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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

April 7th: The glorious rebirth of Games Workshop? A nerd's prayer.

The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop 
Part 13 - A Nerds Prayer

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April 7th: The glorious rebirth of GW? A nerd's prayer

We are putting the finishing touches on our Season 1.2 and Season 1.3 DVD sets now. To say we are busy would be an understatement. But when Games Workshop calls, we answer! Ain't nobody too busy for that!

The story so far

Sales down? "Shut all communication channels!"
From the book: "The 42 biggest marketing
blunders in history"
In another surprising and incomprehensible move, Games Workshop has shut down all major Facebook pages and Twitter accounts yesterday. Forge World's FB page is gone. Black Library's FB is gone. Warhammer World's FB page is gone. Comments on their own YouTube videos remain disabled, of course.

Rumor has it, that all of the individual GW store pages on Facebook will follow suit. At the time of writing, the ones I sampled are still available, so we'll have to wait and see.

In summary, a company who just had a 12% decline in sales followed by a 25% drop of their share prices decides to shut down their only remaining direct lines for communication with their fan-base. 

It's make or break time for GW. I am sure they won't mess this up. Nothing I saw so far would indicate any form of failure.

Sparta? No. This is GW.

Today: No-GW-Bashing inside. 

After the glorious rework of the White Dwarf in combination with Warhammer Visions, the shut-down of all (or at least most) Games Days and the general sad headshaking following all of that, it would be too easy to state the obvious: "Go home, Games Workshop, you are drunk! (And even that you are doing wrong)". 

I like to turn the Universe upside-down every now and then. And I will do this today.

Let's assume for a moment, we are all crazy and evil and Games Workshop is sane and doing everything right. Like someone listened to a Nerd's Prayer. 

Mr T pities the fool who
thinks this is a joke!
April 7th, fools! No joke.

What is happening on April 7th?

Well, from April 7th on there are a few changes coming our way regarding Games Workshop. 

Forge World products will finally be available in GW stores - it's about time! YAAAY!

And the new Games Workshop Website will go live. (see Faeit 212 et al). 

Y'all come back now, you here? 

I am not a religious man, but I believe that on April 7th, Forge World, Black Library, Warhammer World and other now missing pages will be back, consolidated in one site to rule them all. 

Actually, I think I know. Need proof?

So, what will it be? A glorified store? A reference site with tutorials and reports? A blog? Or - dare I say it... a community site? Maybe all of the above?

Let's think what April 7th could mean for us, if all the sites are combined. 

The shop(s)

Combining the FW/BL/GW shops on one site definitely makes sense. I always hated having to go to three sites to order my stuff, paying shipping and handling on two of them. 

The current GW website, or rather web-store, is functional and does what it should. I prefer the FW one for it's speed and looks, but I am sure GW will conjure up something nice there. I wish the new store will remember the format of my address without me having to manually type it every time I use it, but maybe that's just me. 

So that prayer seems to have been answered already. I hope.

One site to rule them all - and in goodness bind them.

The blog(s)

Forge World started their little blog a couple of weeks ago. I personally found it a little bit boring, there are dozens of better hobby blogs out there. But it was a start.

In general, I like the idea of blogs. (D'oh!) It is so much better to access information on a blog then to, let's say, find it on FB.

My nerd's prayer would include the desire for a professional blog WITH community interaction. 

Community Interaction

Sometimes you reach for the stars. And wanting community interaction from GW seems like a futile request, but then again, there's always hope.

I would like to have open communication channels for the community. But history shows that by shutting down their FB sites and disabling comments on YouTube videos GW might not be that interested in our opinion. 

So what do I think GW could do as far as Community Interaction is concerned? No communications? No more Games Days? What gives? After all they have a drop-down menu called 'Community and Events' even today!

Show us your work, so we can sell it to you!

One of the things I liked about the FW page was that fans from all over the world posted their works on FW models there. I found that very inspiring. I think, the new GW site will (continue to) have something along these lines. 

Who doesn't feel good about being featured in the 'What's New Today' section on their site? Hell, even I bought a Vision magazine for the guys (not for me of course!), because it featured our and our friends entries from the GD US 2013 on dozens of pages.

But how is GW going to fill the Vision magazine when there are no more GDs? Just recycle studio photos that you saw in the White Dwarf flyers? 

Well, you guessed it, YOU send them your pictures! You may not use GW's IP to make money, but they sure don't mind selling you your own works ;) Genius! I would totally by my own works from GW if they published them. Kinda like the Coolminiornot Annuals...

If GW spiced this up with some sort of recognition (a badge, a pin, a medal or whatnot) I would even not frown upon that. 

Filtered Forums?

Good ol' days. :P
Everything was better. Or was it?
If you are old enough to remember the old GW site, you probably have fond memories of downloadable how-to's, gaming scenarios or modelling tips.

We kinda expect GW not to pay for such nonsense in the future, so why not have the community supply these? That's the way forums work(ed) for the most time. All GW would have to do is to format the files or even provide authors with a template and they would be done.

Not that I think that this is coming our way, though. 

My free, yet dangerous wish

Bring SKULLZ back!
Here is a free tip for you, GW. One that will increase your sales immediately, secure your sales in the online world and will pretty much piss off every non-GW store in existance.Do you remember how people at GDs hunted for stickers, buttons and freebies? Yes? Make money with that, dudes!

