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December 30, 2013

WFB: 9th Edition and the State of the Game

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Over the weekend, one of the community's pillars spoke up on the subject of Warhammer Fantasy and what the future may hold...

There have been back and forth rumors of Warhammer Fantasy 9th Edition in either 2014, or 2015 making the rounds, and for months, ominous rumors of all manner of massive shakeups to the venerable gamesystem.  Harry, one of the longstanding rumor-savants and pillars of the community piped up regarding what he believes is going on.

via Harry (edited for readability)

Fantasy Big Picture (regarding WFB sales)
- ...I seem to remember Fantasy being in the 20 something %'s. (This is a few years ago) 

- It may well have fallen below 20% now. (I have heard it is not doing so well)

- I seem to remember the biggest Fantasy army (can't remember if it was Empire or Orcs and Goblins) was making about 5%. (Maybe even 7%)

- The smallest Fantasy army was making as little as 1%

- Now when you consider they make over 10 Million in profit it still seems 1% of that is still worth having ... except when the plastic moulds cost as much as they do it is hard to make much profit out of a Wood Elf mould. Where as a Space Marine mould ... will make twenty times as much from the same costs. 

- Makes it a bit easier to understand the release schedule?

Fantasy "Solutions"
- I heard they (GW) did experiments to try to discover if it was the price of the kits .... they released the Dark Elf Cold One Knights and the Chaos Knights at a lower price point to see if everyone bought twice as many as is so often stated ... They didn't. The same people bought exactly the same number of boxes as they do at the higher price point  (I am not saying this is what happened ... or that they concluded they might as well continue to charge more for their kits to make a greater return ... I am just saying that is what I heard). 

- About Shelving 9th Edition ... I did hear that they had discussed shelving fantasy FULL STOP! (Not sure how long that discussion was before it was abandoned, but that's what I heard)
- I heard they discussed losing some of the least popular armies.
- I heard they discussed condensing the army books into less volumes. (So the less popular armies could survive)
- I heard one Warhammer armies book ... I heard two books?
- I have no idea where the dust settled on these discussions except that they decided to do something .... and that it would have to be radical.

Fantasy 9th Schedule
- As far as I know I am the only person to have predicted 2014 for 9th edition ... because I assumed it must be around the corner based on the timescales I usually hear stuff. But Hastings posted almost immediately to say he had heard it was 2015.  I always assume he is correct and I am incorrect ... (hastings =Jedi Master Harry=Young apprentice).  I don't think 9th edition has been pushed back or shelved. I think when I posted to say it was coming in 2014 ... I was wrong.

Supporting Testimony...

Quote by MiyamatoMusashi

The beancounters at GW are deeply dissatisfied with the money WHF makes. That's not in their official annual report. But it's not speculation either. Whether you choose to believe it is up to you. But I'm not speculating that that's the case, I know it to be the case. Doubt me if you like, call me a liar if you feel so inclined, but even if you conclude I must be merely speculating, at least accept the possibility that SOMEONE may be in a position to hear things that don't appear in the annual statement.

There is a very basic difference between "speculation" and "unconfirmed" and "not from an official source". Was Hastings just speculating for all those years of consistently providing accurate information of what was coming? Or was he simply reporting what had not yet been officially announced?
- He heard pretty much the same things I did ... from completely different sources a few months after I did. 
- So that is two and a half years out (if 9th comes in summer 2015) ... making him well connected.
- I first heard about all this in the June/July 2011 

Quote by Tancred II von Quenelles

To sum up WFB 9th is hitting in 2015 with some unpredicted and radical changes - am I correct?
- That is about the size of it.
- My understanding was they were scraping everything and starting again. So pretty difficult to predict what the changes might be.

Read the whole thread - lots of interesting stuff in there...

~So where do you weigh in on WFB these days?  What do you think the game most needs when GW updates it next time around?
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