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Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

The problem was Warmachine grew up with the PG system. Most game clubs were used to their PG organising and running events, setting things up and the PG had a vested interest and encouragement to keep recruiting new people.

When PP dropped the system they destroyed their best and most powerful recruitment and retention system - esp for people at the casual end of the game.

It cut all those people loose and left them to wander into other games and try out other things.



They need their PG system back. They don't have the money that GW does to invest into marketing in the same way; heck their IP isn't even half as strong to attract major game developers in the same way that 40K and Warhammer have.




PP needs to market themselves better, they need outreach and they need to realise that as they don't have their own highstreet shops they need to bring back the PG system in some form to help grow the local scene once more. Otherwise they are competing with others and if GW is pushing hard (Which are they are) then 3rd party stores are more likely to push warhammer over PP products and have no loyalties (save their own interests) to push PP products over others.

So if a 3rd party store sees their Warmachine game failing and their Warhammer growing they are going to drop one stock and invest in the other - in fact PP vanishing is possibly not bad for a3rd party store because it means less to stock, less to shelve and they've still got wargamers buying wargames.




Also it wasn't just that they dropped the PG; they also dumped their forums and community interaction. They dealt a huge and rather insulting blow to possibly their most keen and enthusiastic members and fans.
PP doesn't need an AoS situation as the lore and models (save for questionable plastic material choice) aren't the issue - the issue is their outreach and recruitment and retention of players.

I agree that they panicked when the Wizards situation came up, but they also didn't realise that Wizards weren't going to dump their judges system. Wizards realises that its critical to keeping their game going; otherwise Yugio or another card game can easily push and muscle in if there's a loss of local vested interest in keeping MTG the only big game.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Sure Space Wolves Land Raider Pilot



Schaumburg, IL

I get why they dropped their PG program. They probably did get legal advise telling them they were vulnerable and while most PGs wouldn't have even thought to sue the company, it would only take one disgruntled PG to get the company in hot water. They should have replaced it with something though.

The website makes no sense to me. For a company that ported their entire rule set to App form, killing the social online interaction just is really confusing. I have no idea where to go for a discussion that has more than a handful of posts a day. At first i thought that they might be thinking of building it into their App, but that hasn't happened. I feel like they have no connection to their customers right now. They just put out product and we are expected to buy it. They have such a huge potential with their base but it seem like they are just pissing it away.

I'm not prejudiced, I hate everyone equally 
   
Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider





Yep dropping the PG scheme seemed a little knee-jerk, I'm sure getting some legal advice and concocting some kind of waiver for PG's to sign, yep they might have lost some, but some is a lot less than all

"AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Azeroth wrote:
I feel like they have no connection to their customers right now. They just put out product and we are expected to buy it.


They do a lot with YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Twitter these days. There's actually a ton of personal (often times a little too personal....) interaction with the players on those platforms. More and more it seems that's where the discussion for most game systems is going; even if that discussion seems substantially worse. To that end, I get moving away from the forums, but I do think they're really neglecting their webpage. It is one of the few that hasn't transitioned into a pure store front, but its definitely not getting the attention it needs either.
   
Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






Back when they were hot there was a local game web page that was the central location for all gaming in the area but a majority was warmachine.

Then all the mass changes and the owner decided to kill it and move everything to social media.. The new group is slow growing and did have a lot
of activity at first but now there is just a few posts a month.. rarely any kind of meet up..

On the other hand the X-wing group took a big hit after the new edition but still very active.. just looking at those changes means something is going
on in the community that needs attention.

I am an ex warmahine player, the reason I got out and sold my stuff was the local group was dying. Every time I looked for new players I was met
with WAAC players that would curb stomp me without blinking. (No just friendly games) Then GW got their act back together and was releasing
some really nice figures again.

If they brought back Press Gangers buy giving them pre release stuff and or a free subscription to their loot crate as payment. With the understanding
they are fully volunteering; I think that would really help to have a standard bearer that would welcome new and causal players instead of finding the
random player and hope he is not a

 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

XWing has the bonus that its Starwars - that franchise is near invulnerable! It's lasted and lasted like almost nothing else in the geek world - heck even in the film world its lasted longer than almost anything else without a remake.

It's had dips over the years, but its never fully gone away at all.




