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Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User




Charlotte, NC

This is kind of a random “things that pop into your head while taking a long road trip” post but bear with me.

For the last few years, GW has been developing new content and releasing what feels like buckets of new stuff. I’m not talking 40k or AOS rules and models, I’m talking about Specialist Games, books geared towards children, Warhammer clubs in schools, action figures, FunkoPop, video games, clothes, coffee mugs, candles, ect ect ect.

On one hand I think this is great. I am a huge fan of the IP, love the lore, the models, the game. Diversifying the company and building revenue from other sources is a great way to expose more people to the hobby, and the more money GW makes the more they can build cool new models and rules and all that. I’d love to see my son be able to grab an action figure Space Marine and Tyranid and fight imaginary battles on the couch like I did with GI Joe. I like exposing more of the population to a hobby that used to be played in dark basements and people were considered “nerds.”

But randomly I started thinking about another hobby that I loved 20 years ago as a kid: Legos. Lego almost went bankrupt back in the early 2000s for a lot of reasons, but one of them was that they had started diversifying so extremely that they were losing money and not focusing on the little tiny plastic bricks that had originally made them a household staple. Eventually they refocused on their roots, saved the company, and now are thriving probably even more so than they were before.

So I started wondering, what if GW goes down the same path? What if they spread themselves TOO thin with all this expansion, and we end up seeing a collapse of the hobby? On the other hand, if things go the other direction, we might see Ultramarines on Saturday morning cartoons.
   
Made in gb
Mysterious Techpriest




United Kingdom

I can recommend the "The Toys That Made Us" episode on Lego :-)

WRT GW - they're very risk averse. They wouldn't be doing these things unless they thought they would be successful.
   
Made in us
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Norwalk, Connecticut

Personally, I think GW is merchandising the way they are because they’re comfortable with the two main games as is, will do minor tweaks but no more huge shakeups, most plastic stuff is awesome (I don’t ever expect to see new GDs, for example, they’re all perfect) and won’t get redone, so once the ranges are finished and the armies all updated...merchandising and cashing in on being the biggest name in Wargaming.

Reality is a nice place to visit, but I'd hate to live there.

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Made in ca
Trustworthy Shas'vre






Keep in mind that for a lot of the things you mention GW is merely licensing stuff, which means money flows into the company and another company takes the risks and costs.


   
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User




Charlotte, NC

Pretty sure I’ve seen that “Toys that Made Us” episode. Probably what lodged this whole thought into my brain to begin with.

I hope we don’t see a period where GW sits back on their pile of riches. I’m not a tournament gamer, so I enjoy seeing new factions, rules, models ect. I know it does terrible things to balance but I’m not really someone who cares about that.

The licensing does play a big part in it too, and we’ve all seen that GW has no problem taking their IP back. I’m pretty sure they did that to Relic when DOW 3 hit the ground with a splat...

I think GW has spent the last several decades firmly cementing their position as big kid on the wargaming block. I doubt we would ever see them actually fail. It’s more of an interesting thought exercise for me I guess. What WOULD happen?

Maybe everyone would just go play Warmachine...
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Fargo, ND USA

 John Prins wrote:
Keep in mind that for a lot of the things you mention GW is merely licensing stuff, which means money flows into the company and another company takes the risks and costs.



Firstly, this ^.

Secondly, most of this stuff isn't a new thing for them. GW licensed video games, clothing, accessories, mugs, and the like have existed off and on(or continuously in the case of video games) since the early 90's. GW's done the school club support thing before, just on a smaller scale. They even attempted to have action figures made in the 90's and had a licensed line of polystone statues available at mass retail in the early 2000's. It's not GW that's changed, it's that the market is more willing to support "nerd stuff" and GW is following trend(quite late at that!).

