Switch Theme:

Is GW a miniature company or a game/rules company?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Poll
What type of company is GW?
GW is a mini first company with the game secondary
GW is a game/rules company with minis as secondary
GW is a hybrid of both that does neither particularly well
GW is a hybrid that does both well
GW is satan incarnate

View results
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in pl
Been Around the Block




 kodos wrote:
Cyel wrote:
Even though I believe in the beginning GW were just a bit amateur/inept at balancing/rules writing, I don't think it's the case now. I think they are perfectly aware of the fact that their rules are perfect for selling models.


you know that this was their very original buisness plan back 40 years ago?

GW started as European distributor of D&D and selling models for it.
and at one point got the idea that they make more money from selling models than from selling the game, so they created rules that needed more models

rules are there so sell models is the main business plan of GW and it always have been

they might have cared a little bit more about the rule back when the managment liked to play their own games, but the main buisness has always been the same


Yeah, I am aware of that. It is a reasonable thing to do for a company to push their product! But I think they wanted to write good, balanced rules then. Just were unable to because, well, all rules back then were pretty awful compared to today's board gaming revolution and golden age.

What I was commenting on is not the simple fact that GW designs rules to sell models. I meant that GW could probably write better quality rules - more modern, smarter, skill-based, with better balance and less randomness. But they don't on purpose, because such a game would not sell as well as it does.

For example WotC could also make MTG less random by dividing the player deck into two - one with spells, the other with lands, so that whether you draw a land or a spell is up to a player's decision not blind luck. I bet they know such a game wouldn's sell as well, because what's the only hope of a mediocre player when they meet a better one? That their opponent draws too many/not enough lands to be able to play.

Warhammer works in a similar way. "Let's have another go, I only need to buy this new, powerful thing and roll more sixes and I will have my revenge!"
   
Made in at
'Jack Scrapper





Austria

I think they made good and modern rules in the early days, for the standard of the time

but they are just not modern and good any more for today

and the problem is for the main reason that they don't play their own games
so they don't care how good the game really is because they don't need to enjoy it but only sell it

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) 
   
Made in pl
Been Around the Block




 kodos wrote:
I think they made good and modern rules in the early days, for the standard of the time

but they are just not modern and good any more for today

and the problem is for the main reason that they don't play their own games
so they don't care how good the game really is because they don't need to enjoy it but only sell it


Agreed. When I was starting with miniature wargames in mid-90's they felt like a breath of fresh air when compared to awfuly designed games I was aware of at that time - Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders or Talisman.

Now Warhammers are the Monopoly of tabletop gaming compared to modern games.
   
Made in us
Pestilent Plague Marine with Blight Grenade




IIRC, GW always said most of their "customers" were there for minis and not games. That might be true - but that doesn't necessarily mean that most of their sales go to the segment of the customer base that just buys display projects and hobby projects.


No. This is a hold-over from the Kirby era. Kirby famously said they were a models company that just happened to sell rules but was spinning things to suggest that people primarily build and paint and that "very few" customers (comparatively speaking) actually play the game. This statement is strictly unique to the Kirby era and is IMO, one of the reasons the game has been such a mess since 6th.

kodos wrote:
I think they made good and modern rules in the early days, for the standard of the time

but they are just not modern and good any more for today

and the problem is for the main reason that they don't play their own games
so they don't care how good the game really is because they don't need to enjoy it but only sell it


Agreed. When I was starting with miniature wargames in mid-90's they felt like a breath of fresh air when compared to awfuly designed games I was aware of at that time - Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders or Talisman.

Now Warhammers are the Monopoly of tabletop gaming compared to modern games.


Yes. They've simply become an echo chamber. For too long there was no one to push them and they became stagnant. Happens with leaders in all industries. It's always interesting to me when you hear the Horus Heresy authors talk about writing the series. One of the things they all say that really stands out is how much collaboration there is. How often they speak to make sure everyone stays on the same page and no one is writing anyone else into a corner or ruining somebody's character, etc etc. Even when they speak about interviews to get the job, they talk about how they are asked questions to make sure they understand the general setting and tone, but that a lot of it is about how well the write non-GW stuff.

Then you hear the rules writers speak and it's a different world. Generally siloed, and in interviews their tasks seem to generally be "how well can you write a GW game"? They really new blood at the head of the org in my opinion. They made some strides with 8th, but 9th is pulling things slowly backwards. This has been the "GW way" forever now. You get a "standard GW edition" or two, followed by an "experimental" edition, which itself is followed by an edition that recycles old rules and methods in order to bring the "experiment" more in line with the standard "GW edition". Everyone accuses them of being "stupid" or "incompetent" and I think it's really just that they are in sore need of updates to their publishing and review practices, how they work with play testers, and to their rules team in general.

