I know that the outcome we have had in New Zealand is reflected around the world.....a splintering of the "community" into different game systems. Here in New Zealand we have seen the people playing Warhammer Fantasy move in a variety of different ways:
- Kings of War
- The Ninth Age
- Age of Sigmar
- Warhammer 40k
- Ceased playing altogether
In some cases people have cycled through the groups looking for a game that scratches their itch. Now in larger population centres this may not be much of an issue as there are plenty of willing faces to fill gaps but in smaller centres - or those with dispersed population - it is having a massive effect (in terms of numbers).
To be fair in the last 12-18 months of 8th Edition, numbers had peaked and were starting to decline - I suspect because the edition had matured and had been "worked out". This wasn't helped by the lack of love GW was showing the system, largely phoning in army books and then not following up with after sales care (FAQs, etc). However WHFB was largely the only Fantasy game in town.
As a result of the splintering, the resulting communities have had to adjust. Tournament numbers are much less which in itself restricts variety.
Hopefully all of the various systems will grow, attracting new players to the fold. It was good to see multiple systems in play at the Warlords' recent convention Call to Arms. Every game has its attractions and advantages and the key thing out of it all is that people continue to game.