The "hobby" already collapsed back in the late 90's(seriously, there was a huge diversity of games back in the mid-90's) and came back strong since then. If/when the market no longer supports this style of expansion, GW will just shrink back to the Main 3 like they did when they cut Specialist Games the last time and be no worse for wear.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2019/06/14 17:38:03


You know you're really doing something when you can make strangers hate you over the Internet. - Mauleed
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Hallowed is the All Pie
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Made in gb
Wicked Warp Spider





I think GW will be fine in the short and medium term

The overt arrogance seems to have been reigned in, suspect woeful financials and getting 40k knocked off the top spot by that space sheep game a few years back was quite the wake up slap

And whilst a lot of the online stuff is a smidge smoke and mirrors its a big step forward from largely ignoring e-space for so long

Licensing out the IPs is more or less risk free free money

Long term the threat of really good cheap 3d printers with chimp level software, and to some extent AR might cause problems but that's at best a decade away

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Fargo, ND USA

I don't foresee AR as being any sort of threat. Even when the tech advances, it's still going to have that "trying to live in two worlds" issue that's caused it to fail every time. It's too much video game for tabletoppers, and it's too much tabletop/toys for video gamers. For example, as much as I'll personally miss owning phys reps of the upcoming ships, Starlink made the smart choice to go full digital from now on. It's a good game, but physically using the ships/guns slowed down the game to the point that even people buying the toys just used the digital copies they unlocked.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/14 18:04:55


You know you're really doing something when you can make strangers hate you over the Internet. - Mauleed
Just remember folks. Panic. Panic all the time. It's the only way to survive, other than just being mindful, of course-but geez, that's so friggin' boring. - Aegis Grimm
Hallowed is the All Pie
The Before Times: A Place That Celebrates The World That Was 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I think GW is in a very strong position and I think part of their current smattering of targets in terms of merchandise and licensing is all about getting their name out there.

Lego has done the same and chosen to do movie-tie-ins so every time there's a big teen market film there's lego models and Lego the video game of it etc... Their approach is to remain current by attaching a segment of their market to current times, whilst also still supporting their regular products.

The idea is that "some" of those customers of the movie tie ins - or in GW's case licenced material- will transform into gamers. At the very least it keeps the product range topical and current.



The biggest weakness is what GW was doing and what many others have and continue to do, such as Hornby, which is to rest and rely upon a current market without any move to expand or gain new blood. That's working ok for some right now because the current market is affluent adults; but once that market dies off there's far less means to bring in new blood.

GW is all about new blood at present. Specialist games, smaller games, alternate formats etc... They are really playing hard to draw in customers; to get teens back in the shop and the clubs and the highstreet. Their school outreach is another great idea..

Basically GW is on a big recruitment drive. Old customers are great; but young ones are needed to become tomorrows older customers.



GW is also a big gateway product for the wargame market and GW is one of the few with resources for highstreet stores, online advertising campaigns and more. GW is thus committed to expanding and maintaining their market because they are basically the front lines.


Certainly in the UK if GW were to fall I would foresee it wouldn't hurt wargaming in the short term, heck short term it would do what was happening before - an explosion of new small companies. The issue would be in 20 years or so time when all those older customers have kids and lives and not much game time and when there isn't a big influx of new youngsters to replace them.





Personally I thikn augmented reality is more a video game than a miniatures game; great for somethign like starwars with prepainted models but not really suited to warhammer or hordes or those other markets. In addition 3D printing I can't see rising to threaten regular model sales. Like it or not 3D printing is a niche, sure online it appears semi-common but the online and forum market is a tiny tiny segment of reality.
The average customer has enough trouble with mould lines; the last thing they want is to take over production and deal with working an actual 3d printer. Sure if they get to the point that they are like replicators off Startrek sure they might then change things; but right now its a bit like a kit-car. Cheaper, but most people will go get a prebuilt.

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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

Some of GWs best liscensed PC games were in the late 90's, like Final Liberation.

Also most players nowadays are not going to remember all the Milton Bradley boardgames and the like that GW licensed back then, either, like Battle Masters, Heroquest, Tyranid Attack, erc.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/14 21:53:07




"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
   
Made in gb
Council of 13 Runner Up






It’s all going pretty swimmingly for now, and one assumes the mid term future.

