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Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

I agree, Kirby's financial approach was short term. Things like Dreadfleet being a single box one and done; dropping specialist games (or rather just dropping everything that wasn't 40K or LotR).

I think his approach was most likely sane short term financial targets and always going for the BIG numbers. Returns on investment that generated the best possible rate. Which I agree led to him focusing on things like Marines.
We got the whole thing with Primaris which is basically just re-releasing the entire Marine line slightly different in the same army; or Stormcast which are Marines in fantasy.


Also now we talk about it I recall that some managers at the store level (I think esp in the USA which got way more general recruitment instead of UK which was always a touch more hobbiest turned store worker) were told to just focus on new customers and to almost turn away or discourage long term ones.

Ergo lose the "neck beards" and focus on the fresh new customers.


Which is a daft strategy because it means you're constantly aiming to grow by getting new customers; but then not retaining them by losing the old ones.



By taking his eye off the "lesser" profiting lines he opened the market up more and more. Each time GW lost a specialist game we saw new firms popping up to fill that niche. Proving that there was interest and money in those regions. Perhaps not Space Marine money, but enough to spawn multiple new firms that were growing.
Same as how treating so many things as short term ideas; again focusing on that "highest profits are in the early months of sale" angle; the firm lost sight of the fact that wargamers like long term. They want armies that last for years beacause they will spend years building those armies for those games.

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“…He didn't know what the market wanted and he didn't care what the market wanted because those loser addicts will buy whatever we tell them to buy. And if they don't they clearly aren't in the niche of the Games™ Workshop™ Hobby™...”

Was he wrong, though? A response often heard from complaining fans is that while they may not buy the bigger priced sets they will still keep buying at the current levels or with slight reduction.

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Cadia

 Overread wrote:
Same as how treating so many things as short term ideas; again focusing on that "highest profits are in the early months of sale" angle; the firm lost sight of the fact that wargamers like long term.


And also failed to understand the basic concept that without long-term players new customers have nobody to play with. An empty store full of demo tables gathering dust is not a compelling sales pitch, you need those established players around to demonstrate the existence of a community even if those customers aren't buying as much as a newbie. But I guess understanding that would require some of that otiose market research...


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 privateer4hire wrote:
Was he wrong, though? A response often heard from complaining fans is that while they may not buy the bigger priced sets they will still keep buying at the current levels or with slight reduction.


He was absolutely wrong. Price increases are not the same as product choices. People will grumble about prices but usually keep buying, even if it's at a slower pace, because in the end 40k is still a fairly cheap hobby and budgets can be adjusted. But if you're a Tau player you aren't going to buy space marines as a substitute just because marines get a bunch of new releases. And if you loved Aeronautica Imperialis you aren't going to decide to start a space marine army when GW discontinues your game entirely, you're going to go play X-Wing as the closest substitute. Or, to look at it the other way, you can declare all you like that SoB are an unattractive faction and refuse to do market research on their potential sales. And then you can be completely unprepared to cope with demand when you finally decide to do an update and the new releases sell out within seconds. That's money GW could have had years ago if they'd bothered to find out what people actually want to buy.

And remember the issue of selection bias. When you're in a community based around a topic you're going to have a biased data set made up of people who made the choice to continue participating. The people who become ex-customers tend to leave the community and you never hear from them.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2022/06/21 21:07:00


THE PLANET BROKE BEFORE THE GUARD! 
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

And if you're not even listening to the customers you do have then you're missing a huge trick in predicting what they do want, what they don't want as well as why they might be adjusting their purchasing patterns. Both in terms of why they are buying more and why they are buying less.

In many ways Wargaming is a very old-school style of product. It's a high quality, low volume, long term product. Gamers don't buy vast amounts (compared to say collectable cards); customers will spot low quality and they expect things to last. At the very least a wargame needs to have a 5-10 year product lifespan before its replaced and even then customers expect replacement not removal.


In the modern world this is almost alien where many other industries run on on products that are serviceable/good enough; which are sold in vast amounts and which are expected to be replaced fairly quickly (heck Apple even tries to sabotage their own older products to encourage new sales, and they are the firm that gets caught doing it).


Wargamers are old-school so I think many "modern" style theories of product consumption and supply and demand and such just don't work in the market.