Edit: I just googled ablutions and apparently it does not including dropping a duece. I should have looked it up early sorry for any confusion. - Baldsmug

Psiensis on the "good old days":
"Kids these days...
... I invented the 6th Ed meta back in 3rd ed.
Wait, what were we talking about again? Did I ever tell you about the time I gave you five bees for a quarter? That's what you'd say in those days, "give me five bees for a quarter", is what you'd say in those days. And you'd go down to the D&D shop, with an onion in your belt, 'cause that was the style of the time. So there I was in the D&D shop..." 
   
Made in us
Unbalanced Fanatic






Tycho wrote:
Spoiler:
IIRC, GW always said most of their "customers" were there for minis and not games. That might be true - but that doesn't necessarily mean that most of their sales go to the segment of the customer base that just buys display projects and hobby projects.


No. This is a hold-over from the Kirby era. Kirby famously said they were a models company that just happened to sell rules but was spinning things to suggest that people primarily build and paint and that "very few" customers (comparatively speaking) actually play the game. This statement is strictly unique to the Kirby era and is IMO, one of the reasons the game has been such a mess since 6th.

kodos wrote:
I think they made good and modern rules in the early days, for the standard of the time

but they are just not modern and good any more for today

and the problem is for the main reason that they don't play their own games
so they don't care how good the game really is because they don't need to enjoy it but only sell it


Agreed. When I was starting with miniature wargames in mid-90's they felt like a breath of fresh air when compared to awfuly designed games I was aware of at that time - Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders or Talisman.

Now Warhammers are the Monopoly of tabletop gaming compared to modern games.
Yes. They've simply become an echo chamber. For too long there was no one to push them and they became stagnant. Happens with leaders in all industries. It's always interesting to me when you hear the Horus Heresy authors talk about writing the series. One of the things they all say that really stands out is how much collaboration there is. How often they speak to make sure everyone stays on the same page and no one is writing anyone else into a corner or ruining somebody's character, etc etc. Even when they speak about interviews to get the job, they talk about how they are asked questions to make sure they understand the general setting and tone, but that a lot of it is about how well the write non-GW stuff.

Then you hear the rules writers speak and it's a different world. Generally siloed, and in interviews their tasks seem to generally be "how well can you write a GW game"? They really new blood at the head of the org in my opinion. They made some strides with 8th, but 9th is pulling things slowly backwards. This has been the "GW way" forever now. You get a "standard GW edition" or two, followed by an "experimental" edition, which itself is followed by an edition that recycles old rules and methods in order to bring the "experiment" more in line with the standard "GW edition". Everyone accuses them of being "stupid" or "incompetent" and I think it's really just that they are in sore need of updates to their publishing and review practices, how they work with play testers, and to their rules team in general.
That fact the GW share price is over $100 usd is mind-boggling; $25-30 is more reasonable. GW is like a country with a resourced-based economy, they have no incentive to change.
   
Made in ca
Deserter




Canada

4th was really interesting. Switched over to 5th before I really had a look at indepth. couldn't find anyone to play and never bought in. Still kicking meself today for that. Best time. Saw 6th and 7th and bought into Warmachine and the Bolt Action. Very good, ya, love em.
Moved around start of 8th and there was a group, so fek it, bought in to the "Living rulebook" premise as I watched the gak of 5 to 7th faster then most games systems go through one edition.
Now with 9th here, I'll go with Konflict 47 & Deadzone and never look back. Mayne grab some 5th ed books somewhere.
This churn & burn of codex and BRBs and hard cover books is nasty. Subpar rules and fix after fix.

It's a model company. It uses the game to sell models. A broken game IMO.

Pew, Pew! 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran






It's minis-first company but it's really a hybrid. The minis rely on the game to sustain interest. Without the game aspect a major portion of their audience will get bored and only the hobby purists will remain.

Minis are the top priority, but the game is absolutely required to sustain a customer base of this size.

   
Made in us
Slaanesh Veteran Marine with Tentacles




They started by buying the rights to a game... they were a game company. I guess they are afraid that their minis being considered game pieces might cap the value of them? I don’t know why they don’t just release premium collectors models (probably outside the 28mm range) and sell exclusively collectibles. The only thing keeping me in the hobby is my love of the lore, and they’ve done wonders shooting that puppy in front of me over and over again. To me the game was a way to explore that, but I’ve become disillusioned to the fact that all I’m going to explore is how primarisigmarines are going to whoop everyone’s button. Even my love of the setting and background is waning thin...


