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What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 17:43:39


Post by: mrFickle


I suppose what would it take for you to spend as much time on another game (I’m sure some already do) but also pay as much for the gear and maybe even drop 40k for another companies game. And for enough people to do it to rival GWs size.

I could see a world I inch Vallejo would attract a lot of attention using its big brand within mini gaming already to launch a serious competitor.

The way people complain about 40k it feels like it wouldn’t take much to make a better game in many people’s opinion


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 17:46:27


Post by: mikesnail


it feels like it wouldn’t take much to make a better game in many people’s opinion


The problem there is that everyone would have a different opinion on how to make a better version. What one thinks is better will go against the grain for another.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 17:46:58


Post by: Sim-Life


Other dedicated players.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 17:58:04


Post by: DarknessEternal


Approximately 10x the cash value of GW and a very smart and innovative group of leadership, marketeers, and game designers.

You don't topple an industry giant with a product that is only marginally better (even though that's so nebulously defined as to be nonsense),


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:10:12


Post by: Voss


mrFickle wrote:
I suppose what would it take for you to spend as much time on another game (I’m sure some already do) but also pay as much for the gear and maybe even drop 40k for another companies game. And for enough people to do it to rival GWs size.

I could see a world I inch Vallejo would attract a lot of attention using its big brand within mini gaming already to launch a serious competitor.

The way people complain about 40k it feels like it wouldn’t take much to make a better game in many people’s opinion

Right. That is exactly the problem. Many people's opinions. Don't make the mistake of assuming the gripes about 40k are on the same page or about the same things.

Vallejo... I'm honestly puzzled by that idea. They're a paint company with a few tools and things. While they're somewhat well known, it isn't universal and its for a very specific niche of the hobby (and art supplies). Among 40k specific customers (the theoretical target market: small boys named Kevin who only know 40k, spend about 200 pounds out of Mum's purse and move on with their lives), I suspect they wouldn't even qualify as well known.
The transition/expansion cost to games and miniatures would be a HUGE hurdle for them. And given how poorly even other game companies do with miniature games (there's a long list of failures, abandon games and also rans, including some rather big companies), I can't see it as worth it.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:24:52


Post by: Racerguy180


The problems with this are manifold. In order to even come close to stealing a fair amount of players/revenue they'd need to:

1) Develop a robust IP that has enuff variety in styles/tropes as to appeal to the widest possible audience.
2) Develop innovative miniatures alongside the IP so one doesnt necessarily independently of the other.
3) Develop a game(or series of) that offers depth of player involvement while also able to be picked up quickly by new players(to wargaming).


Over the years GW has done all 3 of these, unfortunately they have only been able to 2/3 at any given time as of late.

For a newcomer to the party, the mountain is high and the climb incredibly perilous. Not an insurmountable task, but daunting nonetheless.

Just look at Star Wars Legion, they have yet to reach GW levels of minis but have a great IP and an ok game. So if they're able to hit all three and really push for it, they might "threaten" GW & their position in the market.

But the magic 8ball says chances unlikely.

For as much of a Star Wars fan I am, feth the jedi/sith/whatever they've done to it. I much prefer the fethed up'dness of 40k where even the "good" guys are the bad guys in every other scifi universe....and the bad guys are even worse!

FOR IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE.....

THERE IS ONLY WAR!!!!!!!


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:35:20


Post by: BroodSpawn


Privateer Press was a contender in the not too distant past. Then GW pulled it's finger out, released 8th while at the same time PP's steps into doing things the GW way (dedicated faction books) and the release of Mk3 went down.. not so well (amongst other things).

Toppling GW, when it's at a height it's not really every been at before and is just getting stronger and stronger? Doubt there's a company in the niche market that can threaten that. FFG might be able to with Star Wars... but only because of the Star Wars brand. They have a long way to go before they're doing multiple monthly simultaneous weekend releases around the world - something GW generally does now with ease from experience.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:44:14


Post by: Vaktathi


Ultimately, without having to rely on GW breaking itself at least in part, you'd need some sort of genuine clear qualitatively superior product, and I'm not really sure that's possible, not because GW is perfect, but because GW's stuff is "good enough" that I don't think there's enough room in the fundamental product concept (tabletop miniatures gaming) to do so currently. GW's dominance is through size and inertia, relying on the breadth of its IP. Gameplay doesn't really drive its success (and is why the rules always are so afterthought-ey), GW is essentially an IP company like Disney except that it produces most of its own physical retail product. Either GW will have to do something to break its hold, fundamental consumer tastes will have to change, or something else of that nature. 3D printing may result in problems to GW's production of models as a primary revenue source, but not the dominance of its IP.

If miniatures gaming tastes change back to historical wargaming or "hard" scifi or something like that, and fantasy/space fantasy becomes passe, then perhaps, but it would have to be something like that.

FFG got close, with Xwing for a bit, but that was in large part due to mishandlings on GW's part and a confluence of new Star Wars movies, and didn't last.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:45:08


Post by: Saturmorn Carvilli


The only thing that comes to my mind is: More time, money and effort than it would worth doing.

I mean maybe someone like Hasbro could sink a lot resources into making a high quality at all parts miniatures wargame potentially taking losses/low profits for years. It would probably have to have at least as high quality of miniatures as Citadel, demonstrate that it will absolutely stick around for at least a decade, remain well supported all that time, be very accessible to entry yet have something for long time fans to keep coming back, something familiar yet new with lore that can be skimmed and delved deeply into and probably not as high in importance as many on DakkaDakka would like, but decently balenced yet with enough in-built luck that novices always have a chance to win.

Everything there sounds like way too much effort for meager profits when many more projects would both return a bigger and faster investment.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:51:05


Post by: Siegfriedfr


1) Create an engaging fluff rivalling 40K - very hard because it being basically fantasy races in space is both unique and rich, and easily identifiable.
2) Have a ruleset that promotes strategy instead of arcady, in-your-face, pay-to-win tactics/units - basically avoid Warmachine-like design and focus on a bolt-action type design
3) Open gameshops everywhere to create visibility and promote games, or create a very effective network with existing local shops in order to heavily market the game and keep it alive. Without support, it won't work. Also, a good idea would be for commercial people to subsides the renting of places for local tournaments to happen.
4) A price roughly 30 to 40% lower per equal amount of plastic compared to GW
5) Have very distinctive armies, but not too many (5-7). and not countless derivative humans like Warmachines or Infinity, but very different looks for each armies.

For good humans, I'd avoid the space marines trope and focus on a more Astra-ish look with more advanced tech
For bad humans, i'd go with a mix of ad-mech/chaos marines (basically, borgs) look
For bad aliens, i think a drukhari-style chaotic-charismatic race would be perfect
For good aliens, a Tau-like focusing on greater good, but not too much mecha please

Then we would need 2 "monsters" races. Aliens/insect are overdone, so i'd prefer to see :
- some sort of orcs/Ogres in space with domesticated monsters helping them for a brutal aesthetic
- some sort of Cthulu like horrors (think Mutalith vortex beast), with a Demonic feel

The main problem is, most of us would probably play with 40K miniatures to try this "new" game, which would impact sales.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:51:06


Post by: harlokin


For me, there is nothing another tabletop company could do to rival GW.....unless perhaps if they acquired the IP.

I read 30K/40K books, I watch YouTube channels dedicated to 40K, and buy/paint/play with 40K mimiatures. If 40K somehow went away, I would not be seeking to replace it with other games because I am not invested in their lore, and don't have the time or inclination to become so. For me, playing the wargame is just a byproduct of my interest in the setting.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:55:39


Post by: AnomanderRake


It depends largely on what you mean by a "better" game. GW has three major advantages over their immediate competitors:
-Ease of access. Warhammer is everywhere, lots of people play, and it has a very shallow learning curve.
-Exposure. Warhammer has an extensive universe, decades of novels, spinoff games, video games, etc., etc. Even if lots of them are crap they're way more in the public eye than anyone else.
-Miniatures. Injection-moulded plastics are horribly expensive and require a huge playerbase to support; PP got to the point where they could do a few, but then the playerbase crashed. Infinity can compete with GW on individual sculpt quality but they're still making single-pose metal minis. Mantic has the breadth of kits but they're still in historical-wargames "make a four-pose sprue and get people to buy twenty or thirty of them" mode.

If someone wants to seriously compete with GW they need to be able to touch all three of those. The companies best positioned to do so right now are probably Mantic (who are short on exposure) and FFG (who have massive supply-chain issues still to iron out, and who don't do the learning curve very well).


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 18:57:50


Post by: Big Mac


I got into warhammer because I was buying magic cards while a teen; so I could see MtG made into a TT game with its miniatures and cards to do battle sort of like warmachine.

The IP is there, fandom is there, they just need to make the miniatures and the game.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 19:14:34


Post by: Super Ready


AnomanderRake has hit the nail on the head, it's all about publicity and availability. We've already seen other companies with games that have better rules, and... well, let's say minis that are on par with GW, since I'm not sure anyone can boast they have better minis over as wide a range as GW have (one or two models here and there? Sure).

The key thing that the competitors are missing is that sudden wave of popularity that will propel them into the really big leagues, after which point the brand will be somewhat self-sustaining as long as the company keeps making new product. This means reaching a customer base outside of the existing wargaming crowd. GW have been doing that lately with video games and (here in the UK at least) word of mouth from younger players, but in the past it's also included getting the games into big stores - for example, 2nd ed 40k and 1st ed Necromunda used to be sold in Argos, in fact that's how I got into the hobby thanks to my parents getting us 40k as a Christmas present as kids. Without that it would have been years before I heard about it from others at school... if those kids at school had ever heard about it either, in fact, for all I know they got into it from Argos too.

Beyond that I'll also say that the setting needs to be compelling. There's a good reason why the Star Wars, DC and Marvel tabletop skirmish games have become as popular as they have - they're settings we're familiar with, and know we enjoy. That means it's more likely we'll be comfortable buying the product as it's more likely we'll like it.

All of these reasons also add up to making it more likely you'll find someone to play against. The hardest part about trying out a brand new game, is getting someone to try it out with you, especially if they have to pay to do so.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 19:14:41


Post by: Breton


Racerguy180 wrote:
The problems with this are manifold. In order to even come close to stealing a fair amount of players/revenue they'd need to:

1) Develop a robust IP that has enuff variety in styles/tropes as to appeal to the widest possible audience.
2) Develop innovative miniatures alongside the IP so one doesnt necessarily independently of the other.
3) Develop a game(or series of) that offers depth of player involvement while also able to be picked up quickly by new players(to wargaming).



#1 especially. Black Library and Relic were/are the best things GW had going for it. It could have been better, they should have ridden harder on continuity and scope, but nobody else has that level of immersion.

I’d add they should stay away from the same niche other competitors may be trying to carve out for themselves i.e. Warmahordes. If they’re going closer to kill team, I’d go closer to Apocalypse. Two startups fighting each other for the same scrap isn’t going to dent GW.

Finally I might try inverting GW’s path. Create an RTS first that isn’t going to be my tabletop but is in that world to develop the IP and generate name recognition, then dev the tabletop.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 19:25:12


Post by: Tyel


On paper you just have to create a game which is more fun to play. Preferably with models that are not ugly as sin.

Really I think the problem is companies run into the same problems as GW.

Warmahordes and X-Wing were competing with 40k (and had killed off Fantasy) circa 2012-2016. I feel unfortunately both ending up doing things which are a source of hostility to 40k. I.E. People got the models and rules and the game worked. Great. Problem is as a studio you need to sell your existing customers new stuff. Which means an endless expansion of models and rules, which inevitably brings codex creep, unit purpose duplication and general clutter.

So when GW go "here's a genuinely new edition, we're going to cut down the rules, and you won't need to carry 15 books to play the game, honest, *wink*" people unsurprisingly moved back in droves and in turn brought lots of new people into the hobby.

At its core the major advantage GW have is that people play their games. Obviously they have stores themselves - but there is also a usually vibrant tournament and club scene covering a large part of the world. I think one of the things Privateer Press did well was a system of trying to encourage people to set up those sorts of things - but again, it felt on the up circa 2012-14, and pretty toast now.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 19:27:44


Post by: Slayer-Fan123


A better game that you could basically use the same minis for, but said game needs to exist and get steam for several years.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 19:44:59


Post by: vict0988


For GW to feth-up. GW is so far ahead in having manifested a supportive community that merely being better than GW is not good enough. GW has made an extreme amount of progress in the past 5 years and if they continue making progress then nobody is going to catch up to them.

A portion of players will always complain, in a big community that means that there will always be a vocal group that doesn't agree with whatever the company is currently doing. CA20 could be fixed in two weeks, add a couple of nerfs to Salamanders and IH Stratagems to appease the masses and most people will be ecstatic with 9th edition.

I think video games are the future, it's IMO just a question of replacing people's need to collect, build and paint and then the feeling of playing with real people and not just disjointed voices. That last one should be relatively easy, it's not like you want to feel their breath down your neck, 360 degree camera coverage of the users head and a 3d tv and you are basically there. I never really liked building and painting, but I like choosing which buildings to build in Total War, if CA gave us an easy-to-use paint scheme change then another part of the hobby would be covered.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 19:49:57


Post by: alextroy


A company with 20 years of compelling expanding IP that allows for a variety of models and play-styles for a fun game with excellent models combined with a marketing model that gets them to the masses. Nothing less is going rival GW.

Basically, to beat GW you need to follow their playbook and put in the time. You can't license your way to this. Licensing deals are inherently transitory and place limitations on a companies products. Whether you are FFG with Star Wars or CMON with ASOIF, they are a licensing renewal failure away from losing any momentum they make in rivaling GW.

And that is the problem. Who else in the miniature war-games business owns their own compelling and wide reaching IP that comes close to Warhammer 40K? I think we can safely say, nobody.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 19:53:12


Post by: PenitentJake


Interesting. Lots of folks talking Star Wars and MTG.

Interesting thing about both of those is that the IP comes from without- it is not created by the game company itself.

This is why I never considered Lord of the Rings to be a true GW game, even though GW made the models and rules. It always feels like an invader in a WD.