But, nothing is ever certain. In their favour, they’ve traditionally maintained solid cash reserves, and are typically averse to borrowing money to pay for expansion.

This means they’ve a resilience to downturns relatively uncommon to retail. When the crash of 2007/2008 wiped various big names off the U.K. high street, it was because those companies had borrowed money to fuel expansion. When the downturn came, their margins took enough of a hit that they couldn’t service the debt. And with banks being immediately lending adverse, couldn’t refinance. And so they fell away.

GW by comparison can weather the storm of economic shock better than most.

Their business model also means the dominance of Amazon is less of an issue. It’s hard to give much of a damn who’s charging what when you’re the sole producer of your product. Even if it means their own stores become less profitable, they’re still a good way to attract would-be gamers to their games. So arguably, even a chain of loss making stores can be offset by the new custom they attract, and help retain.

But a part of their bounce back hasn’t just been the shift in attitude. It’s being able to Give Us What We Want. They’ve diversified their game systems once again, and also raided the archives to bring back Fan Favourites.

Example of Fan Favourites? Adeptus Mechanicus. Adeptus Sororitas. Imperial Knights. Adeptus Custodes. Genestealer Cults. Adeptus Titanicus. Blood Bowl. Necromunda.

All either returning to open arms, or forces long in the background, but never on the tabletop.

Now those I’d all consider to be low hanging fruit. Obvious moves, and well executed.

If they ever find themselves in the position of having to pull another Rabbit out the Hat? I’m honestly not sure where they could go.

The only armies ‘missing’ from 40k at the moment are Squats, Inquisition, Exodites and Mortal Chaos Dudes. And I’m fairly certain we’ll see Mortal Chaos Dudes as a full army before long. Simply put, I can’t see them paying the development costs of the gorgeous models in BSF with no eye to expanding them into 40k. Especially as the models start as digital entities. With the basic frame and scale set, it’s less effort and thus cost to tweak into a full kit or kits.

Specialist Games? Well, they could spit and polish the AoS Quest System into one closer matching BSF. Epic and BFG seem all but guaranteed, in time. So there’s perhaps another decades worth of stuff they call upon, depending on staffing levels and the overall sustainability thereof.

Yet, we live in uncertain times. I won’t say any further there, because that’s Politics. But the world is a less predictable place. If tariff squabbles breakout, who knows how that might hit them? Could it see them struggle? And if so, how long would their cash reserves hold out?

Their lead designers are also knocking on a bit. What might happen to the Design Studio when old hands such as Blanche, Goodwin and Morrison retire? These are guys that are literally 40k. The oldest of the old guard who’s collective vision and ability has helped make 40k so visually distinctive to everything else. The Marmite reception of Primaris perhaps shows that we the customer base are somewhat adverse to change. If those that take the place of the aforementioned old guard lose the cohesive vision, who knows what might happen?

But hey, I may be inventing issues here. I’ve no reason to believe that GW only have a few years left, or could be sunk by International Stuff etc. I’m just brainstorming possible hurdles which could see their recent high performance turned on its head.

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Made in us
Winged Kroot Vulture





GW is just giving access to licensing that doesn't affect the bigger picture. They give the very few sweet deals to companies they believe will represent the big picture the way they want it to.

The bigger picture being their product image.

If the smaller companies don't succeed, there is no damage to 40k/AoS. If the bigger companies are not even close to representing GWs best interests, the product gets canned.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

One big bonus you forget, which can also be a negative, is that GW manufactures the bulk of their product in the UK. This gives them considerable resilience in trade disputes with other countries for their core product. Of course they still trade overseas - terrain, endless spells and hardback books are all produced in China so a breakdown there (or a hiccup as we've had with sylvanath) can lead to issues, but doesn't affect GW's primary model products.

Their main weakness is raw materials.

