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  1. #21

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    I don't think there's a huge problem really. Look at the Dark Knight reboot movies, very grim indeed; but then you have the animated cartoon shows which are much lighter. The Tau would make quite an interesting Saturday morning cartoon. The IP can be pitched at varying levels of grimness.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    I don't think there's a huge problem really. Look at the Dark Knight reboot movies, very grim indeed; but then you have the animated cartoon shows which are much lighter. The Tau would make quite an interesting Saturday morning cartoon. The IP can be pitched at varying levels of grimness.
    Oh the image is brilliant. What the Tau (actually, most of the races) think: We are killing aliens with guns that melt and vaporise people's flesh for the greater good. We kill aliens because they dont accept our truth and don't embrace our knowledge.

    Kinda sounds just... bad? Racist? Descriminatory? I dont really see any of the GW IP selling as a cartoon show like Spongebob or Dragon Ball Z.

    On the topic of if I ran GW, I think many of the original points are sound and valid. GW really shoots itself in the foot with some of its choices. No wonder they charge so much for stuff in Australia.
    http://flagshipfigures.webs.com/ for commission painting

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    I don't think there's a huge problem really. Look at the Dark Knight reboot movies, very grim indeed; but then you have the animated cartoon shows which are much lighter. The Tau would make quite an interesting Saturday morning cartoon. The IP can be pitched at varying levels of grimness.
    See... I'd have said the orks would make a good cartoon. Sidestep the "happily dismembering people" aspect and play up the "dumb, bumbling, irreverent horde who design wacky contraptions" aspect.

    The Tau seem like such serious cats.

  4. #24

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    I agree NSA and let's keep in mind that a kids TV cartoon only needs 3 stories to endlessly recycle, there doesn't need to be much substance to it (you could choose just one story as per Scooby Doo but I like to think we could set the bar slightly higher than that). And they're not really made to entertain, break new ground or win awards. They're an advertising vehicle to shift toys & licensed merchandise. A mate was telling me about his nephew who has got very into Spider-Man & that's what he wants on his pyjamas & school lunchbox & pencil case. He's never seen a Spider-Man film or cartoon, let alone read a comic. It's what his friends at school talk about in the playground & he wants to be in with the gang. Marketing is after all nothing more than exploiting human nature to extract cash.

    The kids into spaceships & sleek anime style looks can be fed Tau, the girls can have Super-Deformed bobble-headed Sisters of Battle, the kids who like charging around yelling can have orcs and you've still got your elves & space soldiers & chaos to fill the gaps.

    Of course, as I think mentioned above, we're talking now about appealing to a far younger demographic in order to haul in the cash. How that devalues the brand over time I don't know? When I was a young teenager, Warhammer was a game for the big boys, WD had satirical humour that I didn't generally get & crude humour that I did. That's what made it exciting (I think the blisters may at one point have had an age recommendation as high as 14 years old on it, nowadays they say unsuitable for under 3s). Now the games are marketed to 14 year olds, by the time you're doing your GCSEs you're enjoying a kids brand. If there was a large amount of product available for pre-teens, how do you manage to maintain the interest & move into the more grown-up end of the hobby without abandoning GW & moving to the brand who've stepped up & filled the gap (I'll guess that that might currently be Privateer?).

    Not that it can't be done. I think WB did brilliantly with the excellent Batman: The Animated Series feeding the little ones (and me), whilst the cinema films can be certificate 15, with a range of comics that range from simple clean Paul Dini stylings through all out nutjob Grant Morrison psychosis.

    Certainly after typing all that it makes me realise that GW currently aim their product at an incredibly narrow age range with a very narrow product line. I mean they don't even have something as simple as T-Shirt rack in store utilising the colossal amounts of artwork that has already been paid for (you don't even need masses of stock beyond 3 colours of blank shirt in 3 sizes & a printer. These places in shopping centres that print any image you want onto a faux canvas are another example. Bung one of those into each store with an appropriate printer & an online catalogue of images & you don't need to pay to have a range of posters in stock, just turn them out one at a time to order. Set up properly you wouldn't necesairly even have to have the setup staffed, just an automated, coin fed machine).