So for me, the compelling IP is king. I liked Mutant Chronicles, for example- there were enough factions, the right mix of human history and culture with space plus the supernatural. Only problem is that the miniatures were weak by comparison. Mutant Chronicles also benefited from cross platform support; it was released alongside an RPG and a Card Game.

Factions- I'm going to need at least five distinct factions, and even that is a little slim. Going to need 10 kits in each faction's range, and 2-3 of those should be dual build. Ground and air vehicles, as well as walkers- not necessarily super-heavies, but all other categories.

Then I need an integrated campaign system with character and unit progression. Then I need a game below it for small scale battle with the same IP and a game above it. I'd also like occasional one-off games that tie in and enrich the IP.

Then I need a set of novels to go along with it.

I never played Warmachine- I liked some of the models, and it might have had enough to offer, or could have grown into something. It felt like it needed more diversity amongst its factions.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 20:26:21


Post by: Overread


I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

This gives them immense power in terms of market reach and marketing. To the point where they aren't just the market leader, they are currently the primary (by far) gateway game for the whole fantasy/sci-fi market in general.

They don't just lead the market, they make the market.




That's what you have to break in order to take a lions share of the wargamer market. At least if you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with GW. PP and almost all the other contenders have the big issue in that most of their customers are or were GW customers. So long as GW is the one on the highstreet with their own stores; with the biggest events; with the school programs; computer games (the big ones like Dawn of War and Total War Warhammer) and heck soon to be TV (or at least film/series shows).

With all that outreach GW is securing most of the market that there is for wargaming all on their own. It's not that there isn't more out there, I'm sure there is, but its that any other firm would have to invest heavily into beating that marketing and outreach machine. Otherwise all they are doing is relying on weakness in the GW system and exploiting it. Or variation in creative/game design elements to attract niches of the GW customer base.




So I'd say if you want to compete with GW you've got to invest a fortune in marketing, in outreach and basically trying to get as many customers first. Product quality, range, diversity, game design etc... all that is secondary compared to marketing. Otherwise all you'll do is rely on GW to get you customers and then have to "poach" them. This always runs the risk like PP and a good many others felt; when GW pulls its finger out and reacts to major market desires and shifts their attitude. Because it means a good chunk of your customers will go "Ohh shiny my first wargame interest is looking neat - I'll just dust off my old minis and go play".

Granted PP had other issues at the same time, it was a double hit. However it still stands that it happened and a big part of it was GW looking more attractive for a bit.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 20:49:44


Post by: Turnip Jedi


 Big Mac wrote:
I got into warhammer because I was buying magic cards while a teen; so I could see MtG made into a TT game with its miniatures and cards to do battle sort of like warmachine.

The IP is there, fandom is there, they just need to make the miniatures and the game.


They tried a while back but was really a weird gateway attempt that only appealed to existing players plus theyd have to take Rosewater out behind the barn first

With a 40 year headstart GW are nigh invunerable, the odd fumble might let smaller players in for a while from time to time but their momentum makes them fairly unstoppable


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 20:50:31


Post by: Eldarain


Time machine.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 20:57:07


Post by: Either/Or


It seemed more a possibility in the Kirby days when GW was on the decline and there were a few big up and comers. Now GW is generally on the ball and the most likely contenders pooped the bed. GW is a bit like apple with everything integrated and pointing back to other arms of GW to have their products advertise for their other products and have just about every aspect of the hobby covered short of an AI to play against or something. There are plenty of better games, there are some better models out there (though no where as consistent or diverse as GW), there are better paints, better tools, better fiction, etc. Even 40K is pretty far from the game in many ways from previous incarnations.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 20:59:52


Post by: Sgt_Smudge


As said above, marketing, visibility, and advertising.

Having better rules or models is irrelevant if you can't convince people to use them, and convincing people to use them is difficult if you can't organise and consolidate your playerbase. No matter how good your product or rules, you need to be able to reach out to people who might not be so open to trying things that aren't directly well supported and have a strong community behind them.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 21:18:46


Post by: Voss


 Big Mac wrote:
I got into warhammer because I was buying magic cards while a teen; so I could see MtG made into a TT game with its miniatures and cards to do battle sort of like warmachine.

The IP is there, fandom is there, they just need to make the miniatures and the game.


They won't, though.
WotC already did miniatures games (and dealt with several legacy miniatures games). They went nowhere. They even tried to mix them with random MtG-style boosters for both D&D and Star Wars, and they still failed. Metal (brief attempt at reviving Chainmail, at least in name), plastics, prepaints, they made multiple attempts. None went anywhere.

They're trying (halfheartedly) to mix M:tG into D&D, and not seeing a great response to it. Going for a miniatures game won't go very far, at least partially because of the IP issues (scrub the proper names off and MtG is very generic), and partially because outside Magic, their grasp of rules-writing isn't notably well regarded. There wouldn't be much faith they could manage a better rule-set.

Overread wrote:I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

I'm always dubious about this. Its a factor that doesn't matter anywhere but Britain (and maybe Austrailia/NZ). The rest of the world gets by fine relying mostly on indie stores.

 Vaktathi wrote:

FFG got close, with Xwing for a bit, but that was in large part due to mishandlings on GW's part and a confluence of new Star Wars movies, and didn't last.

FFG also has a bad habit of just dropping product lines.
That isn't a big deal when it comes to secondary games (like Blackstone Fortress), but its a terrible rep to have if you want people to buy into a big product line game.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 21:23:54


Post by: Karol


mrFickle wrote:
I suppose what would it take for you to spend as much time on another game (I’m sure some already do) but also pay as much for the gear and maybe even drop 40k for another companies game. And for enough people to do it to rival GWs size.

I could see a world I inch Vallejo would attract a lot of attention using its big brand within mini gaming already to launch a serious competitor.

The way people complain about 40k it feels like it wouldn’t take much to make a better game in many people’s opinion


A vulkano blowing up both the GW HQ and their main factory kind of an event. Blow back from that, stop of production and financial problems that would follow, could open the way to some other company to enter the market in a big manner.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 21:29:45


Post by: Overread


Voss wrote:

Overread wrote:I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

I'm always dubious about this. Its a factor that doesn't matter anywhere but Britain (and maybe Austrailia/NZ). The rest of the world gets by fine relying mostly on indie stores.


The thing is if you go into a GW store the only thing you can buy is GW product. From models to books to paint to brushes to glue - its all GW direct sales.
With an indie store you are heavily reliant on the staff and local playerbase to do the selling for you. This is why when PP lost their PG system a lot of their local recruitment up and vanished almost overnight.

Thing is a lot of indie store would rather sell card games. They have fast easy sales; are easy to push for impulsive sales; have a built in time limited period of use*; heck MTG even has game modes that require you to buy into them (Booster Draft). The potential sales are far greater. Wargames, in comparison, are worse. They sell slower; the prices are higher so you can't as easily encourage impulsive purchases; they have a long product lifespan etc.... So unless a new company could develop a means to make local stores really want to push their product; then they are reliant on local interest alone. This can be hard to manage and very hard to grow in specific areas.

GW on the other hand can release their own stores; even if its majority in the UK, it gives them a huge edge. Plus because they are well established the world over, they have that natural attraction of people being able to get games. Any newer firm has to compete against that. Local reps are essential, but at the same time its a fickle thing and not always as easy as one might think. MTG and PP both show how there can be big legal issues, esp if your company grows big. Most don't care about legal loopholes or challenging for pay etc.... when you're a one-man-shed firm; things change when you get into the big numbers.



*MTG cycles its cards on an annual basis. Each year you get what 2 or 3 new blocks and an annual "core". Sure you can use them in extended formats, but the standard limited format is only that smaller current selection of blocks.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 21:42:18


Post by: Voss


 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:

Overread wrote:I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

I'm always dubious about this. Its a factor that doesn't matter anywhere but Britain (and maybe Austrailia/NZ). The rest of the world gets by fine relying mostly on indie stores.


The thing is if you go into a GW store the only thing you can buy is GW product. From models to books to paint to brushes to glue - its all GW direct sales.

Yes. That's a bad thing. Sure the direct sale thing is good for GW as a business (maybe, I'm not particularly convinced the rents and salaries and etc are worth the sales difference), but nuts to that. Its bad for customers.


With an indie store you are heavily reliant on the staff and local playerbase to do the selling for you. This is why when PP lost their PG system a lot of their local recruitment up and vanished almost overnight.

Eh. My experience with PP games had zero to do with PG system. The last one I dealt with was actually a detriment.

GW on the other hand can release their own stores; even if its majority in the UK, it gives them a huge edge. Plus because they are well established the world over, they have that natural attraction of people being able to get games.

Here, 'getting games' isn't a thing in GW stores. Even if there IS one nearby (and by 'nearby' I mean, within several hours' drive), they're just too small, and don't have adequate table space (or table sizes). Most can manage a demo game in a 4x4 table, but that's the practical limit. Outside the even more rare 'battle bunkers' (which I'm not sure even exist anymore). The GW stores are more boutique showcases where they hope Mommy and little Timmy will wander in while passing by in the mall and drop money on a couple boxes.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 21:44:15


Post by: kodos


Same question is, how can an MMO take the top place from WoW

the only answer is, if the original game dies.

even if people switch, they will complain that it is not like their original game and they go back as soon as the next Update/Expansion hit
no matter how bad the game is

this is for 2 reasons, people are used to it and people have spend lots of money and they will "lose" it if they switch


So, you can only get the top spot over time, if you the new game gets more new people in than the old game does

and there is a chance that this is happening, but the company also needs a long term plan, how to handle things in 5-10 years

Warmachine/Hordes was on the way, as was X-Wing or FoW but they failed after their initial success, mainly because the new recruits were missing after a while (for different reason) and Edition changes were not taken well by the community (you only can mess things up with a new Edition of you are the Top Dog, no one is going to leave Warcraft for ever because 1 update was bad, they will return, same with 40k)


Most companies now just have their niche inside the market and don't want to be the top company as there is no point to try


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 22:11:25


Post by: Overread


Voss wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:

Overread wrote:I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

I'm always dubious about this. Its a factor that doesn't matter anywhere but Britain (and maybe Austrailia/NZ). The rest of the world gets by fine relying mostly on indie stores.


The thing is if you go into a GW store the only thing you can buy is GW product. From models to books to paint to brushes to glue - its all GW direct sales.

Yes. That's a bad thing. Sure the direct sale thing is good for GW as a business, but nuts to that. Its bad for customers.


But the overall point is it means that there's shops with staff who have nothing but GW to sell to new customers.
In terms of growing your local GW playing scene its fantastic. Meanwhile an Indie store might love wargames, but they might have several different brands. For a brand wanting to make it big this is a bad thing. It means that their direct customer contact point (the indie store) is not pushing just their product but loads of others. This makes it a lot harder to grow your game.

Community leader programs (like the PG) run well are thus essential to growing your brand outside of storekeepers. At least your community reps will have a vested interest in promoting the game locally and are an essential force at growing a business.



I do also agree that several firms have had a chance and then failed to capitalise. One issue I do see is that there's a big hurdle between being a small time casting firm and a big time one. At some stage you have to shift production up a gear to maintain supply. From my observation a LOT of wargame firms have a problem with this. Upscaling "at home" is expensive in machines, land, tax and employees. Whilst your profits are only slowly growing you need a huge cash injection to push up a level. If you want to shift from resin/metal to plastic then that's even greater in costs and requires new staff with totally new skill sets.
If you go overseas to china that brings its own slew of issues with timing; storing large inventories and quality control problems.

KS actually accelerates this many times - we've all seen one or two campaigns collapse because the designer suddenly got vast quantities of orders way above their capacity. Sure they got a lot of money, but they also suddenly need to invest vastly to try and meet demand within a reasonable time frame. This can lead to a huge stall in supply and new product development resulting in a company "going dark" for a few months/year or so. With little happening it loses all the marketing momentum it built up.


Even PP hit this barrier and didn't make it through properly and have had to fall back on metal and resin.


In the end scale of operation and operation growth are key; the hard part is getting the balance right and having enough income to allow a firm to expand enough to cope with a fast growing market without stalling.



edit - ps MMOs are a good example. Nothing yet has toppled WOW; but at the same time there are multiple quite big competing MMO Brands out there and with the time required to grind in MMOS its not dissimilar to the build and play times of wargames. MOBA and other games are a similar example. I think there is room for GW to have competition and for GW to not need to screw up and diminish drastically to achieve it. The real issue is getting a competing brand big enough with enough market outreach that both brands are securing their own first time customers; rather than poaching one off the other.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/29 23:51:08


Post by: BrianDavion


GW has a unique convergance of not just gameplay but a robust and popular IP. People who aren't into wargaming know what 40k is, and like it. thanks to things like the novels, and video games, GW has tremendous cross platform advertising. and frankly no other wargame on the market comes close. the closest table top war game that ever game close to this was Battletech, which had a large robust novel series, several hit video games (which thanks to all being named Mechwarrior not eneugh people understood it was "battletech: the video game" FASA screwed the pooch on that) and even a breif lived TV series. FASA however had some... structural flaws that eventually killed it


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 00:03:30


Post by: Voss


 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:

Overread wrote:I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

I'm always dubious about this. Its a factor that doesn't matter anywhere but Britain (and maybe Austrailia/NZ). The rest of the world gets by fine relying mostly on indie stores.


The thing is if you go into a GW store the only thing you can buy is GW product. From models to books to paint to brushes to glue - its all GW direct sales.

Yes. That's a bad thing. Sure the direct sale thing is good for GW as a business, but nuts to that. Its bad for customers.


But the overall point is it means that there's shops with staff who have nothing but GW to sell to new customers.
In terms of growing your local GW playing scene its fantastic. Meanwhile an Indie store might love wargames, but they might have several different brands. For a brand wanting to make it big this is a bad thing. It means that their direct customer contact point (the indie store) is not pushing just their product but loads of others. This makes it a lot harder to grow your game.

Community leader programs (like the PG) run well are thus essential to growing your brand outside of storekeepers. At least your community reps will have a vested interest in promoting the game locally and are an essential force at growing a business.

