Sunday, 2 October 2011
More of an editorial this one, so my apologies in advance.
The Shadow In The Warp or The Great Rumour Blackout
First, some background:
Games Workshop, upon noticing that sales for given miniatures dropped off once the 'tubes had leaked that a model was being redone or changed, decided that such a situation was bad for business. They needed to avoid this lull in sales whenever they were about to release a new kit. So, they decided that the best way to combat this was to lockdown on those who were leaking this information - stem the flow and the consumer base would continue to buy the soon-obsolete kits in ignorance.
I think this was a poor decision. I'll overlook the view of consumers as herds to be carefully shepherded into purchasing soon-to-be-useless kits and focus on the way it affects my purchasing decisions. I want to build my Necron army. I have for ages. However, they are being redone (maybe) some time soon. So whenever I had a spare £25 or £50 I would pop into Games Workshop, ponder over some metal men and then remember that the model could be useless very soon. Games Workshop are hoping I will purchase something else, or be too blind to notice the independents reducing stock of Necrons and keep purchasing.
It doesn't work that way for me. I want to buy Necrons. I didn't walk in there for another Rhino, or a Space Marine Captain. I wanted Necrons. So, when my impulse purchase is blocked, I go elsewhere. I've dropped most of my impulse money on Nomands for Infinity recently. I wanted to buy Necrons, but I'm not disciplined enough to save, so I bought something that would instantly gratify.
What do I think Games Workshop should have done? Let me know the Necrons are being redone, and drip-feed me information. Give me a unit preview a month for 3/4 months before the release - they have a magazine they could use for exactly this purpose. Show me that Immortals are now going to be a pretty solid army core, so I should save up £X for them. Show me that there's new vehicle options, so I'm probably going to want to put aside a few quid to pick up one or two of those. Build my anticipation, but give me a thing to lust after rather than just hoping I'll save money on the off chance Necrons come out. Whip up some hype, and then reap it at the right moment, and watch me drop £100's on the new shiny plastic in one go. Or don't, and watch that money go to other companies while I wait for a solid rumour to escape the blackout.
Right now, they're just costing themselves my impulse-purchase money. Give me something to look at, give me something to save for, Games Workshop, and it's yours again. Just don't expect me to wait on you for something you won't even announce.