Games Workshop has released a new set of Gang Tactics Cards for Necromunda – what does this mean for the future of other games?
Here are the basics – Games Workshop has just released a new set of Gang Tactic Cards for Necromunda. That’s pretty cool by itself for fans of Necromunda. These cards are pretty good additions for your Gang Tactics decks.
Overall, there are 17 new cards – 8 generic and 9 gang specific cards to use. They even include gang specific cards for Venator Gangs, Chaos Helots Gangs, and Genestealer Cult Gangs. That by itself is pretty cool but this is second set of rules that GW has released for free online in as many weeks. The first being the Adeptus Titanicus Downloadable Command Terminals. On top of that, we’ve also see GW release a free Battleplan for AoS this week, too.
Tinfoil Hat Time
Now, we aren’t complaining about these free downloads. Please, GW, keep this up. No, what we want to highlight are a few things in particular. The two big releases (the command terminals and gang tactic cards) are specific to specialist games produced by GW. While the Battleplan seems more like a planned release in line with the Forbidden Power release schedule for AoS.
Another thing this shows us is that GW is more than capable of offering these options as free online-only content. As Abe discussed earlier, this could lead to some really interesting content delivery models in the future from Games Workshop. If you look at AoS in particular, all those rules are already FREE online. Every single unit’s warscroll is free to download directly from their page on Games Workshop’s site.
Maybe GW is testing out the waters for free content and updates to their specialist games first to see how it’s received. It’s the perfect place to try it out. Those games are relatively smaller pieces of the pie and so it’s worth trying to experiment with them to see if they will grow based on these free releases or not.
Another reason GW might be trying this out is due to the Tariffs hitting Games and Books printed in China. If you look at where the majority of the print materials are produced by GW, they are printed in China. Codexes, Battletomes, and other items are produced in China. Specifically, the newer Terrain Kits and Endless Spells are manufactured there. (Their regular plastic kits are designed and manufactured in the UK.)
Now, I don’t know what the logistical outlook is for GW. Maybe they already had items in various warehouses in different parts of the world for specific products. The timing on the tariffs could also be a factor as things get sorted out over the coming weeks. But my guess is that the move to release some of these products as free digital downloads is a way for GW to hedge their bets against some of these issues.
Think about it – now they don’t have to produce physical copies of extra Command Terminals or these new Gang Tactic cards. They CAN but they don’t NEED to. That’s a cost saving measure and it builds up some good will with the players, too.
Free Downloads For All?
Can they do this with more “main stream” products? It’s obviously possible but they are a company and they need to sell things to stay in business. I’m not expecting a free download revolution here – but as the world changes, I’m guessing GW is learning to adapt to the new landscape of how you get your products to market in a less-friendly trading environment.
What do you think? Is GW testing the waters with these free downloads in preparation for something else? Let us know what you think in the comments!