Automatically Appended Next Post:
They started by buying the rights to a game... they were a game company. I guess they are afraid that their minis being considered game pieces might cap the value of them? I don’t know why they don’t just release premium collectors models (probably outside the 28mm range) and sell exclusively collectibles. The only thing keeping me in the hobby is my love of the lore, and they’ve done wonders shooting that puppy in front of me over and over again. To me the game was a way to explore that, but I’ve become disillusioned to the fact that all I’m going to explore is how primarisigmarines are going to whoop everyone’s button. Even my love of the setting and background is waning thin...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/07/31 21:41:34


Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. -Kurt Vonnegut 
   
Made in us
Da Head Honcho Boss Grot




New Jersey, State of Perfection

macluvin wrote:
They started by buying the rights to a game... they were a game company. I guess they are afraid that their minis being considered game pieces might cap the value of them? I don’t know why they don’t just release premium collectors models (probably outside the 28mm range) and sell exclusively collectibles. The only thing keeping me in the hobby is my love of the lore, and they’ve done wonders shooting that puppy in front of me over and over again. To me the game was a way to explore that, but I’ve become disillusioned to the fact that all I’m going to explore is how primarisigmarines are going to whoop everyone’s button. Even my love of the setting and background is waning thin...


Automatically Appended Next Post:
They started by buying the rights to a game... they were a game company. I guess they are afraid that their minis being considered game pieces might cap the value of them? I don’t know why they don’t just release premium collectors models (probably outside the 28mm range) and sell exclusively collectibles. The only thing keeping me in the hobby is my love of the lore, and they’ve done wonders shooting that puppy in front of me over and over again. To me the game was a way to explore that, but I’ve become disillusioned to the fact that all I’m going to explore is how primarisigmarines are going to whoop everyone’s button. Even my love of the setting and background is waning thin...


Actually that would make them an import distributor rather than a game company. They weren't designing or publishing (at least not at first) games, they were importing pallets of rulebooks and distributing them throughout europe and the UK.

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
Steadfast Ultramarine Sergeant





As I recall GW makes the rules and Citadel used to make the minis and paints. Of course at a certain point Citadel was just GW by another name.

There are numerous ways to argue both sides of this though. They made rules for things they didn't make miniatures for, as an example

My WHFB armies were Bretonians and Tomb Kings. 
   
Made in at
'Jack Scrapper





Austria

No, by that time Citadel was an independent company, GW was only a distributor for all kind of games and minis

it started with them buying Citadel and write their games to sell those minis

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) 
   
Made in gb
Buttons Should Be Brass, Not Gold!






Norn Iron

Argive wrote:If tomorrow they stopped the game all together and said "we are now just doing these as collectors and will no longer release any rules for the game" would they keep selling and growing their market share/popularity?


Haha.

No.

No they would not.

Racerguy180 wrote:if the models sucked would you still play or even have been interested in the first place?

Since the rules "suck", is the only reason you play due to the models?

the two above would lead me to believe they're a mini company first.


Some people play because they like the minis that much.

Some people play because GW has swamped the market and gaming venues and glancing at other games and saying 'play this once or twice?' is like, ugh, it's like, too much like hard work you guys.
Which also negates plugging the minis they like that much into other, compatible rules. And see the quote from ccs below.

Some people play because the rules suck. It just takes some a while to see it, and some never do.
And that's what exacerbates the two points above.

ccs wrote:Too many people are just stupid & refuse to play a game, even one they & friends enjoy, once it's not actively supported.


Yeah. Add that weird mindset of 'playing = buying' to the three points above and there you've got the four sides of GW's neat square box for trapping customers.

Sometimes GW gives it a shake to watch them fight.

jeff white wrote:Media company.


Lifestyle brand.

Cyel wrote:Even though I believe in the beginning GW were just a bit amateur/inept at balancing/rules writing, I don't think it's the case now. I think they are perfectly aware of the fact that their rules are perfect for selling models.

I guess they have hit the sweet spot, similarly to MTG, of a mix of key elements: low-skill, high-randomness, pay-to-win, width giving the illusion of depth ruleset which is perfect as a business model, even if it offers mediocre gameplay at best...

So yeah, bad game, random and with atrocious balance - but in my opinion 100% on purpose due to business reasons.


Very much this. GW will never improve their rules because this particular style of bad rules is what sells their minis.

Deadnight wrote:
Because 'the game' isn't everything. Nor is it the pinnacle,of the hobby.

Indeed, why bother? Plenty people do in fact not bother. Plenty people don't play.

Plenty folks enjoy the painting and modelling and/or the lore and while you and I may consider it cool to actually do stuff with the things we build, not everyone approaches it that way. Plenty people don't play, for whatever reasons or play so rarely that it makes no difference. And they're not wrong for approaching this hobby differently or valuing different things. Horses for courses really.


I still buy some GW minis because sure, GW do make some nice minis. Some of them may even end up in a game but it sure won't be a GW game. But I strongly doubt that I'm not in a tiny sliver of the GW customer pie chart. That's not going to fill many bellies at the shareholder table.

   
 
Forum Index » 40K General Discussion
Go to: