Back in the days of yore, rumors flowed like rain from the heavens, and it seemed everyone, “knew a guy, who knew a guy” and the community was in a constant state of hysteria and bated breath. Then came:……
The Mumak!!! (you guys remember)?
It was going to be GW’s largest plastic piece EVER!, and it would slice bread, wax your car, and anything else you could think of. Then the early pics and details leaked out and in general the Mumak was pulled through the ringer, taken out behind the barn and put out of its misery before it even hit the shelves.
Some blamed the rumormill for the abortive launch. Others countered that rumors only reinforce the innate merits of any product: growing sales for exemplary ones, while punitively crushing lackluster ones.
That was the beginning of the shift. Slowly but surely the “velvet curtain” descended over Games Workshop future releases. There were never hard rules, but nebulous 6,then 4, no make that 3 month marketing windows. And now, many, many, many moons later we find ourselves here, with a somewhat tighter information channel. What exactly has it bought the company?
Some say that the primary goal of a tight information channel is to ensure that future sales are not cannibalized by hearsay and speculation. Others say that with long advance notice, the “surprize-wow” factor of new products is diluted when the actual release day comes. Still others say they want to give any competition as little notice of future products as possible.
On the other hand, there seems to be something very ho-hum, and pedestrian about the enthusiasm level over recent releases. Even in the cases of some outstanding individual pieces, I have been surprized to hear lifelong hobbyists saying things such as “oh well, thats very nice, but moving one… have you heard of this cool new thing…” Gamesday, after Gamesday, after Gamesday keeps cranking out disenchanted hobbyists saying “what was the point”. Marketing professionals will tell you that well crafted rumor and tease campaigns can substantially INCREASE buyer engagement, sentiment, and drive sales.
As the old saw goes: “Its not the having, its the wanting.”
~It’s a charged topic and companies in the space are taking very different approaches to the issue. What say you?