Friday, 23 July 2010

Well, you've gone and done it now. Nice one ZombYs...

I call Bullshit.

I just visited YTTH when eating my dinner (for the Chronologocially astute, yes, I was eating it at roughly 1:30 AM, because I got home from work around midnight, and got sucked into the devious machinations of Mr Sinister and the work of the Neo and the High Evolutionary before them.  I'm on a real X-Men trip atm, and am feverishly reading issues I totally stole acquired from the PirateBay.  It's annoying because I don't have all the Uncannys, and there are holes in the story...anyway...) I came across THIS article.  It set me off a bet, I admit.  Personal bugbears, things that have been creeping up in my travels and travails, and it's time to set my admittedly layman's understanding of the economic world in the maw of my verbal (well, this isn't in print, so I feel verbal fits best, though it isn't auditory.  If it helps, imagine William Shatner reading the article aloud.  At worst, it will make you smile...) cannon, and unleash a fusillade [Broadside, perhaps, TKE?] the like of which you have never seen! This week.  With some (mis-)fortune, maybe I will get to be the locale of this week's FNIF?  Either way, I've babbled enough.  Time for me to ramble!

1) In large part because of the bollocks Battleforce armies the Studio guys use themselves, they don't believe any Codex or army is particularly underpowered, and they think Orks are fine.

2) Even if they accepted the premise that an army (eg Necrons) was at a major disadvantage versus any competitive build, they wouldn't care, as you have the capacity to buy one army, you have the capacity to buy more than one.  Get a new army, keep up.

3) People who play only one army (such as, but not limited to, Fluff Nazis) are bad for GW's business, because they will never buy enough.  Spend $1200 over four years on getting everything in the Codex? Great.  They'd MUCH rather you spent $500 getting a decent army, then dropped another $500 on a second army two years later - partly because you do it once, you'll do it again, partly because:

4) By the time a new Codex DOES arrive, they get to rerelease as much of the range as is deemed viable - because a LOT of players will replace their basic troops with the new kits too.  How many times have you seen metal Dire Avengers in the last 5 years?  What, you think they got thrown out? What about metal Wraithlords, even?  Or 2e Rangers?  Being replaced by shiny new kits, means even the most ardent traditionalist will likely buy a few new ones - because:

5) Appearance of the minis is one of the most important things to a LARGE part of the 'playerbase.'  You DO know GW estimates over half of their customers buy PURELY for the models, right?  NEWSFLASH - Even 'hardcore Competitive players' like myself buy models purely for aesthetic reasons.  Know the DA Captain with a Winged Helmet and a cloak?  Just standing, leaning on his Power Sword?   Yeah.  I've never played DA, and never felt a HUGE desire to...but that model is GREAT.

6) Perhaps you don't realise, but the creation of a SINGLE mould for a SINGLE model doesn't merely cost Hundreds.  It costs Hundreds of Thousands.  The reason we didn't get a new Rhino or Land Raider for so long was because they needed to make a profit on those models.  The main reason I think we haven't had a new Eldar jetbike is the same thing.  One of the main reasons for the delay of DE is the fear of going tits up if the range bombs.  We CANNOT AFFORD to have GW release models of things like TWC and Stormravens without proof of a demand for such things.  Given you can never have more than 3 Stormravens in an army, it's unlikely that they would have sold enough at release to make it worthwhile.  This isn't like the Valkyrie here guys.  That was new, spectacular, ground-breaking...and leaked WELL in advance, and the proof of the desire for that model was there.  Guard were getting the coolest new toy they could have dreamed of - and, of course, the rules had exist in IA for some time, and the sales for things like Elysians, and no doubt barrage of requests for an expansion of the range, convinced the sales people.  Let's be honest, the actual DESIGN people are like us - they play and love the game.  They WANT AirCav as much as any of us.  Doesn't mean they get to do it without the Suits say-so though.

Moving this back to TWC, there was NO precedent for Space Marine Cavalry.  Closest equivalent?  That would be Seekers, which didn't sell, Exodite Dragon Knights, which never got to production, or BloodCrushers.  Out of those three, what do you go with?  The ONE success, and HOPE the TWC follow suit?  If you said 'yes', then never open a business.

With no reason to hope you will succeed in the blatant and NECESSARY aim of selling enough in the initial splurge (as you correctly identified, most models for any given range are sold at and around release day) then you MUST err on the side of caution, and bide your time.  What you ALL seem to forget when making such grandiose complaints is that they WILL release things that don't bomb completely - sometimes even then.  And when they do, you WILL replace your shitty conversions (no offence Brent) with the new shiny GW just cranked out the loading bay into your retailer of choice.

I know PLENTY of you, IRL and online, spent a small fortune converting Ravens, or buying eBay Ravens from others.  What'd the average be, about £60, I think?  Okay.  So, say, in January, GW releases the DH Codex, with new plastic Raven kit.  Cost?  £50.  It comes with ALL the doors etc to make either GK or BA (conveniently Rhino sized) and all the weapon options.  It also features a new and innovative method of transporting the Dread that looks great, and a new size of Flying Stand, while having it's own unique feel that ties it to the SM range without looking like a Flying Land Raider.  Do you buy them? Of course you do.

In conclusion - STOP moaning about your perception of 'poor business decisions' when you don't understand that prudence = survival and longer term profit, when you don't get that Wave Releases = cycling out 'failed' ranges as well as spreading out the lifespan of a Codex and therefore it's sales, when you don't get that GW's Business Practice fits it's Business Model, when you can't fathom that they are interested in survival and placating the Shareholders FAR more than they are interested in whether or not little Timmy refuses to convert TWC from Canis Wolfborn, that a model that hasn't sold enough yet is only going to be pulled if they have(/perceive) a way to reimburse that double-loss with the new kit (see Calgar)...basically - if you don't like the way rules are cycled and replaced, then you know better now than to complain at me.  I have no sympathy for you.

No, I don't like the way things have panned out for SW, DE and BA, where they had a decade-ish between Codexes.

No, I don't like how some Codexes are from a radically different approach that has since been abandoned and leaves them underpowered and bland (CSM, DA, Ogre Kingdoms.)

No, I don't like the fact that I have to put up with a bunch of mediocre at best models in the Eldar range, and insufficient variety to run a Foot Seer Council without doubling up models, screw it's effectiveness, I want the AESTHETIC when I pull out my Witchblade.  Um...

GW doesn't work the way computer game companies can, and with the example mentioned of EA, this is a GREAT thing.  The example of Konami, even BETTER.  At least EA fix stuff with patches.    Konami leave glaring coding errors in place, and laugh in your face.

Sure smaller companies like PP are growing, and may use this model you describe - BECAUSE, they don't have majority market share to lose.

You people remind me of the Arsenal fans who berate our club's youth policy.  We don't win a prize for a few years and all of a sudden the manager's head should roll and the team members just out of their teens should be thrown out, their potential wasted or, worse, granted to a rival, while we should abandon sensible financial policies for short-term success, and damn the consequences.

THINK, before you speak, that's all I ask.

That isn't too much, no?
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