Good morning to you all! Unless you are interred in some kind of “off the grid” correctional facility like Guantanamo Bay then you cannot failed to have noticed a lot of news coming out of Games Workshop’s Nottingham HQ. Much of this news has been met with derision and no small amount of outrage.
With such an upheaval there is little else we really can report on here in the 6 Inch Move floating citadel as this occupies our thoughts as much as the next avid gamer. Rumours have been circulating for a while now that the Sheriff was going to put an end to his metallic ways and embrace a resin future. This was then changed to be a repack of current blisters/boxsets and then last week we had the first real news about the Citadel Finecast program and what it would mean. Yesterday saw official news and some more details come out on the GW site.
Colour me unimpressed! Ok, I will admit that I have yet to see a Finecast model in the flesh so will have to reserve proper judgement until I see one but reading through that announcement posted on the main site yesterday was just an exercise in futility. Trying to cut through the marketing hype and excessive use of superlatives really was rather draining. Now I am not a GW detractor, I mean I really do enjoy my Dark Eldar and my Ogres and I’ve spent a lot of money with them over the years but I’m not sure I buy into what they’re selling.
Not only was I unimpressed with the marketing hype I am also trying to look at the motives for this change. This was not mentioned at all in the web article, other than GW are investing in their processes and development. The Internet has obviously been awash with tales of cost saving initiatives but there was a dearth of references to that in the release. I think it is very clever of their marketing department to not reference this as it gives some more legitimacy to their price rises. All they do is wax lyrical about the amazing detail of the new models and how they are closer to the original sculpts.
I’m not buying it, either figuratively or possibly even physically. I am sure the reasons that they have made this change are not purely commercially in the interests of the customer. Especially with a 20%+ increase in prices over the old metals I can’t imagine that this was done solely with us in mind. I really do hope that the detail is better and that the models are more durable. Anyone that has ever tried to assemble the Ogre Kingdoms Scraplauncher understands how annoying the assembly and endurance of metal models is. Somehow though I doubt the hype in the article that seems to intimate that you could play keepy-uppy with one of the new resin Avatars of Khaine (how long do we have to suffer that model not getting an upgrade despite 3 changes in the material it’s been made of?).
We have a number of competitors who still release stuff in metal at prices well below Games Workshop’s. OK, I’ll admit that for these games you need fewer models but that also gets you thinking that if another company that needs fewer models to play a game can afford lower individual unit prices then how come GW charge so much for their stuff when overall they’ll be selling stuff in higher volumes? Privateer are also starting to move their range to Resin and they have kept prices around the same as the old metal was and you get parts for multiple jacks in each kit and the full sizes of units in each pack too.
It will be interesting to see the quality of the new models, somehow I don’t think it is a blisteringly amazing as the heavily biased article suggests. I think GW are struggling in an increasingly competitive market and making their product even more expensive certainly isn’t doing anyone any favours. If Finecast means we start to see a reduction in the prices of stuff then I’ll be all for it, but we all know that a reduction in RRP is not the business model to which the Sheriff ascribes.
I’ll be happy to eat my words if the quality of these new models is really outstanding but I have heavy reservations, especially if any increase in quality is worth an extra fifth of the cost!