BREAKING: GW Licensing in Vegas!

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GW IS turning a new leaf.  The company is pushing a lot of VERY interesting brands in Las Vegas this weekend.

This weekend in Las Vegas the pricy Licensing Expo is going on, and guess who is there in force:

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Here is how the expo describes itself:

Licensing Expo connects the world’s most influential entertainment, character, fashion, art and corporate brand owners and agents with consumer goods manufacturers, licensees and retailers.  This is the meeting place for the global licensing industry, whether you are looking to spot trends, build strategic partnerships or secure promotional tie-ins.  Millions of products across the world started life as a conversation at Licensing Expo, and this is where you can find the right partners to expand your business and make the deals that will change your business forever. In 2015, 461 exhibitors representing more than 5,000 brands gathered in Las Vegas and more than 16,150 key decision making retailers, manufacturers, marketing and advertising professionals attended, across all consumer product categories.

Games Workshop’s Booth

Image via Spikeybits 6-19-2016

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GW has a booth set up at the expo and is pushing the following licenses:

  • Battlefleet Gothic
  • Blood Bowl
  • Dark Future
  • Dawn of War
  • Dreadfleet
  • Fury of Dracula
  • Horus Heresy
  • Inquisitor
  • Man ‘O’ War
  • Mordheim
  • Necromunda
  • Space Hulk
  • Talisman
  • Warhammer 40,000
  • Warhammer Age of Sigmar
  • Warhammer Fantasy Battle
  • Warhammer Quest

All of the usual big brands are there like Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar.  More interesting are some of those older and lesser known ones like Fury of Dracula, Mordheim, Talisman and even Dark Future.

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We have previously reported that Dark Future is returning via GW’s own Specialist Games and most items on that list have current licensed products out from Fantasy Flight Games:

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FFG’s Fury of Dracula

What It Means

Licensing Expo is not a cheap conference to attend.  GW is apparently getting serious about building up a new licensing based revenue stream using their 30 old IP -and to be honest it’s about time.  One of the entire points of taking the time  and effort to building up your own IP is to let others license it and make you money. We have just seen with the recent GW Annual statement that they made more than expected money from licensed products.  I think this is only the beginning and we will start to see ever more GW universes showing up in a variety of formats.

Note that at thier booth, GW is specifically looking for licensed deals for:

  • Video Games
  • Entertainment
  • Apparel
  • Collectables
  • Publishing
  • Toys
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With FFG already licensing the GW universe for boardgames this could be more video-games, and almost any kind of other licensed products from toys to apparel – the sky’s the limit.

~What types of things would you be most interested in buying?  I want a RC Thunderhawk “drone”!

 

 

  • ZeeLobby

    Part of me is excited. The other part of me realizes that this is just GW realizing that their model sales are faltering. Rather than buckle down and fix their game systems, I feel like they’re going to just Wh*re out their IP. Their fiscal roundup pretty much said that IP and licensing generated a fair amount of their profits.

    • NikosanPrime

      Or this could give them the funding they need to shore up the main games. I think they are in a situation where previous management effectively crippled the company and now they are trying to rebuild on multiple fronts. The best way to do that is have multiple baskets and leverage each one to achieve a stabilizing of the client/fan base and eventually growth.

      I applied for the CEO position and what they are doing is almost all of the items I outlined in my cover letter. I am glad to see they are following a similar path.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. That makes sense as well. It wouldn’t shock me if what you said is true. I guess I’ve just gone through many years of what feels like neglect, haha. If they can use those profits to refocus on game design, I’m all for it.

      • Well, their company is held up by licensing fees for the most part. Heck, they got more money that way than anticipated in the last financial reports. Without that money, they’d have been in an undeniable downwards spiral for a couple of years, without staying more or less even like right now.

        • Axis Mundi

          They seem to have woken up to the fact that they aren’t just making games, or miniatures, but most importantly IP, and the best route to grow profits is in mining that IP for all it’s worth. The physical products are at best marginally profitable, and at worst a loss leader – but vital as the engine that creates the IP. This all looks like it should lead to a much more healthy company – time will tell.

          • Joe Dom GA

            Like monthly $4 comic books do for trade sales and movies.

          • Axis Mundi

            Exactly! The “End Times” stuff reminded me strongly at the time of the kind of things Marvel and DC do to try and re-vamp their IP. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but they worked out a while ago that just keeping everything the same doesn’t (a): build a new audience or (b): expand the IP. Of course of those two, Marvel seem to be unable to put a foot wrong at the moment, while DC seem to have no clue what they are doing – which one is GW? I’m guessing most people here might have an opinion on that! 🙂

        • Alpharius

          Yes, the revenue from their tabletop games has been steadily declining for a decade, no matter what they do.

