Pimpcron: GW Is Probably Unbeatable

  • Posted by
  • at

Not opinion; just fact and history.

Hey people and things posing as people. It is I! The inglorious bastard called Pimpcron, ready to open hearts, mend wounds, or maybe just tell you something you don’t want to hear. I’ve been thinking again (I know you warned me not to) and I realized something that is sad, or awesome, depending on your view.

Nobody Can Beat Games Workshop, And It Isn’t Even GW’s Doing

Like I said, this is a fact, not opinion. I can already hear you hemming and hawing; your mouth is saying ‘fanboy’ while your face is saying ‘triggered’. Those pudgy little fingers of yours are just a twitchin’ to comment below and tell me how wrong I am before hearing my point. Well go on, I’ll wait …

Now that we got that outta the way, I realized something the other day. As most of you know, I’ve made my own skirmish game (link button below my signature). But from a game designer’s standpoint, you are making a game that will literally swim in a sea of brand new games. And thanks to Kickstarter, many of these games are super-high quality with miniatures, art teams and everything. You could have just finished the very best game mankind has ever known, and probably nobody will ever see it due to the sea of other games. It’s like dropping a priceless diamond into the sea, it doesn’t matter how much it is worth if nobody ever finds it.

But, There’s a Problem

All of these other games are also struggling to compete in an ever-more saturated market. I’ve written before that Kickstarter may have ruined the gaming industry but won’t go into again here. So how do you get people to try your game? As a rule of thumb, you need people already playing your game to get others to play your game. Which is just as ridiculous as it sounds but it is true. That is where Starter Sets came into play. Two friends jump into a game together using both factions. But now everybody has a starter set: that no longer works in this day and age. I have seen so, so many games crowd funded and then flounder in the real market because nobody plays them. How many games do you have at home you never play?

 

So Why is GW So Omnipotent?

They won’t be easily beaten because they were *first*. It sounds silly but it’s true. Why are Coke and Pepsi always going to be the top brands of soda? They made it out front of all of the others and captured the market. When the vast majority of people think of an RPG, what name comes to mind? They think Dungeons and Dragons, because they were *first*. Why are DC and Marvel comics the top brands? They got out and became popular before others had a chance.

… Not many …

You see, I’ve come to realize that when you are the first big name in a market and break out as “the” game of a genre, you will probably always be the top dog. Of course this isn’t guaranteed and Games Workshop looked like it was going to lose that title a couple years ago. It almost seems that if you are a late comer to an industry, you will never be able to get enough of a foothold to become “the“ game unless the big company really messes up or goes out of business. GW has the biggest group of players, which in turn makes it the easiest game to get into for new players, because there are so many existing players. It’s like a self-fulfilling situation: “they eat because they’re sad, and they’re sad because they eat” to quote a famous philosopher.

Coke and Pepsi are everywhere, so it is really easy for you to find it and drink it. This, in turn, makes it easy for people to like the taste of those and/or grow accustomed to them. Sure, Dr. Pepper, 7-up, Cheerwine, Mr. Pibb, A&W, Sprite, Sierra Mist, Mountain Dew and countless others exist. But I don’t foresee any of them ever becoming #1 because of this self-fulfilling cycle of human laziness and routine.

Don’t ask.

And I am not a GW fanboy or apologist or hater. I really like their games 40k and AoS, so I buy stuff from them. But I have no love or hatred for the company itself. Of course that won’t dissuade anybody from calling me one or the other, but ah well.

Have you ever seen real-life #1 top dog companies fall from grace?

None come to mind for me, but I’m sure there are some. Please add some in the comments if you know of some. From what I’ve seen, it is rare.

Check out the awesome hand-made terrain kickstarter of terrains4games here.

I’ve bought a lot of it for my convention. Beautiful.

Pimpcron signature 3

2017 Shorehammer Button for BoLS
  • BeardMonk

    Im not sure why you thought it was about “winning” or “beating” other companies in the first place?

    GW is successful because it appeals to the lowest denominator with simple gameplay with good models. And that’s not a bad thing. Privateer Press appeals to those who want a clean ruleset with a strong international competitive play elements supported by the company. Malifaux appeals to similar people who also enjoy the extra level of play that the card mechanic introduces. Saga players prefer a historical setting that that game gives them that with reasonable levels of gameplay. Games and companies borrow and steal ideas from each other which again is a good thing. IMO GW learned a lot from PP around community engagement, use of social media, official competitions steamed to a worldwide audience etc. PP in turn have learned from GW model and are releasing entry level skirmish games.

    Companies will of course die out if they can’t provide something the market wants. But we shouldn’t be thinking in terms of “beating” other companies.

    Apart from MTG. Sod those guys……

    • Garren Seifert

      Unfortunately that’s how companies think lol it’s just one giant competition…….. just look at Sony and Xbox for a prime example

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Haha yeah. I mean its not like that’s how trade and commerce has functioned since time immemorial….oh wait….that’s not right…

      • Muninwing

        that’s the basis of capitalism…

    • memitchell

      Lowest denominator? Game snobs are nitwits.

      BTW, GW was a major player in community engagement, use of social media, and and worldwide competitions before there was a Privateer Press.

      • Muninwing

        … and then they gave up on it, and rode the goodwill that they had earned for a decade, squandering it until they nearly lost their #1 spot.

        • PrehistoricUF0

          Okay, but what’s your point here? They haven’t lost the #1 spot, and are clearly putting in effort to make a return to classic approaches. At the moment, they are the juggernaut of the industry.

          • Muninwing

            my point is that there are many reasons why they have struggled lately. as top dogs, they are more susceptible to their own screw-ups than a rival.

            and they’ve made a number of them, which is probably why they’ve been suddenly worried. but it doesn’t mean the end.

    • Muninwing

      this is kinda… obnoxious.

      while i would admit that i’m not a big fan of the recent removal of more complex rules (not the bloat, the actual mechanics) in GW games, they also were the ones who pioneered the entire field. no fantasy miniatures wargames existed when they did their thing… aside from Chainmail growing instead into D&D.

      GW used to be something else. they offered community building, connection to the hobby, enriching experiences, and events for all levels of play. they used to — before PP, before Wyrd — be the leaders in forming the wargaming community that exists today. without them, PP and Wyrd would not exist in their forms, having broken that ground for them years ago.

      i do question any corporate interest that appears to be crossing into “abusive megacorp” territory, but capitalism –especially with investor-driven publicly-traded companies — operates on competition. if you do not expect corporations to think that way, or feel they morally should not, then you don’t know very much about business.

    • Richard Mitchell

      That is true, I am a super SUPER casual X-Wing player, but GW has been beat. GW IPs is not going to die, even Spartan games got bought by another company. But FFG two flagship Star Wars products outsell GWs only two real products. AoS isn’t even on the top five 5 for best selling mini games. Lets not forget all the other products FFG games sells AND gives active support for. So the answer is, GW has already been beat (without the release of Legions). But it is still the Ford Mustang to Chevy’s Camaro.

      • Muninwing

        numbers?

        • ZeeLobby

          Eh, there is a retailer report going around. Which is probably very accurate for those retailers, but ofcourse don’t take into account GW’s own online and store presence. Regardless, I wouldn’t be shocked if X-Wing was top dog. I see it a lot more locally, and event attendance has only grown in size.

  • Simon Chatterley

    Who is trying to beat it though? The other companies that exist in the murky world of tabletop gaming seem to have found there niches and player bases. Mantic have filled the square base fantasy hole left by AoS, Hordes caters to its base as does X-Wing/Armada to there’s. If you like a more steampunk/Victoriana/wired skirmish you have Malifaux. If you like ultra futuristic neon you have Infinity.

    I may have missed the point of the article but why can’t everyone just play nicely together??

    • Ari Varey

      The writer uses a lot of sarcasm. Perhaps you missed that part.

      • Simon Chatterley

        No. As a British person who is himself deeply sarcastic I saw it. Also I’m well versed in Pimpcrons usual ramblings.

        This one I didn’t really get.

        But it’s a Bertie Bassett world so all good

        • euansmith

          On the sarcasm front, I’m a fully paid up member of the National Sarcasm Association, Birmingham (England, of course) Chapter and any of those sarcasm-control nuts will have to pry my litotes from my cold, dead lips!