A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Sure Space Wolves Land Raider Pilot



Schaumburg, IL

 Genoside07 wrote:


If they brought back Press Gangers buy giving them pre release stuff and or a free subscription to their loot crate as payment. With the understanding
they are fully volunteering; I think that would really help to have a standard bearer that would welcome new and causal players instead of finding the
random player and hope he is not a


That is the problem with what Wizards ran into and the reason the PG were killed off. Legally, you can't "pay" PGs if they are volunteering. You can't "pay" people with product and not have them classified as an employee (which then leads to payroll taxes and such). This is the dilemma. You also aren't going to get the PG support if they were total volunteers and weren't given anything. It doesn't matter if they "sign" something. Companies can't skirt wage laws. PP would have to actually pay people and at the very least hire them as contractors. But that has its own legal requirements.


I'm not prejudiced, I hate everyone equally 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Honestly volunteers don't need much. A newsletter, some preview info, a community website to exchange ideas and info with each other and a store discount.

They could also bundle it like a PG passes the test to get approved and then pays an annual fee for the privilege of being a PG. A nominal fee that gets them a discount (which would easily cover the fee with a few purchases) etc...

Im sure there are ways to have a working volunteer system with benefits that can bring the PG structure back into play.


PP needs it, without it there's just no local pressure to keep their game going above all others on the market. When you've got a PG in the area they have a vested interest in keeping the game going. When you've no PG then one week everyone might decide to try out Infinity.


You can bet that if GW didn't have their own stores they'd have a similar system in place!

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Painting Within the Lines




Seattle, WA USA

 Overread wrote:
Honestly volunteers don't need much. A newsletter, some preview info, a community website to exchange ideas and info with each other and a store discount.

It isn't a matter of what they "need," but what the law is. And in Washington state at least (where both WotC and PP are located), you simply cannot volunteer for a for-profit company. "Volunteer" work can only be done for non-profits. Which means they have to do some kind of compensation for whatever you do, and it must be reported to the IRS.

Now, that doesn't mean you have to make them full-time employees. You can make them independent contractors with 1099 forms. And you don't have to pay them in cash, it can be products, but the value of those products have to be reported.

Can you allow people to work as unpaid volunteers?
Some employers have asked if they can utilize volunteers in their business. This question can especially pop up when a business is in a start-up mode, and has limited funds.

It can be tempting to entice volunteers with the promise of later payment or stock options down the road after the business takes off. Sometimes a job seeker will even suggest to a business that they work as a volunteer, in the hope that they’ll gain some valuable job experience, or that the work they do as a volunteer will ultimately convince the company to hire them.

While it may be tempting to get free labor, it is against the law for a for-profit business to utilize volunteers! You must at least pay your employees minimum wage. If you allow an individual to work directly or indirectly on behalf of your business, or permit them to do any work for your business, they are your employee, and you must pay them for the hours they work.


From: https://www.westsoundworkforce.com/compensation-in-washington-state-what-every-employer-needs-to-know/

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/12/14 22:59:13


 
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

Then the question is, are they actually working for the company?

A lot of Youtubers and Twitchers get paid through Youtube and Twitch to do content for someone they are not being paid by, such as all the WoW streamers.

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
Made in us
Painting Within the Lines




Seattle, WA USA

People aren't "volunteering" for YouTube, Twitch, etc. If anything, that's closer to Uber and Lyft, where people get money for doing a service that's brokered by the company (which does take its cut). Nowhere on YouTube's TOS does it imply you're "volunteering" for them.
   
Made in ca
Three Color Minimum






 Valander wrote:
People aren't "volunteering" for YouTube, Twitch, etc. If anything, that's closer to Uber and Lyft, where people get money for doing a service that's brokered by the company (which does take its cut). Nowhere on YouTube's TOS does it imply you're "volunteering" for them.


If you're an advertising partner on YT, then you are not a volunteer at all. Everything you make from advertising is reported to the proper tax agencies, and you are required to claim it.
Not once was I asked to report my 'income' for being a PG, nor was the value of it recorded.

But it's flat out wrong to say I volunteer for YT, when my advertising earnings are reported to the CRA.
   
Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

 Valander wrote:
People aren't "volunteering" for YouTube, Twitch, etc. If anything, that's closer to Uber and Lyft, where people get money for doing a service that's brokered by the company (which does take its cut). Nowhere on YouTube's TOS does it imply you're "volunteering" for them.

But they aren't being paid by Activision Blizzard to stream World of Warcraft or Bethesda to stream Fallout, etc. You are looking at the wrong person for the example in question. A better example might be Ubereats or Grubhub, but only if you volunteered to take the food over and then reported it to Ubereats/Grubhub/etc after you picked it up and delivered it.