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 Overread wrote:
Wargamers are old-school so I think many "modern" style theories of product consumption and supply and demand and such just don't work in the market.

You might even go so far as to say such theories are otiose in this particular niche...

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 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

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 Overread wrote:
In many ways Wargaming is a very old-school style of product. It's a high quality, low volume, long term product. Gamers don't buy vast amounts (compared to say collectable cards); customers will spot low quality and they expect things to last. At the very least a wargame needs to have a 5-10 year product lifespan before its replaced and even then customers expect replacement not removal.

and this is were the GW management succesfully changed the products to get away from the wargame part

customers are ok with products not lasting long and being removed afterwards, quality itself does not matter and it even flows over to other wargames, as people consider games to be dead if the rules do not change each month

20 years ago a wargame that was expected to be fine for 5-10 years and seen as failed if it needed a big update after 2-3 years
Now, a game that does not get a big update every 3 months is seen as failed and not worth playing and something that is designed to last 10 years as boring and "not-tactical"

PS: as seen on the discussion for a different game on another forum were the designers ask people what to expect for the future of the game and some of the answers were that players want more like 9th 40k, changes and adjustments on a monthly bases simply for the sake of change because the best part for them is that they are forced to make a new list and expect that from any other game they play as well

were the classic wargamers want the rules to be done, and an army the buy and paint now not only to be playable but still be viable in 5 years

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

M41 - Alternative Rules for Battles in the 41st Millennium (40k LRB Project) 
   
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Was Kirby behind Primaris?

IIRC they came out around 2015 or so, and he left 2014 or so, so probably they started under him.

Does anyone know who was designing vehicles then? Most of the vehicles from the Strom Raven, Storm Talon and Taurox were just hideous, along with the early Primarus vehicles.

 
   
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Cadia

 kodos wrote:
PS: as seen on the discussion for a different game on another forum were the designers ask people what to expect for the future of the game and some of the answers were that players want more like 9th 40k, changes and adjustments on a monthly bases simply for the sake of change because the best part for them is that they are forced to make a new list and expect that from any other game they play as well


Sorry, but that's just incomprehensibly bizarre to me. I have never seen a community where "I want the stuff I buy to be invalidated ASAP so I have to buy more stuff" is even a non-trivial minority. Frequent updates with the goal of converging on a balanced and well-functioning game, yes. But not change purely for the sake of change.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/06/22 08:14:11


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 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
Was Kirby behind Primaris?

Rumours say ( and the fact that models are 3-4 years in development, so everything up until 2018 was "his"), say the plan for 40k was similar to what happend for AoS
new upgraded poster-boy model line replacing the old ones, more large centerpiece models, reduced rules to a minimum, people being able to put their collections on the table and only narritive updates to advance the plot

but because AoS failed hard, this was changed and not done as originally planned (but still done, just not as "strict")

CadianSgtBob wrote:
Sorry, but that's just incomprehensibly bizarre to me. I have never seen a community where "I want the stuff I buy to be invalidated ASAP so I have to buy more stuff" is even a non-trivial minority. Frequent updates with the goal of converging on a balanced and well-functioning game, yes. But not change purely for the sake of change.


you have to consider that most of the hardcore tournament player don't buy the rules
they have everything, but don't buy it, hence removing the online archives would be the biggest threat to tournament 40k, as no one could keep up if he had to pay all this

but still, there is the small but vocal part of the community that thinks change for the sake of change is the only thing that keeps a game alive and advertise it to other games as well

a good example is Ninth Age, a community driven project that does not need model sales or anything, yet a yearly points changes simply based on popularity of units in tournaments (more popular units get a point increase, less popular ones are reduced) is seen as essential by the players
as constant changes are what shakes up the meta and keep tournament play exciting
(otherwise everyone would bring the same list to the big tournaments each year)

this is also always a request for Kings of War, yearly changes for the sake to change the tournament meta around, which Mantic does by bringing in new Scenarios or optional Formations to keep those happy that demand it

a problem is, that tournament players (not simply competitive players) are often the main thing that keeps a local community alive and are the driving force for local clubs/stores to keep up specific games (not only for wargaming but TCCG as well), so keeping them happy and involved with the game is important

and as they grew up with GW and are used to the way GW changes stuff to drive sales, this is what they are used to and think of how games should be
aka: balance is boring, games without constant changes are dead, list building must have a big impact otherwise it is meaningless etc.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2022/06/22 08:40:40