          • Richard Mitchell

            Ya, I wish I had that. I am from Texas so…

          • Muninwing

            so replace “litotes” with some form of gun, and you’re golden!

            i could take a jab at the texas educational system, but i don’t guarantee it would sound like a joke in print, and i don’t really want to be a jerk.

          • euansmith

            Texas? That’s where Paris is isn’t it?

          • Spacefrisian

            I think its west, continue until you see a guy with a cowboy hat, i seen walker Texas ranger a couple of times, im a Texas expert.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Like we need to!

      • Spacefrisian

        Sarcasm is often missed, like reporters not noticing that Mark Hamill is a master at it.

    • PrehistoricUF0

      I agree, each game has its own particular appeal. Hell, I’ve even bought miniatures from other systems SPECIFICALLY to satisfy the aesthetic I felt was needed where GW didn’t work well at all.

      Assassin conversion? Infinity models looks sleek and lethal.

      Inquisitor Warband? Malifaux’s steampunk style complements an armored Inquisitor amazingly.

      Tyranid Spacefleet? The old models are hideous and outdated, Dropzone Commander Scourge fit the aesthetic very well.

      Hell, even the Batman game and Guild Ball models have found their way into my conversions. Bottom line for me is: the more the merrier, and competition benefits everybody imo.

  • Defenestratus

    Methinks GW should keep a weather eye out for FFG with the Star Wars IP. If FFG gets distribution outside of the traditional LGS network and into more “big box” stores, then GW might not be top dog for long.

    • zeno666

      X-Wing is already selling better than 40k 😉

      • Cergorach

        That is most probably not true. GW generates $200 million a year, FFG is not even close to that and has a TON more products then just X-wing.

        Your numbers are based off of faulty numbers from ICv2 reports that just interviews a small selection of US retailers and wholesalers. GW has a ton of stores, direct websales, does it’s own distribution, and does only 1/3rd of it’s revenue from NA.

        X-wing could be outselling Warmahordes, but the divide between #1 and #2 has always been huge.

        While the FFG SW miniatures games might eventually outsell GW, if it does it will be either due to GW collapsing or just for a short period.

        The SW IP has always been popular, but it’s a popularity that only has peaks. Especially in gaming and that’s due to significant licensing costs. FFG is known to drop IPs like a hot potato when they’ve milked it dry, and they will milk SW dry at some point…

        X-wing/Armada, besides being SW IP, is assembled and prepainted. And while expensive, not extremely so. Especially X-wing can be started with very little costs and expanded also for quite little costs. The collect them all symtom with cards is a detractor though…

        Imperial Assault, besides being SW IP, is assembled and a boardgame first, boardgames have a much wider appeal then miniature wargames these days. Also a great game, better then Descent 2E mechanically, the only reason why we still have Descent is that there are a ton of fantasy junkies! 😉

        Legion, besides being SW IP, has very little going for it. Unassembled, unpainted, PVC, high costs, results in a relatively small target audience. Rules might be a good selling point, but beyond the demo games I don’t have enough to judge it on, although I suspect it’s quite good.

        And don’t start with: “GW fanboy!”, I have a ton of SW minis and books from the WotC era and a decent amount of X-wing.

        GW has always had horrible rules, no version of 40k I can ever call that, and I’ve been around since RT. What GW does do well is consistency, most minis you can keep using (with some exceptions) and they’ve always been there. I call that consistency, something SW games don’t have over a longer period. This makes 40k better in the long run over a SW IP, especially in the hands of a company like FFG.

        I love most FFG games, but they run on deprecating their older versions by releasing new versions at a neckbraking pace in BG/miniature land. I’m looking at WFRP, Battlelore, etc. Always pushing their customers for the new version. GW tries to do the same, but your old plastic RT Space Marines army can still be used in today’s 40k games. Most of the oldest FFG products aren’t even made anymore.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean how much cash you generate has little to do with sales. Amazon famously reinvests much of it’s gains back into the company. It’s quite possible (and likely) that GW higher ups are pocketing large amounts of those gains as bonuses. I mean this is just how businesses operate. FFG is definitely diversifying and expanding tons of different IPs at once at well, which all has costs. Then theres the age and distribution of all companies. GW also probably have significantly higher profit margins. I would agree that GW probably does sell more, but without actual numbers it’s hard to tell.

          • Cergorach

            I’m not talking profit, I’m talking revenue. That’s the amount of money before costs are detracted. FFG doesn’t come close to $200 million in revenue for the whole company. I suspect that 40k is responsible for about half that.

            And while Asmodee generates around $450 million a year, FFG is only a very small part of that company. They mostly do distribution for other companies in the EU, they also do french Wizkids and Pokemon, where the majority of their revenue originates.

            IF X-wing was generating $100 million in revenue a year, you better belief that the company was publishing that all over the internet!

          • SWISSchris

            Exactly, revenue is literally a measure of how much you are selling / how much income you are generating. Technically it can include licensing income too but for sake of argument, revenue is an ideal measure of sales.

            A quick google shows figures of around $30m for FFG in 2013. I’d be interested to see if anyone has hard facts about revenue since then?

          • Cergorach

            There are some quotes from FFG management that state the percentage FFG grew beyond that, into the X-wing era. I suspect that the whole of FFG might be around €60m in revenue in 2017, unless there were extreme changes. Which again I suspect that such drastic increases would be included in the Asmodee reports…

          • SWISSchris

            Looking around, I doubt that there’s any published information from Asmodee on FFG’s financials so I think we’ll just have to settle for some speculation. /shrug

          • Muninwing

            Asmodee posted $400m in 2016.

            how much of that is FFG is anyone’s guess.

          • ZeeLobby

            Uh. I don’t see why? It’s not like other companies that make $100 million announce it all over when they do. Especially conglomerates whose bottom line is all tied up in a much larger yearly stockholder report. I mean do you have FFG’s actual revenue numbers (genuinely curious)? Again, I don’t doubt that GW makes more, but I’m not going to make claims like that unless I have proof, cause otherwise it’s just a guess.

          • Cergorach

            Do you even do research before making such conclusions? Look at the Asmodee reports over the last couple of years. YES they would announce such a huge shift in product sales. Do some research yourself and look at the last announced FFG figures and quotes from FFG management (around 20% revenue increase per year). We don’t have hard figures anymore because FFG is now part of Asmodee and Asmodee isn’t a publicly traded company. But you can do some rough estimates on what Asmodee does release, their market, what they actually sell, etc.

          • ZeeLobby

            “you better belief that the company was publishing that all over the internet!”

            LoL. Calm down. I was speaking to your exaggeration. Clearly FFG does not blast their sales numbers all over the internet.

            And yes. I do research. But it only takes you so far. I mean your $100 million for 40K is just a guess, as their financial reports don’t break it down that far. At the end of 7th many people were flocking to AoS (attendance was up at major events). Etc.

            My point was that you can take educated guesses, but just shouldn’t throw out numbers that don’t really prove them.

          • Richard Mitchell

            Is methane clean energy? Let’s hope so.

          • Spacefrisian

            No its sh*t, it actually is.

          • Richard Mitchell

            Don’t worry Zee, this is just standard methane production going on here.

          • Muninwing

            Asmodee claimed over $400m in 2016. but what else do they do?

          • Richard Mitchell

            Until you know how much percentage FFG is of the Asmodee’s revenue you really just spreading alot of….methane into the atmosphere. As a Warmachine player we both hang out, listen to “Losing My Religion” and cry in the corner together. So don’t worry, you have a friend in me.

          • Muninwing

            oh, that’s you in the corner?

            where’s the spotlight?

          • I_am_Alpharius

            GW actually quite co-operative in the way it deals with staff and executive bonuses, just read the annual reports. All employee, including executive have the same bonus scheme. GW use most profits to pay shareholders (out of funds after bonus are taken out), kept company debt to a minimum or not at all (I think its about £1.9m, which is a drop in the ocean,) and to re-invest into the company.

          • ZeeLobby

            Right, I was making more just generalizations about what I assumed he was denoting as profit.