I just don't agree. Warhammer spread here largely without stores or community programs (though they had both, neither matched the geography). It maintains its presence without either.
Other games that have spread successfully in places I've been did so without community programs or stores. Battletech, X-wing, Dust, that weird sci-fi game from the Confrontation folks, Infinity, Malifaux, all those grew without the support you're talking about.
The GW stores that survive here don't have a local playing scene (the first wave stores did, but GW culled those as failures and tried again later). They're irrelevant to maintaining or growing a 'scene' here.

The things you're deeming 'essential' have never been required.

I do also agree that several firms have had a chance and then failed to capitalise. One issue I do see is that there's a big hurdle between being a small time casting firm and a big time one. At some stage you have to shift production up a gear to maintain supply. From my observation a LOT of wargame firms have a problem with this. Upscaling "at home" is expensive in machines, land, tax and employees. Whilst your profits are only slowly growing you need a huge cash injection to push up a level. If you want to shift from resin/metal to plastic then that's even greater in costs and requires new staff with totally new skill sets.

This, I'll agree with. Heck, currently even GW is struggling to maintain production at the moment (though, that's a once-in-a-century world condition, more than anything)


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 00:09:21


Post by: greatbigtree


I think it’s like the question, “When is the best time to plant a tree?”

The answer is, “25 years ago.”

So I don’t think any company would be competing for market share any time in the next 10-15 years if they started today (the next best time to plant a tree!).

A game needs interesting IP. And that takes time to develop and become a more broadly known thing. Also, like a restaurant, it needs something to bring people back. A special dish, if you will, that makes people want to come back. The game needs steady growth, and needs to be accessible.

That is a slow and painful process.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 00:18:01


Post by: Polonius


I think the real question is to ask what GW does that allows it to keep long time players while also attracting new ones. In, short, what are it’s advantages in the market. And they have a LOT.

First, broad and deep fan base. There are people who play, some who collect, some who paint, some who read lore, some who only connect via video games. Some of this was first mover advantage, coupled with having s complete ecosystem of rules, models, and hobby supplies. Some is a virtuous cycle, where having a player base helps to bring in new players. The only way to take this head on would be an enormous amount of cash to get product widely distributed, and have a lot of different ways to hook players. This, however, leads to the next strength...

GW keeps players engaged and rewards stores for stocking more of the range. Licensed games like X-wing always hit a wall when they run out of material, and indie games all hit SKU bloat. GW is able to sell 20 year old rhinos while a two year old PP model that is mediocre gathers dust. GW does this by intentionally not chasing pure balance, but by designing a game that allows even weaker armies a punchers chance, especially in non tournament missions.

Third, GW has a huge and fully owned IP. it’s not Shakespeare, but it paints a distinctive picture of its works, and the motives and goals of two dozen factions.

Finally, GW consistently makes a ton of high quality plastic models in an industry where most competitors are struggling to release a sprue or two a month. Even the specialist games get a few new kits a year!

So... to really compete, you’re looking at one massive obstacle: capital. You’d need to probably buy your own plastic production plant to have a smooth logistics chain, and the create a world people care about. You’d then want to get it in every gaming, hobby, comic, and specialty toy shop. Then, you’d need a game that rewards repeat play.

It’s a tall order, and anybody with those resources would wisely look at making a hobby board game instead.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
GWs success is also partly due to scale creep being popular. People like primaris sized infantry and tanks that are bigger than a chipotle burrito. That means bigger sprues or more sprues. GW packs sprues tight. Compare an indomitus sprue to anything from Renadra, or even GW from 15 years ago. That means bigger models and more options per sprue.

To even try to compete, you’d need four factions, each with with at least two infantry kits and a vehicle kit, which if cleverly designed gives you four squad options, a transport, and a fighting tank. You then either need to include character gubbins on the sprue or have more sprues for characters, or else that’s metal. That means for something even close to GW quality, that’s gonna be two sprues per kit, three kits per army, for 24 sprues to give you s play environment that roughly mirrors if GW only made Grey Knights, Harlequins, custodes, and Tempestus Scions.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 01:19:30


Post by: Super Ready


To be fair, a lot of GW's success on the model front is because of their willingness to invest in improvement, and actually innovate techniques - not just sitting on laurels. I could point to a number of examples, like the factory expansion, or the continuing changes in the paint range, even Finecast - which ok, didn't turn out as good as everyone wanted, but considering we're talking resin injection into moulds built for metal, it could've gone a LOT worse.

There's a lot of knowledge there built up over the years, and a lot of lessons learned too I'm sure... but it wouldn't be impossible for someone with that knowledge to attempt striking out on their own and using that knowledge to give their own company a boost. I'm sure being able to say that they're ex-GW would go a long way, too (look at Mike McVey or Juan Diaz).
That said, your average staffer wouldn't have that kind of money, so the initial investment would have to come from somewhere else.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 02:27:18


Post by: Apple fox


I would say the single biggest thing that keeps GW at the top is culture surrounding it.
Even getting players to look at other games can be difficult, With the internet reinforcing so much of that nowdays as well.

I think a lot of that is also Fans that will dig deep, Some players will have thousands of points in Rhino for that once in ten years apoc game.

So i think GW has done well in recent years of selling the dream, even if they have spent a lot of that time skirting avg to failure in other area.
Also Space marines i think are keeping 40k afloat, and they are pushing further into that niche i think.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 07:22:11


Post by: wuestenfux


 BroodSpawn wrote:
Privateer Press was a contender in the not too distant past. Then GW pulled it's finger out, released 8th while at the same time PP's steps into doing things the GW way (dedicated faction books) and the release of Mk3 went down.. not so well (amongst other things).

Toppling GW, when it's at a height it's not really every been at before and is just getting stronger and stronger? Doubt there's a company in the niche market that can threaten that. FFG might be able to with Star Wars... but only because of the Star Wars brand. They have a long way to go before they're doing multiple monthly simultaneous weekend releases around the world - something GW generally does now with ease from experience.

GW was at a decline in the era of Kirby.
At the same time, PP was a real contender. But they made a few bad decisions when MK3 was released. You can see the result today, by looking at the Forum at PP.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 08:03:41


Post by: solkan


It is really important to remember that part of what got GW where it is now is luck, and making shifts in the game at the right times.

Remember how once upon a time, when they didn't have much resources, they promoted the heck out of the do-it-yourself hobby aspects? Remember how once upon a time, Rogue Trader was a skirmish game that got rewritten into an army scale game?

For that matter, remember when Citadel Miniatures made figures for things other than Games Workshop games, and White Dwarf printed articles for other games?


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 09:23:29


Post by: Sgt. Cortez


Looking at Dakka discussions I think people here often look too much at rules when the real reason for GWs success is their models. Having tried out miniatures from other producers there are surely very good plastic boxes from other companies out there, but they're usually just the base models and you need Resin / metal Heroes to make an army, or the quality is not as good, or the range is pretty small. GW beats them all one way or the other even if you find some sculpts questionable or their Trend towards monopose seems strange.
GWs system with the best rules is Lotr and for a long time it was their third Main system. I think if you want to know how to compete with Warhammer you have to look at Lotr and analyse what went wrong. They have great (mainly monopose) models, a strong IP, good rules and yet they failed to establish in a way Warhammer did. One main reason is because GW stopped support at some point, but the system was also pretty much "finished". I think tolkien is a superior IP to the Warhammers, but it's not centered around a tabletop game where you want an unending range of factions that all have a reason for fighting each other.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 09:32:40


Post by: wuestenfux


Well, the models (pose, details, plastic) give GW a lead when compared with other miniature companies.
The rules GW releases remain an issue (especially for 40k) but they hardly hamper GW's success atm.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 09:46:39


Post by: Breton


 Turnip Jedi wrote:
 Big Mac wrote:
I got into warhammer because I was buying magic cards while a teen; so I could see MtG made into a TT game with its miniatures and cards to do battle sort of like warmachine.



With a 40 year headstart GW are nigh invunerable,


Running GW out of business is a different goal than rivaling them.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 10:05:09


Post by: Overread


Voss wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:

Overread wrote:I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

I'm always dubious about this. Its a factor that doesn't matter anywhere but Britain (and maybe Austrailia/NZ). The rest of the world gets by fine relying mostly on indie stores.


The thing is if you go into a GW store the only thing you can buy is GW product. From models to books to paint to brushes to glue - its all GW direct sales.

Yes. That's a bad thing. Sure the direct sale thing is good for GW as a business, but nuts to that. Its bad for customers.


But the overall point is it means that there's shops with staff who have nothing but GW to sell to new customers.
In terms of growing your local GW playing scene its fantastic. Meanwhile an Indie store might love wargames, but they might have several different brands. For a brand wanting to make it big this is a bad thing. It means that their direct customer contact point (the indie store) is not pushing just their product but loads of others. This makes it a lot harder to grow your game.

Community leader programs (like the PG) run well are thus essential to growing your brand outside of storekeepers. At least your community reps will have a vested interest in promoting the game locally and are an essential force at growing a business.

I just don't agree. Warhammer spread here largely without stores or community programs (though they had both, neither matched the geography). It maintains its presence without either.
Other games that have spread successfully in places I've been did so without community programs or stores. Battletech, X-wing, Dust, that weird sci-fi game from the Confrontation folks, Infinity, Malifaux, all those grew without the support you're talking about.
The GW stores that survive here don't have a local playing scene (the first wave stores did, but GW culled those as failures and tried again later). They're irrelevant to maintaining or growing a 'scene' here.

The things you're deeming 'essential' have never been required.


I think the aspect we are differing on is that your looking at GW's growth in markets overseas, whilst I'm looking at their market in their home nation, the UK. The way I see it is their overseas market was able to grow partly because of their firm grasp on the UK market. The UK market dominance gives them the edge in income which allows them resources for marketing and alternative product display and licencing of their IP and basically everything that helps them stand out against the other brands in other nations. It helps put them on the map and promote the game and push it forward in those markets. Plus the pattern of allowing local indies to build a community and then opening a local GW brand store is something they do do overseas. It's not superfast because GW isn't taking out big loans to force their way into the market en-mass; but it is happening at a steady rate.

Online also has an impact, that big UK market (and honestly now US market) can produce loads of photos, stories, articles, guides, videos, twitches etc... Loads of material that markets GW for zero cost to GW! GW doesn't need the Evy metal team they've got legions of fans showing off their top quality painting of GW models today. In fact I'd argue that GW's promotion and push of Evy Metal as concept has dwindled over the years. It's not that its not there, its just not as much a marketing cornerstone that GW needs now that the community does it on the internet.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 15:27:36


Post by: Tyran


You need experience and capital to run a company. Logistics, management, marketing, production, HR, etc. BTW not a single person is going to be skilled in all that, you need specialists in every branch.

You also need a considerable amount of luck.

Moreover you need the market power to force your customers to buy stuff. GW has become very successful at that with the Codex system and the Primaris stuff. Sure many will complain, but they will but it regardless. That is something any theoretical rival of GW needs to learn.





What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 16:39:54


Post by: Cybtroll


You aren't thinking quadrimensionally.

There is no need for a company to rival GW. Will be enough when people will start to design and print their own miniatures.

Then, finally, Warhammer will become a pure IP and we won't have to relate anymore with their cringe business approach. And, of course, then Disney will purchase it


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 16:49:22


Post by: Mr. Burning


 Tyran wrote:
You need experience and capital to run a company. Logistics, management, marketing, production, HR, etc. BTW not a single person is going to be skilled in all that, you need specialists in every branch.

You also need a considerable amount of luck.

Moreover you need the market power to force your customers to buy stuff. GW has become very successful at that with the Codex system and the Primaris stuff. Sure many will complain, but they will but it regardless. That is something any theoretical rival of GW needs to learn.





I would agree to luck.

In all honesty GW has amased its market dominance by being in the right place at the right time. It has hardly provided the best rulesets or the best minis but has been able to consistently leverage its position to stay ahead and be THE name that is referenced with regards to ttmg.

Consider that it has taken GW 30+ years to get to where it is. 30 years to get to a position where they seriously thought they owned copyright to basic geometric shapes.
Consider the Memes GW have generated.
They were able to destroy one of their oldest game settings and systems and still stay ahead.

Clones and competitors rely on a thriving GW to sell their own goods. I would argue that without a GWmonopoly(?) these companies wouldnt exist at all and wouldnt think about operating.

I doubt anyone will come along to directly compete.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 16:50:24


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


The same way the advent of the sewing machine ended the clothing trade?


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 16:54:14


Post by: Jackal90


It’s mainly about the models for me and the ease of matches.
So I’d have to find a game with miniatures I liked the look of and it would have to be popular enough to make finding games a possibility.


Also, there’s waves of comments everywhere about GW being clueless or terrible at what they do.
To some degree, yes, they make a lot of decisions that seem bad.
Keep in mind though that it’s a long lived and established company.
To get where they are now is not luck or blind faith.

Their business model is not super friendly, but it works and it’s stood the test of time.


If it was easy to make a company that could rival them, we would see tons of new companies popping up every now and then.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 17:01:39


Post by: Mr. Burning


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
The same way the advent of the sewing machine ended the clothing trade?


Sure.

I mean I'm not saying its impossible to create an IP that would be as popular as 40k (as an example). But to directly compete with what GW has built? from scratch? (which is the question posed)

As an example look at companies who are providing games based on popular IP. Do TTMG games based on SW for example generate revenue equivalent to GW?

Are they as long lived?

Is Mantic a serious long term competitor for GW's crown?

Privateer?

Warlord?

Prodos or whoever they are now? CMoN?



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 18:51:20


Post by: Grimtuff


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
The same way the advent of the sewing machine ended the clothing trade?


You have that bass ackwards.

GW is the sewing machine in your example. The sewing machine created the clothing trade into an industrial juggernaut. Before Isaac Singer came along it took roughly 14 hours to make a single shirt. GW made wargaming into what it is today and several other satellite companies would not exist were it not for them.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 19:46:07


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


Crossed wires. Was replying to Cybtroll.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 19:46:39


Post by: chaos0xomega


Racerguy180Made in us wrote:3) Develop a game(or series of) that offers depth of player involvement while also able to be picked up quickly by new players(to wargaming).


