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Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
It’s TV and potentially Cinema that are GW’s next big frontier. Over and above bringing new Nerds to the physical table? There’s a goldmine to be had there if they get it right.

Sadly, that’s always a big If. We all know full well you can turn out an impeccable film or TV series, only for it to fail. Equally, you can get lucky with low quality tripe (Friends and Big Bang Theory being my examples, other opinions available) repeatedly phone in, and have a multi year money making machine.

GW just needs to capture the zeitgeist somewhat.


Yep, thats why i've started investing in GW heavily. The 40k IP is a largely untapped goldmine, and I suspect Age of Sigmar in 20+ years time will be too. Like everything, its a gamble, but I think within 5-10 years 40k could be a household name like Star Wars or Game of Thrones the way things have been going the last few years.

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I’d venture that GW’s luck can be summed up as follows.

When they’ve made bad decision, it’s been more or less The Right Time. Example - LOTR bubble burst, leading to quite serious restructuring across the board. All of it just in time for the 2007 global crash.

And when they’ve made good decision, it’s been at the most opportune times - PP and FFG’s horrible decisions came just as GW pulled the stick out it’s butt.

That they’ve then been able to go on to exploit that sheer luck is just a bonus,


I don't disagree, but GW has been so consistent with their timing in these things that I struggle to put it down entirely to luck.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/06/08 14:34:08


This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider





Still a bit baffled by Aeronautica,skimmed the rules and watched a few youtube, struck me as just good enough to stop folks wandering, but even that is a kind of progress with GW,should have been BFG mind but as Bob pointed out in the reprint thread .stl files for everything exist and even with a low end printer churning out a passable fleet would be easy as the ships were functional at best

"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
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

 harlokin wrote:
I would also include WFRP. It helped immerse fans into GW's ecosystem, even if they weren't parcularly into wargaming.

Similarly, I think that the various 30K/40K novels do much to inspire loyalty in GW's setting.


I was going to mention the novels and setting, too. Right around the time that Dawn of War came out, the main hooks of the setting shifted from somewhat obscure to very common knowledge. Warhammer 40k terms and slogans were used with familiarity on every gaming and sci fi site. BL books were outselling Star Wars and D&D books in shops like Borders. GW essentially made a “core sci fi franchise” out of itself. Once a property gains that kind of exposure and emotional investment in sci fi fandom, it’s going to have a dominating position against properties that don’t have thousands and thousands of adoring fans no matter how bad the reboots become.

   
Made in gb
Fully-charged Electropriest





 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I’d venture that GW’s luck can be summed up as follows.

When they’ve made bad decision, it’s been more or less The Right Time. Example - LOTR bubble burst, leading to quite serious restructuring across the board. All of it just in time for the 2007 global crash.

And when they’ve made good decision, it’s been at the most opportune times - PP and FFG’s horrible decisions came just as GW pulled the stick out it’s butt.

That they’ve then been able to go on to exploit that sheer luck is just a bonus,


The reason for them not suffering the crash is very simple - they carry no debt whatsoever. It's unusual for a company of their size, but all their operations are managed through cash, there's no borrowing or constant overdraft or anything else, so they're a lot less subject to big shocks like a recession than other retail businesses. It's an absolutely mental way to run a company by conventional business wisdom but it does give them a unique level of protection against that kind of risk.



“Do not ask me to approach the battle meekly, to creep through the shadows, or to quietly slip on my foes in the dark. I am Rogal Dorn, Imperial Fist, Space Marine, Emperor’s Champion. Let my enemies cower at my advance and tremble at the sight of me.”
-Rogal Dorn
 
   
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Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






True, but when poop really hit the fan, they’d downsized a fair amount.

Had both hit at the same time, who knows what might’ve happened?

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Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I suppose its mental by modern business because if anyone smells money others are ready to muscle in super fast and copy-cat the same product/service. So you almost have to take out loans to expand fast to corner the market.

GW never had that risk because miniature wargaming, even today, is really niche. It's just not got the mega-bucks nor mass market appeal to make it a massive earner that would interest bigger firms investing into it. You'd never see the likes of Sony suddenly dropping millions into their own company overnight.


So GW was allowed to grow in a more traditional slower manner without the need for fast investment and loans to promote that fast growth.

   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




Smart business decisions were certainly a part of it, but I wouldn't argue these were 'symptom', rather than 'cause'. They were smart enough and 'on it' enough t make the right decisions and 'ride the wave'.

I would argue their 'market force' is the wave itself. Warhammer is this uniquely British 'thing'. And I don't think it's strange that it originated here rather than the us or Germany or France or wherever. model making has always kind of been a thing here. After ww2 it was airfix kits for planes etc, so the notion of buying 'somethings', putting them together and painting them, is a little bit ingrained in the culture to begin with. Dare I say it, it's something almost 'normal'.

