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This topic contains 54 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  onlyonepinman 1 year, 3 months ago.

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    I’m going to start this by stating that this isn’t a prediction of anything I think will happen, in fact I don’t think it will happen. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about the last few days.

    If you were in charge of GW now,  would you be looking at the reception of the recent new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay? Would you be looking at the success of Total War: Warhammer? And would you be looking at the performance of the Ninth Age on Kickstarter?

    I’d argue that all three would be part of your job. The first two, afterall, are using your license. The third is a potential competitor that is predicated upon taking a part of the market that you created.

    So, how would you react? Would you react?

    It’s been three and a half years, now, since Age of Sigmar launched. It’s established. It’s a system and world that now has its fans and its players and its not going anywhere. The Ninth Age, though, shows that there’s still a market for Warhammer (or Warhammer Fantasy, if you’re American) of people that haven’t moved on. That don’t want to move on and play a different system or who want to play both systems. Furthermore, the licensing deals for the RPG and for the videogames helps market Warhammer and bring that world to the attention of people that may not have been interested in it previously.

    It’s entirely possible (probable?) that GW is working to capacity on AoS and 40k. Those are their core products now and other releases are designed to support those worlds and so help bring more people into the hobby and into those worlds. If I was in charge, though, my responsibility wouldn’t be to develop those worlds but to maximise the profits and revenue of GW. If I was in charge of GW, I’d be thinking about licensing Warhammer to another tabletop company for a miniatures game and for boardgames.

    As I say, I think AoS is established now, so I don’t think this would undermine that like it would have done a couple of years ago. Anybody that will move from Warhammer to AoS has moved, so why not capitalise on both markets?

    Just an idle thought.



    Would never happen, if nothing else due to the ongoing rebrand of GW stores to “Warhammer” its to valuable a thing to license brand recognition away.  Plus i think its a bit of a fallacy to conflate a well performing KS campaign with commercial appetite for mass battle games, end of the day the people backing on KS are the market for that style, but ongoing purchases and all the things which didnt happen in terms of sales are why we have AoS, and GW as a company want to sell us high (stratospheric) margin show piece mini’s with the core troops being a secondary focus of sales (why you have prominently display the new big box mini’s in front of troops if you lack shelf space etc.) which again doesnt really work in a mass battle setting…

    Its interesting that you mention total war as a reason to license, for me thats the perfect reason why not to license and killing off WHFB was a good idea, because total war does it better than it ever was on table top, in fact the only way i could see a real return of WHFB would be as software, but even if they did a 1:1 port you would still be going whats the point when there is total war…


    Simply not going to happen. The will always be some interest to keep a version of WHFB afloat in its community, but that doesn’t mean that there is a commercially viable product here. In the meantime we have seen 3 plus 1 more new system coming into the market so as far as massed fantastical battles are concerned there is more choice and competition to be had in that segment.

    Licensing out WHFB as a table top game would not be in GW’s interest. The revenue from such a niche product would be minimal while it would be sending out very mixed messages as to what GW is about and doing. Licensing out games or miniatures is one thing, but not games with miniatures like this. It would also be difficult not too see it as taking sales away from AoS – even if just a very small fraction. GW has already diversified its games and arguably runs the risk of over saturating its costumers anyway.

    The trend is also to small scale games as companies are churning out more and more and the attention span of customers decreases. Even leaving aside the cost of starting a new system there just wouldn’t be enough interest by enough new customers to justify this. This is the one thing that prevents me from getting into Conquest. It looks great at all levels, but I don’t have the time or energy to take this on and never will.



    I just wish they wouldn’t have gotten rid of tomb kings and bretonnians.  I guess you could play tomb kings using Deathrattle for skeletons, Morghasts for Ushabti, and maaaaybeee Zombie Dragons for Warsphinces/Necrosphinxes. I would say that a Lichepriest could be a Deathmage but IDK. But Bretonnians are pretty much gone for good. And that saddens me. I got into warhammer after visiting a toy store in Ireland 9 years ago. There was a guy on my plane on the way back who turned out loved warhammer and we got to talking. I am a hardcore greenskinz player. He was a hardcore bretonnian player. I wonder if he still plays and if he switched armies. I think they COULD bring these back, but don’t know if they WOULD. Tomb Kings could rise from deep subterranean crypts and tombs in Shyish and Bretonnians could have established a foothold in Ghyran. OR they could just bring update legacy rules every so often and maybe release the rare new model for old factions. IDK, but I am hopeful.  The one thing I don’t will happen is for them to bring back Oldhammer or license it.



    Would never happen,

    Simply not going to happen.

    Opening with this almost feels like you’re telling me I’m wrong, when I made a point of beginning my post with saying exactly the same thing in order to head off such unnecessary arguments.

    I’m going to start this by stating that this isn’t a prediction of anything I think will happen, in fact I don’t think it will happen.