Even then, a lot of people voluntarily create the YouTube content first then post it hoping to be paid for it without any initial expectation (though there is hope) of monetary compensation. Sometimes someone reports it and it gets demonitized. That makes work that was volunteer at the time of creation was then left unpaid.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/12/15 01:30:08


Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
Made in us
Painting Within the Lines




Seattle, WA USA

 Ghool wrote:
 Valander wrote:
People aren't "volunteering" for YouTube, Twitch, etc. If anything, that's closer to Uber and Lyft, where people get money for doing a service that's brokered by the company (which does take its cut). Nowhere on YouTube's TOS does it imply you're "volunteering" for them.


If you're an advertising partner on YT, then you are not a volunteer at all. Everything you make from advertising is reported to the proper tax agencies, and you are required to claim it.
Not once was I asked to report my 'income' for being a PG, nor was the value of it recorded.

But it's flat out wrong to say I volunteer for YT, when my advertising earnings are reported to the CRA.
Right, I know you're not volunteering for YT. That's my point. If anything, it's more of an independent contractor or partner type relationship.

There are ways that PP could have dealt with the PG program, but for whatever reason they decided not to. I don't have any insight on that since, well, I'm not an insider.
   
Made in us
Revenant Pirate Crew






From what Ive heard, the PG program wasn’t dropped because of the Wizards thing, that was a coincidence. The program had simply gotten too big and unwieldy for them and was eating too many staff hours and they were still constantly behind on it.

 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

 AduroT wrote:
From what Ive heard, the PG program wasn’t dropped because of the Wizards thing, that was a coincidence. The program had simply gotten too big and unwieldy for them and was eating too many staff hours and they were still constantly behind on it.


If that was the issue then they really shouldn't have dropped without bringing something else in to replace it - even if in part. I can well understand a small team getting overwhelmed with an international system; but to drop the ball and not replace it within a few months is worrisome.

Considering that they've also dropped their physical magazine and started doing these big stock clearance deals and also things like minicrate I wonder if the finances at PP are in a bad spot right now. Maybe they invested too much in the wrong direction or have built up mounting debt. A fair few of their recent polices and ideas do seem to be lining up to maximise profits heavily and reduce held stock and other elements.

They are still going strong, but heck companies can fold in a moment without warning (Spartan Games was part way through shipping their successful kickstarter and running another one that was doing, well but not blazingly well, when they suddenly upped and closed doors)

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Revenant Pirate Crew






I do worry about their future. They’ve been pushing hard to try and cut out distributors and have stores buy direct. They’ve been selling more direct themselves when they used to pledge only thru FLGSes. There seems a constant shortage of product with MonPoc, new release day for two of the factions and the local shop only got one of each, leaving half a dozenish unfulfilled preorders to add to the existing waitlist for the starter boxes that never come in. PP has also had a couple/few of their staff leave at once here recently, which one report I heard had at least one of them leaving because they didn’t get a raise after a couple years working there.

I hope they Don’t go away, if for no other reason than I’m really enjoying MonPoc mkII so far and want more of that, but really I wouldn’t be surprised if they suddenly “pulled a Spartan”.

 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I hope they recover and get stronger, I think they compete well and provide a counterproduct to GW. Offering a generally higher grade of rules and also a competing brand. That does us good in the market because it keeps GW on their toes somewhat.

Sadly most of the other games on the market have their niches but are often very niche. Even some that make outstanding mdoels are still trapped in a niche; whilst many are kickstarter wonders - they release a vast bloat of models onto the market; but fizzle out and lack the resources and market power to actually make it into mainstream and survive.

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Made in us
Second Story Man




Astonished of Heck

From what I understand, things are going strong. Monsterpocalypse has been selling well, and that's part of the reason for the big batch sales, they needed the warehouse space.

Whatever the behind the scenes reasons were behind dropping PG, their official ones were associated with the Wizards case, I thought.

As for the mag, the periodical print medium has been largely falling behind for some time, though I am rather surprised they didn't go with a pure digital subscription model for it.

Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Megavolt wrote:They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.
 
   
Made in us
Revenant Pirate Crew






I don’t recall them ever Giving an official reason for dropping the PG program.

 
   
Made in us
Painting Within the Lines




Seattle, WA USA

 AduroT wrote:
I don’t recall them ever Giving an official reason for dropping the PG program.
Yeah, I don't recall an official statement either way, either. Which, honestly, I think hurt them that much more. I do know a few former PGs that said they really didn't get much notice about it, either, and not a lot of explanation beyond "it's time to end this program" kinda thing.

Monpoc seems to be moving, at least to stores. My regular store has a bunch on the shelf. But that's all I've seen: it sitting on the shelf. I haven't seen anyone playing it, and I haven't really noticed any major changes in the stock on the shelves. Granted, completely anecdotal, but just an observation.
   
Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






I agree; there was nothing outside of a few "rumors" from ex PG but most linked it the the wizard lawsuit.