          • AEZ

            Does FFG have to pay lots of money annually for the starwars IP? If that is significant (and it could be) it might just mean a large part of profit goes to others (or do they really OWN it)

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Yes FFG will pay some kind of Licence fee on an annual basis to Disney, plus a percentage of profits from the SW branded products.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. It’s definitely licensed. I would assume those license fees are subtracted prior to discussing their profitability. Just another factor which makes looking at Asmodee’s and GW’s financial yearly reports to draw conclusions probably the wrong place.

          • Muninwing

            prior to profitability, but after initial revenue is posted.

            so that $400m of Asmodee’s in 2016 may only have $20-30m of SW/FFG product responsibility, from which there might need to be subtracted a few million afterward.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, again, without real breakdown we’ll never really know, haha.

          • AEZ

            I figure it is an expensive license…. I mean the game is (apparently) good.. but I’m pretty sure it’s success is based most on the IP.

          • Frank Krifka

            I think he was making a distinction between “revenue” and “profit”. Revenue is total value of products sold before substring overhead and expenses, profit is whats left over after all that plus reinvestment. Most companies list total revenue and total profit on their annual reports to their stockholders.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, I got that now. He didn’t clarify til his second remark, so I better understand. Still, even as revenue, there’s no guarantee what fraction of that came from 40K. I mean we can assume the majority, but for the last quarter or two, 8th edition was on the horizon, and like all game systems i’m sure that slowed sales. Not to mention AoS popularity picked up greatly with the dropping of the generals handbook and the flocking of players from 7th to AoS.

          • Frank Krifka

            Totally. 3-4 years ago it was pretty much a given that you could assume 40k was a major portion of GW’s revenue with all the re-shuffling of games, release of boxed and specialist games and the swelling success of AoS, it’s anybody’s guess.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I didn’t even consider specialty games. The HH side games, Warhammer Quest, etc. Those probably generated a significant chunk (they’re more popular locally than their core games honestly). I mean GW is definitely doing great, but drawing specific conclusions right now is definitely harder.

          • Richard Mitchell
          • ZeeLobby

            I mean does that go into detail as far as X-Wing? I mean we don’t know the numbers for 40K either. Is Asmodee bigger, sure. But there’s no facts that support an X-Wing vs 40K debate outside of retailer reports, and abstractions formed from yearly financials.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          I dread to think how much of the, Star Wars related, FFG sales are simply from SW Merchandise collectors buying sets for their hoards.

          • Muninwing

            i do wish we could get raw game data… like how many people bought their product (both how many purchases, how much spent, and how much revenue after licensing and production overhead) ostensibly for playing a game with it.

            some collectors always build as if they will play. some just paint. we’ve already seen that GW knows this, but their old leadership drew some pretty silly conclusions from this. having the actual data would be the best mode of comparison.

        • Richard Mitchell

          You are completely and absolutely wrong. Asmodee’s stock is many times over worth more than GW stock. I had written and researched about this before. GW stock is not even in the same league or competitor of Asmodee. Asmodee’s closest competitor is Hasbro. GW wishes it was Hasbro’s competitor. Think about it this way. How many games does FFG’s give active support to? How many does GW give support to? Two, just two and a bunch of one releases.

          • Cergorach

            I’m talking just about the FFG part of the business, not Asmodee as a whole. Not only is Asmodee twice the size of GW, they are a completely different player. But comparing Asmodee to Hasbro… Hasbro is around 12 times bigger then Asmodee. Compare Asmodee to Megablocks, there are four others between that and Hasbro…

          • Muninwing

            hm… what would happen if GW was bought by Hasbro…?

          • Cergorach

            I suspect bad, bad things. I saw what happened to WotC after they were bought by Hasbro. They focused on Magic and Pokemon. And while D&D 3E was hugely popular and released under Hasbro rule, it was developed under WotC before the Hasbro acquisition. Let’s just say that there were a LOT of 3(.5)E products. 4E was developed under Hasbro rule and was a complete failure. 5E was developed under Hasbro rule, but is… Not what it used to be, when I look at the D&D product page I see mostly licensed computer and boardgames. Only three book releases by WotC this year and most of that is recycled stuff and three last year…

            WotC got the license to SW the same year they were bought by Hasbro, but you might notice they no longer hold the license… 😉 Imho WotC is a shell of it’s former self, still around due to Magic…

            GW currently has a stock value of almost $900m, Hasbro could buy them with the profits from two years, but that’s a lot more then they paid in 1999 for WotC ($325m). And to be honest, GW has a lot less potential then WotC had at the time (Magic and Pokemon wise)…

      • Muninwing

        they might be selling more…? but how many of their sales are individual models, instead of 10-man units (with a pricetag to match)?

        “better” in sales is hard to manage, unless two near-identical products are packaged the same and selling in the same areas, and one is clearly preferred by the market.

        • ZeeLobby

          That seems overly complicated. Why don’t we just go by $. Ofcourse we don’t know what that is, but it makes way more sense.

          • Muninwing

            if it’s $, do we go by full revenue? should we count licensing fees?

            GW has its fingers in many diversified places. they also have more room to expand, since they fully control their own IP.

            with the chapterhouse debacle leading to crackdown on IP rights, i’ve been suspecting that GW is measuring expansion into other markets. they probably have not made up their minds yet, but they do have publishing, computer game, and other IP-related channels that they can explore that FFG/Asmodee does not.

            heck, the boldest move they could make would be to invest in a movie. get some screen representation in, saturate it with properly-done grimdark, and use it as publicity to get people interested again. but with just how bad the WoW movie was, there’s no guarantee that it would be a good investment.

            looking at the whole picture, there are many reasons why GW is a bigger force than Asmodee.

          • ZeeLobby

            I never said $ would be less complicated, hehe. But yeah. GW is definitely top dog. I still think X-Wing might outsell 40K though. We have no breakdown of financials that allows us to prove that, but the general freeze of sales prior to an edition release, the flocking of players from 40K to AoS in 7th, the promotion of GW execs of the successes of AoS, the sales of all their specialist games, etc. I don’t think we can still assume that 40K is the overwhelming majority of what they bring in. FFG, based on continuous 20% revenue increases yearly, is probably making around 80/90 million, assuming 40k is taking only about half of the 200 million revenue pie, they could be pretty close.

          • Cergorach

            FFG is part of Asmodee, but Asmodee is far bigger then FFG. Both FFG and Asmodee have a ton of their own IP, but really make the largest profit with licensing IPs.

      • lostchild

        There is a report, but if recall correctly, it doesn’t take into consideration GW’s sales through it’s own channels (website and stores), only FLGS. FFG obviously has the resources to produce products along the lines of and on the scale of GW, but I’m not sure X-Wing, with all revenue taken into consideration, has quite over taken them yet.

    • ZeeLobby

      Agreed. I could be totally off pace, but I always used to put the 40K backstory above star wars as far as depth, maturity, etc. goes. Now I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. 40K is somewhat depending on it’s writing to draw people in, and now their video games. And both seem to suffer from poor polish as of late. It really has become an IP war moreso than just models on the tables. I can’t help to think how much larger GW might be now if it had ever released a real motion picture film.

      • Cergorach

        The SW IP has also been suffering, when the best computer games are Lego Star Wars, someone is doing something wrong! Especially when promising titles like Knights of the Old Republic III and Star Wars 1313 were cancelled.

        And while the 40k titles haven’t been doing well after DoW2 and Space Marine, the WFB titles have fared much better (besides the shuffle ware mobile crap). Total War: Warhammer (1+2), Vermintide and Mordheim: City of the Damned are pretty damned good!

        PP one entry in computer games, Warmachine: Tactics wasn’t well received…

        While Sodapop Miniatures, Super Dungeon Explore video game, Super Dungeon Tactics does very well.

        It all depends on who the IP holder licenses it too and if they do a good job. EA is making such a mess of Battlefront, that people prefer to play a 12 year old game over the recent attempts… Relic isn’t what it used to be, DoW3 is also a mess!

        • ZeeLobby

          Oh, I mean I totally agree, but Star Wars has had it’s foot in mainstream consumption, and to a much higher degree, than 40K has ever had. The majority of people I know have played several Star Wars games over their lifetime. I only have 2 that have ever played a WHFB title, and only 1 that’s played DoW2.

