Well that certainly put the cat among the pigeons! It seems that GW's decision to axe the venerable White Dwarf magazine in it's current form (not officially announced yet but I have been given the nod that it is happening) has left the Oldhammer world (and presumably the rest of the warhammer fantasy web fandom) in a frenzy about the possible death of Warhammer fantasy itself.
Considering the Oldhammer community have made a conscious decision to play 3rd edition and revel in the glory that are metal miniatures I was quite surprised at the responses when Orlygg suggested on his blog http://realmofchaos80s.blogspot.co.uk/ that it wouldn't be long before GW decided to do the only thing that seems sensible from a business point of view, and put a bullet through WFB's brow. There are threads all over the place full of hand wringing and fevered denials. There was even an appearance on the Oldhammer forum of the internet forum staple or random fanboy guess work based on spurious evidence. What Orlygg suggested wasn't surprising or completely left field, just an honest opinion based on experience with GW working methods. It can't be outside the notice of even the most ardent denier of Kirby era Gw that the business has been changing rapidly over the past couple of years. All sorts of bits and pieces have been lopped off the Lenton tree, from Warhammer Historical to Specialist games to the reduction of staff at HQ to the running of GW stores as one man part time shops to complete farce that was Finecast. These are all methods of cutting overheads in a business. From a money making stand point, they all make sense.
The demise of White Dwarf is just the latest in a long line of cost cutting measures.
But what about good old WFB? Well lets look at it sensibly. In the latest version you need, what can only be described as, a shitload of figures to play it effectively. GW's own images of Warhammer battles contain ridonculous amounts of gorgeous figures, squeezed impossibly onto stunningly sculptured tables.
This is really the nub of the problem. You have two product lines. Both require the same amount of capital input, support, shop space, tooling costs, warehouse space, packaging costs, printing costs, R&D costs etc etc. However, one sells a fraction of the other and it's sales are falling all the time. It's gotten to the point where it's financial viability is seriously in doubt. What do you do?
Of course, I could be entirely wrong...........
This wasn't the post I intended to write, I was going to discuss european Medieval personalities and how we could use them as influences for scenarios, armies and games. I'll get right on it.