This one might be off the mark. Having studied the market and the industry for a long time, I (alongside countless others who have done the same) have more or less come to the conclusion that even though this is what gamers say they want or think they want, it isn't actually what they want. GWs games have succeeded because they have a gakky game, not in spite of it (though the fact that their minis are top tier certainly doesn't hurt). Its easy to pick up and play, relies on mechanics that give players good dopamine hits and tactile stimulation (rolling lots of dice), etc. etc. etc. Because GWs games have been a historical gateway into the hobby as a whole, GW has basically defined the mechanical landscape and programmed certain expectations into the community for what a game should look like and play like, which is why so many competitors out there design games along the same mechanical paradigms. Bolt Action, Flames of War/Team Yankee, and countless others are basically subtle tweaks on the GW "engine". FFG, PP, and Wyrd also both have their own "engines" (although Warcaster is a major rework/evolution of it), but have not been successful in shaping the market - I only know of one other game designed and released by an outside publisher that utilize the FFG and PP engines and absolutely none that use Wyrds (and none of these other games are particularly popular), vs literally hundreds that are "40k/Fantasy but..." for GWs games. There are some other engines out there beyond that but they are absolutely obscure and unknown. Basically theres lots of "inertia" behind GWs game design that make it hard to really step away from it from the standpoint of consumer success, games that are a departure from that are faced with pushback, resistance, and hostility as a result of lizard brain responses to something new/which doesn't fit the established norms that the broader community has been programmed to expect.

 Vaktathi wrote:


FFG got close, with Xwing for a bit, but that was in large part due to mishandlings on GW's part and a confluence of new Star Wars movies, and didn't last.


The interesting thing about FFG is that they have succeeded, in part, on breaking GW's hold. GW is no longer the "gateway game" behemoth that it once was - for a long time it was assumed that 90% or more of those coming into the hobby came in through GW's products, and then all the other games out there picked up their communities from GWs cast offs as players got fed up with various issues with GWs product offerings or their tastes refined/matured, etc. This is something that Warmachine never really managed to accomplish, the majority of the community was built on the back of GW turncoats, which is why when GW got its gak together the community largely abandoned the game and went back to 40k.

X-Wing and Legion (and to a lesser extent Armada which has suffered from a lack of product availability and a languishing release schedule for the last few years) are now a significant source of new tabletop gamers who haven't ever touched GW games (note, I said significant, not necessarily a majority). X-Wing and Armada especially as their pre-assembled and pre-painted nature and small buy-in values make for a very low barrier for entry into the hobby which makes the transition into self-built and painted miniatures less imposing (which allowed an easy "pipeline" into Legion). Unfortunately, GWs games are such a behemoth that this pipeline often leads people to GWs products anyway. I think, over time, this might help open the market a bit more and increase the communities openness to games that are a bigger departure from GWs rule styles (though, this probably means that these games will need to look more like FFGs to get past the lizard brain response).

The real trick though is longevity, IMO. GW is in part seeing a renaissance today because its re-attracting people that quit 3-6 editions ago. Folks that played in the 90s or early 2000s and then lost interest, but now have time and money and are being recaptured through their nostalgia. I think, in part, any contender will need to try to do the same by bringing in high-turnover younger players through high visibility avenues and then be willing to hold out for them to grow up and come back 20 years later, the only company that really has a chance of doing this at the moment is FFG via the Star Wars properties, but in order for this approach to pay off FFG has to still have the Star Wars license in 2 decades time.

2) Have a ruleset that promotes strategy instead of arcady, in-your-face, pay-to-win tactics/units - basically avoid Warmachine-like design and focus on a bolt-action type design


I think you have this backwards, Warmachine has strategy and tactical gameplay, 40k has listbuilding.

Infinity can compete with GW on individual sculpt quality but they're still making single-pose metal minis.


Sculpt quality - yes. Aesthetics - no. Infinity is extremely generic in its appearance and suffers from a high degree of "sameness" in its miniatures designs. Even veteran Infinity players complain about how its sometimes difficult to differentiate miniatures from eachother. They have got better over time in this respect, but the visual identity is not there and thus far theres nothing that truly reaches "iconic" status.

Mantic has the breadth of kits but they're still in historical-wargames


I think you meant Warlord. Mantic isn't doing anything historical to my knowledge, and is instead doing the "generic-brand GW products" thing.

A better game that you could basically use the same minis for


Minis are what make money and allow games to succeed. Nobody will ever get as big as GW making a better game that people are buying GWs minis to play.

Basically, to beat GW you need to follow their playbook and put in the time. You can't license your way to this. Licensing deals are inherently transitory and place limitations on a companies products. Whether you are FFG with Star Wars or CMON with ASOIF, they are a licensing renewal failure away from losing any momentum they make in rivaling GW.


This. The only way to be successful licensing a game is to be able to transition gamers from a licensed property to an unlicensed one. FFG tried to do this with Rune...Wars? Whatever it was called. Didn't work, there was no interest in the game despite sharing a lot in common with X-Wing and its been discontinued as a result. When FFG inevitable loses the Star Wars license (not a question of if but a question of when) they will be back to square zero. Same with CMON with ASOIF unless they manage to develop a game a few years down the line that they can transition the community to. Likewise Atomic Mass with the Marvel game.

And that is the problem. Who else in the miniature war-games business owns their own compelling and wide reaching IP that comes close to Warhammer 40K? I think we can safely say, nobody.


Privateer Press *could* if they hadn't mismanaged their own IPs so poorly. Removing fluff from the rulebooks, and making rulebooks pointless/unnecessary, was a dumb move. The game community is largely divorced from the concept of fluff, most only know it or understand it at the top level but know little or nothing about it in depth or detail as a result, because it wasn't accessible. PP tried to transition the fluff to novels, but because there was no connection between the novels and what the players were familiar with (i.e. the game), nobody bought them.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 20:05:31


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


Owning their own IP outright is quite the thing here.

Consider Kenner, the Grandaddy of working the Star Wars IP.

They held the license from the get-go. And because Star Wars was the first massively impactful merchandising effort, it may surprise people just how sweet Kenner had it - at first.

See, by 1978, Kenner coined in around $100,000,000 in Star Wars sales. Lucasfilm’s cut? Something daft like a meagre $50,000 (this is me recalling from The Toys That Made Us on Netflix. Exact figure may be off, but it was laughably small by comparison, even if we add a further zero).

So it was lucrative to say the least. Until....someone at Kenner forgot to send the cheque to Lucasfilm. At which point the whole license was renegotiated.

Licenses are also commonly time limited, it would seem. It seems likely to me that if your product line is selling well, the Licensor may want a bigger slice of that delicious pie you developed. And their demands may push you into the “not really worth it anymore” territory.

There’s also the risk that if your product line is a slow burner, that once renegotiation takes place, they simply refuse, and that’s you stuffed, even if sales were starting to increase.

Heck, if things go really poorly, you may face financial penalty. Why? Because the Licensor holds more of the cards, so the contract is far more likely to favour them in terms of termination details than you. Sure, they might be keen on entering the TTWG market, but that doesn’t mean they need your specific company.

But, to develop your own IP takes a helluva lot of effort, especially if you want it to stand out.

GW in many respects just got lucky at the right time. Next to Dr Who and 2000AD, it’s one of Britain’s most enduring sci-fi offerings. It’s also a glorious hodge-podge of contemporary influences, welded into something truly unique.




What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 20:29:41


Post by: Voss


 Overread wrote:
Spoiler:
Voss wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Voss wrote:

Overread wrote:I think one key aspect that GW has the edge on is the highstreet stores. Whilst almost every other retailer is fleeing the highstreet, GW is holding out (and as yet hasn't had to pair with food outlets at a national level to survive).

I'm always dubious about this. Its a factor that doesn't matter anywhere but Britain (and maybe Austrailia/NZ). The rest of the world gets by fine relying mostly on indie stores.


The thing is if you go into a GW store the only thing you can buy is GW product. From models to books to paint to brushes to glue - its all GW direct sales.

Yes. That's a bad thing. Sure the direct sale thing is good for GW as a business, but nuts to that. Its bad for customers.


But the overall point is it means that there's shops with staff who have nothing but GW to sell to new customers.
In terms of growing your local GW playing scene its fantastic. Meanwhile an Indie store might love wargames, but they might have several different brands. For a brand wanting to make it big this is a bad thing. It means that their direct customer contact point (the indie store) is not pushing just their product but loads of others. This makes it a lot harder to grow your game.

Community leader programs (like the PG) run well are thus essential to growing your brand outside of storekeepers. At least your community reps will have a vested interest in promoting the game locally and are an essential force at growing a business.

I just don't agree. Warhammer spread here largely without stores or community programs (though they had both, neither matched the geography). It maintains its presence without either.
Other games that have spread successfully in places I've been did so without community programs or stores. Battletech, X-wing, Dust, that weird sci-fi game from the Confrontation folks, Infinity, Malifaux, all those grew without the support you're talking about.
The GW stores that survive here don't have a local playing scene (the first wave stores did, but GW culled those as failures and tried again later). They're irrelevant to maintaining or growing a 'scene' here.

The things you're deeming 'essential' have never been required.


I think the aspect we are differing on is that your looking at GW's growth in markets overseas, whilst I'm looking at their market in their home nation, the UK. The way I see it is their overseas market was able to grow partly because of their firm grasp on the UK market. The UK market dominance gives them the edge in income which allows them resources for marketing and alternative product display and licencing of their IP and basically everything that helps them stand out against the other brands in other nations. It helps put them on the map and promote the game and push it forward in those markets.

That process took years- almost 18 years just to establish 100 stores. GW built on other things first (D&D and so on), but were already 3 editions into 'warhammer fantasy' in 1988 when I bought my first rulebooks and minis in London from a store that wasn't GW.
You're skipping forward past an absurd amount of their buildup to the point they were already established, and only then creating the dominance you're taking as a given, even in the UK market.

When it comes to a potential rival, there is plenty of time and opportunity to grow, they just have to not screw the pooch the way so many companies before them did. Or abandon the table the way WotC and FFG tend to do.

Plus the pattern of allowing local indies to build a community and then opening a local GW brand store is something they do do overseas. It's not superfast because GW isn't taking out big loans to force their way into the market en-mass; but it is happening at a steady rate.

Literally never seen this happen. GW does some select targeting of high volume commercial areas in the suburbs (malls and the like, and even then, its definitely upscale suburban, most major US cities don't have a GW store), but that's not where indie stores live and thrive. They can't afford to. Successful ones tend to be a couple rings further out in lower rent areas on the fringe. Or even further out on the rural/suburban divide.
Most GW attempts to do otherwise have failed- I can remember shopping in a couple independent stores that rented out the location of a GW store after it died after the first wave expansion. The most prominent being LA, well Santa Monica to be precise. The faint imprints of the GW sign were still smoked onto the building because of the smog, just to add insult to injury.


Online also has an impact, that big UK market (and honestly now US market) can produce loads of photos, stories, articles, guides, videos, twitches etc... Loads of material that markets GW for zero cost to GW! GW doesn't need the Evy metal team they've got legions of fans showing off their top quality painting of GW models today. In fact I'd argue that GW's promotion and push of Evy Metal as concept has dwindled over the years. It's not that its not there, its just not as much a marketing cornerstone that GW needs now that the community does it on the internet.

Word of mouth is word of mouth. That its on the internet now makes little difference, its what really grew the company initially.
What pushes a lot of players into GW is other players in the indie shop that already play... and don't play other things. Same as it was in the 80s or 90s.
People are continually attracted to new games, but other companies don't last in the market under their own mistakes.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 21:34:23


Post by: Grimtuff


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Crossed wires. Was replying to Cybtroll.


I see, thought you were replying to the post above. Apologies!


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 21:56:35


Post by: kodos


And that is the problem. Who else in the miniature war-games business owns their own compelling and wide reaching IP that comes close to Warhammer 40K? I think we can safely say, nobody.

Battletech
and from a point of view the IP is bigger than 40k, but today for most people it is a Video Game IP and not a boardgame/tabletop/wargame

things might change again, and GW was lucky to be there when Battletech struggled (they made a similar bad decision like GW did with Warhammer/AoS, but there was no second and third line game to back it up) but it is still there and can rise again

Another one is Gundam
no real tabletop/wargame there yet but if they ever decide to enter the market they would be a big player right from the start
there is already a big fanbase and people are using different homebrew rules for some wargaming action with the models (and there is enough for several game, make a 1/144 Skirmish Game with 2-4 big models, a 1/144 wargame with infantry and tanks and a 1/200-1/400 game using full gundam armies)

Literally never seen this happen. GW does some select targeting of high volume commercial areas in the suburbs (malls and the like, and even then, its definitely upscale suburban, most major US cities don't have a GW store), but that's not where indie stores live and thrive. They can't afford to. Successful ones tend to be a couple rings further out in lower rent areas on the fringe. Or even further out on the rural/suburban divide.

Here GW has done different, the used the Indi Store to build up the Community, when that one was big enough they killed the Indi Store by adding restrictions on which and how much GW stuff they get and than they open a GW Store near location of the old store (the Indi Store might still exist but without GW products or only the very basic ones)

but very likely that their US strategy for stores is different


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 22:42:32


Post by: privateer4hire


Tyel wrote:
...At its core the major advantage GW have is that people play their games. Obviously they have stores themselves - but there is also a usually vibrant tournament and club scene covering a large part of the world..,.


This is the key. Even when GW were doing things very poorly you had pretty much the best chance of picking up a pick up game using one of their systems. It’s an inertia that’s hard to overcome.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/30 23:04:25


Post by: auticus


I think that its like WOW and MMOs. People play WOW because... everyone else does.

People play 40k and AOS because... everyone else does.

You have to be able to have a game that everyone else plays, where you can go into any store in the world and know you are going to get in a game against anyone.

Thats the main pull of GW games.

A new game would need as many players AND a world championship tournament scene to begin to even make GW itch a little in discomfort.

Not even the Star Wars games with the most popular sci fi IP of all time have been able to do that, albeit xwing has come close in its zenith days.