Reintroduce SKULLZ for web-shop-purchases only. Won't cost you much. Make some worthless trinkets like keychains, bathing caps or towels (especially towels) in exchange for skullz points. 

I would buy my 10000th mini from you and put it on the pile of future projects for after when I am dead only to get that towel. I am serious people!

If you implement this, why not send me a 10000 point DKK army courtesy of your shareholders?

Beware of what you wish for!

What would you wish for for the mysterious upcoming April 7th sites? Do you think it will be 'a site to rule them all?'

What would be your wishlist for a new, world-dominating GW site?

Let us know in the comments. 

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  1. You there! Stop talking and send me my DVDs.
    But on a serious note. Buying bitz from other sites has probably made a ton of money. Why GW stopped this is beyond me. Maybe make sprues of heads or something as i remember it was because they were packs of metal shaking around which ment bitz could be bought.

    1. Hahah :D
      DVDs are now in Quality Control! And so far, we are VERY happy with how they turned out ;) If you liked Season 1.1, you will love 1.2/1.3 ;)

      The Bits part I can actually understand. A lot of manual labor goes into providing bits and this 'service' function probably cost GW money rather then making them some...

      And we nerds know where to get our 'stuff' ;)

  2. I would wish for an immediate drop in prices of 20%, and for all the new special decreased value boxed sets of 5 models for the price of 10 to be reboxed as 10s. Then I might actually buy something from GW instead of spending hours lurking on Ebay or making the very occasional purchase from discount online retailers and Chinese Forgeworld...

    I also want to see the new 'codexes' which are really just a single unit or a bunch of FOC changes to be released as Dataslates. I don't mind the micro-transaction model for these things (even though I'd rather buy a WD with these rules in like in the old days) but I resent paying £25 for a mock-codex such as Crimson Slaughter with 2 pages of rules. Actually I simply won't pay that, I'll download it for free like everyone else does. If it was £3 though I'd have bought it, like I did the Helbrute Dataslate, and GW would have made some money.

    1. Yeah, as for the 20% price drop - I don't think we'll live to see that day. The same with 10 unit boxes instead of 5 (or 3!)...

      I heard through the grapevine that rules WILL be released in future WDs. As much as I think that is a generally good idea, I wonder what impact this will have on the tournament scene..

      "Rules of the tournament: 6th edition plus WD 7, 14, 21 and 42."

    2. stick them in the WD to give a reason to buy the damn thing, and slap them onm the website too as a dataslate. Make sure they are the real rules though in the WD, I was conned into buying a WD for the Imperial Knight rules only to find they had done the usual half arsed job and there were bits missing and ambiguities a-plenty to force you to buy the 'codex'. I also had to buy the epub version of WD as all the stores round here sold out of that WD. What a pile of shite, I've never seen such a poorly formatted document! They'll never get money out of me again for one of those!

  3. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Not one site. FW & BL have great customer service and I love dealing with them. I have to deal with the North American head office of GW -_- Not good, not good. Will all my business have to filter through Nashville now or can I still deal directly with the UK for BL & FW?! Please for the love of God, NO!

    1. At least your prayer has been heard, nerd! :D

      According to sources at GW, almost none of my prayers have been answered, including the combination of stores on one site to rule them all...

  4. Skullz had to end due to GW's contract with New Line that discouraged cross-promotion (i.e. they couldn't give out Skullz for any purchases of LOTR products as they could be redeemed for 40k or WFB figures).

    1. Is that so? If I remember correctly, skullz ended long before LotR was released - but I may be wrong.

  5. Germans and towels don't mix well Michael lol!

  6. I would really like to be wearing my new Painting Buddha shirts... Hmmm...

  7. Hmm.. I accidentally didn't post my last comment.

    Oh well:
    This is probably the most thought out series of posts on the subject of GW, just wanted to let you know that. :)

    On another note: I've been playing (with) GW stuff for the last 18 - 19 years, so i'm reading these posts with a funny emotional sting in my body ... It really saddens me how GW has taken this strange direction: Dropping all the interesting things (well, to me interesting) such as Gorkamorka & Necromunda. I'm actually to some degree anxious for how the company is going to work itself out.

    On another note: Me and a couple of friends switched to Warmachine last year.
    Their minis might be of lower quality, but what they lack in molding quality they make up for with how the creators of the game actually listen to their fans and how they interact with us on their own forums. And they actually care about the game, making sure that everything remains as game wise viable as they ever were.

    hmm.. I set out to write something, along the lines i apparently forgot what it was.

    So: In conclusion: I really enjoyed these posts, and i hope you keep them up.

    (now off to look at awesome painting tutorials! YEAH!)

    1. Excuse me for crappy formatting. I've been reading all the posts on my phone, and i'm writing these comments on my phone as well. :)

  8. Guess it was April 7th on the Mayan calender.

  9. Well, I guess there are more stores closing. Three stores are closing in May in the Seattle/Tacoma area. It appears there will only be stores left in the area. What is GW doing? Is this another round of reducing payroll expenses to try and bolster profits and the price per share? All I know is that the closest store to me now is just under an hour away. No more dropping in just to say hi and pick up a few paints.

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