The other is that UK production does come with a higher cost to produce, so whilst they've got some protections, they've also got higher operating costs. This is more of an issue really if another company were to rise to seriously challenge them whilst producing overseas in cheaper countries and thus able to significantly undercut GW (note many firms do make cheaper games already, but often they are cheaper because they are skirmish and metal, with less investment into large scale plastics).

That siad GW has always weathered that storm well by building not just a game but a lore, setting and whole product that tends to create more loyal customers.



Personally I think their current biggest risk is spreading their core games out far too big and ending up in a position where they cannot maintain updates and focus on so many factions. Right now its fine, its just if they can keep it up in the future.

I do wonder if their "designer led" approach might silp them up a bit here when there are armies that are not "popular" with designers but there are with gamers and thus leads to armies being left ignored for too long - something GW has struggled with for decades really. We all know Necrons and Dark Eldar went a VERY long time with very small forces whilst Sisters of Battle honestly almost got squatted.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in gb
Shas'la with Pulse Carbine




Eastern Fringe

GW has literally become a BILLION dollar company. Massive cash reserves, the best performing company on the entire London stock exchange. To say things have been going well is a MASSIVE understatement. They have so many options in terms of the directions they can take going into the future. I'm really interested to know what the situation is with Lord of the Rings. Amazon is currently working on the most expensive TV series ever which could (If done well) match, if not over-take, what has happened with Game of Thrones. Curious is GW will have the rights to make models based on the characters we see?

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Made in us
Awesome Autarch






They're doing fine. It's very likely they'll hit a snag or a low-period at some point and will cease their meteoric ascent. That's to be expected.

I'm backing away from GW products because of how successful they've become, oddly. They're becoming so successful that I can see the financial wizards decisions in almost every product you pick up. It's becoming more and more blatant in the way that EA etc. more or less ruined numerous gaming franchises. Their profit is definitely coming at the detriment to their game - but mainly in the rules area. That's not one of their main concerns of course, they're pumping out models like crazy and raking in the dough.

It's just increasingly hard for me to not the see blatant DLC styling, the "buy more models...the unit becomes better!" kind of stuff. That's a pretty huge turn off for me. I like GW, I have for a long time...so I don't wish them any misfortune but I won't be riding this train to the next station.

Keep in mind that the guys at the top responsible for the decisions right now...could just as easily leave or be replaced by guys who will feth it all up. GW still plays by their own rules - they're about the only major gaming company that does. I think they'll continue to be a powerhouse even if the boom dies off a bit.

 
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I dunno, just from my own perspective toward the end of the Kirby era I had signed out of the games. From being a really big fan and player in 5e 40K and 7e Fantasy, I gradually fell out of love with the rules pf 8th, 6th and beyond and stopped buying stuff.

But recently I have been buying a ton of minis from GW again. Why? Because they put together sets that were pretty good value with a lot of very nice plastic minis in them. The Start Collecting kits were the first gateway in, and then some of the big two army sets and special christmas sets. Buying that stuff sparked my interest in the games again, and I am not really that interested in the rules and so on, but at the same time I am keeping an eye on things to see if certain things change and I get interested again. But from GW POV, I am buying loads of stuff again from them, where before I was not buying anything.

   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Hollow wrote:GW has literally become a BILLION dollar company. Massive cash reserves, the best performing company on the entire London stock exchange. To say things have been going well is a MASSIVE understatement. They have so many options in terms of the directions they can take going into the future. I'm really interested to know what the situation is with Lord of the Rings. Amazon is currently working on the most expensive TV series ever which could (If done well) match, if not over-take, what has happened with Game of Thrones. Curious is GW will have the rights to make models based on the characters we see?