No one wants to go out, spend $500-$1000 on a miniatures army, paint it up, and then go down to their store and sit there by themselves or play the same 2 or 3 people forever because everyone else is playing 40k. That is a HUGE (and I think impossible) obstacle to overcome.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 03:57:04


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


That’s one reason I want to see more people treat tabletop games like board games: if you want to play, you supply a complete game. When I played BFG, I had to buy ships for multiple fleets to get my friends to play. My friends would buy other games that I could play with 0 investment.

The prices are also much smaller for non-GW games. You could make two forces with lots of options for Frostgrave for a lot less than $500. For $500, one can supply two or more factions for dozens of non-GW games. The fact you think people are investing $1000 per faction for non-GW games kind of baffles me.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 06:10:45


Post by: kodos


but this a reason why people still play the game no matter what GW is doing

because the invested 1000$ for something you can get for 50$ from another brand
if you no have spend 1050$ and only do not play the GW game, people feel like they have wasted the 1000$
while spending 50$, playing once and shelf the game is not a big deal compared to the 1000$

hence why boardgames and boardgame like tabletops are so popular right now, they are very cheap compared to other options (GW, PC Games, etc) and if you only play them once with friends you still feel like your 50$ investment mattered compared to a 70$ single player PC game that is played thru in one evening

also, because people are used to high GW prices, they see everything else that is cheaper as bad
because it must be, otherwise they would have wasted money if you get the same quality from someone else for less, and not taking about the models here but also the rules and colours (people say that GW colours are the best quality you can get and nothing else is coming close because they are the most expensive ones and even much cheaper artist grade high quality colours must be worse than GW and if you proof them wrong the argument changes to availability and if you proof them wrong again, they get angry and say they still stick with GW because they already have a lot and don't like to change)


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 08:53:24


Post by: Statistx


I think a big part is accessibility. Not talking about rules or anything, just that GW stuff is easy to get in most areas. They have solid shipping coverage, but they also have stores.
I'm in Austria, which is basically the ass end of availability for such stuff and still got 2 Warhammer stores around here.

If I look beyond the horizon at some other games/miniatures, they often come with huge shipping or take forever to get here. CMON for example even has their store region locked it seems, cause I simply can't access it and have to go through their distributor website, which doesn't have the same stuff available.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 10:48:29


Post by: Ketara


Treating this purely as a hypothetical business exercise:-

The core strength of Games Workshop's business model is that everything is in-house. Product development, to manufacturing, to the high street. Every step is controlled by them except owning the buildings the shops are in and the raw material production. And both of those things are easily replaced (leasing a building or sourcing another plastic derivative is not hard). In other words, they have an immense level of control which can be manipulated as best suits to meet whatever form of competition arises.

If I was going to compete with them, I'd need the backing of someone with deep pockets willing to pay to jump the steps below, or I'd need to have a profitable retail setup ready to go as a base (aka five plus stores of my own). Because there's no way I can compete without being able to market directly to the customers. I can always buy in other hobby product at first (it's how GW started). There are plenty of other companies out there, and FLGS's do well enough with good management. But I'd need to focus on that core retail base for the first step.

Assuming I've got my first five profitable stores, I can start working on my product and IP and set up a small design studio with the profits from the stores. Easiest way to do this would be to license something with mass appeal like Star Wars. But it would be easy enough to make a Battletech style game or somesuch with lots of expansion potential. Heck, I could do both. Again, Games Workshop did both back in the day. Cash flow is king at that stage, because the cash flow enables me to invest in my own IP and growing my store base. As my own product lines hit the shelves, I can then slowly reduce how many other ranges my stores are carrying in favour of my own lines. That's standard commercial practice in a lot of fields.

Now I've got five plus stores and a decent game out, I can start building the network effect. The more stores I have, the greater the customer base for my game. The real jump however, would be from turning my little studio which produces the game into a manufacturing hub. I'm clearly going to have to outsource initially, HIPS machines are not cheap. I could finance to borrow the money to pay for them, but I suspect that might chew up too much credit and cripple the business. What I'd really look for would be a business angel/seed investor at this stage.

Assuming past market trends have held, I could actually use Games Workshop as an example of the potential return for a partner. If I've got something like a dozen stores plus at this stage and a little studio and we're predictably in profit (however minimal)? I reckon you could sweet talk a partner with serious cash into funding the cost of the machines and factory. You'd have to surrender control of a good chunk of the company and corporatise, but you could do it.

From there, you basically turn into Games Workshop. You buy up a paint range company, slowly excise the remaining external product lines, pay off your investors, and so on. Next thing you know, you just turned fifty and your company is their number one rival. Congrats?

--------------------------------------------------------

Where most game companies fall down is taking the wrong way to build this. They're either nerds buying a job and so their retail store fails. Or they start with the wargaming company/IP, making them almost completely dependent on other parties to market/sell their product and produce the goods. This makes them one trick ponies. A good retailer can sell anything to turn a buck and a manufacturer can make lots of things for other customers. But a small wargaming company can really only sell what they can commission other people to make and market for them.

I should note that the internet has made it possible to do some degree of marketing on their own (hence the growth in model companies), but the minute they hit a blip? A bad edition, or a production stall? They're screwed. Whereas the retailer just swaps to something else profitable which they can get hold of. It's a business version of all the eggs in one basket, and the basket is very easily upset.

No, you either need to start from the manufacturing end (meaning you can produce plastic for lots of different other sectors) or the retail end. Starting with the wargaming bit in the middle is a surefire way to cripple yourself from the word go.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 10:59:47


Post by: Overread


This does raise the question about places like Troll Trader (Tabletop Combat) and Wayland games (Warcradle). Both of which have basically got stores doing the money rolling and then have bought out failing/struggling wargame companies that hit those "blips". Though it seems that they themselves have trouble getting things going in good speed (WC has spent what 4-5 years getting anything from Dystopian Wars and Spartan back on the market and would have only managed to just release at the start of this year if it were not for corona - though they have got plastic casting now as part of the process).

That said they do have the backing of stores for a steady income; they are not reliant on the games alone.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 11:22:24


Post by: auticus


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
That’s one reason I want to see more people treat tabletop games like board games: if you want to play, you supply a complete game. When I played BFG, I had to buy ships for multiple fleets to get my friends to play. My friends would buy other games that I could play with 0 investment.

The prices are also much smaller for non-GW games. You could make two forces with lots of options for Frostgrave for a lot less than $500. For $500, one can supply two or more factions for dozens of non-GW games. The fact you think people are investing $1000 per faction for non-GW games kind of baffles me.


Well because when I look at every wargame I've seen played, the cost for a full force is about $500-$1000 for a non skirmish scale game. Thats a pretty wide range but thats about what I see people spend. I'm talking 40k and AOS here, so the scale of those games matters to me in this discussion.

A game like frostgrave is more akin to warcry which I don't see much played at all. In fact I don't see most GW games played with any regularity, just 40k and to a side degree AOS.

Also people here don't buy models for other people to play games with. Thats cool that you all have that going but here we don't really do that. I don't know how common that is, since that isn't something I hear very often.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 11:22:36


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


Statistx wrote:
I think a big part is accessibility. Not talking about rules or anything, just that GW stuff is easy to get in most areas. They have solid shipping coverage, but they also have stores.
I'm in Austria, which is basically the ass end of availability for such stuff and still got 2 Warhammer stores around here.

If I look beyond the horizon at some other games/miniatures, they often come with huge shipping or take forever to get here. CMON for example even has their store region locked it seems, cause I simply can't access it and have to go through their distributor website, which doesn't have the same stuff available.


Also visibility.

In the U.K., GW dominate the high street scene. They’re typically just off the main areas, but not so far that you don’t get significant passers by. There’s apparently a marketing thing where 1% of people advertised to will buy your product (picked this up from Fact Fiend, so third info at best). And I’m assuming the same goes for passing trade.

So, if I’m right, the theory goes that one in every hundred passers by will drop in and buy something. How GW’s in-store demos might affect that will have to be picked up by someone who actually knows their onions here, but I can’t see it hurting.

And if we look at store layouts? When done correctly, your store should be fairly open spaced, with products facing out. This helps with clear visibility, and relative ease of shopping. The staff are trained to be friendly and welcoming, and able to show off the hobbies potential to would be customers. And, here’s the trick. You are not selling it to Little Timmy. You’re selling it to the Bringers of Cash, Little Timmy Senior & Little Timmy’s Mum. Because Little Timmy is already sold.

That’s then backed up with Beginners sessions, which parents are also encouraged to attend (mixed results, but hey). After a few weeks, and a few purchases of various goodies, you’ve got ‘em.

That’s one in one hundred passers by, theoretically.

The overall Beginners Sessions really are key. Little Timmy approves, and shows it off to Johnny, Jimmy, and Spazz. Little Timmy’s parents might discuss the wider hobby (creativity, mental arithmetic, patience, reading) with their peers, which can bring further new blood, especially in middle class dormitory towns like wot where I live.

Will all of them stay on as long as we have (31 years and counting)? Of course not. But, by having a built in gaming and social venue, a well run store, where no group of gamers is allowed to hold particular sway, can maximise involvement.

That formula hasn’t really changed since I got going. Friendly, welcoming space. Knowledgable staff, the stuff I want to buy (there on the shelf, or more modernly, the mail order terminals), and a place to actually do my hobby. It’s just been better refined in terms of staff training.

It’s also about as universal an experience as can be expected. Yes, some stores won’t be as good as others, but it’s still the same basic template. All under GW’s direct control, because the stores aren’t franchises.

FLGS? Some offer a genuinely better experience. Some are sadly pretty dingey and run down looking. They’re also, typically, harder to stumble across, so don’t get as much passing traffic.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 12:43:51


Post by: OrlandotheTechnicoloured


One other thing that having their own stores does for GW is it lets them gather data really fast and accurately on what works and what sells

We may well remember the idiotic Kirby comment that GW didn't need to do market research or words to that effect,

but looking at what is selling in their own stores, how fast, and in combination with what other stuff

GW releases a new faction, the Megarachnids as a taster, and Bobs Best Games releases Scary Space Spiders, both companies start with a unit and a couple of characters

Both get preorder data from individuals: very helpful, but people online and looking at for stuff are probably already fairly heavily involved in the hobby and are probably not where the majority of the money will come from (although they are important drivers)

both get preorder data from distibutors and independent stores, but this is far less useful as it doesn't represent sales, boxes may languish on shelves, or may move but only if discounted. If less is hitting the shelves that month maybe stores & distributors order more than they would normally, If there's a lot going on maybe they order less product than they really want as they're having to spread their cash around

But GW has a big advantage they get sales numbers from their own stores, how many boxes sell each day, do sales stall, are the growing as word of mouth spreads, are customers talking about them etc

GW will know months before Bobs whether the new faction is well received and worth carrying on the roll out with (and these new factions can stall even if well received if nothing new arrives for ages).

Without the direct data Bob's is doing far more guessing, and working a lot more slowly, maybe the faction is a hit but they don't support it fast enough, maybe it goes the way of the Fire Slayers and they've committed too much design and production time before they realise it and are in production for a not very popular wave 2 before they realise their player base isn't interested


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 12:48:44


Post by: Nurglitch


I think the best notion is to look at how GW started out, and then look at some of the decisions that made them big, like bringing plastics production in-house, bringing artists in-house, and lately leveraging that production capability to make games.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 14:03:00


Post by: Overread


Also don't forget a GW store staff member only has to sell GW products. No matter what he picks off the shelf to sell, he's promoting and selling GW products.


A 3rd party store has many many different product lines and types. From wargames to card to board to digital to anything else. As a result if you're relying on 3rd party stores then there's a risk that your stuff might not sell just because it "doesn't sell" whilst things that do sell already get more attention and focus.

That's why so many are heavily reliant on local representatives in the community to promote their game; because even a store that does like the game and does promote it, sitll has many competing brands on offer. Plus the main bread-winner might well not be that game (indeed we oft hear its card games). Whatever the breadwinner is that is going to get the lions share of attention and promotion.


Wargames typically take up a lot of shelf space for a slower turnover of stock; cardgames in contrast take up far less space and have a very high rate of product turnover.



Indeed wargames like Warhammer are actually quite an old business model of long term products. Consider that you can still use today generation 1 Space Marine models and they are not only legal in the game, they still stand up well mechanically. Sure you might have to change the base here and there; but by and large most things have kept valid. There's a few things lost and gained and a few change size (eg the old greater demons have jumped up to FW sized demons now), but even there conversions and counts as (eg old greater demon = demon prince).

In contrast card games cycle cards very fast - MTG cycles every year with a rolling block update system. Sure there's the format that allows you to use any cards, but that's a very different format - the standard limited format on the current blocks is what remains the most popular in most regions.

So not only does the product sell fast and easy but it also has a built in time limit; once past there's a new slew of products that the same customers want.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 14:16:56


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


It’s also worth noting that since they became Big, GW haven’t really dabbled in business borrowing.

If memory serves, the only time they’ve borrowed was during the post-LOTR slump, to provide a dividend to share holders. However, they may well have had some early years borrowing for tooling etc.

That’s really quite unusual in the modern day. And may not be easily replicable due to ever increasing shop rental and local tax costs. At least, not without it being done by someone who is already fairly wealthy.

Even just to get a decent number of plastic kits out requires a decent chunk of cash, whether or not you’ve got you’re own production facilities and blokes wot makes the molds.

GW are also in the best position to dictate the baseline of the industry. The bog standard. What satiscraptory might look like.

What do I mean by that? They’re the Ford of Wargames. By no means the cheapest, by no means the swankiest. But a widely considered middle ground.

If you want to compete, you need, at first, is do what GW aren’t, or find a niche and be better at it. If your sculpts can’t match GW’s? The market is very unlikely to pay GW prices for them, for example.

The difficulty there of course in the very modern day? GW have remembered they can grow as many thumbs are there are gaming pies. You’ve got mass battle, you’ve got skirmish, you’ve got dungeoneering, you’ve got dog fighting, you’ve got semi-deck building games too.

And in terms of market research, I dare say the obvious initial fault might be to listen to complaints about GW’s offerings alone.

Now, that is not a back handed “lol stfu complainers”. Many complaints are valid (Necromunda’s book cycling and poor proof reading etc). But you’ll also need to understand what it is GW are doing right in the eyes of the satisfied. Because you’re gonna need a fat old dollop of that, too.