    That said, you have both made some interesting points. I’m particularly interested in this section:

    Licensing out WHFB as a table top game would not be in GW’s interest. The revenue from such a niche product would be minimal while it would be sending out very mixed messages as to what GW is about and doing. Licensing out games or miniatures is one thing, but not games with miniatures like this. It would also be difficult not too see it as taking sales away from AoS – even if just a very small fraction. GW has already diversified its games and arguably runs the risk of over saturating its costumers anyway.

    The revenue may be small, I don’t know. As I said though, if I was in charge I’d look at it and make a decision on that basis. As for mixed messages, I don’t see it as any more mixed than allowing the world to continue outside of tabletop miniatures games. Suddenly, the world is not dead, like we’d been led to believe, but alive and well. I’m also unclear by what you mean about GW having diversified its games and I’d love to know more. To my knowledge, they have 40k, AoS, occasional skirmish games set in those worlds (which use the same models so don’t really detract from them) and occasional boardgames set in the same world (currently WQ: Blackstone Fortress) which is similar to what they had in the early 2000’s (and arguably smaller in scope than what they had before that). Oddly, of course, they also have a relaunched Blood Bowl, which itself is set in the Warhammer world.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by  cornishlee.

    Necromunda, Adeptus Titanicus, Blood Bowl, Warhammer Underworlds, Lord of the Rings, to a lesser extent the Horus Heresy which I suspect though was more of a revenue stream than WHFB had been for some time. Then there are the one-off games like Warhammer Quest and entry level games. Very unscientific here, but I guess I listen to around 10 GW related podcasts on a semi-regular basis and the one thing most people saying that the release rate has become staggering – and I’d agree – and you have to be much more discerning. Its not only about the money, there isn’t enough time to remotely dabble in all systems.

    Lets be honest, GW is pretty mercenary when it comes to dishing out its IP for licences and will puts its name on some really suspect stuff. So you are right there are people doing the numbers and maximising the IP for what in some cases must be pretty limited profits. RPGs and electronic games are part of this because GW can’t or doesn’t want to do this in house.

    The one area where GW is very protective is games with models because that is the core business. GW and FFG parted ways as they slowly had overlapping interests. GW prides itself with being the leader in miniatures production and I don’t think would be keen on licensing out an IP for another party to produce, from its perspective, second rate miniatures. In addition GW sells a complete hobby system miniatures, scenery, paints etc…- to the point that even in articles on scenery building it doesn’t mention generic building materials everyone has at home. Breaking up that chain for limited gains is what I meant with not being in GWs interest.

    GW probably has the best market research and business understanding in this field so I suspect if in years to come they felt money could be made with a limited re-release of a classic game they would do it. If another manufacturer was making serious headway with a massed battle game to the detriment of GW’s interest they could well do this to undermine the competition (unlikely but possible).

    If I had to guess where GW might put more energy in the future it would be CCGs after what seems to be the success of AoS Champions. Three big license games came out this year – AoS Champions, Dice Masters 40k thing and Heroes of Black Reach game – Champions seems to have the most buzz.

    I’d have really liked to have played WHFB, in fact I bought the starter after AoS came out…



    CoG Member

    I agree with everything @captainventanus says above. And I would add that it is very likely that GW does have people watching kickstarters like 9th Age (among others). It is after all part of the market research. Though as far as 9th age is concerned I think that GW can feel confident, given how much it is raising on kickstarter, that they made the right decision to discontinue WHFB. Even if the 9th age funds it won’t have raised very much money by GW standards. Certainly not enough to grant an actual license as that would probably entail more paperwork and expense than would be returned.


    CoG Member

    If I were in charge of GW right now I would be only be concerned about how much profit the Total War and WFRP and license were making. I would be no more concerned with 9th Age than I was about Kings of War – Just more possible competition. I certainly wouldn’t be looking to enable my competition by licensing a well established (and loved) IP to them and risk losing some of my own customers to a competitor.



    For those that did not want to move on they still have, and are playing with, their existing collections and rulebooks.

    GW moved on because the game was no longer a commercial success. It might have been making money, but not enough money.



    CoG Member

    If I were GW I wouldn’t change a bloody thing.

    Massed miniature battle systems are not profitable enough and they can’t compare to the kind of profit a skirmish system can offer.

    Let’s do basic math for a moment with a few random numbers for effect.

    Assume the average WFB-clone needs about 100 miniatures to make a decent army.

    Any skirmish level system can be pretty competitive with 10.

    What does this mean ?

    As a manufacturer I get 10 times as many customers, which also gives me more chances to try and get them to buy more of my products. We also get the opportunity to sell them a second (or 3rd or 4th) army, because getting such a small team tabletop ready isn’t much of an effort. They’re also more likely to introduce friends as the entry level isn’t so daunting.

    That big mass combat army otoh … you’d be lucky if they start a second one.

    On top of this I’ve successfully licensed my mass combat system to computer games.  Minimal effort, maximum profit.

    Looking at the market I see more companies stepping into the skirmish level fantasy game and only a few die hards trying to relive past glories. This tells me that AoS was a good choice and it’s time to ensure we stay in the lead. More teams, more books, more products, more profit.