    More rambling to come later I'm sure

    Cheers, B.
    My CMON Gallery Rank...

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flagship Figures View Post
    Oh the image is brilliant. What the Tau (actually, most of the races) think: We are killing aliens with guns that melt and vaporise people's flesh for the greater good. We kill aliens because they dont accept our truth and don't embrace our knowledge.

    Kinda sounds just... bad? Racist? Descriminatory? I dont really see any of the GW IP selling as a cartoon show like Spongebob or Dragon Ball Z.

    On the topic of if I ran GW, I think many of the original points are sound and valid. GW really shoots itself in the foot with some of its choices. No wonder they charge so much for stuff in Australia.
    The Tau would make a very good adventure themed show since they encounter tons of alien races and have a mandate to explore their sphere. Throw in some human interest elements like a human scientist/rogue trader and you have Avatar-lite. As the other posters have noted, it's super easy to sanitize source material for children. Disney did an awfully good job with Snow White, the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty etc. The source material make for pretty alarming reading.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    The Tau would make a very good adventure themed show since they encounter tons of alien races and have a mandate to explore their sphere. Throw in some human interest elements like a human scientist/rogue trader and you have Avatar-lite.

    This sounds like it could be an almost complete rip off of Stargate Infinity.
    Quote Originally Posted by TrystanGST View Post
    The secret? Practice, and a desire to get better. A little talent goes a long way, but as long as you're open to advice, you can do amazing things.

  7. #27

    Default GW needs competitors

    That sounds crazy, but it's not. When you are #1 making a consumer product, having a credible and newsworthy competitor is not a bad thing, and can have an overall positive effect in growing the market.

    I have no doubt in my mind that GW is largely responsible for creating the ecosystem today that allows other miniature companies to flourish, by pushing the hobby into mainstream consciousness. However, not having a similar sized competitor means that most of the marketing effort to maintain the industry's size (for their own good, as well as for the smaller players) rests firmly on their shoulders. It can be only good for GW for Privateer Press to become a much larger player, for instance, and start having a more major retail presence (say, on the way to an IPO). This creates news and has a much larger chance of being picked up by mainstream media, much like the age old DC / Marvel rivalry.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    That sounds crazy, but it's not. When you are #1 making a consumer product, having a credible and newsworthy competitor is not a bad thing, and can have an overall positive effect in growing the market.

    I have no doubt in my mind that GW is largely responsible for creating the ecosystem today that allows other miniature companies to flourish, by pushing the hobby into mainstream consciousness. However, not having a similar sized competitor means that most of the marketing effort to maintain the industry's size (for their own good, as well as for the smaller players) rests firmly on their shoulders. It can be only good for GW for Privateer Press to become a much larger player, for instance, and start having a more major retail presence (say, on the way to an IPO). This creates news and has a much larger chance of being picked up by mainstream media, much like the age old DC / Marvel rivalry.
    Interesting. I was browsing through game theory concepts (such as the Nash Equilibrium) when I stumbled upon two opposite but tandem principles that would illustrate the DC/Marvel model, and would be necessary for GW to flourish in this manner. Product Differentiation in combination with Hotelling's Law.

    Hotelling's Law states that in an industry it is beneficial to a company to make their product or service as similar as possible to their competitors in order to secure an equal share of the market. In this case I wouldn't argue for Privateer Press or another miniature company to copy the look and feel of GW models, but focus on creating a similar business model. For instance: sprues containing multiple models for a unit, legal experts with a massive budget, individual paint line, *large scale battle.

    *Other miniature companies and even other players try to persuade players to convert to a game system that uses fewer models and is more of a skirmish set. This can be done and is a prime example of Product Differentiation, but it takes a damned lot of work. If your customer is looking for a product it's easier to provide them with it than convince them to try something else.

    A small company making a similar system to GW's has theoretical potential to grow to ~50% of the market. That's a lot of growth potential, albeit at a cost to GW's market share. It's risky of course, and would require some significant investment, but if a foothold could be established then it would only take time and a keen ear to eventually secure a large portion of the market.