Finally? Luck. In the internet age, there’s a lot of offerings out there. Some on Kickstarter, some from bigger names etc. This all means that you can have the objectively tightest rules set, the objectively nicest models at good price point, and still fail - because there’s so much choice out there.

Worse, and I accept this is unlikely...if you do start gaining traction, a half dozen malicious people with various sock puppet accounts can quickly spread negative reviews. (No i am not saying or implying this happens on Dakka).

GW are GW because when GW started? There was no GW. Citadel was sculptors creating models that could be used in AD&D. Eventually that was married to WHFB, which started out as a generic rule set usable with pretty much any Fantasy Figures - another way to use an existing collection. It took some time for Warhammer to become Warhammer proper. I’m not sure that path exists anymore, because of GW’s success an early, RPGesque focus on background and a narrative for your battles. It’s become expected by the market.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 15:10:28


Post by: Phobos


 Eldarain wrote:
Time machine.


This is the most correct answer in this thread.

GW became what they are due to a combination of timing, smart business decisions, and luck.

Rivaling them now while not impossible; would be a near insurmountable task.

Honestly the only way I could see it happen is if someone with Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos money got pissed at GW for whatever reason and decided to spend their fortune burning them to the ground.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 15:12:43


Post by: Overread


Considering that GW has seen their number of customers grow over the last few years with a big marketing push; tihs suggests that there's a greater market than that which GW has already tapped into.

The core issue is that its mostly only GW tapping into the market. So the designs, themes, concepts and branding are all GW. For a large majority (esp in the UK), GW is the gateway to wargames, esp for the larger under 20s market.


So there's actually loads of creative gaps that another firm could exploit and market too.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 17:23:13


Post by: Tyran


The issue is that it is going to be expensive and it will take time and luck.

So basically you need someone that can throw millions even if there is no guaranteed return of investment, specially not in the short term.

Basically you need a corporation and people that are willing to lead this project and potentially sink with it if it fails, and I'm talking only somewhat rhetorically, people could easily lose their standing in the industry for such failure.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 17:35:27


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


 Overread wrote:
Considering that GW has seen their number of customers grow over the last few years with a big marketing push; tihs suggests that there's a greater market than that which GW has already tapped into.

The core issue is that its mostly only GW tapping into the market. So the designs, themes, concepts and branding are all GW. For a large majority (esp in the UK), GW is the gateway to wargames, esp for the larger under 20s market.


So there's actually loads of creative gaps that another firm could exploit and market too.


Push hasn’t even been that big. Still no traditional advertising campaign, just a far better in-house push.

We may also be seeing the second/third gen thing, where those like myself that cut their teeth as kids, are now old enough to have kids the right to play (no kids on my behalf. Never been my bag).

Kids drag their Dad’s in, Dads rediscover an enjoyment of their youth, the rest is just profit and increased sales.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 17:43:35


Post by: Overread


True that's certainly taking place. So another firm advertising/marketing to a different or related crowd could indeed have room to grow without having to "steal/poach" GW's market directly.

Honestly I'd actually welcome that. I do worry that with GW bearing the brunt of advertising/marketing outside of the established; it holds the whole market back. Most of the other companies into wargaming rely almost entirely on GW customers leaving the GW ship; or at least being open to other games. It means any time GW does poorly the market rapidly expands and any time GW does well its a rapid contraction.

If we got a second or third firm drawing in more fresh customers it might create a bigger buffer pool. Of course the flipside is if there are two big names in town people might just jump between the two.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 18:49:18


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


Freely admit, too many pints in to properly reply right now


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 19:15:10


Post by: Easy E


During the Kirby days, GW left a lot of area for rivals to sneak in and grab a bite of the apple. In fact, they did by focusing on areas GW was retreating from with the closing of Specialist Games.

Mantic's Dread Ball= Blood Bowl
Spartan's D-Wars= Epic
X-wing= Aeronautica Imperialis
Frostgrave= Warcry/Mordheim
War Machine= Kill Team/Necromunda

Then, GW smartened and decided to build strategic loyalty in brand. If you wanted to play at a different scale, they have it in house with Titanicus and Apocalypse. If you wanted skirmish, they have it with Warcry and Necromunda. If you wanted a sports theme, they have that now too.

Now a days, there are not a lot of niches that GW has not sunk their tentacles into. That makes it harder for a competitor to sink their own teeth into an underserved market and give themselves a platform to grow upon.

If GW keeps up their current strategy and expand into a BFG and EPIC range, they will have sucked all the opportunity for a competitior to "start small" and grow big.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/08/31 19:23:41


Post by: Nurglitch


There's a considerable amount of off-brand imitators out there though. Heck, I started Titanomachina about 9 years ago to hop on that bandwagon. Fortunately by the time I was scooped by the new Adeptus Titanicus it had mutated into its own thing, but still.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 00:10:59


Post by: AesSedai


A lot of these takes rely on a newcomer trying to beat GW at its own game. I see 3d printing as eventually redefining the entire space. Beat GW to that punch and anyone stands a chance to dethrone them.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 00:21:20


Post by: insaniak


3D printing will eventually change the retail landscape quite significantly, although I feel not until the process is significantly simplified... but is difficult to monetise, and doesn't do anything to get people actually playing your game.

Ultimately, what a new company needs is people playing their game. The gaming community (at least in scifi/fantasy gaming - historical gamers seem to be more brand agnostic) has always been reluctant to try new things, by and large. Nobody wants to invest in the new game until they see that everybody else is playing it, which is a bit of a catch-22.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 00:39:31


Post by: Overread


 insaniak wrote:
3D printing will eventually change the retail landscape quite significantly, although I feel not until the process is significantly simplified... but is difficult to monetise, and doesn't do anything to get people actually playing your game.


At the same time whilst you can buy a really good printer, most people still use bookbinders and printing services. In fact even though the price of top end printers has come down somewhat; in general most people use their home printer for printing casual stuff. If they want to spend money on it they tend to keep using normal printing services.

I wonder if 3D printers might end up the same. A small handful buy ones that can actually do pro-end stuff; whilst the masses get ones to cast a cup or bowl badly and the operator still has no idea how to remove the mould lines or to fix basic issues (how many people get confused on how to do toner or clean the head in their paper printer). I feel like 3D printing is going to make some big differences, but perhaps not the ones people think.

Also I agree its very hard to monetise, especially if you want to be more than 1 person designing 3D models. That's a market that seems to work; but much beyond that I don't think is easily possible. I can't see a firm as big as GW easily running off customers buying 3D print files from them. I also see issues when production is left in the hands of the customers.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 01:55:03


Post by: insaniak


Yeah, the Patreon model seems to be working for some freelancers and small mini companies, but I can't see it scaling well. The bigger you are, the bigger the risk in relying on what is essentially a subscription service.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 02:39:39


Post by: ced1106


Maybe 30+ years ago, I watched Magic the Gathering take over the CCG market, and I'd say there are similarities with GW.

I also play boardgames, so have a contrast between them and Magic.

Essentially, WH40K and Magic are "lifestyle hobby games":
* Those who play "lifestyle hobby games" will only or primarily play these games.
* Those who play "lifestyle hobby games" need to pay a high investment (eg. $100+) to competitively play the game, although less expensive casual entry points exist.
* "Lifestyle hobby games" often have a non-gaming component (eg. painting, collecting and trading) that involves their audience outside of the game.
* "Lifestyle hobby games" typically have heavy company support, in the form of tournaments, store events, prizes, etc.
* "Lifestyle hobby games" often have a rotation of product, retiring older purchases. Players are expected to make continual purchases.
* "Lifestyle hobby games" typically require a community of players to play the game.

Contrast this to boardgames:
* Boardgamers play multiple different boardgames.
* Most boardgames need only one copy, owned by the owner, to play with.
* Most boardgames do not have a non-gaming component, although may have a BGG forum for strategy discussion.
* Most boardgames do not have company support, other than maybe an internet representatitve. Some, like FFG, have demo kits.
* Most boardgames are a single purchase that can be played indefinitely, with addtional purchases (eg. expansions) typically optional.
* Most boardgames don't require a community of players for the game, although general gatherings to play boardgame exist.

D&D and Pathfinder are something of a middle ground. They certainly require a community of players who play the game, and are willing to schedule it even into their working lives (eg. a biweekly campaign). Paizo, the company behind Pathfinder, even has company support for game events at game conventions. However, they don't have as much of a non-gaming component. While RPGs can be expensive (eg. a D&D Player's Handbook is $50) this still doesn't compare to WH40K and Magic purchases.

Should mention that chess and shogi, and are also "lifestyle games" but don't have some aspects of "lifestyle hobby games", such as painting, and collecting. While sports are often played casually, serious players will treat them as a "lifestyle games", spending a fair amount of money on equipment and training.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 03:50:01


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


I feel like the big box board games that started on Kickstarter straddle the line, or even cross over. For example, the Shadows of Brimstone community on Facebook is really active, and people seem to be really into it in ways other than just playing the game.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 07:40:26


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


 AesSedai wrote:
A lot of these takes rely on a newcomer trying to beat GW at its own game. I see 3d printing as eventually redefining the entire space. Beat GW to that punch and anyone stands a chance to dethrone them.


Issue for would be competitors is that GW has millions in cash reserve to throw at that problem.

GW Branded Printers. Possibility of uniquely programmed “one and done” STL files. GW branded filament. All little ways that GW can command that market by flexing their brand and cash reserves.

And it’s the branding that matters. To a newcomer, it’s a sign of assurance that specific printer is suited to producing the detail typical of GW’s sculpts. That the filament is the right sort etc.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 08:46:10


Post by: Overread


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
 AesSedai wrote:
A lot of these takes rely on a newcomer trying to beat GW at its own game. I see 3d printing as eventually redefining the entire space. Beat GW to that punch and anyone stands a chance to dethrone them.


Issue for would be competitors is that GW has millions in cash reserve to throw at that problem.

GW Branded Printers. Possibility of uniquely programmed “one and done” STL files. GW branded filament. All little ways that GW can command that market by flexing their brand and cash reserves.

And it’s the branding that matters. To a newcomer, it’s a sign of assurance that specific printer is suited to producing the detail typical of GW’s sculpts. That the filament is the right sort etc.


I can see it now - legions of geeks arguing over the best brand of filament and printer; lamenting that GW's printer is good, but their filament is overpriced.

The big issue I see is that the first hurdle in a new hobby is the buy-in-price. GW has worked on pushing that down, but going the pathway of high end 3D printers pushes it WAY up. Even if 3D printers became a home item chances are many would have a lower grade made for printing basic household items not high definition models. So chances are it would remain a high bar of entry. Granted it could end up like computer games, whereby the average home PC to surf the net and do emails isn't enough, but its easily justified to get a higher end machine for gaming.

That kinda depends on a massive 3D printing revolution to happen. Somehow I feel that specialist goods like models will be on the back end of that rather than the front end; even if model making is currently a front-end part of the market.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 08:56:34


Post by: insaniak


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

Issue for would be competitors is that GW has millions in cash reserve to throw at that problem.

GW Branded Printers. Possibility of uniquely programmed “one and done” STL files. GW branded filament. All little ways that GW can command that market by flexing their brand and cash reserves.

And it’s the branding that matters. To a newcomer, it’s a sign of assurance that specific printer is suited to producing the detail typical of GW’s sculpts. That the filament is the right sort etc.

Remember when GW used those vast resources to release their own army builder software 15 years or so ago?

It didn't exactly set the world on fire.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 08:59:20


Post by: Not Online!!!


Honestly, GW feels sluggish on occaision.
Probably precislcly becuase they are so large and domineering .

Exploiting that is possible, but difficult.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 09:02:13


Post by: Statistx


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
I feel like the big box board games that started on Kickstarter straddle the line, or even cross over. For example, the Shadows of Brimstone community on Facebook is really active, and people seem to be really into it in ways other than just playing the game.


I'd say if they consistently offer expansions, miniatures and other goodies, boardgames can tap a little bit into the other aspects too, just look at Kingdom Death.
You got an expensive base game that obviously still sold like crazy and they regularily offer up expansions and miniatures that are counted among the best, at least see it in a lot of suggestions threads for non-GW minis.
If they'd also offer less crazy priced versions, they could expand a lot, but that's a different philosophy


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 09:14:10


Post by: Overread


Not Online!!! wrote:
Honestly, GW feels sluggish on occaision.
Probably precislcly becuase they are so large and domineering .

Exploiting that is possible, but difficult.


The problem with a big business is its a bit like an oil tanker. It's got vast wealth and vast potential and vast resources to do stuff. But at the same time its a huge moving object that can't quickly change course without dumping vast amounts of that wealth in one big go.

GW moving into 3D printing and changing the whole design of their company would be hard; they've got long term staff expecting to move up and retire casting plastic; designing sprue, working the machines, packing etc... They've got machines, distribution, factories etc... Their whole system is built to run a certain way. A massive shift that might well result in them having almost no factory production and cutting out a huge number of staff and resources is a big change. It's the kind of change you want to put off because you hope you can push through and not have to basically rebuild the company into a new system that, who knows in 3 years could totally change again.

Newer firms can muscle in during these changing moments, they can take the risks because to them it doesn't matter. They have to take a big risk anyway to get into the market so they can either risk it the traditional way or the new way. If they get it right they might just rise up and overtake the big name; get it wrong and they fall to the side.




We saw this with cameras. Kodak was vast and powerful in the film era. When digital game along they didn't jump in with both feet, it was too different; too big a change and back then it wasn't even superior to film. It was a novelty but distinctly not as good a product at the end. Other firms did, they made big investments, took the risk and the digital got better in a very short span of time. Suddenly the market shifted and digital overtook film. It still wasn't technically superior, but it was digital, it was instant, it was computer based. Today Kodak is a shadow of its former self and has given away the market lead to Canon, Nikon and Sony.