          • I’ll argue that its *because* of what they do. Increasing prices, lowering the amount of miniatures per box (sometimes blatantly so, like with Dire Avengers and various WHFB sets), dropping WHFB after neglecting it for years, changing the direction of 40k to be closer to Apocalypse, meaning that the entry point went up and a lot of people are turned off by the way the rules are evolving (or in some ways devolving). Even their Age of Sigmar kits, and more recent 40k stuff, have been very static rather than modular like they used to be.

            They are cutting costs while maintaining a high price level that drives people away, and even raising prices by shifting the scale of the game or introducing rules that make you take “free” units on top. They are pushy in all the wrong ways. A bunch of things are looking better now with Start Collecting boxes, a throwback to better days, and WD going monthly again, or the return of board and specialist games. But they’ll have to fight an uphill battle to regain their customers’ trust in the long term.

          • Alpharius

            Definitely. I am not touching 40K for a while, my faith is with the FW crew. 40K is just too out of hand for me to enjoy playing anymore. Remember, the previous CEO pretty much outright said their customer base are a bunch of stupid nerds with no lives or girlfriends, who will pay whatever they ask.

          • Alpharius

            Definitely. I am not touching 40K for a while, my faith is with the FW
            crew. 40K is just too out of hand for me to enjoy playing anymore.
            Remember, Kirby pretty much outright said their customer base are a
            bunch of stupid nerds with no lives or girlfriends, who will pay
            whatever
            they ask. I would hope he’s done fleecing GW (like getting them to pay a
            couple of million pounds to his wife for their crappy new
            webstore), I really hope he retires from the board soon or just drops dead.

          • Dennis Finan Jr

            Its all exspensive-tho. Any company thats-pops out minis are usually a-hefty price. They have to be its there only rev

    • Alpharius

      Yes, it’s kind of how a couple of years ago Kirby was patting himself on the back about how well they were doing, even though the only reason they weren’t deep in the red is because they slashed their store overhead to pieces by firing everybody and closing a bunch of sites. They can only cut so much, so at least it’s good they realized they need to come out of their basement and join the greater gaming community. I think the biggest change with this new CEO is GW no longer suffering from the syndrome that had them believing the GW hobby is the only hobby (see heavy involvement in social media, pushing their products in traditional retail stores, rebranding of stores and name, consolidation of online services, comprehensive approach to licensing, etc). Even when not tabletop gaming, all my leisure activities lately involve GW IP, whether it’s Battlefleet Gothic or Total Warhammer.

      By the way, Total War Warhammer has totally made me nostalgic about the Old World… it was such a robust and fleshed-out fantasy setting, it’s a shame they flushed it down the toilet for He-man Battle Bubble Universe.

      • Chris Eyler

        Total War: Warhammer got me to go out, track down some still shrink-wrapped battalion boxes online, and start a properly square based Warriors of Chaos army. Totally hooked on the Old World now.

    • Shawn

      You can never wear out the brand Zee, just ask Gene Simmons of Kiss. The main reason they’re still relevant today is Gene marketed the hell out of band. He wouldn’t let anyone forget them. I get what you mean though, fixing their games would go a long way to promoting sales.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah, I mean luckily some of their games have panned out to be quite good (Armada, Total War, etc.). So it’s not like they’re just throwing it at whoever will take it. But the last thing I want is for them to become video-game centric with “there’s a side tabletop game if you’re interested”.

        • Shawn

          I get what you mean and I’m with you. While the video games are fun, it’s not the same.

      • Alpharius

        We have different definitions of relevant, clearly.

  • Timotheus

    Make a proper movie already!!

    • I’d like to see a good, novel-based Ciaphas Cain movie, with Sandy Mitchell involved in the writing process. But then, it doesn’t look like he and Black Library/GW are on good terms nowadays so it won’t happen.
      I always thought Cain was one of the “friendliest” ways to get into the setting, with all its black humor and the “villain of the book” style. It gets you around but also has enough familiar characters and cynicism to be appealing to newcomers who like tongue in cheek action flicks.

      Having it narrated by Cain’s actor to mimic the memoir style and then have Amberley, whether she’s in the movie in person or not, cut in once in a while, could be hugely entertaining

      • Inquisitorsz

        That would be interesting but maybe a bit too generic?
        If there was ever a movie I can’t see it featuring anything but space marines. It’s their main product.