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 kodos wrote:
a good example is Ninth Age, a community driven project that does not need model sales or anything, yet a yearly points changes simply based on popularity of units in tournaments (more popular units get a point increase, less popular ones are reduced) is seen as essential by the players


That's not change for the sake of change, it's change for the sake of balance. Under the assumption that people are playing competitively (and not taking units just because they like the model or whatever) the 20% most popular units are overpowered and the 20% least popular units are underpowered. And point changes are the easiest way to improve balance across a wide range of stuff. Nerf the overpowered stuff that is taken disproportionately often, buff the underpowered stuff that is disproportionately rare. The end goal is that eventually you reach a point of balance where smaller and smaller point adjustments are required and maybe even cease to be needed.

Change for the sake of change would be something like banning all transports this month, but next month banning all infantry without a transport. No attempt at converging on a balanced game, just different rules for the sake of having different lists be required each month.

a problem is, that tournament players (not simply competitive players) are often the main thing that keeps a local community alive and are the driving force for local clubs/stores to keep up specific games (not only for wargaming but TCCG as well), so keeping them happy and involved with the game is important


Data shows the opposite. Goonhammer, a major tournament-focused site, did a reader survey and even in that context only a very small minority had any significant involvement in playing in tournaments. Tournament players may yell a lot online but in reality they make up a nearly-irrelevant percentage of the total community and total sales.

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At the same time they make up a significant portion of the public gaming.

Furthermore what counts as tournament player can vary since there's no formal structure or system to define them. Some might consider themselves a tournament player only if they attend major national/international events; others might consider it valid even if they only play at the local club in competitive games.

Furthermore, in theory, a game that is built for the tournament players should provide a clear, structured and balanced rules set that is easily accessible to players of all backgrounds. Plus tournament players, esp at the higher levels; will at least generally play the game correctly to the rules. As a result they are a good body to study for feedback on how the game is working, because they are using the game a its best. With events that are often videoed and monitored.

As a result they provide reliable, accessible, provable data. Home players are nearly impossible to pool data on easily because they could be playing wrong; could just be bad players blaming the system (even if they've gamed for years).

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Oh, I agree that tournament play is relevant. I just reject this weird idea that tournament players want change for the sake of change and GW is making a rational business decision by pandering to this small minority at the expense of everyone else.

Interesting reading, with only ~15% of participants on a competitive-focused site listing competitive play as their top or second priority: https://www.goonhammer.com/the-goonhammer-2022-reader-survey-and-what-it-tells-us-about-the-community/

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/06/22 09:36:25


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I think when it comes to balance in games that aren't mirror match army designs; there will always be an element of "change for the sake of change" because finding perfect balanced numbers is nearly impossible.


I think the big difference is that GW right now very much does these BIG shifts when they do adjustments. They almost over-compensate every time when they identify a problem to resolve. The result is that because they swing so far when correcting or changing it feels like massive change for the sake of change rather than change to address a specific problem


A good example is AoS 3.0 where in a bid to try and make big infantry blocks less dominant they removed the points discount for full units; then they also introduced a reinforcement system that meant you, in a practical sense, couldn't take more than 2 full units in a 2K point game and that every single unit after that would have to be minimum. Suddenly instead of evening how out big infantry blocks worked compared to smaller units; they changed the entire structure of the game

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CadianSgtBob wrote:
That's not change for the sake of change, it's change for the sake of balance. Under the assumption that people are playing competitively (and not taking units just because they like the model or whatever)

that is why there is a difference on changes based in performance and changes based on choice
and in this case the changes are based on choice alone, independet from the reason why people take it and the performance of the armies

Sake for the Sake of Change (maybe with the excuse being "balance" is doing the same changes for all factions/lists no matter the performance instead of adjusting only those that are a problem, simply to change the meta
and the more often you change the meta, the less people complain about any problems of the core game

also, changes for balance would mean that you reach the point were you are done,
which you are not if the changes are just there to force different choices, because you would not increase points of the popular units in an army that has <50% Winrate, you would only to this for the armies >50% WR

same changes every year for every army can never achieve balance in the first place