 
   
Made in us
Drakhun





Eaton Rapids, MI

There was the "official" letter that was sent out to the PG's that was of course then put on the internet for all to see. However, it was full of platitudes and thanks for your time kinda stuff.

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Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Just as another data point, the store in Dublin seems to be clearing out it's stock. They were an early adopter of the game, and where I was first introduced to it back in Mk1, and had a very healthy scene going on for years. I got all my original minis from them.

Went back there this christmas and was poking around looking to see if they had any stuff, and they seem to be down to two shelves of boxes which it does not look like they are restocking. The clam pack stuff seems to be completely gone. Dungeons and Dragons minis and more GW stuff is in the space WM-H used to have, which was pretty much an entire wall.

The shop I visit when I am in Northern Germany was in a similar situation - obviously running down stock with no restock. When I spoke to the guys running the shops, they said it was a combination of the range requiring way too much space to stock and playerbase disatisfaction leading to lower purchases.

Looks to me like all those folks predicting the death of GW for so long might see what they expected to play out actually happen to Privateer Press. At least here in Europe it does not seem to be going very well.

A close friend plays on the ETC team for WM-H and he says the game is great as a tournament game still, but acknowledges that the current meta is not very new person friendly.

   
Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






Yeah.. simple economics .. a product not selling will soon loose shelf space.. Same reason a burger place might not sale salads.. If it doesn't sale why keep it around.

Also agree that with the press gangers gone there is a less chance meeting someone that want to show you the ropes.. or at least take it easy until you get your footing..

One of the other things is.. I am a very neutral miniature collector.. If I see something I really like, don't matter for what game or company, I will buy it. In the recent year

PP hasn't released anything that made me say.. that is a really nice figure, I need to go buy it..

 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

My problem is recently a lot of their "oh cool" models have been minicrates!

I think PP has lost their way a bit, I just hope they find their way back! They did so much good in pushing for more serious rules and such that I'd hate for it all to just vanish. Plus they were and still could be the most major competitor for GW and GW needs that - they need someone else (or several) to share the market.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in us
Revenant Pirate Crew






I will say I do Super love Monsterpocalypse and that game seems to be doing well. Had our first tournament here today with eight players participate and a few adopters to the game I know who weren’t able to make it due to scheduling conflicts.

 
   
Made in us
Sure Space Wolves Land Raider Pilot



Schaumburg, IL

 AduroT wrote:


They are still going strong, but heck companies can fold in a moment without warning (Spartan Games was part way through shipping their successful kickstarter and running another one that was doing, well but not blazingly well, when they suddenly upped and closed doors)


While any company could fold at any time without knowing their financial situation, Spartan Games and PP are way different cases. Spartan did not support their game at all. All they did was release new product and constantly make drastic changes to their garbage rules. They didn't even run tournaments at the large cons. They also constantly released completely new game systems and then all but forgot the previous ones they had released. PP has been around for 15 years and they survived the large recession, I'd be very surprised they'd fold anytime soon considering the economy is doing well.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/12/31 23:04:44


I'm not prejudiced, I hate everyone equally 
   
Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider





still think they need a pay some attention, as whilst the cross-over between GW / PP is minimal there is still the risk of bleeding players to the 'only game in town' effect as even a good game is next to worthless if you can't play it relatively locally

"AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED." 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

The way I see it the big key to remaining viable is having a high chance of local games.

With Games workshop games you can pretty much assure yourself that most clubs will have a 40K scene and will likely have an AoS and might well have one or more specialist games. That doesn't mean everyone plays all those games every week ,but that within the group you've got gamers who cater to all and you can organise and setup games or even events.
GW helps reinforce this by having their own stores which guarantee playing their own games - there is variation, but in a general sense walk into a GW store you can play a GW game

Privateer Press helped ensure this via their pressganger system; it meant that there was one person who has a vested interest and drive and support in running local games of Warmachine/Hordes. Remove that and there is no one on the front line promoting it. This leaves it in a risky position as even casual collectors/players can be turned away because they'd have to do the PG "job" without any of the support nor even community to back them up at large or as a single organised effort.


You can see in many many other game systems how spotty they are in support at the local level. At the extreme you've got the 15mm and similar scale games which are almost totally reliant on a tiny markets of super keen people (at least that is my impression for fantasy/scifi ranges).



PP needs to realise this otherwise they run the risk that they'll retain a tournament scene here and there; but by and large will start to bleed gamers and, most importantly, they won't be recruiting new ones to replace those they bleed. At best htey will slip back like the others, where it becomes increasingly spotty as to where you can get a game, which discourages people from collecting and getting started.

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