Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rules Release Dates

As you are all aware earlier this year GW changed its release policy. This tied in to the weekly White Dwarf revamp.

The key thing with the change was a change from releases announced at the start of the month and then staggered over it to a true weekly release schedule - only 7 day prior announcement. Hand in hand with this looks to be market testing - or it could be an internal battle or even incompetence - as to when is the best week to release rules.

Certainly there appears no rhyme or reason to the strategy which suggests they may be testing the market. The first release saw Dwarf Army Book come out week three, while with the IG or whatever they are now called we saw variant codex week one and main codex week four. Imperial Knights had rules released week two while Wood Elves got theirs week one. Finally 40k Orks have had to wait until we eh four.

I can only assume that GW is trying to determine whether the timing of rules release affect sales - either positively or negatively. I can see reasons for why you would go either first or last week but second and third week make little sense. The case for late army book/codex release is that it keeps models under wraps longer which seems to be GW current preferred option.

However out of all the releases mentioned above I believe the one that generated the most excitement (in my not unbiased opinion) was Wood Elves. Here people got to see the rules and models and as an observer and reader of GW-related media it seemed to cause the most positive reaction.

Contrast this with the current Ork release. This seems to have gone on forever and each week the excitement seems to be a bit less.

So why different reactions?

Well I reckon people want to see the rules before they commit their money. I may be wrong on this and I guess their target market can be swayed with "OMG Da New Flash Gitz Roxxor - wow Dude each gun haz 12 bitz and moar dakka". But at $85 NZ for 5 plastic models they better more than "Roxxor " they need to be game efficient for me to want to buy them.

I think it would be absolutely fascinating to see the weekly sales breakdown for each sales strategy. We won't.....but maybe by the end of the year we'll see things crystallise into a coherent strategy. One schedule must be more successful.

1 comment:

  1. Either that or there's a Ouija board involved in writing their business plans.