As an ip there is something enthralling about the gw-verses. I think it touches on something timeless and primal in us in that it's a physical 'art', it's social, and it relies on the 'theatre of the mind'. In ways, I can imagine a Bunch of Greeks or romans doing something similar with clay figures when Caesar was conquering Gaul. 40k (and the old wfb) were brash, it's loud, it's over the top, it's silly, it's vibrant, is cheerfully nihilistic, its familiar and at the same time delightfully twisted and oh so charming and dapper and compelling. There's not a single unique thing in it but it's composition of 'all of the things' is unique, combined with a little bit of black humour, gallows humour and british wit, it makes it something quite charming and endearing. You can't describe it in the end. 40k is 40k. Just like Star Wars is Star Wars. There is a reason folks have been drawn to the 40k-iverse in its various media for over thirty years now.

It's just a little spark of magic that gw ran with and were smart enough to make the right decisions (well, more or less!) at the right time.

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Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






They also make and effort for their products to be accessible.

I once dabbled in Celtos, a Fantasy Wargame. The models were pretty cool, and it had a strong Slaine aesthetic.

Sadly...the rule book was printed with pale lettering on white paper.....in a ‘Celtic’ type font. It made for tricky reading, and gave me a headache more than once. So I gave up trying long before I’d learned the basics.

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[DCM]
Scheming Archon





Between the sacred silence and sleep.

Both 40K and The Old World feel like settings that evolved for their own sake, with more expansive lore than than would today be deemed necessary to host a skirmish game. That, for me, is a big part of the appeal, and I'd have no confidence in GW being able (or willing) to design anything like that from the ground up again.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/06/08 22:17:10


Kabal of the Mon-keigh's Paw - 2500 pts

"Death is only a concern if you're both weak enough to be killed and dumb enough not to arrange your own resurrection." PM713
 
   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

That’s a good point. World building is a time consuming, difficult task for a game designer (or anyone, really). There are a lot of settings that have been heavily invested in without any success, and most games don’t even bother in the first place. It still astonishes me how much effort and good fortune GW trashcanned when they blew up the Old World.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/06/08 19:10:19


   
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The Daemon Possessing Fulgrim's Body





Devon, UK

Jes Goodwin.

We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't. - Frank Howard Clark

The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!” Professor Brian Cox

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Overread wrote:
I suppose its mental by modern business because if anyone smells money others are ready to muscle in super fast and copy-cat the same product/service. So you almost have to take out loans to expand fast to corner the market.

GW never had that risk because miniature wargaming, even today, is really niche. It's just not got the mega-bucks nor mass market appeal to make it a massive earner that would interest bigger firms investing into it. You'd never see the likes of Sony suddenly dropping millions into their own company overnight.


So GW was allowed to grow in a more traditional slower manner without the need for fast investment and loans to promote that fast growth.


They essentially got that kind of loan, just in the form of a large cashflow injection from both public investment and the Lord of the Rings line. It's a huge part of what allows them to have the internal infrastructure to have the freedom to do business on their own terms. A lot of the issues we're seeing with other companies have to do with distribution and manufacturing issues that GW largely has the resources to handle themselves.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

GW still had many things like their own factory and plastic casting machines before LotR though that certainly helped provide more capital for them to invest into it.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Stonecold Gimster






GW (citadel) were there making fantasy minis at the time Fighting Fantasy and D&D hit the UK. Right place, right time. That took them to the top of that niche amongst the kids of the time.

They've stayed there since. Seemingly moving from a gamer friendly run organisation, to a near cult-like monopoly running to make vast profits for shareholders. Those kids are now in well paid jobs happy to pay silly money for the products to ensure their investment remains valid and the nostalgia is there. Except GW are now neglecting the same type of kids from this generation that got them into their high position decades ago.

My Painting Blog: http://gimgamgoo.com/
Currently most played: Silent Death, Beyond the Gates of Antares, Dracula's America, Bolt Action, X-Wing 
   
Made in us
Powerful Phoenix Lord






I think a big thing to consider is that GW was started by some proper geeks. I mean, real, serious geeks. Business was fledgling, but the feel up into the mid-90's was that you were buying stuff from real fellow geeky gamers, etc.

The level of lore/geekness in the earlier editions really captured a lot of peoples' imaginations. When it hit the right stride they finally converted that passion over into a business-first entity and it clicked.

Compare that to companies starting up now, trying to mimic GW, etc. A lot of properties are as cold and business-like as GW's current stuff...without the groundswell of proper geeky fanboyism that set the stage for GW's success.

