Games Deep Thoughts: Un-synchronized Army Releases?
So there are murmurs out there that Games Workshop may be altering their overall release strategy in the future to a less synchronized schedule for both rules and miniatures. Lets talk more after the jump:
What this exactly entails is up in the air but we can start with a baseline of how things have worked for the past few years. For quite a while now, we have the “release windows” for each race that basically work the same way. Each period of time in the schedule, an individual rulebook is released along with a medium sized set of “launch minis” to accompany it, to create a large sales spike and build enthusiasm for the new range. This lasts a few weeks, then the next release window takes over.
To prevent an army and its players from getting no attention for a long stretch of years, the army will get 2nd and subsequent ranges of miniatures interspersed with the rulebook-miniature releases down the road. We also see the interspersing of non-affiliated rulebooks and supplements added to the mix such as Apocalypse or Planetstrike.
So now lets talk about an unsynchronized (or less synchronized) system where there is a weaker link between the two. You could see army books released without accompanying miniatures (to update long obsolete rules), or miniatures released all over the place with little to no relation to the age of the its army rulebook. Take a look as the recent Eldar Nightspinner/Support platform for example which added a new vehicle with new rules added via White Dwarf.
Privateer and Battlefront use a somewhat similar release model with multi-faction campaign books that include new content for multiple factions at once.
In theory this model allows product to flow to full release with less delays as there is no need to wait until a critical mass of models and rules are ready. Take a look at the upcoming plastic Daemon Prince which first appeared in pictures over 2 years ago. Ask yourself if it would have been a more or less impressive plastic kit with better or worse sales in the environment two years ago, or today?
~So what do you think of the concept? Would like to see a more freewheeling release schedule with more varied releases for more factions over time, or the feast or famine model we have now. Also, which do you think is better for sales or your incentive to buy. Have at it.