    The other factor, Product Differentiation, takes the form in the models and superficial rules. Your objective is to provide a system that is in the same vein as your competitor, but populate it with small and somewhat insubstantial differences that appeal to your market. Do you have a gothic theme, a soviet theme, or a vietnam theme? GW did something ingenious by giving each army it's own theme, which appealed to a larger audience. A true competitor would have to provide armies with clearly defined themes, though they don't have to be the same themes. (superficial change) These superficial changes are how a company outmaneuvers their competitor.

    Take cell phone providers. Verizon, AT&T, etc. They all provide the same services, but the differences lie in the service plans (how many minutes, how much texting, how much data, etc.) and which phone models are sold are what dictate their growing market shares. They all provide phones, and smartphones, and all sell texting, data, and calling minutes but in different increments and in different packages. (AT&T is killing themselves by NOT keeping a similar infrastructure for signal availability compared to other service providers, and I believe this could be their death knell if they don't shore it up soon.)

    Something phone service providers have done that would happen between GW and a competitor is drum up interest. Speculation, advertisement, and competition. An advertisement by a competitor that boosts it's customer base will boost the GW customer base. People introduced to miniatures learn about other miniature companies as well. Any GW advertisements will increase their customer base, but their competitor as well. Given, the company making the advertisement tends to get more of the market share, but it still helps their competitor. Since both companies will have to advertise to stay relevant and compete against each other, they will both contribute to new customer growth.

    GW should stop trying to stomp the crap out of every company that is close to theirs, and instead laud them. Invite the competition and then prove how their product is superior in small ways.
    Last edited by IdofEntity; 03-21-2011 at 12:32 PM.
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  9. #29

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    so if you ran GW itd be theamed about saturday moring cartoons? for 7 year olds?!

    sheesk id rather GW be more expensive+grimdark than supah happy tau

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdofEntity View Post
    GW should stop trying to stomp the crap out of every company that is close to theirs, and instead laud them. Invite the competition and then prove how their product is superior in small ways.
    That assumes that there is room for this market to double in size. Personally, I find that unlikely. Room for growth absolutely but not a doubling of size in any sort of reasonable timescale. And the market would have to expand dramatically for GW to have any incentive to encourage competition.

    I think there is more opportunity for related hobbies to expand the community and market sideways without challenging GW directly. The current edition of mini-focused D&D rules has certainly seemed to expanded awareness of miniatures in certain segments. One company that is playing this from both sides is Reaper. They have their own game rules and GW style line but at the same time a huge portion of their output is focused on RPG style miniatures plus some vanity stuff for the dedicated painters.

  11. #31

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    What I believe Chern is saying is that GW has the "potential" to broadcast their IP in more ways than they are doing, that would expand their market. This does not mean they will sell more "warhammer models". But it would give them the ability to license merchandise to companies that create goods that appeal to more than just than hardcore gamers, nerds and people into wargaming.

    GW puts major burden on themselves by insisting that they need to be everything: A designer, A manufacturer, A distributor, A retailer, A brand, An educator, Event coordinators, magazine publishers, book publishers, an art studio, it goes on and on.


    The issue being brought up is, GW is trying to be a miniature wargaming manufacturing brand that aggresively depends IP. When it could be a company that develops an IP, which includes a miniature wargame(movies, cartoons, toys, whatever) through licenses.

    They are big enough to do that now. Disney is a great example, they did cartoons, but Disney now does a whole lot more than cartoons. The guy bought land, developed properties to create a whole real life world, he created a true connection between people, not just kids or cartoon lovers.


  12. #32

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    I do highly doubt that GWs IP is adaptable to mainstream as easily as you described.
    The Batman comparison is not a good one imho. Surely, Batman does also incorporate some dark themes (very dark in some versions) but the "grim darkness TM" of Warhammer 40k is on a whole different level.