 
   
Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






It helps that GW still have Jes, Jervis and John, so much of the sheer geek love for the system continues to this day, heading up various departments.

Meet & Greets show the same for the rest of the Studio crew. Just, see if you can grab a chinwag with them earlier in the event. They’ll be fresher, and you questions less likely to have been asked already

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Fixture of Dakka




UK

I think a lot of the start-up companies we have now still have geeks in charge or at least as the powerful creative force behind them. The problem tends to be they are one or two man bands. So they never have the time.

They can't do all the art, and the lore and the models and run a business and do production all at once. Plus a good number cannot do business. Once the numbers start to get serious they can quickly come unstuck - success (especially fast success) can be the undoing of a good number of them. Overloading them with too many orders whilst lacking the financial backing to properly expand to meed demand. Which can often net them chasing golden eggs - new games or new armies or such which stretch their resources even thinner with the hope that they can turn enough fast profit to invest back into the core game/product. Though often as not sadly it just overloads them even more.


Spartan Games did this time and time again until they imploded which was a huge shame as they and Dropfleet/zone were about the only serious names in their group. Dropfleet/zone nearly imploded as well until TTC stepped in to take charge of the business side.



Indeed when you look at it many of the larger successful miniature companies that have grown almost need to do just what GW did - have a store and body of retail products outside of your miniature game to provide the steady income and investment money to then plough into your miniature game and to prop it up both at the start, but also as it expands.

   
Made in us
Leader of the Sept






The problem with TTC is.....they are almost a non entity when it comes to it.
Its always is met with....who?
Its sad, HWG had a really good game, made another good game,
and now dropzone is dying a slow death, which is sad because for awhile it was looking to possibly be the 3rd game right behind warmahordes. But everything floundered.

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Fixture of Dakka




UK

I think they hit rock bottom when the KS overwhelmed them - which basically stalled growth.

I think TTC has potential to take it further - though they really should just call themselves Troll Trader Combat I agree more people have heard of the ebay store than the game end of the company.

I think Dropfleet/zone just needs a steady time to stablize itself and then a big marketing and expansion push (events that might have happened already but are clearly on hold along with everything else with Corona messing everything up)

   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

They started rolling out the new DZC starter sets with twice as many minis plus a Commander for about the same price as the older starter sets....but they only got out two factions before the pandemic. They seem to have plastic Resistance/Kalium ground forces in the pipeline, as well as hints that Andy Chambers has been working on something new for them. Drop Commander’s not dead yet.

   
Made in us
Leader of the Sept






I think that one thing GW has always done in the recent 20 years is not make a bad porduct. Now I mean bad bad. Like, MK3 Warmachine on launch bad, or Fallout 76 bad
Yes some on DOA that are not quite well recieved, but you still end up getting minis out of it in a lot of cases
Yeah some people dont like the minis, but they are always good and not infuriating to put together
Their biggest blunder was AOS, but they recovered fast.

 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
They started rolling out the new DZC starter sets with twice as many minis plus a Commander for about the same price as the older starter sets....but they only got out two factions before the pandemic. They seem to have plastic Resistance/Kalium ground forces in the pipeline, as well as hints that Andy Chambers has been working on something new for them. Drop Commander’s not dead yet.

god i hope that is true, it is still my most favorite universe ever.

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Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

I think a lot of people would accuse Dreadfleet of being a bad product - personally I thought it was a great game, although definitely *not* what the community desired, but I digress.

6th/7th Edition 40K were also decidedly a bad product, those two editions nearly sank GW as a whole, 6th less so than 7th, but the issues with 6th necessitated a premature 7th which was somehow worse.

But despite those issues, they were still *quality* in terms of production values.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in us
Hungry Ghoul




I think the reason why they have market share is because they presented a product that was unique for its intended audiance, and they created, over the years, an incredibly immersive universe to explore.

GW, for all of their faults, has done a lot of moves right. Their model kits are extremely good (the newer HIPS kits, not the older ones) and easily can offer an experienced modeler some incredible opportunities, the same opportunities that could be offered in the scale model community on from what I have seen a dollar to dollar basis (yes, a 400.00 Tamiya kit will be quite a bit more in-depth, but when you compare the 100.00 Tamiya kit to a 100.00 gw kit, they are both pretty damn amazing!)

So they made a universe, a story, gave an amazing narrative and lore potential in their early days, presented their product in a way that hadn't been seen, in a setting that hadn't been imagined (on the larger portion of it, yes, we all know they did take some pieces from some people, like the xenomorphs from aliens and such) and did that with two separate games and continued to grow from there.

I think they did well, and continue to do well because they have realized that the best thing they have is their intellectual properties, and the black library grows, video game libraries grow, model counts grow, and now all kinds of visual content to consume is getting ready to come out, all of it based around that same universe.

I think thats pretty cool, and its a pretty good reason as to why they are still so strong.
   
Made in us
Leader of the Sept






Dreadfleet was playable and still a game.
6th and 7th, while being horribly unbalanced, was not BAD, it was still a ruleset that made sense and was playable.
When i mean bad, i mean a stinker, like, they cant recover any good will from it.
Like
Making an Edition where people consantly argue other throw rules(Mk4)
MAke a faction so unplayable in said edition, they need an FAQ to fix(Skorne)
fething up licensing rights so bad, you have to drop a game(Alien Vs Predator)
Makiing an edition so bad, one of your previous competitors just releases your old edition with a rebranded name and it gets alll the attention until you release a new edition(D&D 4th vs Pathfinder)
Again, GW has duds, but they never have such spectacular feth ups like those

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Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

I wouldn’t say Black Library continues to grow. They hit their peak most of a decade ago when their paperbacks routinely made the NYT Bestseller list. They have shrunk the reader base somewhat by shifting to trade paperbacks (twice as expensive) and limited editions to increase profits. Internet discussion on sci fi (especially sci fi reading group) boards has really dried up since BL switched to staggered releases with premium hardcovers first. Between that and Heresy burnout, the novels seem to have decreased in visibility in the wider field of sci fi.

   
Made in us
Hungry Ghoul




I'm sorry, I meant "The Black Library" as in the proper noun of a repository of stories and lore, not the name of the business. It was poor wording on my part.

The point I was trying to get across is that lore continues to move forward, and we get new content, provided in different and interesting formats, like the upcoming crime novels and the horror novels.

and yeah, its probably time to end the heresy series...but man, its been one hell of a ride! Im looking forward to the scouring, though i have to be honest, i hope it doesnt span 40+ novels!
   
Made in us
Steady Space Marine Vet Sergeant




San Jose, CA

Azreal13 wrote:Jes Goodwin.
Jes is probably the hero of the story.
John Blance & Rick Priestly deserve credit as well. Rick for having the vision to write a fun game(RT) & John for having the insane concept designs that basically laid the groundwork for all the grimdarkness since.

   
Made in gb
Princeps of the Emperor's Titan!






Not sure they’re that divisible.

John Blanche is the man with the wild and crazy visions, which Jes Goodwin has unique talent for turning into miniatures.

Had either of them sought pastures new early on, who knows what 40k might look like.

They are a dyad in The Force!

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Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection



 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
I wouldn’t say Black Library continues to grow. They hit their peak most of a decade ago when their paperbacks routinely made the NYT Bestseller list. They have shrunk the reader base somewhat by shifting to trade paperbacks (twice as expensive) and limited editions to increase profits. Internet discussion on sci fi (especially sci fi reading group) boards has really dried up since BL switched to staggered releases with premium hardcovers first. Between that and Heresy burnout, the novels seem to have decreased in visibility in the wider field of sci fi.


I think part of it too might just be the sheer volume of novels and books GW was releasing in the 6-12 months prior to the covid lull. There were 2-3 new novels out just about every week - psychologically it made me want to read those books less because there is a perception (whether or not it is warranted) that quality and quantity are inversely correlated, and with the absurd quantities of books being published in such short timespans I could really only assume that the quality would be lackluster. I think there is also a perception that many of the novels and books have turned into subliminal advertisements and expensive marketing periodicals for the miniatures the way they are now pairing books with weekly new releases - it looks and feels less like books written for the sake of telling a story and expanding the lore, and more like books written for the sake of trying to sell you something.

This ain't no pansy GW Armor, son - Digital Sculpting Plog, Now with Heavy Weapon Platforms!
Sympathy for the Devil, or: The Project Log from Hell

Ma55ter_fett wrote:It reads like the ramblings of a Nigerian lobotomized Shakespeare typed into a cellphone with a very aggressive autocomplete function.
 
   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

I tend to feel the same way. When the Horus Heresy started becoming unmanageable, a lot of the people I discussed it with fell behind by a book, then two or three, and decided they’d rather use that as an opportunity to leave the series rather than slog through inconsequential books just to catch up for the next book they might like.

I’ve also felt the shift in focus at Black Library. That’s not to say every book is an ad or a rush job, but the feeling that the novels exist to explore the depth of the IP sandbox has been replaced by a feeling that the novels are there to explore the depth of the product range. I find myself drifting out of the books as everything comes to a screeching halt to explain some new fluff bit or faction retcon that changed what worked in the setting to what sells models. I also can’t escape the feeling that some of my favorite BL authors are done, just cashing checks until they find greener pastures.

   
 
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