CadianSgtBob wrote:
a problem is, that tournament players (not simply competitive players) are often the main thing that keeps a local community alive and are the driving force for local clubs/stores to keep up specific games (not only for wargaming but TCCG as well), so keeping them happy and involved with the game is important


Data shows the opposite. Goonhammer, a major tournament-focused site, did a reader survey and even in that context only a very small minority had any significant involvement in playing in tournaments. Tournament players may yell a lot online but in reality they make up a nearly-irrelevant percentage of the total community and total sales.

and were does this shows the opposite?
that there is a minority that is dedicated to the hobby and therefore what keeps clubs/stores going is not the opposite of "there tournament players are a minority"

and this is the same for every club out there, you might have 200 members, what it is always the same 5-10 that keeps things going, they are the minority who takes it serious but because they do the others can just enjoy it
and for 40k those are often also the tournament players

saying that this is an irrelevant minority in numbers does not change it

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 Overread wrote:
I think when it comes to balance in games that aren't mirror match army designs; there will always be an element of "change for the sake of change" because finding perfect balanced numbers is nearly impossible.


But that's still not change for the sake of change. Clumsy changes for the sake of balance is still change with a goal even if the execution is lacking. An example of change for the sake of change would be the hyperspace format in X-Wing 2.0, where FFG deliberately pulled out a set of ships and upgrades to be a standard tournament format with an explicit plan to rotate the format every X months. This month you get TIE interceptors, next month we remove them and give you TIE defenders instead so you have to make new lists and learn a new format. Regardless of the health of the current format the next update cycle is going to change a bunch of stuff purely to make it different. And FFG was very direct about saying that the sole purpose of the rotation is to change the meta, this is not just something we're guessing based on the updates they made.

 kodos wrote:
and in this case the changes are based on choice alone, independet from the reason why people take it and the performance of the armies


That's why I said under the assumption of competitive play. The reality of balancing a game is that unit-by-unit performance is pretty much impossible to extract from the data because there isn't enough detail available. All you get is a list and a win/loss record, you don't know which of the units was responsible for the outcome. So you have to use unit selection as a proxy for unit performance, making the assumption that the people playing those lists are correctly identifying the most powerful choices and taking them. And yes, the method applies incorrect adjustments if you have a unit that is taken all the time because people love painting it but it's the best you're going to do if you want to balance based on tournament results.

because you would not increase points of the popular units in an army that has <50% Winrate, you would only to this for the armies >50% WR


False. Internal balance within a faction is important too, not just balance between factions. If a faction is dominated by a single build and 90% of the faction is being ignored it needs internal balance changes.


and were does this shows the opposite?


It shows that even in the context of the audience of a site primarily dedicated to competitive play only ~15% of the community considers competitive play a priority. Presumably this percentage is even lower when looking at the 40k community as a whole, not just the readers of a competitive play site.

And of course not all competitive players want change for the sake of change. Many competitive players want the changes to converge on a balanced game that is effectively finished, with only minor updates required to fine-tune balance. So it's ridiculous to claim that GW is making a good business decision by alienating the 90-95% of the community that doesn't want to engage in meta chasing and have their armies invalidated every few months in favor of the 5-10% (to be very optimistic) that wants a constantly-changing metagame and enjoys having to buy new armies to keep up.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2022/06/22 16:11:17


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CadianSgtBob wrote:

False. Internal balance within a faction is important too, not just balance between factions. If a faction is dominated by a single build and 90% of the faction is being ignored it needs internal balance changes.
hence it is change for the sake of change and not change for the sake of balance
(and T9A claims that having 1 viable build for each Army, that changes from time to time as a feature and not as a disadvantage or bad internal balance)

CadianSgtBob wrote:
So it's ridiculous to claim that GW is making a good business decision by alienating the 90-95% of the community that doesn't want to engage in meta chasing and have their armies invalidated every few months in favor of the 5-10% (to be very optimistic) that wants a constantly-changing metagame and enjoys having to buy new armies to keep up.
It might look like this, but the whole business model is built around the 5%
It is the simple "Free to Play/Pay to Win" or App-Scam model here, a little bit different but in general

