Friday, October 30, 2015

2015 - The Year Everything Changed

Within the hobby I think that 2015 will be looked upon as the year that everything changed.

For the first time we saw a major company blow up an established tabletop game that generated multimillion dollar revenue/sales. And with that action alienate a substantial part of their existing customer base.

Yes, an alternative game was produced as a replacement but let's just say that it wasn't like for like.

Now I understand the business explanations for why things had to change but I'm guessing that GW didn't expect what appears to be a full scale rejection of Age of Sigmar (small pockets of England, their vassal state Scotland excepted). Indeed, if it was not for the schilling of the game on what were Warhammer podcasts I think we would be watching a full scale train wreck.

But that's not the half of it. What I believe that GW didn't expect was the wholesale abandonment of the company. The genie has been well and truly let out of the bottle and long term customers are now casting their world weary eyes to greener pastures.

Games that previously never received more than a cursory look are now seeing major influxes of new players. Kings of War is obvious example but Bolt Action and Infinity are major winners as well.

And the level of ill-will GW has engendered is quite amazing in its escalating intensity.

This must eventually hit the bottom line. I use to buy White Dwarf every week and Warhammer Visions (old WD sub). That is $500 per year that they are no longer seeing. Similarly I used to buy the Horus Heresy novels and audiobooks from Black Library. Every army book was bought digitally as well as a physical copy.

My only purchase now is the occasional pot of Chaos Black paint. No more spraycans, no more flock, no new air brush paints etc. this from a customer who even on a bad year used to give them $3000.

I have fallen out of love with the company, their offering and their vision. It will take an awful lot for me to re-enter that fold.



  1. well said Peter, and welcome to the other side. :-) I personally hope that they keep warhammer dead for a couple of years and take a serious look what has happened and then bring warhammer back in a cheaper format and go back closer to say 5th or 6th edition. Being gw though i doubt they will admit a mistake and age of sigmar will be pushed off the back of 40k.

  2. Well said Pete & Mark. I concur.

  3. It's a company. Why do you need happiness with alignment from one company? That's what scares me.

    1. Why do people like Ford over Holden? Why do some people like all cars regardless?

      Some people - myself included - are very myopic in their hobby. There is always some limiting resource - in some cases it's money, in my case it's time or concentrated interest.

      Other people are gadflys and happily trip from company to company, manufacturer to manufacturer....they feel/expect no loyalty from any one provider.

      People are different......who knew?

  4. I was at Conquest in Christchurch this year. We restarted the Lord of the Rings circuit and frankly have spent more on TradeMe for LOTR than I did for GW the previous 5 years.
    And it was awesome fun. Only 8 of us but we are looking to get more for NatCon in Dunedin next year. We had quite a bit of interest!

    But also there are so many good games out there. Kings of War is a bit vanilla for me its workmanlike and fun but I'd rather play anything else.

    SAGA is looking tempting or one of the many many Osprey variants Frostgrave or the new Dragon Rampart.

    We had a mosey round the Warhammer tournament and 40K and happily everyone was having a good time but I don't know how much longer Warhammer 8th can continue as the tournament go to...

    One great thing about Lord of the Rings is half the people are new hobbyists they have no other experiences the Hobbit movie drew them in and they cannot believe the prices charged for 40K and Warhammer. The weirdest thing is people talking about new GW bundles and the starters as if they’re good value!

    We paid a visit to Comics Compulsion and to see all the Age of Sigmar stuff in one place the price just floored us. I know we don’t like to talk about price it makes it sound whiney but it’s a reality becoming too hard to ignore for GW the entry rate is too high.