Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Undead rise...well some of them do...

Well, because I like to be on the cutting edge of news, the Tomb Kings will be resurrected this spring. I'm not going to talk about them, largely because this was kind of a surprise and largely because everyone and their brother will be sucking up every rumor out there. I'm looking at what this might mean for us...

Well, for starters we're seeing 3 army updates in 3 months, something GW hasn't done in my tenure with the game. Not only that but this makes 2 Fantasy armies in 3 months after 13 with no new army books (sorry GW but one crappy army that no one cared about and the 8th edition rulebook did not make 2010 "The Year of Fantasy") Also the Grey Knights and Tomb Kings are in that bundle of what I see as "forgotten armies". After moving Dark Eldar out of that club finally they take 2 more which is interesting. (So when do my Necrons get to move out of that club?)

Now what can we get from this? Well for starters I think this is a direct response to the low sales numbers announced last year. I don't think lack of releases is why their sales dipped (I think they're pricing themselves out of their own market, but that's another article) but pushing up a release that most of us expected this fall is probably an attempt to speed up their release schedule in an attempt to boost sales.

I think this is a flaw in their strategy as once again they're acting reactively and not proactively. GW is a dinosaur and while they are still a mighty T-rex, the Raptors are swarming in the form of Privateer Press, Spartan Games, Battlefront and a few other companies that are working to avoid GW's mistakes. These little companies are evolving to meet the new gamer's needs and GW is only slowly shifting to catch up with these new competators. It's a matter of time before one of those little raptors turns into that big finned thing from Jurassic Park III and becomes a real threat to GW.

I'm also worried that if I'm right and the TK book was bumped up 6 months, we'll see a mediocre book and very limited first wave model release. Does anyone remember the Sega Saturn? No I didn't think so, but once upon a time Sega tried to beat their competition to the market by releasing their system 6 months before their previously announced "Saturnday" release. As a result, the system dropped with about 4 games as developers were still months from what they expected to be the release window. When those games finally hit on time, the Saturn had already been forgotten.

My other concern is did they shift everything up or will this now just leave a gap in their releases? I'm hoping everything will be shifted accordingly which means my Necrons might see an update before the world ends. We do expect another 40K expansion this summer, but considering how well Planetstrike and Spearhead did, I hope they're not banking on that and there's still 1-2 codex/army book release possibilities before the end of the year. The rumored flyers release will hopefully see a few plastic kits (fighta bomma and Thunderhawk please) but I don't know if Tomb Kings are opoular enough to boost their numbers. Only time will tell if this was a one-time boost or the beginning of an accelerated release schedule.

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