Same with the App games, you don't make it that 95% of the players spend a little over a long time, but that the 5% spend as much as possible as fast as possible and a distracted by the next new shiny thing before they realise how bad it is
that the other 90% are not happy does not matter as long as the new players coming in compensate the amount of those that leave

so this ridiculous system works for GW simply because 40k is the game everyone plays, so there is constant stream of new people who buy in
The success of a GW store and how good the store manage is, is measured by 2 player starter boxes sold per month. It does not matter how much money the shop makes with everything else, as the only goal is to get as many new people into GW as possible

simple as that, have enough casual players so that it is easy to find a game and it is "the game played" in town, get enough new players to compensate those that leave (and most of them leave after an Edition/Codex changes because they are upset by how things are handled), and make sure that those that stay make enough money to compensate
and sunken cost fallacy is a thing, as buying into the full game is 800-1000€, you (better said the 5%) are unlikely to rage quit because a new book is obsolete after 3 months, you give it a chance "wait and see" (as it would mean to accept you fall for a scam, and not many people like this, same for Pay to Win App/Online Games, those that invested are going to defend their investment, hence a new Codex or new Edition is the time people leave as this makes a good point to justify it for themselves rather than the big impact the change has to the game)

PS: this also plays into GW offering the best of everything, or that it is impossible to do any better at this scale, as this need to be worth the high price
also why some people get really angry about other products offering similar or better for cheaper, they need to defend the investment for themselves

Harry, bring this ring to Narnia or the Sith will take the Enterprise

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 Tannhauser42 wrote:
 Overread wrote:
I think he was just an accountant who wound up running a firm and wasn't really trained nor skilled in that role. So his early days where he most certainly cut costs and improved GW's overall financial health worked well. Because that was all numbers.


I often felt Kirby just didn't care about the actual product. Was he even a wargamer? Did it matter to him if Warhammer was still around in 10-20 years, as long as he cashed in enough salary and dividend checks? I'd like to think the people in charge of, say, Apple and Amazon care about the long-term success of their companies since they use the products in their daily lives and want them to stay around. But I never got that feeling from Kirby.
Not a wargamer, but he was involved in RPGs, specifically with TSR UK. His name appears in the credits of a few publications like Beyond the Crystal Cave and a few other TSR UK products.

 
   
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 kodos wrote:
hence it is change for the sake of change and not change for the sake of balance


Um, what. I just described a change as a direct response to balance issues, that is the exact opposite of change for the sake of change.

(and T9A claims that having 1 viable build for each Army, that changes from time to time as a feature and not as a disadvantage or bad internal balance)


That, however, is finally an example of change for the sake of change! But does anyone even play third-party pseudo-WHFB anymore?

It is the simple "Free to Play/Pay to Win" or App-Scam model here, a little bit different but in general


Except in this context it's a fundamentally stupid business model. F2P whale hunting relies on one key fact: the game is expendable. The design choices that feed the whales' gambling addictions are horrible for normal players. Eventually you burn through your potential player base, the game becomes a dysfunctional mess, and player numbers crash. That's fine when it's F2P mobile trash that took a week to make and has already been replaced by your next F2P game. It's horrifying stupidity when you're a physical manufacturing company with millions of dollars tied up in production facilities, real estate contracts for your retail stores, etc.

simple as that, have enough casual players so that it is easy to find a game and it is "the game played" in town, get enough new players to compensate those that leave (and most of them leave after an Edition/Codex changes because they are upset by how things are handled), and make sure that those that stay make enough money to compensate


Yes, and my point is that's the business model that is the last resort of game designers who are too incompetent to do any better. Having high turnover because your product sucks and your customer retention numbers are dismal is a state that should horrify any sensible business. There's no way in hell the handful of meta chasers are making enough purchases to offset the fact that most of your customers are buying a $100 starter box instead of a full $500-1000 army. This isn't a F2P loot box game where gambling addicts are spending thousands of times what any normal person would. At most the meta chaser is spending 5-10x what a normal player with a single 2000 point army spends, and in the process they're dumping tons of models on the secondary market for your other customers to buy instead of buying new stuff. The numbers just do not work.

And remember, the 15% are the people who care about competitive play at all. The meta chasers who will spend vast amounts of money on the game are a small minority of that minority.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/06/23 07:21:38


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 kodos wrote:
 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
Was Kirby behind Primaris?