GW is a healthy multi-million but they are a very very long way from the billions. Their topping of the London Exchange was also a one time fluke and they were very clear that they did not expect to ever do that again not to be able to make continued increased returns on investment. Basically it was a huge one time massive spike caused by a range of things. Whilst they are sitll somewhat riding that high its gone down since then and I think GW is very clearly not aiming to attempt to repeat it. They could do it again, but basically it wouldn't be healthy for the company; in fact in all the years it was clear that Kirby was chasing higher returns on investment for shareholders the company was actually on a steady downward swing and it was the end of many of those policies that resulted in the huge shareholder increase in value

Elbows wrote:
I'm backing away from GW products because of how successful they've become, oddly. They're becoming so successful that I can see the financial wizards decisions in almost every product you pick up. It's becoming more and more blatant in the way that EA etc. more or less ruined numerous gaming franchises. Their profit is definitely coming at the detriment to their game - but mainly in the rules area. That's not one of their main concerns of course, they're pumping out models like crazy and raking in the dough.

It's just increasingly hard for me to not the see blatant DLC styling, the "buy more models...the unit becomes better!" kind of stuff. That's a pretty huge turn off for me. I like GW, I have for a long time...so I don't wish them any misfortune but I won't be riding this train to the next station.



Eh I think once a company goes beyond the garage trading level money does become a powerful motivator for much of its choices; and honestly there is a whole host of companies (LOADS on Kickstarter) who have failed because they followed their dreams and didn't pay attention to the bottom line. More recently we saw Spartan Games fall under and die even though tehy had several very strong product lines and even the Halo Licence.
I think when most of us are young we don't see that, we don't see nor even think about the money side of things so new models and ideas that encourage us to buy more are simply good things to our eyes. Heck its how Magic the Gathering grows itself and most other hobby collecting card/item companies.

As we get older we get more "jaded" in that we understand money makes things work and we start to "see" where new things encourage more buying. Plus our relationship with money shifts from something that, as a child, is mostly there for entertainment* through to something that is competing with rent, rates, our own kids, fuel, life and stuff. So feeling the marketing pressure can connect a bad association of money pressure (even if we are not actually pressured and living up to the wall).

I think sometimes we have to remember that yeah money make it work, but at the same time we still get what we customers want; we get freaking cool stuff like Liber Chaotica books and art books as well as models and sculpts that are really outstanding. Heck GW alone has pushed the limits on what can be done with plastic to the point where most of us are happy for leaders and heroes in plastic whereas 20-30 years ago plastic would never have achieved the details it does today.



*this is a massively gross oversimplification and mostly pertains to being linked to what one would consider a comfortable middle-class individual more or less. Basically the prime market for Warhammer models. Which is not to say that they are limited, in any way, to that market just that I'd expect that segment of society to make up a larger number of the customers.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
   
Made in gb
Courageous Grand Master




-

With each passing year, I'm amazed that GW actually survive.

Vallejo and Tamiya do better and cheaper paints. Dozens of companies out there do better and cheaper terrain.

And GW's games and rules-creators are amateurs compared to the dozens of top, niche indy companies out there who make better.

I'm a big fan of Bolt Action, and recently I played 8th 40k, and the contrast was like night and day. Bolt Action is not perfect, but 8th was a bloated mess in comparison.

To go from a Alessio Cavatore/Rick Priestly designed game, to 8th, was like going from a brand new Ferrari back to a 1980s Ford Escort.

I suppose they make nice, but expensive models at times, and each to their own, but GW ain't for me anymore

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[DCM]
Potent Grey Knight Librarian





Fort Worth, TX

 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:
With each passing year, I'm amazed that GW actually survive.

Vallejo and Tamiya do better and cheaper paints. Dozens of companies out there do better and cheaper terrain.

And GW's games and rules-creators are amateurs compared to the dozens of top, niche indy companies out there who make better.


In this regard, GW really is like Apple: they don't sell just individual products, they sell you an ecosystem. You can get everything you need from GW: the rules, the books, the models, the paint, the terrain, the tools, the glue, the dice, even the measuring tape...everything. You don't have to step outside of a GW store to get anything else to build your army and play the game. And people pay the full GW price for the convenience of it, and also because many of them may not even know they have other options.

Sure, the stores and the way GW ran them were a millstone around their neck for years, but under current GW leadership a lot of things are turning around.

