|Pictured: The warm gushing lifeblood of your hobby?|
Everybody by now has heard of the supposed financial issues GW is facing, and I’m not here to argue that it’s not true. I’m also not here to argue that GW is the best company ever and has a sparkling track record of listening to its customers; or even go so far as to make eye contact as they sodomize you with their giant, throbbing, inflated prices. But if you look at the bigger picture, I believe you see a much more dire situation for big gaming companies like GW.
Kickstarter is great, but it has brought on the GamingPocalypse
It’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this you like miniatures gaming. And obviously loving gaming means your children’s college fund is secretly being funneled into an offshore Swiss bank account to pay for that new Emperor Class Titan you’ve had your eye on. [Editor’s note: Don’t worry; you don’t tell my wife and I won’t tell yours.] I think it’s also safe to assume that at least some of you aren’t filthy, filthy rich. So my cerebral processors indicate to me that since you only have limited Earthling currency at your disposal, any money you spend kickstarting yet another miniatures game is taking away from the money you can spend on your current hobbies.
Well guess what? For many of us, GW products are our current hobby.
With 246 MILLION DOLLARS successfully backing Gaming kickstarters, I’d say it’s also safe to say that at least some of that came out of GW’s potential sales. Now obviously “Games” include Video Games, Board Games, etc. But that doesn’t mean it’s not taking away from potential GW sales either.
Kickstarter is a Hobby Russian Roulette Mixed with a Mexican Stand-Off
Okay, so you do like I’ve done and drop a couple hundred bucks or even a Grand backing Kickstarter projects. Are you playing them now that they’ve been delivered? How many people in your gaming club play even one of your games you Kickstartered? One? Two? None? From experience I drop a bunch of cash on something, learn to play it, teach people to play it, we all enjoy it, but nobody buys into it, and I end up playing a game of it once every 3-6 months. Yay! Meanwhile, I could have spent that money on an entire army for my current hobby.
So the whole Kickstarter situation is currently like the real estate market was 10 years ago: everybody is throwing all kinds of money around in hopes of making a good investment. And my assumption is that it’s eventually gonna pop. When you think about it, Kickstarting a project is really an investment because you are shelling out money up front in hopes that the game will be worth something to other people when it ships. And that idea works whether you plan on selling your kickstarted loot or just finding players to play the game; either way it’s an investment that has to be worth something to other people later on.
Ultimately it’s Russian Roulette because it is a huge gamble if you will even find other players to play it. And it’s a Mexican Stand-off because everyone’s conversation will eventually turn into this:
Person A: “Hey man, do you play Ultimate Battles CCG?”
Person B: “Never backed that one. Do you play Deep Dungeon Demigods?”
A: “No, but I did fund a game like that. Ever heard of Diamond Digger’s Dungeon?”
B: “No, but I brought my army of Elvish Fancy Dandies to play a game of Battle Wars Fight with you.”
A: “Oh, I never got into that. Happen to bring your Orphan Slugfest Cards?”
B: “Sold them to kickstart Fantasy Ogre Dick Chess. Do you play?”
A: “Almost funded that. I brought Magic Minority Checkers. You have Team Class Clash Zone?”
B: “No. Got Public School Maritime Wartime Face-off?”
A: “Nah, Dude Guy’s Mighty Maximum Conquest Mini’s?”
B: “Nope. Super Heat Over Launchers? Weird Galaxy Dice Marbles?”
A: “No. Dynamic Card Moon Simulator? Hoogity Blik Blork? The OMG WTF GTFO CCG?”
B: “Afraid not. Money Phrase Master Bash? Holy Demon Carrot Wishing?”
A: “Man. Seems like we’ve got $20k in stuff but none of the same. Wanna play 40k, Magic or Heroclix?”
B: “Nah, they went all out of business.”
|"Yes, my ebay lot is everything you see here from all the crap I've Kickstarted"|
Now I know it seems as though I am championing the status quo and defending giant gaming corporations but I’m not. I think a certain level of Indy ingenuity is a great thing for any market, but what we see here is a Nuclear Explosion of new games, miniatures and companies. I’m interested to see just what is left after the smoke clears, the winners and losers have been chosen and there are entire mountains made of unused miniatures of kickstarted games that went nowhere after shipping.
As I understand it, GW's financial reports seem to say that they are selling more product to a smaller base of customers as opposed to growing their base. GW seems to be acting rather odd right now with new editions, rules, pricing, etc. but could it be that they are just hiding in their bath tub until this whole thing blows over?
What do you think?
What do you think?