Rumours say ( and the fact that models are 3-4 years in development, so everything up until 2018 was "his"), say the plan for 40k was similar to what happend for AoS
new upgraded poster-boy model line replacing the old ones, more large centerpiece models, reduced rules to a minimum, people being able to put their collections on the table and only narritive updates to advance the plot

but because AoS failed hard, this was changed and not done as originally planned (but still done, just not as "strict")


Not quite. We know, courtesy of James M Hewitt, that there was a full scale rulebook and points system made for Age of Sigmar from the getgo, but this got pulled and shelved at the last possible minute in preference for the four page simplehammer rules which were only ever intended to be an introductory getting started type pamphlet. So given that what happened to AoS was never really the "plan" to begin with its hard to say that 40k 8th was going to follow suit.

CoALabaer wrote:
Wargamers hate two things: the state of the game and change.
 
   
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CadianSgtBob wrote:

Except in this context it's a fundamentally stupid business model. F2P whale hunting relies on one key fact: the game is expendable. The design choices that feed the whales' gambling addictions are horrible for normal players.

but it works and this is the only point GW cares, they don't care if this is bad for gamers as long as they increase the sales (even their pricing is made by the same strategy, set a ridiculous high price as "standard" and create a value were there is none, than release bundles with discount, which are still ridiculous priced but offer huge saving and create the illusion that you get more value for your money)
they don't even expect you to stay and play, just keep buying and bring new people in

it is often said GW makes the best plastic models out there, but the rules are bad
but look at the gaming community, everyone plays 40k, but most people try to find alternatives for the miniatures (be it 3D printing or 3rd party plastics), which would mean their rules are better than their minis

so those 2 don't fit as the "normal" players would not waste their time with bad rules, but because they are looking for casual games, they just go to the club/store and play the game that is offered there
and the main reason why 40k is the game that is offered to play is because you have a small part of the community that is very dedicated to keep the game running at all cost, which creates a certain momentum that prevents something else to come up (try to offer a different game in a club if there is a "whale" around, they make it as hard as possible for you)
so people look into cheaper ways to play the game because if they want to casually play, they often see 40k as the only possible option (and can rely on whales that the game will always be there)

and of course there is breaking point were it is too much, GW already reachend it twice, once with Warhammer Fantasy and once with 40k.
but they found a way to overcome it /stretch it further, not by changing their sales system or improve the game but by adding community interaction and support (the feeling that the company actually cares about the normal player)
and this is the main difference between Rountree and Kirby

chaos0xomega wrote:
So given that what happened to AoS was never really the "plan" to begin with its hard to say that 40k 8th was going to follow suit.
nothing solid around anyway, but as the "full" game for AoS was cut, there is the thing going around that this was also planned for 40k (because someone thought they could get away with it as people just buy the models and not the game)
but because AoS crashed, it was reversed for 40k again and the stuff cut added back in

at least this is what I heard why the Index books used the old profiles with the old point system instead of being adjusted to the new core rules


Automatically Appended Next Post:
CadianSgtBob wrote:

Yes, and my point is that's the business model that is the last resort of game designers who are too incompetent to do any better. Having high turnover because your product sucks and your customer retention numbers are dismal is a state that should horrify any sensible business. There's no way in hell the handful of meta chasers are making enough purchases to offset the fact that most of your customers are buying a $100 starter box instead of a full $500-1000 army.

but there is no 100$ start
there are some low price boxes, but they don't contain a playable game as something is missing, be it a unit composition that is not legal and you need something else, not equal points etc.

take the new AoS 2 player set, 100$ a good way to look into the game
just spend another 100 on books to get the full rules and another 100 on models because one faction in the box is just halve the size in points as the other, and you can start you small intro game
so you are already in with 300, now you should expand to your army to get the full experience to decide if you like the game or not (because someone tells you <1000 point games are not worth it anyway)

than we are looking at what people are buying and never use because they were attracted by the hype

CadianSgtBob wrote:

This isn't a F2P loot box game where gambling addicts are spending thousands of times what any normal person would. At most the meta chaser is spending 5-10x what a normal player with a single 2000 point army spends, and in the process they're dumping tons of models on the secondary market for your other customers to buy instead of buying new stuff. The numbers just do not work.

well, a 2000 point army is around 600-1000$ depending on the faction (fun fact, the cheapest possible 40k army was Custodes Jetbikes and it was nerved hard) if a meta chaser spends 5-10 times, it is 3000-10.000$

and 10.000 on a hobby were historical rank & file wargaming is considered as too expensive to be mainstream because a full army cost 400$ is in the range of Loot box gaming addicts

and as the numbers don't work, GW was much smaller during 3rd/4th 40k and 6th Warhammer Fantasy, were their marketing was focused around the game for normal players
no meta chasing, not fomo, army boxes containing armies etc.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2022/06/23 12:55:07


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 kodos wrote:
and of course there is breaking point were it is too much, GW already reachend it twice, once with Warhammer Fantasy and once with 40k.