        Personally I’d love to see an inquisitor based movie. The Eisenhorn trilogy would make some amazing movies.

        • And that’s the problem I’m seeing: Focusing too much on Space Marines. They’re already a meme outside of the actual fans and players of the games and background. Done wrong, a Space Marine movie would be pretty bad in the long term I feel. They should appear for certain, but making them the main point of a movie? Better not.

          That’s why I think Cain or similar (like Inquisition stuff, yes) would be better. It gives human protagonists that get “in touch” with the more exciting parts of the IP, like weird alien species, Chaos nutjobs and Space Marines. They just allow for a different look at the Astartes, where they appear more superhuman rather than your regular action hero dudebros in power armour. A movie would need a more relatable human component to offset just how powerful Space Marines are in the grand scheme of things and not trivialize either them or the antagonists.

      • Jennifer Burdoo

        I think it’s too closely based on GM Fraser’s Flashman and McAuslan series (which have both appeared onscreen) to avoid copyright challenge. I’m honestly surprised Fraser’s estate never went after the books.

    • The problem with a movie licensing deal is that they hand over creative control to the studio. No studio would make a deal to do a major motion picture where GW retained the kind of leash they keep their other licensees on. Just look at Warcraft, it isn’t true to the source material at all.

      • Inquisitorsz

        Warcraft was close enough.

        The thing to remember with GW IP is that you don’t necessary have to use any previously written stories (unless you wanted to do horus heresy).
        In that regard, I’d say Blizzard had a much tighter hold on the Warcraft movie than GW would.

        There’s so many worlds, chapters, characters etc that you can just make your own story. Eg like DoW did with the Blood Ravens.

        GW probably had some say in that, but it’s obviously something brand new.

        • If you could sell a studio on that, sure. But if you’re a movie studio you want the rights to an NYT best-seller over a random movie vaguely connected to an existing universe. And you get full creative control, who knows what they’d do to it. The Last Airbender is another possible outcome, but considering how unbearable Warcraft was, and the fact that it has probably sunk the franchise permanently, I would much rather have no Warhammer movies than a bad movie that ensures the industry thinks the franchise isn’t bankable

          • The Warcraft movie is standing better than Transformers, and had more substance than that. Similar critic reactions, but a higher moviegoer performance. If drivel like Transformers stays attractive for Hollywood, I don’t see why a relatively niche movie like Warcraft that was always more of a compromise between fans and newcomers would be sunk by a decent and inoffensive if at times confusing movie. In fact, I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who have never played the games that they enjoyed the movie and were going to watch a sequel.
            Heck, the movie crushed expectations already, despite lukewarm critic scores.

          • 3rd largest week 2 drop in box office for a movie on 3k screens or more, it really isn’t doing well

          • 3rd largest week 2 drop in box office for a movie on 3k screens or more, it really isn’t doing well

          • It is doing massively better in the EU and Asia than the US, where it aired later and people got turned off by critic reviews (half of which didn’t even know what a non-Tolkien orc was, heh). It is going to air until August in even more territories, and grossed almost 400 million dollars so far, on a budget of 160 million, whereas one source claims that it’ll need 450 million total lifetime to “break even” (likely due to marketing and tech).

            BD sales will be significant, especially with the added 40 minutes of material that didn’t make it into the theatrical cut, which fans will want to watch. It is one of the if not the biggest office hit in various European countries, topping Deadpool and co.

            The world, and the movie’s audience, isn’t limited to the USA.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Aside from that… USA is not a true litmus test for movies.. Sharknado grosses more in blue ray sales then Oscar winners… Last I checked 40k was kind of British science fiction, and probably would do well, in I don’t know, the UK? As well as Asia! Asians love 40k, not in tabletop so much, but for Cosplay for sure! You have no idea the can of worms in can open in Asia specifically!

      • Warcraft changed things around, but kept the spirit of it mostly intact. It wasn’t an amazing movie (and the novelization is plenty better), but it did the job while keeping things close enough to not topple the overall continuity.

        With 40k, you could branch out almost anywhere in the galaxy, feature your own Chapter of Space Marines and Imperial Guard regiments have enough leeway to allow for your own cadre of Cadians, for example. Dawn of War back in the day did a lot of unorthodox stuff but is praised anyway, without having to feature established characters or Chapters in the campaign. And in the end GW even came around to it again and made the Blood Ravens a canon thing.