          I agree PP totally botched Warmachine Tactics. It really should have been the tabletop game in computer form with multi-player, etc. I mean I get why they didn’t do that, but still.

          As for Battlefront, it was a definite dud, but BF2 looks pretty promising. I mean it’s only a matter of time til SW has another gaming hit, and the playerbase will probably dwarf all GW video games combined.

          It’s interesting to discuss, but imo SW is and always will be just a much larger market to appeal to than GW’s.

          • Richard Mitchell

            Honestly, I think PP and White Moon Dreams (which is also a small studio) were to ambitious. They could have done a High Kommand card and turn based strategy war game. Or just did a straight up RPG. But they were trying to build a AAA title with a studio that is more suitable for building iPhone games.

          • Cergorach

            Overall, SW will crush GW like a gnat. But in certain sub markets it might not, miniature wargames might be one. But even before FFG got their mits on the SW license, a SW branded Monopoly would outsell Blood Bowl by a large margin… Hell, even LEGO Star Wars might outsell the entirety of GW…

            But… SW in gaming is often dormant, FFG is just the latest licensee that’s making gold with it… And just after WEG and WotC, there will come a time when FFG will be done with the license…

            I’m also cautious with Disney at the helm of the SW property. While they did great things for Marvel movies, I’m not completely sold on what they’ve been doing with the SW property. Rogue One was a cool idea in concept, but as a whole I found it a disappointing story. It also killed any hope of me ever doing a SW RPG game in the rebel era, upto the announcement of the movie that was always going to be the premise of the RPG campaign. 😉

            On the other hand, the Marvel property is now a great fractured mess imho.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Its almost like Star Wars is literally the most lucrative merchandising brand in the world….I mean it made an estimated, mere, $30.5 Billion (yes, billion, with a big B) in 2017…

            I am sure that has nothing to do with the “popularity” of the SW branded FFG games….

        • Muninwing

          sad that the Old World titles are nailing it, now that the background and the game that goes with it are no more.

          because that’s free advertising that goes nowhere.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, it’s crazy imo.

        • Richard Mitchell

          The SW IP has also been suffering…you must not live in America. Because you are speaking as if you are a person who has no concept of how big SW is here.

          • Cergorach

            The conversation is about SW videogames. Those suck Deathstar sized balls!

            As for the whole IP, with inflation Rogue One did little better then Episode III in the box office. While Episode VII did very well, I ask myself if that’s because everyone wanted to see the new SW movie or because it’s a good movie… We’ll see with Episode VIII…

            As for being European, I’m finding relatively new SW toys in dumpstores for less then a 1/10th of the MSRP, never seen that before. But that is not any indication of course.

            Although I think that LEGO Star Wars has never been more popular, but the question is whether that’s because it’s SW or LEGO…

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Well the cost SW Lego license (and other film licenses) and maintaining a profit margin have started to catch up with Lego. They posted a 5% (or $2.4bn) fall in sales. Licences are a great but they can cause companies problems very quickly, and badly.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        GW will never make a real motion picture. Any film studio would want way too much control over the IP and merchandising. GW is not looking to have Space Marine teddy bears, lunch boxes or action figures.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean I guess. I don’t see why they wouldn’t want the additional revenue from those things. I mean they basically sell adult action figures now. That said, I could see them totally denying it based on wanting complete control over creative direction.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            GWs unique IP is its strongest asset, hence why they’re so protective when it comes to defending it (sometimes to their detriment). The are extremely careful with how that IP gets handed out and who gets to use it; even more so now that ever – GW have been nieve in the past and burst badly buy it.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean were they though? I mean the whole lawsuit fiasco was hardly a hit to their financial bottom line. In the end there are still alternative models being sold with different names now. I honestly think GW is detrimentally overprotective of their IP.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Oh undoubtedly. Protecting IP is not always about how much income it is costing a company. Its about not letting the IP to be abused or watered down; its mainly about sending the signal to people who are infringing (or skirting/thinking of infringing) that, as a Company, they will use the full force of Law to defend it. That can mean taking on ropey cases to find out how far GW can push the law.

            Disney are masters at that, and in fact twisted IP law to breaking to assert dominance on characters that would/should be in the public domain.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean I guess. Most alternative model making companies have just shown that it really didn’t matter… Besides them, there weren’t really any people ripping off GW. Seems like a total kneejerk to me, that has just resulted in goofy names…

          • Muninwing

            if they delved into merch, they’d nail it.

            seriously.

            there are enough horror fans out there that Chaos would appeal to (since each is its own subgenre), there are cool points for having geekery-related items, especially ones you’re emotionally invested in.

            i remember they tried selling IG-related t-shirts for like $50. that’s not reasonable. but i’d pay $25 right now for one with the right Chaos sigil on the back. $30 for a hoodie.

            what’s more, if they actually supported their events, there’d be a market for event-related patches, limited edition pins or other related items with low price and high return.

            there are many reasons why the arrogance of the “we’re a models company, not a games company” era was drowning in gallons of stupidity, this is one of them.

        • Richard Mitchell

          You can say that or you can say, there is no major studio GW can sell its IP to is the most likely answer. We are a niche within a niche hobby. You guys need to go out because you think miniature wargaming is WAY bigger than you think it is.

      • Quasistellar

        The trouble with 40k is that it’s a bit “angsty teenage boy” in its presentation. Huge angry dudes lead by huger angrier dudes. What one might call “maturity,” others might see as “juvenile”. I mean the whole grimdark thing is supposed to be tongue in cheek, but, yeah.

        Don’t get me wrong, I have been a casual follower of GW stuff for years (I don’t actually play the miniatures games), and I think a lot of it is pretty cool.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, I just meant more in the portrayal of content. It could definitely be seen as juvenille, but the 40K universe definitely has much more gore, cussing, etc. then starwars has ever had. It’s pretty dark.

          • Quasistellar

            And grim. . .

          • AEZ

            Yeah it’s a real darkgrim universe… is there already copy right on that?

          • ZeeLobby

            I dunno, but it sounds like a good place to start a new game system XD.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha, true.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha, true.

          • Muninwing

            it would need the right story, the right director, and the right climate and mood.

            doable, but hard. and maybe too much of a risk, if the WoW movie is warning of anything. i’d love to see them try, but i’m nervous about what would result.

        • Richard Mitchell

          That is true, a lot of the over the top grim dark stuff that I found attractive as a kid is not really my bag of cats now. I actually like the moral grays of factions that you get from Warmachine/Malifaux/Infinity (even BattleTech and Shadowrun for all of you who can remember FASA) and individual morality of characters within the fiction of those games now that I am an adult and has been exposed to the world.

          Honestly the current GW especially and Star Wars has always been hokey with their moral dichotomies. Honestly the only stories that I could see become movies that are not just dressed up fan fiction are Dan Abnett novels. Then again he is a world class writer so he could touch any IP and make it gold.

          • Muninwing

            now that Abnett is known outside of smaller circles — since he is associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie (we’ll ignore what the second one might do for his rep) — he could lend that reputation to a 40k project…

            it would actually explain why GW became so protective of IP, if they were investigating such an avenue.

      • Richard Mitchell

        I dread to think of the amount of sales of people who by GW models for the purpose of painting them and not playing them.

    • Xodis

      Exactly my thoughts. SW Legion will be a real test for GW.

      • AEZ

        For me SW mini’s wouldn’t be an option.. so more limited than AoS (or 40K) but I agree that it could be a treat to marketshare for GW.

        • Xodis

          Already using SW minis from IA for the RPG, so having a bunch more wont hurt lol.

    • Iain ‘Casper’ Davies

      Because the lord of the rings miniatures game did so well…

      • Muninwing

        Rick Priestly has basically commented on how they took on LotR because of its importance, not its marketability… and it seems like it was the result of a struggle between the Creative Team and Sales…

        which, unfortunately, Sales won, and that prompted the latter part of 5th ed 40k (and 7th->8th WHF) and the unsustainable patterns that led to so many problems.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          The bubble created by LotR was down to the double whammy of the economic downturn in 2005, and GW overestimating, widely, how many of the people buying LotR products would move onto/aso play 40K and AoS.