    Heck, Batman does not even kill his foes (normally), while the "good guys" of 40k have no problem whatsoever with happily dismembering people with giant chainsaw weapons! As someone has said earlyer, they are infact bigoted space nazis! There is no way to deny this! 40k has no "good guys" in a traditional sense. And then look at the fluff for Chaos and the dark eldar!
    In comparison to them, batmans joker is the clown you would want for little timmys birthday party!

    The fluff is so full of absolutely revolting stuff that I keep wondering how they manage to sell this to kids anyway?

    "Look Timmy, Santa got you this "codex dark eldar" you wanted. Tell mommy whats its all about"

    "Well mommy, its about a dying race of psychopathic mass murderers, who sacrifice the souls of people they kidnap to a god that embodys non-consenting bdsm and who consider torture as a form of art."

    "Oh, how nice Timmy! Sounds like it would fit nicely with these little toy soldiers depicting criminals who got lobotomy and their armes replaced with electic whips by religious fanatics that your brother got for birthday last month"
    :-D
    When I was your age, Yuggoth was a planet.

    GW cares not from whence the cash flows, only that it flows!

  13. #33

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    Well, you hit the nail on the head. Selling to children simply means ignoring all the disgusting bits and promoting everything else. D&D dealt with considerable amounts of medieval themes, including violent death, torture and sex (read the old source materials), but all this of course disappeared for the D&D cartoons in the 80s. For fans of the original IP, the only thing recognizable would be the brand name and perhaps some familiar elements (e.g. "wizard" vs "Space Marine"), but since the existing fans are not the target market beyond spreading word of mouth, whether they like the kid IP or not isn't important.

    So, Dark Eldar would disappear, you'd have Uptight Space Marines vs Jolly Orks. Not unimaginable, given that GI Joe is safe for kids.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    So, Dark Eldar would disappear, you'd have Uptight Space Marines vs Jolly Orks. Not unimaginable, given that GI Joe is safe for kids.
    Three words. Jim Henson Company.
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  15. #35

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    Some of the problems I see with GW;
    1.Forge World products not available in store,nor can you order them from the direct order station.
    2.Prices keep going up. When I started a starter set( SM vs. DE) was @ 45$...now it's $90. Hard to get someone to plunk down that kind of cash for the basics,not counting glue,paint,tools etc.
    3.White Dwarf is a joke. 1 painting lesson,a crapton of ads and pics of battles between staffers. Very little quality content, and no specialist games articles. There are still BFG, Bloodbowl and Epic players out there.
    4.GW's past practice of pumping out games then not supporting them or dropping them altogether. What happened to Necromunda, Mordheim, Inquisitor, etc. I bought BFG because the Manager of the local GW at the time assured me it was one of their core games and that they would always carry and support it.
    5. What is the point of a hardback codex at just under $40 when the regular codex is $29. Did anyone as for hardbacks?

  16. #36

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    Wow, interesting week from GW.
    1. Move from metal to resin for low run models
    2. Ban on independent retailers selling from Europe to Australia (and other territories)
    3. General price increases

    And not least a letter from the CEO addressing the ban. Reproduced from their Facebook page:

    Dear Hobbyists,

    Thanks for contacting Games Workshop about the change in our trading terms for European accounts. I know this has frustrated you and for that I am truly sorry. As a long standing customer, you deserve to know why we made this decision.

    As you know, we introduce people to the Games Workshop hobby of collecting, painting and gaming with Citadel miniatures through our Hobby Centres and local independent trade accounts. Games Workshop Hobby Centres run introductory games and painting sessions, beginner lessons, hobby activities and events. We provide all these services free of charge. We only recover this investment if customers then buy products from us.

    Where we don't have a Games Workshop Hobby Centre, we support local independent trade accounts. These businesses provide a convenient place for customers to buy our products close to where they live. We support these businesses with local customer service teams and warehouses to ensure customers have immediate access to our best selling products and new releases. Many customers discover the hobby this way.

    In addition we invest millions of pounds every year in our design studio and factory to ensure that each month we release more new products. This makes the Games Workshop Hobby more exciting for existing customers, helping them stay in the hobby longer. We can only afford to do this because of the volume of customers we have recruited and developed through our local Hobby Centres and trade accounts.

