (not that Age of Sigmar doesn't have it's flaws, but it appears to be a radical new direction for GW.)

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... I have to admit that I'm now cynical enough to believe that everything GW does is just a straight up money grab.

 

As a corporation, I have a hard time thinking of anything as anything other than a money grab. I hate to break it to you, but Reaper wants to make money from your purchasing habits also. I pay my mortgage with the money from the transactions of the people on this board (and I am *very* grateful!).

 

The questions is not whether or not they are doing something to get some of your money, the question is whether what they are offering is worth the money they want to get from you. And that answer will be different for every consumer.

 

Me? I want to see new sculpts and new rules for Epic and Mordheim. Others will want to see the old rules and old sculpts, and new versions will only serve to elf them off. 

 

So yeah, it's a money grab. And if they do it right, many people will cooperate. And that's capitalism, and exactly how it's supposed to function, so I don't say it like it's a bad thing at all.

 

 

I'm in with the old sculpts (I love the old Chaos Dwarf sculpts, among others).  But, at the same time, having companies like Russian Alternative (via e bay) come out with "modern" versions of the models doesn't bother me in the least, I'm excited for an additional clan of evil dark dwarves!

 

Mordheim, from what I have been able to read about online, seems to be a fun, slightly different than Frostgrave and Song of Blades AND Warlord rules (I have SOBH and Warlord).  I like the idea of having different rules for different force composition/focii, but destroying sculpture (and miniatures ARE sculptures, albeit mass produced), but it is a form of art which should be protected in my mind.

Edited by Darkmeer

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Here's a thing to think about: how far in advance does GW normally officially announce something?

 

With AOS, they waited until the release was pretty much on top of us, didn't they?  I mean, if you were following the rumors, you had seen almost all of it beforehand.  But the release was practically on top of us before the announcements were made.  They normally have everything finished, and make the official announcement way late.  Like when it isn't news anymore.

 

 

 

So, I see a few possibilities here:

 

- GW have decided to announce Specialist Games, and the return of all of these old games way in advance, and plan do re-imagine all of the cool games from back in the day.  This gets people excited, but they then don't actually sell us anything for a long while.

 

This might be motivated to keep people from thinking that Betrayal at Calth is a limited edition game (like Space Hulk, Dreadfleet, Assassinorum and Space Hulk again).

 

- GW are going to simply re-release things that we've pretty much already seen, and that's why we don't have any leaks about new stuff- basically because there isn't any.  We'll just get the old stuff available again (and that ugly green board) and the rumors don't really circulate about that.

 

- GW made the announcement now because they had some other financial reasons to make the change.  Maybe they want to get the LotR stuff out of their "Main Lines" (ie it makes things look bad to investors, maybe it is hurting their LGS sales because they're required to stock the main lines).

 

- GW have learned to keep a lid on things, and there's a lot of cool stuff they're waiting to show us.

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Here's a thing to think about: how far in advance does GW normally officially announce something?
 
With AOS, they waited until the release was pretty much on top of us, didn't they?  I mean, if you were following the rumors, you had seen almost all of it beforehand.  But the release was practically on top of us before the announcements were made.  They normally have everything finished, and make the official announcement way late.  Like when it isn't news anymore.
 
 
 
So, I see a few possibilities here:
 
- GW have decided to announce Specialist Games, and the return of all of these old games way in advance, and plan do re-imagine all of the cool games from back in the day.  This gets people excited, but they then don't actually sell us anything for a long while.
 
This might be motivated to keep people from thinking that Betrayal at Calth is a limited edition game (like Space Hulk, Dreadfleet, Assassinorum and Space Hulk again).
 
- GW are going to simply re-release things that we've pretty much already seen, and that's why we don't have any leaks about new stuff- basically because there isn't any.  We'll just get the old stuff available again (and that ugly green board) and the rumors don't really circulate about that.
 
- GW made the announcement now because they had some other financial reasons to make the change.  Maybe they want to get the LotR stuff out of their "Main Lines" (ie it makes things look bad to investors, maybe it is hurting their LGS sales because they're required to stock the main lines).
 
- GW have learned to keep a lid on things, and there's a lot of cool stuff they're waiting to show us.

 

GW experimented with keeping an absolute lid on things with AOS. :mellow:

 

(I would not call it a great success as a marketing strategy...it was different from their expected course of action with a new release of Warhammer Fantasy...and Oh, BTW, the planet that once contained the town of Mordheim is completely gone, obliterated, snuffed out, swallowed by the warp...if they wanted to re-release Mordheim it would need to be either in-the-setting-that-once-was or completely revamped.)

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Well, to be fair, Mordheim was set a couple hundred years in the past of the WFB setting, anyway.

I forget the exact number, but it wasn't 'current events' in their world.

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What I've heard is that we're about six months from any kind of release. Specifically, I heard that Blood Bowl very nearly ready for release.

I would imagine that the news is in response to a successful release of Betrayal at Calth, which may have confirmed to GW that yes, this kind of thing can work.

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Sorry for the threadomancy, but it's my thread, and I figured that this was at least slightly relevant...

 

According to internet rumors, GW will be re-releasing Blood Bowl, Battlefleet Gothic, Necromunda, and Mordheim in that order.

 

Apply salt to taste.

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