          The biggest thing GW has regretted with LotR was the deal they signed with D’Agostini to produce the ‘Battle Games of Middle Earth’ serial magazine. GW did all the production on it, and the contract allowed D’Agostini to keep extending the number of issues – which they did because it was so popular. It ended up sapping a whole load of resources at GW for not much gain.

          • Muninwing

            i worked for GW around that time, and i rarely sold any LotR stuff. we had one or two regulars (younger than our normal players) who would come into the store looking for pickup games, but for the most part that was a rarity.

            even events… we did a league of sorts, but fully half of the participation was staffers. and while we had fun with it and played it in front of as many people as we could, it just never took off.

            i sold more LotR product for WHF/40k conversions (largely due to the Balrog/Bloodthirster and Ent/Treeman conversions) than i did for actual LotR players.

            I know that my store is not a representative of everywhere, but it is a data point. and many other stores repeated the same. it was a joke amongst certain retailers, as to where the secret store was where all the LotR players gathered. because we were told time and again by GW that LotR was being successful, but nobody ever seemed to have any proof.

            we also never had anything to do with that magazine. never appeared in our store, even in the hands of a fan looking into the models.

            it was a large wall of ignored product that took up our time and space for no yield.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Ahhhh so you worked for GW… Now I understand where you entitled opinion and statements are coming across this articles and others.

            LoTR was very popular in the GW stores that have been my haunts. Perhaps, you where just poor at selling and getting behind the LoTR products….

          • Muninwing

            someone’s feeling delicate because people keep pointing out their numerous mistakes? guess i have to be gentle.

            though why me working a second job a decade ago is somehow indicative of “entitled” (honestly, not to be “that guy” but you’re using that wrong…), but i’ll go with it.

            my job (despite your poor attempt at ad hominem) was not to sell. i was not measured on nor responsible for sales. And i did get behind them — i still have a whole army of Rohirrim in my office. i let my 3-year-old play with them, since they are of no value to me.

            you also must have missed (or didn’t bother to read… that would explain something too) what i said about “a data point.” each store is a microcosm, and none are guaranteed to be representative of the whole. your haunts, therefore, are as minor to this argument as mine. i’ve already admitted that, so for you to try to use the same to refute me means absolutely nothing.

            now, other than a bad attempt to come after me, do you have anything of value to add here (that isn’t more weak posturing because you feel insulted)?

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Aye aye If you say so chief.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            LOTR was the last GW game a couple of our stores still carried and that also had to do with the RPG’s. Tolkien sells to a specific crowd. It also has a lot more name recognition than 40k or AoS/WHF

      • I_am_Alpharius

        It did indeed do very well, and still does – hence, why GW are still maintaining the Licence and support the game via FW. Sure it may not be as popular as it was when the films were out, but it has enough hardcore to keep it.

        The bubble created by LotR was down to the double whammy of the economic downturn in 2005, and GW overestimating, widely, how many of the people buying LotR products would move onto/aso play 40K and AoS.

        If it wasn’t for the LotR 40K and AoS hobbyist wouldn’t be enjoying half the large scale plastic kits and improved detail of plastic kits. The money from LotR paid for an awful lot of technology and design infrastructure.

  • Xavi Arnau

    Nokia

    • ZeeLobby

      Man. Very true. It rarely happens but is possible.

      • I don’t think GW will fall like a Kodak or Sears, but they might fall like a GM or IBM, going from industry leader to just another face in the crowd.

        • Cergorach

          Currently that’s not going to happen though, they’ve just had another reversal in sales. Instead of declining, they are now growing again. This has happened a few times over the last three decades. But there might indeed come a time they might fall like Kodak, when their tech base is superseded by new technology. 3D printing might be that technology, but we aren’t there yet, if ever.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. We’ll have to see. The spike is obviously due to the release of 8th, will sales continue well past it’s release? We’ll just have to see I guess.

          • Cergorach

            Again with the assumptions! Do some research!

            The fiscal year for GW ran to the 28th of May 2017, 8th was released 3rd of June… They had a 34% growth in revenue, resulting in $210m without royalties, which was another $10m.

            As for 8th, keep in mind that we’ve seen only two armies with new miniatures in the last 4.5 months, the rest have been mostly Codexes and cards. Most don’t play everything and if they do, they only need one of each. And while the core box sold very well, I’m curious if the Primaris and Death Guard sold as good as hoped…

          • ZeeLobby

            Ah, my assumption would be that AoS was likely the source of those sales than, as 40K had somewhat withered under the knowledge of 8th approaching.

            And you do realize your also assuming right? Like there’s no real breakdown knowledge for what constitutes 40K vs AoS of that revenue right?

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            assumption or not, I can go to nearly any local game store here and see no GW being played, and usually not even carried. GW used to be the big thing in all those stores. AoS has almost 0 presence outside of the GW and it barely supports it.

            If GW was really still top dawg, that would not be happening, as it is, the king is dead. the new king is X-wing.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean it’s the same here. It’s all anecdotal, but I think assuming X-Wing isn’t at least close on it’s heals is probably a mistake.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            the thing here is GW used to be all over, you couldnt swing a dead cat and not hit it, thats not the case anymore. To me that says a lot.

          • Muninwing

            there are many places where AoS is hugely popular. none of them are anywhere near me, but i am assured by many that this is the case.

          • Richard Mitchell

            Hey Zee, the world needs more methane production. Barbaque season is almost over.

          • Muninwing

            Asmodee makes more raw money. but they have many branches.

          • Barring shenanigans, economic models don’t favor a company enjoying the kind of advantages GW has over the long term. It can happen, but it’s rare. Now if regulators let shenanigans slide, that’s a different story. I’m rooting against them though. One company lording over an industry isn’t good for consumers and it stifles innovation.

          • ZeeLobby

            And as GW has slid in popularity we’ve seen tons of new and interesting games and systems pop up. So it can only be a good thing.

          • Richard Mitchell

            Even with the reversal in sales X-Wing still beat 40k and AoS wasn’t even on the list for the top 5. Also you are over estimating initial sales with long term. 40k is dying pretty hard in our area. You will see more people show up for (and get this) freaking BattleTech than 40k now. Don’t get me wrong, it was huge when 8th first dropped. But when people started bowing out of tournaments…locally…because they didn’t roll for first turn, flyer spam, and now that elite armies are obsolete (which was a big part of our base), many people dropped out. The guys who already had horde armies are playing a buying, but everyone else is playing Warmachine, Infinity, even Battletech.

          • Cergorach

            Your area is of no concern, GW and FFG are global companies, their revenue numbers are all that matters. And until high quality 3D printing becomes more affordable by a large margin then making mass produced plastics, GW is pretty save. GW isn’t the only one that needs to fear that, FFG is in the same boat for their miniature centric games.

            GW was already doing significantly better (34% better) the year before 8th dropped.

            The problem is that your equating your FLGS ecosystem with the reality outside of that particular store or even all stores. Gaming has always suffered from attentionspan issue, especially from the folks that play at the gamestore, always following the latest high. Don’t fret, been there done that. But folks have a tendency to come back to WFB/40k when the honeymoon is over and folks figure out that their newest love also goes to the toilet to take a…

            Warmahordes still suffers from horrible PVC minis at premium prices and ‘new’ horrors like metal/resin hybrids. 3rd fell flat on it’s face due to rule issues, card issues, FAQ issues, etc. They went with an online carddatabase far to late imho, that cost them a lot of momentum and a lot of customers. It’s great, but has issues! If I could build a force out of high quality plastic, I would be so all over that!

            Battletech… Where should I begin as a 30 year fan, the current license holder doesn’t know how to handle the property (or their own money for that matter). They can’t keep their starterset in stock and honestly their books over the last couple of years just seem lackluster. Their distribution in Europe is a GD mess!

            Infinity awesome designs, miniatures and even the rules are interesting and different. But they also know that they have a limited livespan if they continue without change. The redesigns of the old miniature line gives them a new lease on live, but there is also limited growth in that. Reasons why they are diversifying into Aristeia. But imho still their greatest weakness is their stuborn hold on still doing everything in metal, that’s my reason why I don’t buy more of it (have around 6 factions).