And this is exactly my point. The short-term strategies you're talking about can be pushed too far, and inevitably will be pushed too far if you don't back off from them. This is fine with an expendable F2P mobile game, it's reckless stupidity when you're a manufacturing company with millions of dollars in capital investments.

but there is no 100$ start


Ok, yes, combat patrol boxes (a 500 point starter army) are technically $150 if you buy them at full MSRP. The basic point still stands though.

well, a 2000 point army is around 600-1000$ depending on the faction (fun fact, the cheapest possible 40k army was Custodes Jetbikes and it was nerved hard) if a meta chaser spends 5-10 times, it is 3000-10.000$


Think about what those numbers mean. A meta-chasing whale is spending $10,000, a normal person is spending $1,000. That's only a 10:1 ratio. And once you consider the fact that each time the whale buys a new army the old one goes on ebay and replaces a $1000 army purchase by another customer it's more like a 1:1 ratio. Those numbers do not support trashing 95% or more of your customer base in a desperate attempt to appeal to the whales. F2P mobile games succeed because the whales are buying at a 1,000:1 or even 10,000:1 ratio compared to normal people and all of their purchases are locked to the whale and can't be re-sold.

So my point stands: the F2P business strategy does not apply to GW's situation as a rational decision by competent designers. It's the last resort fallback option of incompetent designers who have no faith in their product.

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@ Bob, what does a CEO, which is company head on time by the grace of the shareholders, have a need for a longterm strategy?

that is the problem.

And by extention it isn't all of GW that is running on that buisness model, 40k is the most eregious. otoh you have both killteam and now 30k which seem to be actual passion projects.
But those are very much side games and not expected to be the big cashcow.

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CadianSgtBob wrote:

Ok, yes, combat patrol boxes (a 500 point starter army) are technically $150 if you buy them at full MSRP. The basic point still stands though.
you only use MSRP to compare (of course it is different for someone who get the stuff for free because they just pirate everything)
well, a combat patrol for 120€ + Rulebook 56€ + Codex 42,5€ = 218,5€ (have not found the US price for the Rulebook, so just €) and here it begins, as of course you just need a 120€ box to start
which is actually 220€ because you still need the rules, but the entry is advertised with 120€

than you have a ~30 Power list (lets say the Marine Box for 33), but you learn that people play with points and you cannot play the army you bought against them, they might still do an intro game with 33PL but you are told to adjust to either 25PL or 500 points to play Combat Patrol or increase to 1000 points

so you cut to 500/25PL but than you start to increase to 1000 points because it feels wasted to have bought and painted a model you are never going to use
this is were it continuous as you just wanted to spend the 100$ to start, which already doubled because Box+Rules and now you invest into single boxes because buying another starter box you would have even more spare models, so it feels you save money by buying just the models you need and you end up with with another 150€ spend

makes it a total of 368,5€, just to "start" and now after you spend 270€ more than you actually wanted (100€) and invested in time painting it you try to get the game going
you might have troubles winning games, or just don't have lot of fun, but you read on the net or talk to people in the club/store, you are told that the game is balanced for 2k and/or you need different units because the ones you have are not very good

so you try to make your investment worth by spending a litte bit more and give the game a chance with 2k.
and you are in with 600-800€ and either drop out or you are taken by the hype because new models/rules are coming soon and the game can only improve with those

those things are not done by accident or because the people in GW are too stupid to calculate points for the boxes or are limited by what they can put in or not
all those are designed to get you invested into "the Hobby" and they will also tell you that the "Hobby" is only Games Workshop, if you leave GW you also leave "the Hobby"

CadianSgtBob wrote:

So my point stands: the F2P business strategy does not apply to GW's situation as a rational decision by competent designers. It's the last resort fallback option of incompetent designers who have no faith in their product.

And this is were you have the wrong background in mind, it is the best strategy to make as much money in 3-5 years as possible
if the game is dead after the 5 years, not a problem GW has other games to sell and are going to re-start it anyway after 6 years/2 Editions (marketing will tell the players that this time it will be different)
and the CEO and shareholders have earned their money, designers have nothing to do with this is a pure business decision for short term profit

the problem of the CEO is a simply one, the shareholdes only care about growth, every year must be better than the last one
and for GW those years with a new Edition of 40k are the best, so to keep the growth and the shareholders happy, 40k need to make that money

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2022/06/24 14:54:53


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I only got to meet Mr. Kirby once, but he was nice and I liked him. He wanted us to provide great customer service to people and sell miniatures to them nicely.

.Only a fool believes there is such a thing as price gouging. Things have value determined by the creator or merchant. If you don't agree with that value, you are free not to purchase. 
   
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General Hobbs wrote:


I only got to meet Mr. Kirby once, but he was nice and I liked him. He wanted us to provide great customer service to people and sell miniatures to them nicely.


And credit where due, GW’s customer service has always been good. They were squeezing all the profit they could out of the bottom line, but never skimped on that.

   
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Don't forget this is the guy that said most people wanted to paint and didn't buy models to i dunno play games.

He also killed WHFB for AoS and the GW i was at kept claiming it sold less and less of GW's profits. Now i'm not saying AoS is that bad now but when it first came out it was like selling your Prize winning Pig for a children's piggy bank with a mere 5 dollars in change inside. It was so out of left field for me because GW never killed a major game like that as far as i know and the game lasted decades.

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 flamingkillamajig wrote:
He also killed WHFB for AoS and the GW i was at kept claiming it sold less and less of GW's profits. Now i'm not saying AoS is that bad now but when it first came out it was like selling your Prize winning Pig for a children's piggy bank with a mere 5 dollars in change inside. It was so out of left field for me because GW never killed a major game like that as far as i know and the game lasted decades.


To be fair, WHFB needed to be killed off. Sales were poor and there was a massive barrier to entry in the need to have tons of models that had no purpose besides being wound counters while the front rank fought. The mistake wasn't killing off WHFB, it was replacing it with a game that had questionable fluff, no army construction system, obvious non-functional rules, and a bunch of cringe-worthy joke rules that felt like GW was mocking their own customers.

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CadianSgtBob wrote:
 flamingkillamajig wrote:
He also killed WHFB for AoS and the GW i was at kept claiming it sold less and less of GW's profits. Now i'm not saying AoS is that bad now but when it first came out it was like selling your Prize winning Pig for a children's piggy bank with a mere 5 dollars in change inside. It was so out of left field for me because GW never killed a major game like that as far as i know and the game lasted decades.


To be fair, WHFB needed to be killed off. Sales were poor and there was a massive barrier to entry in the need to have tons of models that had no purpose besides being wound counters while the front rank fought. The mistake wasn't killing off WHFB, it was replacing it with a game that had questionable fluff, no army construction system, obvious non-functional rules, and a bunch of cringe-worthy joke rules that felt like GW was mocking their own customers.


Mostly this.
I can just ignore questionable fluff & bad jokes. Non-existant/completely non-functional rules on the other hand....
   
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Warhammer Fantasy needed to be re-worked not killed off. By what you say 7th ed 40k means 40k needed to be killed off rather than fixed massively. Shame is it died before new management could've fixed it up and i could say Fantasy's death and AoS's early mismanagement by Kirby's team likely lead to his departure. Believe me i saw more than a few people leave my local GW completely when Fantasy was killed off and replaced by whatever early AoS was. Fantasy needed a re-work just like AoS needed to be fleshed out and fixed. Hopefully we get that if Old World ever comes out.

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 flamingkillamajig wrote:
By what you say 7th ed 40k means 40k needed to be killed off rather than fixed massively.


That's not really the same. 7th edition had major problems but they were mostly straightforward things to fix that didn't require changing the core identity of the game. Delete formations, fix the psychic phase (again), and that's pretty much it. And, more importantly, 7th edition 40k was still GW's best selling product line so there was a lot of incentive to try to fix it rather than trash it and start over. WHFB's issues were inherent to the concept of WHFB and the sales numbers were pretty much dead by that point. That's not something you can fix with a few adjustments here and there.

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