A moment ago I was going through my old draft documents. I found an article from well over a year ago I had started where I said that Games Workshop was a menace to themselves. It got me thinking though, have they redeemed themselves?
Long time Games Workshop fans remember a happier time where the game was slightly expensive, but still affordable, when it wasn’t to uncommon for player to own multiple codexes because they where at the level of being an impulse buy. Opening up the newest edition of White Dwarf and finding a cool article on a great kit bash or even better yet, rules for some new models. Overall just a happier time.
Then one day things just seemed to switch. Games Workshop wasn’t a company about the consumer anymore, in a nutshell from my perspective, they got greedy. Now I understand that the reason to have a company is to make money, it just seemed that was all they cared about. Thier quality dipped, they rushed releases, and they stopped listening to the consumer. This was a dark time personally, the company I loved since second edition had honestly become a monster. Gone where the days of Andy Chambers and Fat Bloke. I’m not saying the games that GW made during that period where perfect, there are always going to be cheese armies and broken lists, but it was fun.
Then a shining light happened in the form of Age of Sigmar, with its rules free for people to get! Free, from Games Workshop? People started off upset with the changes, to the point they burned their armies even. They called it the end of Games Workshop. But a funny thing happened. People played it, and they liked it, and then began to wonder when it was going to happen to Warhammer 40k. The free ruleset model brought old players back and gave the ability to new players to try the games out. Heck I know of a school on am improvised area of Louisville that gained the ability to run an in-school league as an elective class because of the rules being free.
So here we are a year and some change after I started writing that article about Games Workshop. The newest edition of Warhammer 40k, 8th, has just released and things seem to be getting back to the way they used to be. Funny how quickly things can change in perspective. It honestly seems like GW is going in the right direction with what they are doing. No, their products are not any cheaper, but the quality has gone up substantially since the old kits of yesteryear. Also speaking of kits, it seems like they are beginning to fast track older kits into being redone. With the release of 8th edition they seemed to remember us, the players and consumer by keeping the rules inexpensive.
In closing I don’t think that they have fully redeemed themselves yet, they have a ways to go. But they have started down that path which is the most important part. it seems that they have started caring about their customers again by giving us quality products. Now if they could just work on that pricing a bit.