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Made in gb
Grim Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain





Norwich

They are doing quite well at the moment but as with all things this can turn very quickly, so if I were them I would be spending money on assets to secure a stronger future in case the bubble bursts again like the LOTR era.

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Hmm. They seem to be running a leaner operation compared to those days. I dunno, if the incompetence of the Kirby era couldn't kill them I doubt anything will.

   
Made in au
Terrifying Doombull





Melbourne .au

 Do_I_Not_Like_That wrote:
With each passing year, I'm amazed that GW actually survive.
Vallejo and Tamiya do better and cheaper paints. Dozens of companies out there do better and cheaper terrain.
And GW's games and rules-creators are amateurs compared to the dozens of top, niche indy companies out there who make better.

I'm a big fan of Bolt Action, and recently I played 8th 40k, and the contrast was like night and day. Bolt Action is not perfect, but 8th was a bloated mess in comparison.
To go from a Alessio Cavatore/Rick Priestly designed game, to 8th, was like going from a brand new Ferrari back to a 1980s Ford Escort.

I suppose they make nice, but expensive models at times, and each to their own, but GW ain't for me anymore


"Better" in ALL of the examples you've given is an subjective term, rather than an objective one. I also note that you rather downplay the quality of the models, which is kinda important to any discussion about GW. In that, you also need to think about the price/quality as well as the breadth of their range, because while other companies can be better on one of the three, you'll be hard pressed to find many that beat them on two of those, let alone any on all three.

List for me some of the dozens of companies who do better AND cheaper terrain. Seriously. I'm always looking for more quality terrain.

Ultimately, the main point you make is pretty much the last bit, which I've bolded in your post.

   
Made in us
Ruthless Interrogator





The hills above Belfast

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would see a thread in which a fan was stressing over the financial impact of GW producing all the stuff we want.
Anyway, allaying your fears would be GWs annual accounts. They are extremely healthy and have become so because GW have diversified their range not because they cut their cloth. GW were on a slippery financial slope a few years ago precisely because they thought along the lines you are perusing here. Happy fans gives a happy bank balance

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Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh





Devon, UK

 Da Boss wrote:
Hmm. They seem to be running a leaner operation compared to those days. I dunno, if the incompetence of the Kirby era couldn't kill them I doubt anything will.


Time, maybe?

If I was to do any sort of threat assessment, my concern wouldnt be anything material, from all accounts they're selling product faster than they can produce it, and it is already a matter of record that they're taking action to address that.

But one thing that may be a concern is that it seems that, creatively speaking, a brain drain is a very real possibility in the medium term. The likes of Goodwin and Blanche aren't going to go on forever, and it seems that some of the up and comers who publicly join the company subsequently do their time and move on.

Many of the recent releases would have been considered "in case of emergency break glass" releases a few years ago, and while theyve largely met with success, ultimately once they're out there, they need to be iterated on or replaced by something new.

While it probably wouldn't impact in quite the same way, look at the way the loss of Alan Bligh derailed FW to a degree that they don't seem to have recovered from.

A larger studio perhaps would absorb the loss more effectively, but there's no doubt that having a key artist/s leave could be devastating, and the right replacements don't grow on trees.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/15 21:40:49


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Fixture of Dakka




UK

That said GW is a big enough name in the industry that chances are there'd be a lot of talent willing and eager to work for them and a good chance many of those talented in the creative arts would have, at one time, been inspired by GW's history. So in that line they've managed to build their own legacy. True finding those people and paying for them might be hard, but I think a "brain drain" wouldn't be the real issue.

The real issue would be more along the lines of ending up with too many "suits" in upper management and a loss of creative focus. We sort of had that with the Kirby era and the recent upsurge of sales has protected creative concepts and market led approaches in the upper management for a while at least.

This golden age we are in right now I think will hopefully set the ground work to protect GW from a creative end in the future.