GW could go the same way or perhaps the 3D printing revolution never happens. Heck we can remember that in the 90s VR was going to take over the world, yet it never did. Even today, 30 years later, its still not really taken over gaming. It's far more stable than it was and its seeming that it will settle down into a steady growth within the market; but it never rose to dominance like some predicted 30 years ago. Same with 3D TVs they had a huge amount of noise made about them a few years back, yet it never really translated into an actual change. Perhaps we've another 30 years before 3D printing becomes a household thing. OR heck who knows perhaps there's a huge push against plastics and 3d printing falls to the side as household good start being made of more green and long lasting materials.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 09:14:25


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


 insaniak wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

Issue for would be competitors is that GW has millions in cash reserve to throw at that problem.

GW Branded Printers. Possibility of uniquely programmed “one and done” STL files. GW branded filament. All little ways that GW can command that market by flexing their brand and cash reserves.

And it’s the branding that matters. To a newcomer, it’s a sign of assurance that specific printer is suited to producing the detail typical of GW’s sculpts. That the filament is the right sort etc.

Remember when GW used those vast resources to release their own army builder software 15 years or so ago?

It didn't exactly set the world on fire.


True, but army builders are an oddity, insofar as they’re useful, but not essential. If I’ve got my books, I don’t need army building software.

Of course, that changes in the tournament scene. TO can dictate a specific one to be used, to better ensure list accuracy for hundreds of participants. Helluva lot easier to check too.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 09:33:11


Post by: Not Online!!!


 Overread wrote:
Not Online!!! wrote:
Honestly, GW feels sluggish on occaision.
Probably precislcly becuase they are so large and domineering .

Exploiting that is possible, but difficult.


The problem with a big business is its a bit like an oil tanker. It's got vast wealth and vast potential and vast resources to do stuff. But at the same time its a huge moving object that can't quickly change course without dumping vast amounts of that wealth in one big go.

GW moving into 3D printing and changing the whole design of their company would be hard; they've got long term staff expecting to move up and retire casting plastic; designing sprue, working the machines, packing etc... They've got machines, distribution, factories etc... Their whole system is built to run a certain way. A massive shift that might well result in them having almost no factory production and cutting out a huge number of staff and resources is a big change. It's the kind of change you want to put off because you hope you can push through and not have to basically rebuild the company into a new system that, who knows in 3 years could totally change again.

Newer firms can muscle in during these changing moments, they can take the risks because to them it doesn't matter. They have to take a big risk anyway to get into the market so they can either risk it the traditional way or the new way. If they get it right they might just rise up and overtake the big name; get it wrong and they fall to the side.


We saw this with cameras. Kodak was vast and powerful in the film era. When digital game along they didn't jump in with both feet, it was too different; too big a change and back then it wasn't even superior to film. It was a novelty but distinctly not as good a product at the end. Other firms did, they made big investments, took the risk and the digital got better in a very short span of time. Suddenly the market shifted and digital overtook film. It still wasn't technically superior, but it was digital, it was instant, it was computer based. Today Kodak is a shadow of its former self and has given away the market lead to Canon, Nikon and Sony.

GW could go the same way or perhaps the 3D printing revolution never happens. Heck we can remember that in the 90s VR was going to take over the world, yet it never did. Even today, 30 years later, its still not really taken over gaming. It's far more stable than it was and its seeming that it will settle down into a steady growth within the market; but it never rose to dominance like some predicted 30 years ago. Same with 3D TVs they had a huge amount of noise made about them a few years back, yet it never really translated into an actual change. Perhaps we've another 30 years before 3D printing becomes a household thing. OR heck who knows perhaps there's a huge push against plastics and 3d printing falls to the side as household good start being made of more green and long lasting materials.



This is preciscly my point, however i'd like to add to that, that GW has room for competitors allready, basically, GW is in many regions extremely dominant, in regards to TG. However, f.e. over here, during 6th and 7th, they shattered the backbone of the local scene through a combination of nutjob prices and terribad rules, and suddendly alot of other games showed up. to the point that they now that the scen is overall more healthy.
GW is, to a degree relying on their hegemonial structure, sometimes ignoring to their detriment the rules foundation and models.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 15:17:01


Post by: Slipstream


I've enjoyed reading this thread, although I feel there is too many negative comments about needing lots and lots of money. I may have a solution(especially because of the current world situation), it may be simplistic but it has possibilities. First I will say this;
Somewhere out there in the world(maybe even someone reading this thread) someone may well have created a brilliant set of rules, with a workable backstory full of ideas. It comes under the law of averages, it has to exist. So, if you have what you think is a brilliant ruleset tell us about it!

Here's my idea;
It always comes down to funding, instead of trying to do it all yourself spread it around. If you have a ruleset that you can't fund why not speak to figure manufacturers? You could go to them saying you want to publish this ruleset but have not got much in the way of funds, if they can help fund the publishing you will allow them to create a faction for the game. Now it may seem unrealistic with just one manufacturer but if you go to other companies also(each one making a different faction) then in theory you could have a game up and running with multiple factions ready to go on day one. Later funding could be done by issuing licences to new companies (for a fee) who wish to participate, that way you could have a stream of new releases on a regular basis with each company able to concentrate on their one faction without trying to cover all factions.

This is just an idea, thinking out loud, so to speak.

But! With the world being very different now, many companies are going to have to rethink how they do things to survive. If someone manages to create a wargame that can rival or better the current leaders, surely it would make more sense to risk it rather than create a small line of minis that have no link to any other game or system? Why not invest on something that may well be the next big thing?

Again, simplistic, but many things are created from simple basic ideas.
Like, don't like. Just think about it!


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 15:34:05


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


Overhead, you do realize that 3D printing at home isn’t the future, right? It’s the present. Check out the BFG FB group; people buy $150 printers and then print out fleets that cost $1000 at retail. Dudes with printers sell the ships for half the original retail price and build up print farms with the profits.




Automatically Appended Next Post:
Slipstream, we’ve all been hoping for years that the smaller companies would pool their resources together and designate one or two rule sets as the “unofficial” rule sets of non-GW gaming.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 15:57:47


Post by: Tyran


BFG models are kinda old and crap for a game that hasn't been supported for decades.

While 3D at home is a thing, and if you are good enough and have a 3D printer good enough you can print current GW miniatures, it still isn't cheap on money nor on time.

3D printing isn't a threat to GW, not yet.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 17:19:52


Post by: kodos


 Overread wrote:

The big issue I see is that the first hurdle in a new hobby is the buy-in-price. GW has worked on pushing that down

no, they have constantly pushed it up
by increasing the game size and the price of the models, the only "cheap" entry are board games and those are an entry to the "GW-Hobby" and not Wargaming

so adding a 3D Printer to that range, were you enter the "GW-Hobby" with a board game and up buying a 1000$ Printer to print your own GW models


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 17:44:48


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


Guys, a printer like an Ender can cost as little as $100, and can print out enough terrain to fill an entire table for maybe $60 in filament. That puts it in direct competition with GW’s new push for terrain. With YouTube videos and helpful threads even on Dakka, setting up the printer takes only about as much time as assembling the GW terrain would take. You can paint pieces as you print more. The savings on terrain alone pay for the device.


As for BFG being dead...it isn’t, now that people are printing whole fleets. GW dropped the ball and they’ll have a hard time recapturing that market.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 17:53:43


Post by: Nurglitch


I get stuff 3D printed for me by a friend, and he charges very reasonable rates, but I don't see 3D printing ever taking over from mass-production. It's like expecting home-printing to take over from full offset printing.

There's quality issues as well as cost issues. Again, I like the 3D prints I get, but damned if I don't miss the ease of working with GW plastic and admiring their design work.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 17:55:09


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


BFG is (sadly) not a current line. So it’s a hard sell to me as proof that 3D Printing is the end of GW’s current business model.

Better to look at current games, and try to extrapolate from the info we reasonably know, what percentage are 3D printing their armies.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 18:16:31


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


I’m not arguing it’s the end of GW, but I do feel like GW’s constant price hikes and price trolling will push more people towards 3D printing rather than competing miniature companies.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 18:26:41


Post by: Turnip Jedi


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
BFG is (sadly) not a current line. So it’s a hard sell to me as proof that 3D Printing is the end of GW’s current business model.

Better to look at current games, and try to extrapolate from the info we reasonably know, what percentage are 3D printing their armies.


Like I've before I think terrain will be the first victim of the 3d-apoc, full armies are still a ways off as whilst the tech is there it needs a prod to get it to i-wotsit mass use simplicity and even GWs latest push to use of branded offical terrain will just result in 'game standard' .stl files popping up in short order, unless GW try to IP basic shapes, and even the low end machines can knock that out to a passable level


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
I’m not arguing it’s the end of GW, but I do feel like GW’s constant price hikes and price trolling will push more people towards 3D printing rather than competing miniature companies.


Id like this to be true but despite the intertubes being a thing for a while people still display woeful lack of curiousity, although if 3d printing becomes a regular part of IT teaching at school thatll help


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 18:41:32


Post by: Overread


 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
Overhead, you do realize that 3D printing at home isn’t the future, right? It’s the present. Check out the BFG FB group; people buy $150 printers and then print out fleets that cost $1000 at retail. Dudes with printers sell the ships for half the original retail price and build up print farms with the profits.


Aye but last I checked print farms are not as good for global mass production as a plastic injection moulding system.
So at some point either GW has to turn all its stores into mini-production facilities or the customer has to pick up the tab. The other aspect is that I was more talking about the mass market rather than the online hobby niche - where even here not everyone has a 3D printer. They are still somewhat exotic - getting more common, but not commonplace.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 19:08:03


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


I know eff all about 3D printing capabilities, so take the next with a healthy dose of salt and be mindful of my admitted ignorance.

I’m not trolling, or other wise being deliberately obtuse. In other words? I’m not picking a fight.

But we’re all familiar with GW’s terrain, yeah? It’s incredibly modular, and no floor need be glued to the next, giving it serious flexibility. ]
Yes each upper floor needs to be smaller in footprint than the other, otherwise it looks proper daft.

Example, picking the largest and most expensive offering from GW as the range stands?

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Sector-Imperialis-Basilicanum-2018

£65. Not cheap by any stretch. But having bought two? A most excellent kit.

This is three stories high (oh gods I probably sound like wrestling no-mark Enzo Amore). It has seriously impressive statutes. And if, like a sensible person, you don’t glue the floors to each other, makes for at least three useful pieces of one story terrain (the one story being the ground floor).

Now for my admitted ignorance. I know that 3D printers can screw I t up. And that it takes time to 3D print.


Genuinely open question to those with 3D printers that have tried similar files? How long did it take to print? What sort of clean up time was involved? Did it print with similar modularity? If it was modular, did the components sit neatly with each other?

Super serial open questions. Only caveat being that my own filter is “lazy with decently deep pockets, and really enjoys building kits”


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 19:22:30


Post by: insaniak


 Turnip Jedi wrote:

Like I've before I think terrain will be the first victim of the 3d-apoc, full armies are still a ways off as whilst the tech is there it needs a prod to get it to i-wotsit mass use simplicity and even GWs latest push to use of branded offical terrain will just result in 'game standard' .stl files popping up in short order, unless GW try to IP basic shapes, and even the low end machines can knock that out to a passable level

I think we're likely to see the MDF terrain start to shrink in the not too distant future... while it can be very pretty, it's fiddly and time consuming to make it so, at least working solely in MDF. The convenience of injection moulded plastic terrain will keep it relevant for a while yet, though.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 19:39:03


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


 Overread wrote:
 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
Overhead, you do realize that 3D printing at home isn’t the future, right? It’s the present. Check out the BFG FB group; people buy $150 printers and then print out fleets that cost $1000 at retail. Dudes with printers sell the ships for half the original retail price and build up print farms with the profits.


Aye but last I checked print farms are not as good for global mass production as a plastic injection moulding system.
So at some point either GW has to turn all its stores into mini-production facilities or the customer has to pick up the tab. The other aspect is that I was more talking about the mass market rather than the online hobby niche - where even here not everyone has a 3D printer. They are still somewhat exotic - getting more common, but not commonplace.


I’m not talking about GW production. At all. I’m talking about something on the consumer end that will bring down demand.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 21:20:42


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


But how much demand?

GW’s customers come in great numbers.

To make a significant dent? What percentage will go the 3D route, and assuming GW offer a legit 3D printing route? What fraction might strap on that wooden leg?

Music industry (eventually) adapted. Why can’t GW follow suit in some manner?


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 21:22:59


Post by: Azreal13


Because generally speaking the solution to piracy has been shown to be a reasonable price point.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 21:58:27


Post by: chaos0xomega


As someone who works in the 3D printed tabletop products business, its not really very profitable (as in - profit margins are good if you don't assign a cost to production time) and doesn't scale very well. 3D printing might hurt GWs margins, but its not going to put them out of business, and no company running a print-at-home product line is going to get as big as GW in my lifetime - theres major technological hurdles that need to be surmounted before thats a feasible possibility, but those technologies are generally regarded as antithetical to 3d printing hobbyists (i.e. DRM, proprietary file types, license term enforcement, etc.).


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/01 22:15:22


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
But how much demand?

GW’s customers come in great numbers.

To make a significant dent? What percentage will go the 3D route, and assuming GW offer a legit 3D printing route? What fraction might strap on that wooden leg?

Music industry (eventually) adapted. Why can’t GW follow suit in some manner?


It depends. When someone starts showing off pictures of GW-style printed terrain on a large (unofficial) FB group, there will inevitably be people who ask where he got the terrain, who then print their own or sell printed terrain. So far, 28mm terrain is not close to critical mass for this. However, some more price hikes or much-loved OOP terrain boxes would shove a bunch of customers into the world of 3D printing. We’re seeing a lot of options appear in the News and Rumors subforum; the more options that exist, the more likelihood a customer will find a set too good to pass up because it’s cheaper and cooler than the goofy skull gates or whatever latest thing.

I doubt GW will adopt 3D printing before it’s too popular and widespread to co-opt. They will probably fight it, though, the same way they fought against Chapterhouse.