            Look, we’ve seen them before over the last 30 years, contenders to the ‘throne’ but they all fell flat on their face. Often that was because they couldn’t trnaslate their property from small property to large company. Warzone/Chronopia and Confrontation/AT-43 are some examples, but there were so many more (most I still own) like Clan War, VOID, Heavy Gear, Silent Death, etc.

          • Muninwing

            a kodak engineer invented digital photography. they patented it before anyone else.

            but it was a threat to the revenue they got from film. so they tried to quash it instead of exploring it.

            had they invested in their own tech, they could have stayed at the top.

        • Muninwing

          kodak (and polaroid) also sat on digital photography instead of expanding into the emerging market, because their cheddar was in the phasing-out part of their field. they got arrogant, and figured they had enough power/swy to affect the direction of the future.

          and GM also got arrogant — look into the Cadillac Cimarron for proof. but they also made some really bad decisions — like buying Hummer just as the SUV craze died, and buying Saab without a plan for marketing them, trashing the investment.

          it’s also what Exxon-Mobil and the like are doing right now with energy. and Coal is propped up by politicians for purely partisan reasons. if they invested instead in renewables instead of trying to use their clout to push for substandard product, the whole of humanity would benefit — and they’d keep their position of power and revenue.

          top dogs seem to be easiest to wait out, until they do something stupid. GW nearly followed suit just a few years ago.

          • The only real danger to GW is that the management does something drastic to save their jobs. They seem to have dodged that bullet for know. Eventually though, other companies will catch up. It will be a while though. FFG is built entirely on a license that Disney could take away from them and nobody else seems to have the ambition to take GW on. Most of the other companies seem content to focus on their games instead of empire building.

          • Muninwing

            honestly, megacorps (the expansion-minded large companies that are also determined to protect their position rather than perform) are always a danger to the entire capitalist system.

            i actually wrote my masters thesis (capstone, but similar) on this.

            those who profit from their revenue benefit from their actions, but the rest of the market, as well as the whole of any capitalist system, are inherently compromised.

          • Corporate Capitalism has taken on the trappings of religion in the US. It’s considered heretical in certain circles to even question the notion that unlimited greed leads to positive outcomes. All of the economic theory of the 19th & 20th centuries has been tossed aside in favor of Smith’s invisible hand. It’s frustrating to watch.

          • Muninwing

            it’s more than that. eichner’s “megacorp” definition shows that economists have been aware that these entities are operating with larger influence and different goals for at least forty years.

            but we see no change in how they are dealt with, and even allow them more rights than ever in history.

            capitalism is not the best economic structure, but it certainly does better than most. all have their own inherent problems. but an extreme of anything tends to create extremes of its flaws, and the megacorp is a legitimate threat to many important aspects of society.

          • There is a widely held political belief that capitalism is bulletproof. Eichner talked about that as well. Markets are thought to be “self-regulating” (guided by Smith’s invisible hand). Economist have known this was not the case for years, but Capitalism was exalted to be a perfect system in order to play the angel to communism’s devil. It has become a pillar of the US identity. So whenever you talk to someone about externalities, agency issues, or the danger of the megacorp, they don’t take you seriously or worse, view you as unpatriotic. I fear that until levels of inequality reach a breaking point, no serious action will be taken. We are in a new Gilded Age.

    • SWISSchris

      Arguably Nintendo too. Or any of the early big hitters in the home video game market like Atari.

    • Iain ‘Casper’ Davies

      The problem is that Nokia is tech. The reason that investors always say don’t invest in tech is because it refreshes every 3 weeks. There’s constantly a new first.
      Wargames sort of fall into this. They’re more relatable to board games which are more at the 2-3 year refresh rate.

  • Electrobix

    Nokia, Dell and AOL come to mind.

    • Sean Sakamoto

      And Blockbuster

      • ZeeLobby

        Blockbusters downfall was just pure top-down idiocy. It’s an interesting read.

        • Muninwing

          a lot of them are. Kodak, Polaroid, and White Wolf all suffered from at least some of this. so have GM, and a number of others. and GW was plagued by top-down stupidity for at least half of the last decade.

    • Xodis

      What are you talking about! The fact AOL is even still around is amazing. They are doing almost nothing, and still racking in cash from people too lazy to move on lol.

      • Electrobix

        Companies that used to be number one…

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          TSR the big daddy of rpgs itself, and FASA.

          • Muninwing

            does TSR count? they got bought, meaning that they became something else.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            Wotc bought them and tossed most of them to the curb. pretty much TSR died. FASA is pretty much the best of the examples,. at its height it was far and away bigger than GW. they had simulators in chicago, video games, tabletop, etc and had shadowrun, etc..

        • Xodis

          Yeah, my bad, was making a joke about how they should still be number 1 in making profit for little to no effort involved lol.

  • King Renegado

    Companies CAN fall from grace, but they really, really, REALLY gotta screw up. Konami is the big one that comes to mind for me.

  • Monty Ithes

    the biggest fall from grace for a company i know of is kodak went from film powerhouse to bankrupt after not thinking digital photography was anything to ..focus.. on..sorry. i have been buying GW stuff for maybe 25 years now,many of there decisions i havent liked but they pull me back in due to the overall quality of there products, both miniature and games.

  • euansmith

    The Honourable East India Company? They were top dog once. Heck, they even had a logo! But where are they now, eh?

    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f5be9e90c88e3fa78f545227f50d3ba469ec07229c9535e2a7dd9a4fa5dcebcd.png

    • Simon Chatterley

      It all went wrong when Lord Beckett tried to use Davey Jones for his own ends.

      • ZeeLobby

        LoL. That’s awesome.

    • zeno666

      Wow, good one!

  • steelmage99

    “Too Big To Fail”?

  • Heinz Fiction

    It’s called network effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect).

    And yes it is true for any system that benefits of the number of it’s users. It’s less true for simple board games as usually only one player needs to have the game and “playing it” is perceived as a short term activity and not a mutual exclusive long term commitment. It’s not true for Soda brands however. In this case habits and aquired tastes might play a more important role.

    • Cergorach

      The same is true for RPGs, essentially only the DM/GM needs to have the rules. And the example of D&D was an unfortunate one, D&D 4E was mechanically very strong, but was fluff wise very weak and went on a very magical focused bend that’s generally not all that popular amongst the larger D&D audience. Pathfinder was bigger then D&D 4E for quite a while, far beyond the ICv2 numbers suggested. Paizo (Pathfinder publisher) did a LOT of direct sales that weren’t in the ICv2 reports.

      That also brings me to the argument that a ‘good’ game sells well or is what people actually want. What is ‘good’ is especially subjective amongst games, because they aren’t just judged by their mechanics, but also on theme and how well the mechanics express that theme. GW has always been horrible in the Mechanics department, but they are still the biggest player in fantasy/sci-fi miniatures land due to fluff and visuals, both in miniatures and art.

      • Heinz Fiction

        Yes, to some extend it affects RPGs. These however require much less investment than tabletop wargames which makes it easier to try out new stuff. I know a few groups who played almost everything there is at some point 🙂

        • Cergorach

          While they might require less money (although my RPG collection might argue with you on that), I would argue they require a greater amount of time. The only miniatures game by GW that takes longer then your average RPG session, is the original Rogue Trader…

          And for most of us, time=money.

          Also most RPGs require a far larger personal investment then most miniature wargames. While an army might be a finely honed character, but the folks that treat their armies as such are often few.

          • Heinz Fiction

            Sure, the RPG sessions are longer. But if you factor in assembling, painting and so on it’s a least as time consuming. And these are steps you have to repeat in most cases as you switch your wargame, as you likely need new models, different terrain and stuff. Therefore you usually don’t commit as hard to an RPG as to a wargame. If your group had fun with D&D for a while and want’s to try out Shadow Run, there is really nothing holding them back.

            All of these considerations have nothing to do with the network effect, though. The network effect has kind of diminishing returns in RPGs. In Wargames is always good to have more opponents to play against. In RPGs on the other hand, once you have 4-5 players together there isn’t much of a benefit knowing 10 other guys. Of course it’s still more likely to find a group of a widely used system such as D&D to join in, which helps to propagte the system, but doesn’t really increase the benefit to the individual player.