The bigger element is that design themes will change, we see that even now. Some fans will cry that its the end of all times (heck we had a load crying that when GW started making kids books); others will say that the design isn't what they like etc... however many of them will likely be more akin to suffering hobby burnout naturally - ergo long term fans. Plus conversions have always been very strong with GW through its years and that in itself can help dull difference in designs. Heck even the 3rd party market would help out here to some degree = at the very least keeping some in the hobby enough to be buying support material (rules, tokens BL books etc...) even if their main army is a Raging Heroes one

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Fort Worth, TX

That is a good question: What happens to the vision when you lose the visionary? What happens when Goodwin and Blanche leave, for example? There is talent out there, there are other visionaries out there to find and hire, but who do you pick, who do you trust with the future of Games Workshop?

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Belgium

Oh, I don't worry for GW. They will be fine : they have the manpower, the logistic and plenty of new blood ready to step forward to fill the void when it happens. Just watch the names behind some of their recent games/miniatures/paintings. They know the "old school" vision while still having/finding their own style.

I would worry more for companies like Mantic Games instead. They are the ones in real danger, since they're also trying to do the same thing (diversify their games) while totally not having the same ressources/workforce than GW nor the size of their fanbase.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/06/15 23:41:31


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Devon, UK

 Overread wrote:
That said GW is a big enough name in the industry that chances are there'd be a lot of talent willing and eager to work for them and a good chance many of those talented in the creative arts would have, at one time, been inspired by GW's history. So in that line they've managed to build their own legacy. True finding those people and paying for them might be hard, but I think a "brain drain" wouldn't be the real issue.


I'm sorry, no, I don't agree.

To use a sporting analogy, there's thousands of professional footballers in Europe, every single one of them would likely want to play for Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Barcelona etc. out of those thousands, only a small percentage would be considered as good enough by those clubs. Out of that small percentage, a proportion that showed promise just won't work out, and most will simply be "good enough."

Against that background, you get your Ronaldos and your Messis, talent that only comes along a handful of times in each generation.

What GW currently have are individuals that have that stature within the niche that they live in.

One day they'll need to replace those people, and the fact is I think it's quite possible that the equivalent talent may simply not exist when they do.

This is a very real problem for all creative companies, and given that much of the "GW-ness" of GW seems to reside in a handful of people, it could be a big one.

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Nuremberg

Background material and writing wise I think this has already happened to GW. But there are plenty of excellent artists and sculptors out there to help when Goodwin or Blanche leave. It is a bit unfair to their designers to imply that everything good coming out of the studio model wise is because of those two alone.

With the writing, I just don't think it is as important for selling a game like this as the miniatures sadly. It has been in the toilet for years now, and does not seem to have much impact.

   
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Fixture of Dakka




UK

I guess it depends how unique one feels the GW creators are; however creation is never quite as cut and dry as that and often its not about unique style, but specific subtle elements. Sometimes the same creator can "lose their style" in the eyes of some.

Plus there's always the core of fans who want change all the time so even if you hired someone new who created exactly the same kinds of designs, that segment would call the creativity stifled and formula based. etc..


You see this a lot in computer game sequels - one market half wants the same game with better graphics and more content; the other half wants that plus a complete re-write of the games core gameplay style.

Upon release one group is always left feeling bitter about the fact they didn't get what they want.


Plus your example kind of shows that GW should have no problem getting talented staff working for them; sure they might not get a unique "great" but then again they won't end up with bottom feeders either.



I can compare it to something like Nightwish lead singers. First there was Tarja who was fantastic and part of what helped establish the band and their music; then they had a change when she was booted out and got Anette who was a skilled singer but didn't quite capture the same style as the first, but they were still a darn good band. Now they've got Floor who is a much better fit with the band and some consider her not just as good but better than Tarja. Change happened and if you look at a lot of bands the players and singers can shift around a lot over time. Even the bands that remain the same rarely remain playing identical songs over time, their music shifts and changes and adapts. Heck books at the same, Colour of Magic is a very different book to Going Postal even though they are the same author with the same core structure and world setting.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/16 08:49:22


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