    It is for this reason that we have changed our European Trade terms. Over recent years, a number of currencies have moved a long way from their historical relative values, and this has opened the door for some traders to try to take advantage of these currency movements and offer deep discounts to overseas hobbyists. This has been the case with European internet traders selling to some of our customers overseas.

    While this may seem great in the short term, the simple fact is that European internet traders will not invest any money in growing the hobby in your country. Their model is to minimise their costs and free-ride on the investment of Games Workshop and local independent shops in creating a customer base.

    The inevitable consequence if this was allowed to continue is that Games Workshop would not be able to operate Hobby Centres, nor to support local trade accounts. And if this happened in more territories outside Europe, the loss of volume would leave Games Workshop no choice but to scale back our investment in new product development, further eroding our customer base. Not something that we or our customers would want us to do.

    That is why we took the decision to take legitimate action to restrict European trade accounts from selling the goods they purchase from Games Workshop outside Europe.

    While I understand that you may still be unhappy with our decision, it was taken to ensure we can continue to support the Games Workshop hobby communities around the world through our Games Workshop Hobby Centres and local trade accounts. And to ensure we continue to invest in developing the best possible new product releases every month. I hope therefore that over time you will see the benefits of this decision for you and your hobby.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mark Wells
    Chief Executive
    18 May 2011
    If you're new to this debacle, GW announced the ban this week. Australian gamers are very unhappy mainly because the official SRP in Australia is 2x that in the UK. Australian retailers were very unhappy because they couldn't compete with EU online retailers.

    So GW's answer is to protect Aussie retailers, but oddly not to address the price imbalance issue. To be fair, the rise of the Australian dollar relative to the Euro/pound and US$ has been quite dramatic. Since this hasn't played out fully, GW may be buffering future UK/EU price rises, since it'll be less painful than having to do the same exercise twice (lower prices, then raise them again). Also, depending on the amount of product in independent retailer hands in Australia, it may not be possible to reduce prices now without incurring large costs in the form of pricing adjustments for retailers.

    I suspect there is an expectation that the pound and Euro will strengthen against the Australian dollar again. It's the most conservative strategy for dealing with the exchange rate fluctuations but given 100% difference in SRPs I doubt the embargo will work. The incentive is too huge.

    More worrying is that in light of price increases over the last year, if overall sales revenue has not improved then it means that GW's customer base is shrinking. This may accelerate if it's significantly more expensive to play with GW miniatures than videogames, and I don't think a general price rise is going to help matters. With no marketing effort outside White Dwarf and smaller GW stores/showrooms, more expensive product, this sounds like a marketing death spiral. Hopefully the Hobbit will snap them out of it.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    Hopefully the Hobbit will snap them out of it.
    And pigs will master the art of flight....

  18. #38

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    Maybe an economic collapse of GW would be the best thing for the long term hobbyists...Then, maybe a new creative/customer focused GW would emerge from the flames, all phoenix like. Although, I'm not sure if it would be a boon or bust for smaller independant companies.

    They continue to make very unpopular decisions. I realize quite often economics of the business world doesn't always mesh.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by finn17 View Post
    And pigs will master the art of flight....
    Well, the Hobbit will represent mainstream marketing that GW is not willing to do themselves, which will drive traffic to them again like what LOTR did. Ironically, licensing someone else's IP from a movie, instead of making a damn movie themselves with their fresher IP.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    Well, the Hobbit will represent mainstream marketing that GW is not willing to do themselves, which will drive traffic to them again like what LOTR did. Ironically, licensing someone else's IP from a movie, instead of making a damn movie themselves with their fresher IP.
    The problem with the Hobbit though is the same as it was for LOTR, limited story line, limited range of miniatures. LOTR was hugely popular while the movies were going but once they finished, it faded and we began see re-releases, every once in awhile revamped stuff. They did expand some of the range including various peoples that weren't featured in the movies.

    But how many times can you see another sculpt of Bilbo, Gandalf and Smeagol? If they learned anything from LOTR, it's to have a plan for when the movie is over.

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