While literally scrapping your universe and rehashing your entire back-story seems a drastic measure, there are financial reasons why GW
has to do it. I've seen it written many times that the entire fantasy line was making GW
less profit than the Space Marine range of 40K
. Think about that, you own a company that produces plastic models, and to design/create plastic molds, books, accessories, package and ship your product costs you the same amount of resources, but your customers continue to heavily favor the 40K
range. This means that the alternating releases of fantasy/40K
stuff are alternating periods of vastly different profit made by the company. I ask you, what sane company would continue to go down this road? This necessitates change, and the way I see it there are 4 options to change:
Scrap the entire range, put all fantasy kits on wholesale prices, cut your loses and focus heavily on 40K
releases. That is the fastest way to lose your customers, and a sure-fire way to waste all the resources invested into the new fantasy models which were coming out quite regularly even before the end times. I think we should rejoice that they are not simply going in this direction.
Leave the fantasy range in perpetual 8th edition and only produce enough models to stock the direct order warehouse. This would allow players to continue gaming as they did before but would be a slow and painful death to the game as it is no improvement over its current stat, which is no good.
Release a new 9th edition with all new codicies for every army available, make balance changes, reduce the number of units needed to play in order to lower the entry price point, and hope that all these sensible changes make the game more-appealing to your target audience. I think this is what most people are hoping for, but this is a huge gamble for GW
. Imagine how much it must cost to produce all new books, rule sets for all 15 armies. Not to mention this strategy would further bloat the range as they would need to make more models, more new units, or create more armies in order to sell their shiny new models. As far as they are aware, new models were not selling well before, so adding even more options and having to keep a much bigger warehouse stock is a huge gamble in the uncertain future of the franchise. I definitely believe that WHFB
has been bloated to an unsustainable size for years, with too many army choices which saw updates way too infrequently.This is why I don't believe GW
are going in this direction.
Scrap the current lore/meta/armies and condense it all to the best selling/most recent models of every range. Create 4-6 well balanced armies which use a variety of units from the old ranges, while also needing to fill their ranks with brand new shiny models. Make the game more like your successful skirmish range as that has been shown to sell well, and even if the fantasy players are unhappy with it, if a big enough number of 40K
players cross over to play both systems it makes it financially viable. Introduce this change in a series of "end times" books and releases which are a publicity stunt to soften the blow of the transition between old and new fantasy warhammer. Continue to produce new models to create more relevant, modern fantasy esthetic to lure new/younger people into the hobby. If this all fails, at least you sold a whole bunch of models and took a chance at it. This to me seems to make the most sense, it's an entirely practical decision from a company which is facing more competition than ever in the industry and an ever diminishing customer base. While I like many of you am not a fan of it, I can easily see why they are doing it.
It seems to me in order to survive as a system and to make profit by appealing to both veterans and new players, the new fantsy game must, must have a way to be played which allows for potentiation, so that it is just as viable at 200points as it is at 2000. If a kid can play games with his $30 box of troops choices intead of having to invest an ungodly $200-$500 before a game is even viable then they would have done a good job.