        • I couldn’t disagree more, Warcraft is a satire and they completely missed that. Everything about the Warcraft universe is a joke on serious fantasy, it is the core mechanic of the series, treating it as serious utterly betrayed the spirit of Warcraft.
          Also I mostly see people mock dawn of war, because they messed up fluff and because it was super cheesy and poorly written. And voice acting. And the graphics weren’t great and gameplay was warmed over 90s RTS fare delivered 5 years too late.

          • I don’t think we’ve played the same Warcraft games. Even WoW is taking itself seriously besides some pop culture references.

            I vastly prefered DoW2 over the first game, but I still see more vitriol about the change in gameplay mechanics in the second than I’ve ever seen about DoW1 altogether. Excepting Soulstorm, which was a standalone expansion by a different studio, of course.
            Putting graphics as a priority in a mass battle RTS really is silly, though. The gameplay was tried and true with enough innovation within the franchise to be one of the most successful games of its genre.

          • Neal Laxman

            Try Warcraft 2, love the comedy in that!

            WoW players should look at the heritage, it’ll help understand so much more about the Warcraft world

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Yeah warcraft was always serious, but had in jokes from the original time… Hell in Warcraft 3 the gryphon rider says “Like my Warhammer, it cost me 40K$” Secondly, Dawn of War, when it came out, was the most graphical RTS of it’s time, and honestly it did better than expected, won many awards. It also helped many people discover WH40k!

  • Commissar Molotov

    What is this “Warhammer Fantasy Battle” they speak of?

  • elShoggotho

    Sadly, the licensing profits are only used to keep an otherwise unsustainable overpricing model afloat.

    • Phil

      Like Marvel then, yeah?

  • Andrew Arnott

    What about “Oi, dat’s my leg?”

    • euansmith

      Ha – you beat me to it 😀

  • Badgerboy1977

    Looking forward to seeing what the future holds with all the moves they’re making, can’t wait 🙂

  • euansmith

    I was hoping for a triple A version of, “Oi, dat’s my leg!”

  • Anti-Gravity

    Can’t wait to see what GW has up their sleeve – or hopes to have, anyway! I just hope they make wise moves and don’t pimp their property out all over the place. This is a crossroads for them.

  • gordon ashacker

    Dreadfleet, but not WFB……

  • Jennifer Burdoo

    I’d like action figures.

  • Vorropohaiah

    TOYS… maybe we’ll finally get GW action figures

  • Ross Allan

    Toys? Now…..that *is* interesting. Be warned what follows is quite possibly apocrypha, but during my stints working for GW, I was always told licensing, and specifically Toys, were the main thing preventing movie rights being sold (despite repeated interest from those wot make films and that). in short, GW were happy to license a Movie, but wanted to retain all merchandising rights.
    Given how profitable the licensing of movie rights is, that quite understandably put people off. But a more liberal attitude? Who knows what we might see?
    Speculation only – I have no insider info, and frankly I’m a bit of a goon, so this is only speculation!

  • Dennis Finan Jr

    I would a warhammer fantasy rpg. Warhammer online was great. I .issue that game. Stay-away from electronic arts

  • Shawn

    Iron Hands shirts, mugs, pins, patches,even a belt buckle would be kind of cool. Hell, a shirt with “The Flesh is Weak” would be kind of awesome. I’d also like to see the Iron Hands featured in video games.

  • Shawn

    I’d like to see where he called his customers a bunch of stupid nerds. I know your paraphrasing what was said, but I’m still curious enough to want to read it. Also, did Kirby just step down as CEO, or was he removed? I thought failed bosses were booted out of a company and not just merely demoted.

    • Alpharius

      Kirby owns too much of the company to be simply pushed out, but I’m sure there was growing dissatisfaction with his leadership since they had salary freezes for a while and despite terrible numbers his annual letter kept singing lalalaeverythingisfinegobacktoyourbusinessnothingtoseeherefolkslalala.

      His comments come from one of the last few years financial report (2-3 years back), where he was describing the demographics of their customers. He was basically saying despite the increase of living costs and general depression of the worldwide economy, most of their customers are adult males with no “lives or girlfriends” (I think that was a direct quote, lol), and that their boutique product can be increased in price indefinitely.

  • gordon ashacker

    I am sure that nobody would pay for an AoS licence……

  • Michael Kapuscinski

    I want a well-done movie or seven. Something at a less space-mariney pace. Maybe Gaunt’s Ghosts or Eisenhorn.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Well the mobile version of Eisenhorn is pretty much an interactive movie staring Mr. Strong! I would love to see him do the role in the flesh so to speak.