    Let’s not forget that 9th age is a fan based product.
    The average gamer isn’t a geek who is willing to suffer an inferior product. They’re used to high end products with lots of flash that are feature complete and userfriendly.The ‘missing’ bits are marketed as ‘extras’ to buy once we’ve got them hooked on our core products.

    Kings of war hasn’t been a blip on our radar.
    We might have to worry about ‘Song of Ice and Fire’, and yet … they’re targetting a different audience (fans of the series/books). We know how difficult that is with our LotR product.

    So … that RPG. It doesn’t put a dent in profits that D&D is doing and there are dozens of other products within that same space. We do miniatures and board games. The games also lack long term opportunity as the core rules are enough to keep that consumer entertained. Outsourcing it to a company that has at least some experience in running such product lines is another one of those maximum profit /minimal effort type of things. No fear of it interfering with AoS either. At best an opportunity to get them into AoS

    Cardgames are like skirmish games. Minimal effort to produce, lots of opportunity for customers to buy multiple sets and introduce their friends as a result of that low-cost entry level.


    CoG Member

    The only people that should be worried about 9th Age are Mantic and Kings of War players.

    I would guess that the people that stuck around for AoS and are now thriving in their system (me being one of them) have little interest in mass ranked battle games otherwise we’d have switched to KoW.


    CoG Member

    I’m not even sure Kings of War should worry too much about 9th Age.  Mantic’s miniatures are a lot more affordable than the “official” 9th Age miniatures.  You could reasonably collect an army of KoW miniatures and play 9th Age rules and much like GW it’s model sales that keep Mantic alive, not rules sales.


    CoG Member

    The 9th Age isn’t a true successor to Warhammer Fantasy as it has retained and in fact seems to double down on aspects of Warhammer Fantasy that weren’t exactly the best. It’s very much for a particular sort of gamer rather than a mass wargamer.

    And I don’t think we could ever make judgements about whether or not mass-wargames are the ultimate desire, or not, of gamers for the simple reason that mass wargaming is difficult to physically do: skirmishers are popular imo less because people prefer them and more because it’s simply easier to physically do i.e. people don’t want to lug £500 worth of models in 2 carry cases to the an isolated gaming hall. They’d rather carry ten models in their back back. This is why Kill Team and Shadespire Whatever are given significant attention.

    GW imo could have had significant more success by not touching Age of Sigmar and retaining the Fantasy background  whilst retaining the simplified, streamlined “1 or 2 pages” ruleset which has been entirely the right thing to do (and is the reason 40K’s latest edition has been an amazing success).

    GW wouldn’t licence Warhammer to another miniature company because they are engaged in Warhammer Legends and clearly think there is enough money out there for making made-to-order original warhammer models and investing time in “Age of Sigmaring” the original Fantasy armies albeit slowly. I doubt anyone * wants * the Age of Sigmar IP – but Original Warhammer fantasy is coveted.

    Which is what they should have done from day 1 and not bothered with the Age of Sigmar, would have saved so much bad blood.

    That being said, Age of Sigmar is a far more mainstream product which is far more in keeping with popular fantasy (world of warcraft etc) and customizable card games.


    CoG Member

    I think they made an almighty mess of the destruction of Warhammer and the launching of AoS – a product with virtually no setting and not enough rules to create – for many people – a satisfying game.

    But they bet so much on its success, and were a big enough company to ride the storm, and with a change of leadership were able to change course.   They now have a game that still won’t suit plenty of players, but is now enough of a game to ensure a much larger group of players have fun playing it, and a rapidly developing world and setting which is constantly giving more and more people reason to invest emotionally as well as financially in it.

    I agree with most of the reasons given by others as to why GW wouldn’t license out the Warhammer massed battle game to a competitor or relaunch it in some form themselves.   What would be interesting to think about though is whether they could have relaunched warhammer as a skirmish game with much simpler and more accessible rules.   Would the familiar and much-loved setting have been more of an asset than the almost unlimited opportunities offered by the AoS blank slate?

    Now that they seem to have found their groove with AoS it looks more and more like the right decision for them to have made.   In part because I think one of the problems the old Warhammer had was that being a lower fantasy setting it was more jarring introducing all sorts or large and amazing models into the game.   AoS is designed from the start for almost any model to be viable, meaning their designers have free reign to produce the most amazing (again, not to everyone’s taste, but technically amazing) products.

    I could perhaps see a future for miniatures in a Warhammer setting via an in-house GW release of a Mordheim like game.   A game of fairly limited scope that would give people an opportunity to buy and play with models designed with reference to the Old World aesthetic but which wouldn’t be marketed or seen as a competitor to AoS as their larger scale skirmish battle game.


    CoG Member

    People obviously do want the Age of Sigmar licence as not only is the game now doing well but we also have an incredibly successful Age of Sigmar licenced product in Age of Sigmar Champions and Cubicle 7 are supposedly doing an AoS RPG.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s doing alright for itself.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  onlyonepinman.
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