|I'm worried for GW, not gonna lie.|
There has been a lot of doom and gloom lately with 9th Ed. WHFB seemingly around the corner. You can catch most of the rumors from other sites like BoLS and Faeit, but a lot of popular rumormongers have been talking about round bases, eradicating existing armies, reducing units, reducing scale, and rebooting the setting directly.
I don't know how many of these are true, or how many of these are actually going to happen, but one thing is for damn sure: This will be the truest test of GW for me personally. If 9th Ed. WHFB is a giant flop, there's a huge chance that I will sell all my armies (both 40K and Fantasy) and abandon GW entirely.
It's been a rough couple of years for me for GW games specifically. In the realm of design, I've seen some really nice pieces of work and some really shitty ones. I've seen armies that I thought was going to see buffs and improvement receive utter crap and nonsense. In terms of fluff, I'm re-reading some of the older books for material because the newer books are hollowed out skeletons of what army books used to be. Last, but certainty not least, is the complete and utter idiocy of their business motto and execution strategies.
To sum GW up for me in the last couple of years:
- Prices have gone up again.
- Design has been really questionable to downright shitty.
- Complete watered down army books in terms of material for the same prices.
- The business decisions GW makes are utter nonsense with their limited releases and availability. Not to mention the idea that they think their shit are considered collectibles.
I'm serious when I say that GW has been pissing everyone off lately. It will be the final nail in the coffin if they go about destroying people's hobbies by eradicating armies, and reducing other people's collections to meaningless shit. I'm really hoping that 9th Ed. will be good. Not good in the sense that GW will have suddenly better rules and army design, but good in terms of making business decisions with the game in mind, and not some ludicrous idea that GW miniatures are limited edition collectibles.
For 9th Ed. to be good, they need to..
Change the business motto completely:
The whole idea that their shit should be limited release with limited availability is the dumbest thing I have ever fucking seen in the business world. Your job is to literally provide product for your customers. That literally is your only job and you have failed at it. Not once, but multiple times now for every End Times release. How this is even possible is beyond the scope of my imagination. No joke GW, you had one job.
As a models company who writes rules for the models, you are now a game company. If not, don't write fucking rules for your models. Understand this for one fucking second and maybe your company won't be viewed as dogshit for the vast majority of the table-top playing community. The second you attach rules to your models and design a rules platform for it, you owe it to your customer base to provide a quality product.
For God sakes, align your business strategies with your design team. I'm seriously cautious on how 9th Ed. will play out because of this one thing. WHFB doesn't need to be 2500 points to play, in fact, I would say this is the biggest reason why it's failing as a product. The buy-in price is huge and no one wants to get started. Good, so you have made lords and heroes 50% of your army, but is that really enough to get more players playing? Maybe consolidating the armies to 6? No and no. What you need is a simplified ruleset, better points scaling and scenarios that promote smaller games. If you can accomplish these three things, you will be able to achieve more players in your game.
Reduce the total army count to something more manageable without eradicating player options, units or armies. This is important for their existing customer base and this will give them greater design space in the future.
Whatever, it doesn't matter, it's only a matter of time. GW has been taking in water for quite some time. It's bleeding cash with a lot of internal strife, poor direction and subpar leadership. You can tell by looking at the company from a consumer standpoint and you can clearly see that the departments are not running in sync. Both business strategy, marketing and general leadership are archaic, outdated and over-reliant on all or nothings.
The only reason why GW has the best "fluff" is because they've been established for 25+ years. I sure the fuck hope they've got themselves some good fluff if they were the first into the fray. Imagine for a second what GW could be if they have a modern perspective in what makes good business truly good business. If they didn't shun their consumers but embraced them, and provided a winning strategy for both hobbyist and gamer. GW would be invincible in the minis market, utterly unchallenged instead of constantly being questioned and doubted.