      • Muninwing

        definitely.

        i will always love Exalted, for what it can be when it’s not powergamed. it’s most everything i want in an RPG. but it’s also easily broken by anyone who wants to min/max it. mechanics are not the absolute, though they add to the equation.

  • marlowc

    Olympus 🙂

    • euansmith

      Yeah, where are those snooty Hellenic Gods now, eh!?

  • Marco Marantz

    id like to see where FFG sits in comparison. GW only remains where it is because of people have sunk too much into their games and the unwillingness to abandon what are pretty average to poor games.

    • Koen Diepen Van

      To be fair I don’t think gw sees it’s costumers as gamers or its product as a game. it’s a hobby to them and the costumers are hobbist . That is why the focus on models over the actual game part.

      • ZeeLobby

        It’s interesting that this is always brought up, as during the previous era of hobby first GW sales continually declined. I mean it’s one of the reasons they sold the matched play of 8th so hard. I think they want to appeal heavily to gamers, they just don’t want to spend too much money on it. It’s one of the reasons they ousted all their main designers before the hobby era.

        • Koen Diepen Van

          Yes the secret plan to fire all to staff that left on their own. MWHAHAHAHA. You know or we could just believe them, considering they put such a heavy focus on it?

          • ZeeLobby

            Uh. Except they didn’t. I actually know some of them. They were given a choice. Leave with this money, or we’ll fire you. My best friends father was ousted at the same time. They wanted to reduce the number of Independent thinkers to have more control over their products while reducing the high salary payments most of those original developers commanded. Nice try tho.

            Lol. And believe them? That they tried hard with matched play? I’d hardly call it balanced, and the rules are definitely not tight. I mean sure. If you want to you could blindly believe whatever they say. That’s an option.

          • Koen Diepen Van

            Yea you know what I actually do know Andy chambers and if you don´t mind i´ll believe him over you. Also I know the rules are not tight that is was the point it´s not a game first. It´s a hobby first to GW.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah… Sure. Lol. If you really fo you may want to ask him again. Most who accepted quiting over being fired had to agree to a NDA, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he wasn’t 100% honest to you. Knowing people who both “quit” and were fired, this was definitely the case.

            And that mentality caused their falling sales for 5+ years, but if they want to continue they can go for it.

          • Koen Diepen Van

            So wait your argument is nah don’t trust him trust me the random guy over the internet. Because he could have been under a NDA so don’t trust him, but trust me because they broke the NDA to tell me? Do you mind if i don’t find that a convincing argument?

    • AEZ

      While I can see the appeal of the tight rules of Xwing (which I’ve never played btw) I don’t think that neccesarily means that games without such rules are poor games. GW has tons of armies, tons of tons of models, all highest quality around.. the diversity makes balance nigh impossible (and as far as I’ve heard X-wing isn’t 100% balanced either).. but for me and many others the game delivers what it should. A fun game that allows playing with your gorgeous models from an army that appeals to you (there are so many armies something HAS to appeal) with all different looks (which – while I love the movies – makes X-wing less apealing to me.. all spaceships which are way more similar than fantasy models). After a AoS game you always have the feeling something happens.. most of the time both armies are at least halved in size and often only a small part remains.. stuff happens.

      • ZeeLobby

        I think it’s important to differentiate simple/complex vs tight/loose in this case. A game can have tight simple rules, or complex loose ones. 7th edition was in many ways getting to complex loose, 8th is more simple loose.

        In no way is loose ever a good thing. Regardless of complexity. I’ve tried playing some simple board games with hopes in the rules, and it generally makes an unpleasant experience for everyone involved.

        • AEZ

          Well I don’t know about 40K since I don’t play it.. but the holes in the rules in AoS are not that bad. Sure with all the warscrolls there are some holes but it’s not so bad it troubles me.. I can see why X-wing is tighter.. but if loose is bad then I don’t think AoS deserves that mark for me.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’ve heard AoS is actually not in bad shape, which is personally shocking when you look at some of the stuff that got through in 40K. Maybe it was the attempt to try and include factors in 7th edition in 8th that caused issues. Maybe a whole fresh system would have been better (like WHFB to AoS).

      • Cergorach

        A good game is not the same as a mechanically strong or weak game. X-wing is mechanically strong and also a good game. 40k is mechanically weak, but is still an appealing game.

      • Marco Marantz

        Good post. And id agree….ive never played xwing or armada even though i designed a large scale SW space battles games some years ago. I just cant stand card mechanics. I think GW could better balance their games but true balance is probably impossible; its not like those old historical games where units very little, as do point costs so the game is easy to balance. Those games generally allowed you to use historical models of various scales made by other parties. Some games relied on it.

    • Cergorach

      Sorry, that just isn’t true. What is true is that the games are mechanically average to poor, but that’s been true the last 30 years. GW excels at being consistent in providing people roughly the same kind of experience. And while the SW IP is older then the 40k IP, in gaming land it’s been licensed to different publishers at high license costs. That can’t be sustained through leaner times. GW doesn’t really have that issue with 40k and the ‘leaner’ times that GW has suffered from in the last three decades were all caused by in house troubles that were then corrected…

      I honestly don’t see FFG still holding the SW IP in a decade, that’s looking at the SW IP over the last four decades as a license and looking at FFG as a company over the last 15+ years.

      Most products don’t sell based on how objectively ‘good’ a product is, they sell on how ‘good’ a product is perceived by it’s customer base. And especially in miniature games, the mechanics of a game are only a small part on why people buy them. Case in point: 40k, if it was judged based solely on rules, it would have died a quiet dead 30 years ago…

      • Marco Marantz

        Well thats your opinion but I know people who have investigated other games, found them to be better, but didnt jump ship because they have already spent a lot on GW games. I also didnt make the plunge over the years because I didnt want to get on board a new game only for it to not take off and be left with a heap of stuff that few/no people play. GW rules are kinda like how WoW used to be for me; every once in a while they’d patch the game (editions) and make changes to classes (factions) and things would be buffed or nerfed and people would gravitate to those. This is how GW make sales and many gamers live in continual hope we will get a balanced edition but it never happens. Reason i am interested in FFG is they have a number of games now and are probably the biggest other player. Id like to know how much they are making in comparison to GW. Im not so sure games sell depending on how good it is perceived by its customers. Alot of people i know , and especially on here, are well aware of the flaws of GWs products but they stick with them for various reasons.

  • You may have just triggered some people sir.

    • Pimpcron

      Yeah, but I like the conversation. I like when people discuss stuff.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        admit it, you want to make all us organics wipe each other out in a nerdraged orgy of destruction! we are on to you 😀

  • pomop

    Oh the great philosopher… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH5TMCR8etc

  • ZeeLobby

    If they ever do fall, it’ll probably require an instant event. Like them getting bought out and liquidated, now that they’re publicly traded. If it’s a slow bleed (which they we’re going through for a while) it’ll be decades before they run out of resources.

  • You say “They think Dungeons and Dragons, because they were *first*”. That’s true, but in 1997 TSR, Inc. was in serious financial difficulties, and was bought by Wizards of the Coast.
    So that’s at least one real-life #1 top dog gaming company that fell from grace.

    • In other areas, Sun were _the_ Unix workstation company. Digital Equipment Corporation were _the_ mini-computer company.
      Games and technology aren’t directly comparable though.
      (For computer games, there’s Atari.)

  • Hagwert

    Two years ago when the old nutty regime were in charge of GW they were certainly not too big to fail , it’s only since Roundtree got in charge that they stepped back from the edge and as a result the share price has gone fro £ 4.50 to £ 20.00 in just two years !!!!!!

    • ZeeLobby

      Eh. Back then they were bleeding sales every year. It still would have likely been decades til they fell. I don’t think the tabletop wargaming industry is one where giants fall instantaneously. They’re much less chance of a buyout and liquidation. 8th has def been a huge push into the positives. Will have to see if it keeps up.

  • Talos2

    I THINK if one of the really big players like tamiya took it on there might be a problem for gw. I don’t think that’s likely any time soon though

    • Xodis

      FFG and Star Wars Legion will be the TRUE test for GWs stranglehold IMO.
      They have an IP that can kick GWs IPs butt, and they have the history of making solid games that can put some gamers at ease.