It depends what you mean by a serious dent, too. GW has doubtlessly lost market share they could have kept, but they are so adept at capturing whales and honeymooners thT they are making money hand over fist. If GW released a plastic terrain set that looked exactly like an empty coffee tin with space marine icons glued to it, it would still sell out in an hour. There is a significant chunk of the customer base who will buy only GW.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/02 18:36:59


Post by: Nurglitch


It seems absurd, but GW is very adept at creating a sense of ownership and buy-in to their products. I stopped playing over a year ago, but I'm still painting up my backlog and chatting on GW-oriented forums. It's surprisingly difficult to quit cold-turkey.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 05:12:58


Post by: ced1106


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I know eff all about 3D printing capabilities, so take the next with a healthy dose of salt and be mindful of my admitted ignorance.


No, I think you're part of the answer why 3D printers aren't (yet) going to take over miniature production.

Some of you may have noticed that paints, and boardgames (as well as arts and crafts and scrapbooks) aren't computers. Yet, videogames, photoshop, youtube, social media, etc. clearly shows that computer hobbies are certainly out there. I'd posit that some hobbyists with non-computer hobbies are entirely uninterested in a 3D printers because 3D printers (as well as apps for boardgames, which are even easier to use) are more on the computer side of things than non-computers.

As others have said, owning a printer doesn't mean you're not buying books or that you're making your own cards for gaming. We'll have to see how well 3D printing replaces conventional shopping in general to see its affect on the miniature games hobby.

Technology usually goes through three phases: Enthusiast, Business, and Consumer. The Enthusiast is willing to learn all the intricacies and pay good money for a new technology. Business has the money, and makes this technology more commonplace. Consumer wants something cheap and easy to use, and only cares about how the technology can improve their lives, not the technology itself. Often, Enthusiasts confuse the Enthusiast phase for the Consumer phase, because they don't understand how little interest or tolerance a Consumer may have for a technology.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 05:26:19


Post by: BobtheInquisitor


I don’t play video games and can’t stand ebooks. But I’ve printed out a bunch of spaceships and tanks.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 05:54:18


Post by: gungo


The only way a company will topple GW is with innovation and making GW obsolete...

Say for instance someone created a neoprene game mat with sensors imbedded within that can read NFC chips that are placed into the bases of the minatures...

Then create a tabletop game simulator that allows that player to play anyone in the world.

Moving your minature allows the player you face to see the minature move on thier simulator.

Something like this will topple GW... kinda like how blockbuster disappeared because people stopped renting moves from a store.. GW will exist as long as the market exist in its current form.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 08:01:36


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


gungo wrote:
The only way a company will topple GW is with innovation and making GW obsolete...

Say for instance someone created a neoprene game mat with sensors imbedded within that can read NFC chips that are placed into the bases of the minatures...

Then create a tabletop game simulator that allows that player to play anyone in the world.

Moving your minature allows the player you face to see the minature move on thier simulator.

Something like this will topple GW... kinda like how blockbuster disappeared because people stopped renting moves from a store.. GW will exist as long as the market exist in its current form.


That would be an interesting development for sure. But, and this is a question asked out of my own ignorance, could that technology be solely proprietary? Would it involve entirely custom chips based on unique designs? Because of not, what would be there to stop GW just churning out their own version?

My thinking here is that NFC stuff is pretty common place. Amiibo, Contactless Payment, my work security pass, radar keys for disabled toilets etc are all very common place examples of NFC usage. Could such an implementation be patented to the point that anyone else using it has to pay you a license fee? And, given how hard it is to crack into the wargames market, could you get it out in sufficient numbers to recoup what is, ultimately, a cost in addition to those involved in TTGs?

Because GW have pretty deep pockets. If you’ve sunk millions into your company to develop this ace sounding product (and it does sound ace!), and hit the financial skids? Someone is going to come and buy up, whatever is left?


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 08:26:30


Post by: Skinnereal


Like this?:
https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/778078.page


CMON and Xplored are teaming up to bring players the next evolution in board gaming. Teburu is a gaming console that seamlessly integrates the physical and digital worlds, keeping players focused on the board and its components while the system takes care of game rules, enemies’ behavior, and storytelling events.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 09:16:50


Post by: Turnip Jedi


Half and Half games are the worst examples of wishy thinking and wont be any kind of threat to GW, the odd app for boardgames, like the Cthulu one, are about as far as the idea needs to go.

The only threat to GW is if folks start dabbling in other games but as has been pointed out their retention-fu is strong and a constant influx of new players currently makes heratics like me largely irrelavent


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 09:24:48


Post by: tneva82


gungo wrote:
The only way a company will topple GW is with innovation and making GW obsolete...

Say for instance someone created a neoprene game mat with sensors imbedded within that can read NFC chips that are placed into the bases of the minatures...

Then create a tabletop game simulator that allows that player to play anyone in the world.

Moving your minature allows the player you face to see the minature move on thier simulator.

Something like this will topple GW... kinda like how blockbuster disappeared because people stopped renting moves from a store.. GW will exist as long as the market exist in its current form.


That solves your army. How would you see where opponents models are? Computer screen? Then that's not really different to say tabletop simularor except more clumsy...


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 10:26:40


Post by: Overread


I can't see that being as popular as you think because in the end all you'd see for your opponents units is a square/hex on the board highlighted with a circle representing the base. It loses the interaction of a physical game and isn't really as fast to process, play nor visual as a digital game. It's sort of stuck between the two.


Now I could see microchips in model bases being a thing, but the trick would be how the information is working in the game and it would likely rely on very tight links to a good mobile app to function. Even then you'd still likely have to keep turning to the app to plug in basic data (eg wounds).


Honestly I'd see something like holographic games being more of a threat; rather than clumsy hybrids of digital and physical products.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 11:06:52


Post by: Theophony


Distribution and availability of a decent product everywhere at a reasonable level with rules that are clean. Having a set style and an easy entrance to play point is also key.

Mantic has the rules, but they shot the retailers many years ago and are trying to get them back now, which is a hard battle to fight. Plus they keep playing around between plastic, metal and resin/plastic. There is no uniformity even within their ownstyle.

Infinity has too much for me to look at, it's visually overwhelming and my painting skills don't do it justice. Cost to enter is also higher.

I never played Privateer stuff, but they switched material and the rules I heard went to gak.



What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 11:24:43


Post by: auticus


Rulesets don't matter. Rules largely don't matter to the gw crowd. Its the experience. The social experience plus the fact their investment is safe by such a massive player base.

The rules have been a trash fire forever and they still bring in new players because everyone else is playing it.

The best ruleset in the world by another company won't change that.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/03 12:23:16


Post by: kodos


 Theophony wrote:
Plus they keep playing around between plastic, metal and resin/plastic. There is no uniformity even within their ownstyle.


it is not playing around but trying to get a full range of miniatures for all factions without going bankcrupt.

one thing they learned over time was that people want a full range of minis for their faction but they cannot afford to do everything an HIPS and it takes time to get stuff
yet Resin and Metal is made in house, so easy for them to make and add parts/models the people are asking for which would be too expensive and too slow in HIPS

remember, the fiasco of the first Basilean Men at Arms happend because KS Backers demanded that the models need to be delivered fast and not "good" (Speed over Quality)


FFG has a similar problem, a lot of people won't start until the factions are a complete range, having Options to chose from in each slot and not just core models and commanders
and they also struggle to bring everything in HIPS (for Legion) and keep stuff in stock

they have chosen a more save starting point by rules coming with the models so people are not missing something as they don't know what is there, except for the obvious (like Legin having an oprative slot but no model yet, people know that something will be there)


it took GW years to get HIPS manufactored in house, others don't have the luxury and need to work with different materials


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/05 02:13:48


Post by: ced1106


gungo wrote:
Then create a tabletop game simulator that allows that player to play anyone in the world.


Well, it's already being done on TableTop Simulator...

Spoiler:


Also found Warhammer Online, although it's an MMORPG. I'll let others discuss WH40K in videogames...








What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/05 07:18:27


Post by: TheBrushKnight


Recruitment of new players is the key. Forget rules quality, miniature price points, production methods etc. The tabletop hobby needs new blood constantly which means new never been involved before hobbyists.

Until another company has its own stores no one in miniature gaming will threaten GW. Warhammer's competition is PlayStation, Xbox, smartphones, any other hobby/trend for young people's time and money.

Yes people often 'graduate' into other game systems, manufacturers and versions of tabletop gaming. But it was GW that put a brush and dice in their hands and opened the portal from the wallet to the pile of shame. Speak to historical gamers of a certain age and they will often have similar stories of starting with airfix. Shift down the generations and GW becomes the universal story.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/05 10:29:48


Post by: Overread


Aye and with airfix/Revel sort of out of the general lime light these days (along with Meccano); that leaves GW taking a lions share of the "hands on creative" hobbies outside of arts and crafts and the mature lego lines.

In fact of all those games only Lego and GW have really persisted in any strength at the younger end of the market; and of that part of Lego surviving was marketing itself out to the movie tie-in industry side of things.

Many of the other hands on hobbies are all limited to a more mature market, which is fine for now whilst nostalgia rules, but it leaves them with far less youthful recruitment and a ticking time bomb that their market is continually going to shrink. I can see companies like Hornby having trouble in years to come when they've no youth to replace the older generations.


Historical games are much the same, though because they sort of cross over with sci-fi adn fantasy games they can at least expect to get some from GW's massive recruitment of new gamers. But, again, there's no massive marketing drive to get people who are not already wargamers/modelmakers into the hobby.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/05 13:42:23


Post by: TheBrushKnight


If you look at the history of hornby etc and the number of times they've been bought and sold as a company it really shows how little profit there is in it. It would have been entirely reasonable for GW to have been bought up at some point in the last 20 years when it wasn't doing so great. Hasbro would love to get they're hands on it.

Totally agree with the point about hands on hobbies. So much of it now rides in the wake of GW and it really should be recognised.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/17 21:14:12


Post by: thegreatchimp


This is a great thread


For me personally:

1. Miniatures: Decent quality figures I rank this ahead of rules quality only because the models are usually the most expensive element of a game by far. If the rules are bad they can be fixed, you can use different ones or create your own. If the models are bad...

2. Rules: Ideally both fun and pseudo-realistic. I personally love highly tactical rules that make the course of a game seem like a feasible battle on some level (whether its fought with spears or railguns). I don't enjoy games with an over-reliance on synergies and buffing, or excessive randomness for things that shouldn't be random, e.g. units running. Compactness is also vital -the core rulebook and army list book should cover everything, with optional campaign books.

3. Lore / Background: Not essential (for games that are intended to be more generic), but if its rich and fascinating, painting and gaming will be more immersive and enjoyable, not to mention reading into it. I still follow the 40k universe despite having being disenchanted with the game itself a long time.

4. Factions: Distinct, well-balanced factions that handle differently. A decent variety of units, loadout options and upgrades in each. If 40k is excessive in the regard, many newer games like Warpath suffer from the opposite.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/18 01:17:27


Post by: Phobos


TheBrushKnight wrote:
Recruitment of new players is the key. Forget rules quality, miniature price points, production methods etc. The tabletop hobby needs new blood constantly which means new never been involved before hobbyists.

Until another company has its own stores no one in miniature gaming will threaten GW. Warhammer's competition is PlayStation, Xbox, smartphones, any other hobby/trend for young people's time and money.

Yes people often 'graduate' into other game systems, manufacturers and versions of tabletop gaming. But it was GW that put a brush and dice in their hands and opened the portal from the wallet to the pile of shame. Speak to historical gamers of a certain age and they will often have similar stories of starting with airfix. Shift down the generations and GW becomes the universal story.


This is very true in many ways.

Lately however (at least in America), it is Wizkids with the Nozlur range and Reaper with Bones that are putting brushes in peoples hands.

Now that I think about it; if Reaper set their minds to it they could become the GW of America - they produce their paint and minis at their Texas factory, and they have a (albeit mostly defunct and neglected) set of wargame rules. Hire Alessio at Riverhorse to breathe life into them, invest in a plastic injection machine and it's off to the races. They certainly could open their own stores in major American cities. However I don't think Ed wants to deal with what that would mean.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/18 08:37:30


Post by: Overread


Reaper are big, but they seem to be happy being the "odd model" company and "RPG" supply company. They don't seem to have as much desire to be a wargaming company. I figure that they've got their niche and they feel that they make more than enough in that niche that they don't need to go "fighting" for another market.

A great part of their power is also appealing, esp with Bones, to the RPG and casual market who really don't care about models in the same way as wargamers. It's really interesting to see how powerful GW made "The Hobby" elements in their marketing because DnD models can be perpainted, a bit on the cheap side, often happy with just a white undercoat etc... And some might only see use once or twice if ever.

On the flipside they could have gone full "Kingdom Death" with highly detailed customisable player characters and such. But DnD isnt' interested in that kind of investment and Reaper and such are happier making characterful character models instead of complex customisable ones.


What would it take for another table top game company to rival GW @ 2020/09/18 09:11:55


Post by: kodos


GW changed the models aspect from pure gaming aid to be a modelling hobby as well

you see more and more GW models on scale model communities and there also the price is not a big problem (as you don't need an army)

but it also changed how Wargames care about their model

it is a pure marker on the table, a cardboard cube on a round base with a name tag on it will tho the same job as well as a 40€ model
yet the wargamer says the model needs to be the best looking available and does not care about the price
even if it only gets a terrible paint job and you want care about the high details as soon as you start playing

gaming models need to look good for the game, hence most R&F models look boring and miss details on the individual models as the important part is that they look good as regiment in formation from the distance

Skirmish models come with individual poses for each as you don't want 2 similar models in a 10 models game

and GW is the in the middle, using large amount of models in a Skirmish like games, yet already a 5 model squad as double poses that need a lot of work to change them
and people at the same time do not care about it because you need such a huge amount that double poses won't matter anyway on the table but the models also need to be as much detailed as possible

so there is no chance for someone like Reaper to get into the GW market
they could to Wargames but not for the GW customers as those want to have scale models to play with and not just game markers

Lokking at Mantic, those tried to sell "Markers" to GW clients and the main complain was that the game is bad because the models don't look as good as GW ones do
people rather paid 10 times the amount of money for a worse game than playing a game with "bad" models

and the funny thing is, the best selling Mantic games are those that attract different costumers
Deadzone and Walking Dead are considered Boardgames and Wargames/TableTops by a lot of people and this is reason why they sell