As the twenty-teens come to a close, let’s talk about the biggest Games Workshop shakeups of the last ten years.
2010 was almost ten years ago and it was a different time. GW was a guarded closed company, we were happily playing Warhammer Fantasy 8th and Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition. What a decade it would turn out to be.
The Seismic Changes
Horus Heresy Explodes (2012)
The Horus Heresy is first mentioned in Adeptus Titanicus from the early 1990s, but it had laid dormant for decades. Black Library was first to fan the flames of the Heresy with Dan Abnett’s Horus Rising in 2008, but in 2012, Forge World jumped on the bandwagon and has been riding it all the way to the Gates of the Imperial Palace to this day. The full resin range of kits and lavish black leatherbound 30K books were like nothing seen before or since in the industry. It has been amazing to see GW reach back into their history and pick up a dusty piece of lore and turn it into solid gold for over a decade, with over 100 novels, plus resin kits and games that are not easily counted.
Warhammer Fantasy Ends (2014)
I still remember the rumors about something big happening to Warhammer Fantasy, and tales of a new type of “armored human knights” back in 2014. When THE END TIMES set of books appeared with NAGASH, people took a few months to figure out just how literal the title would be to the Old World. We didn’t know it at the time, but by the end of the series with ARCHAON, the Old World was now the World That Was, and many of the seeds that would pay off years later in the Age of Sigmar had been planted. It was a hard painful time for the community but would lead to great things down the road.
Age of Sigmar Begins (2015)
July 4th weekend of 2015 shook the industry. In one of the biggest rolls of the dice, GW kicked off an entirely new universe with the Age of Sigmar. The new game had a very shaky start and no one quite knew what to make of it. It had fantastical new armies led by the Stormcast Eternals, alongside rules for who had the longest mustache. It slowly but sure reinvented the old tropes of the Old World into new amazing forms such as Kharadron Overlords, Idoneth Deepkin, and Ossiarch Bonereapers. In the end, the huge gamble paid off for Nottingham, but it looked like anything but a sure thing in its early days.
GW Does Marketing (2016)
It seems ubiquitous now, but Warhammer-community.com only started at the tail end of 2016. While GW had had a website for sales, campaigns, and some limited background for years, it famously had a “no marketing” policy up until 2016, and a guarded, litigious reputation. With the changing of the guard within the company “new GW” was born only a handful of years ago and has been happily marketing away and delighting their customers like every other company in the world.
The Grimdark Reboot (2017)
After almost 2 decades since the last “hard reboot” to the Warhammer 40,000 in 1998’s 3rd Edition, GW shook things up big time. 8th Edition arrived with an all-new edition that rebuild the game from the ground up. The core rules were only 8 pages long, and the entire range both GW and Forge World had new rules overnight. What followed was an almost unbelievable rapid-fire codex release that rebuilt the game over 18 months – while introducing some new armies like Custodes along the way. Primaris arrived and heralded a new generation of Space Marines. The game is entering its third year and is considered a resounding success. Indeed the future has never looked brighter for the Grimdark.
~We can’t wait to see what the 2020s will bring! Which of these caught you the most off guard?