      • Talos2

        Yep, though from what I’ve seen I think they’re currently aiming it at a slightly different market, the quality isn’t there for the snobs and collectors amongst us. I see it attracting the same people as xwing generally. The GoT game on the other hand looks interesting

        • ZeeLobby

          Really though? I mean I thought the quality looked great. I don’t know what people expect from miniatures these days, but I really hope that everyone doesn’t adopt GW as the standard. I think many of their newer items are overdesigned.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            I have been pretty unimpressed with the new GW minis, way too busy.

        • Xodis

          I like the GoT show, but skipped the kickstarter for the game.

          I agree their initial models are pretty cheap looking for people spoiled by GW and the other high quality companies, Im hoping that is just for the base game though, and we get some later kits with better designs and detail.

  • Xodis

    Dr. Pepper owns Texas, and thats all that really matters lol….

    Seriously though, this exact article sums up my fear with getting into the new Fallout skirmish game, but the models are amazing looking and I can always use them in RPGs so its not a big loss.

    Same with Comicbook skimish games.

    P.S. Pepsi sucks!

    • ZeeLobby

      You’re worried the fallout game will fail? I’m interested in getting involved too. I think it’ll already be very niche due to the relatively small following of the Modiphius. In the end I just hope we get a system that’s good enough to carry on even if the company drops out. If there was ever a community which might survive self-driven it would be a fallout one, haha.

      • Xodis

        Im always worried my investments wont mature lol.
        I agree though, Fallout is like Star Wars to a lesser degree, it has such a following that I think it could survive regardless of marketing or how fast it catches on, I just hope it gets the support a game needs since I haven’t messed with Modiphius really.
        That being said, the fact they said the game could easily be used as an RPG due to the skill rolls involved is a big plus IMO, also having options for IA/Solo gameplay is sure to help make the sale.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, agreed. My biggest disappointment is that games like this, and SFG’s Dark Souls, etc. all came out so long after the franchise has existed. I mean they definitely have a cult following at this point, which may be all the game needs to survive, but I feel like the added hype of Disney’s new Star Wars franchise, universe and movies is huge driver for FFG’s success, while systems based on all those older games will kind of just put along.

          • Xodis

            Lets cross our fingers for a Fallout movie lmao. Would be awesome despite the game IMO.

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    The last British empire

  • Belechem

    If i recall correctly, the top dog in tabletop games are now FFG with their Star Wars X-Wing game, and they took the first place -and kept it- within the first year it came out.

    • Muninwing

      it depends… do we mean number of players? do we mean volume of sales in a quarter or a year? do we mean supported expansion? units sold? total revenue? future predictions of avenues of expansion?

      there are many metrics used to assess such a thing. it’s not as easy as that. plus, with FFG bought by Asmodee, they have a new relationship with their parent company that becomes more complicated, whereas GW is still running their own show. and when the “new buy-in” period for x-wing ends, how likely are return customers? what (and how supportable) is their long-term model?

      • Belechem

        I would say FFGs X-Wing beats GW in all above mentioned categories. New customers will get drawn in as long as Disney makes SW films. Plus the entry barrier is extremely low in X-Wing, you buy a Mini, unbox it and you are ready to play. Nothing can beat this attraction and the game is very deep in tactics and unit ability synergies, which attracts tournament players.

  • Matthew Pomeroy

    Yeah, cant agree with you on this one pharoah of robotic pimps. FFG already beat GW. They are not the monolith they used to be and in some places their presence is a mere shadow at best. Also, TSR and FASA come to mind as #1’s that not only fell from top, but went extinct. White wolf as well.

    • Muninwing

      he does mention that it can happen. but it is not easy.

      White Wolf made big changes that were inferior to their old product (huh, much like the given reason why many people do not play AoS), and they took a huge hit.

      TSR was bought out… and that was after years of deliberate sabotage and mismanagement

      GW did take a hit to their unassailable position, if only because they suddenly had rivals. but they are still the biggest dog on the field. but that even happened after a half-decade of steady decline (the “we’re a model company not a game company” era paired with ward-dexes), which thy are finally making efforts to remedy.

      it’s not nearly as simple as you are pretending.

      • Matthew Pomeroy

        I didn’t mention anything about simple.

  • Richard Mitchell

    I could see this article being solid 5 years ago. However like them or not FGG Star Wars products has beaten GW pretty consistantly with X-Wing outcompeting 40k, and both X-Wing and Armada out competing both of GWs flagship games (and that is not including all the other games they sell).

    Now that said I am not saying FFG is going to kill GW or 40k (and vice versa as well). I mean, Spartan product licenses have been purchased. Star Wars Legions is going to out sell 40k many times over but even then it wont kill 40k. Instead it is going to firmly place FFG as GWs competitor create a more Ford vs Chevy environment rather than a Ford only environment.

    I make bones about it, I love Warmachine (I would place Dark Age and Malifaux in my top 3 (I love you Dark Age)) but when it comes out I will be happy if it stays on the top 5 list. AoS doesn’t even appear on the top 5 so it is a non issue for FFG games but this is what the sales will probably look like based on the most recent listing.

    1. SW Legions/X-Wing
    2. SW Legions/X-Wing
    3. 40k
    4. Armada
    5. D&D Nolzur’s Marvelous Minis

    The market is very saturated right now, you really have to have a rock solid product, host demo events, and have something new in order for people to even try your product out. Compared to the 90s the environment is super competitor. Or you make things (additional rules, campaigns, and secenarios for other products that run as generic be we all know what they are talking about).

    • Muninwing

      again, define “beating”

      GW still makes a ton more money, even without their licensing.

      do you mean individual units? because with x-wing’s low price point, they sell a larger number of boxes/blisters… but that’s not only unsustainable (since it’s part of new growth), that’s also lower revenue when individual items on the GW end sell for more but contain more.

      we need some real numbers here. misremembering one article from a few years ago that didn’t include all the relevant information does not count.

  • PrehistoricUF0

    GW IS THE BEST BECAUSE THEY MAKE THE BEST PRODUCT OUT THERE AND HAVE THE BEST WRITING I PLAY ULTRAMARINES AND MARNEUS CALGAR PUNCHED OUT AN AVATAR AND THAT IS WHY ULTRAMARINES ARE THE BEST AND EVEN GW KNOWS THIS AND THIS IS WHY WARHAMMER IS THE BEST THANK YOU FOR READING MY POST.

    • ZeeLobby

      LOUD NOISES!

      • Muninwing

        I LOVE LAMP!

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Pretty sure Fulgrim did it first, before he ascended to Daemonhood, with his bear hand, No BS.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      Cato Sicarius is the best! just ask him!

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Oh, I do find it hilarious when armchair business-internets to rational as to whether GW or FFG is bigger or better than the other. Or if 40K is more popular, or not, than X-Wing…. I mean its not like Star Wars is literally the most lucrative merchandising brand in the world….I mean it made an estimated, mere, $30.5 Billion (yes, billion, with a big B) in 2017…I am sure that has nothing to do with the “popularity” of the SW branded FFG games and the income they generate for FFG/Asmodee….

    • Muninwing

      snark and condescension aside, that’s not what’s being argued here at all…

      a game vs a game. not an IP vs an IP. it’s not even about a company vs a company, since Asmodee is much larger than GW.

      reading fail.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Whatever you say bud….

  • Godlir

    A better example would have been to use coke and pepsi. Coke was the first to market and Pepsi has been playing catchup since then. This includes spending more on marketing and putting more sugar in there product. And they are still a distant second.

    As for major A+ companies that disappear after being first to market. Blockbuster, Sears and Roebuck, Blackberry, Radio Shack, etc etc etc.

    It generally takes a leap in technology and a company that moves to slow to adopt and innovate to take down a #1. So if GW isn’t at least looking at AR that might be their downfall.

  • CunningNeutrino

    Have you ever seen real-life #1 top dog companies fall from grace?

    Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Arthur Anderson, Borders Books, Sears, Kodak, Polaroid, Yahoo, MySpace, AOL, Blockbuster, Blackberry (Formerly Research in Motion), Nokia, and hopefully soon Equifax as well.

  • PEPSI MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!