Games Workshop hates money, and me

I recently tried the Warhammer conversion mod Warsword for Mount and Blade, and it was a pretty wild 24 hours in my brain. Right after installing it I got that amazing rush of “omg this is going to be awesome” that not only Warband provides (btw, I think Warband has crept up into ‘best game ever’ territory for me), but here I had Warband AND the Warhammer IP (which IMO is the greatest fantasy IP out, miles ahead of LotR or Game of Thrones).

Some high points: The major races are represented and actually look decent. Lizardmen look like Lizardmen, Orcs are bigger greener humans, ogres are huge, and goblins/dwarves are actually small. I didn’t think that was possible in Warband. Races also have race-specific gear, so you can’t put undead armor on a human, or have a non-goblin ride a wolf mount. That’s a cool touch. It’s especially cool because the various companions you can recruit are from all the different races, so you need to travel around, fight different races, and visit different racial cities to gear them up.

The stuff the mod does clearly pushes the aged engine to its limits, from the size of the map to the units and armor skins. And as I got further into it, the rough state of the mod (in forever beta) hit me again and again. Script errors were common, and I have a strange and game-breaking bug where the factions eventually all declare peace with each other and never go to war. That, along with other issues, is why I can’t recommend the mod, and why the situation drives me nuts.

Games Workshop, the owners of the Warhammer IP, must hate money. They must be allergic to it. Because how in the holy hell do we not have a Warband-like game using the Warhammer IP? Everything, literally everything, about the IP is perfect for a game of that style, and the amount of DLC you could sell (factions, unique heroes, item packs, unit skins) would be insane. And assuming the game was Warband-like in quality, I’d buy it all up. Every $5 unit skin, every $5 item back, every faction for $20. All of it. If you told me tomorrow someone was releasing a fully working, cleaned up, bug-free version of that mod for $200, I’d drive the money over personally.

I understand why GamesWorkshop won’t release a turn-based, straight up copy of the tabletop game in digital form ala Bloodbowl; even if the game was sold for $50, that’s the cost of one larger figuring, so you don’t want to cut into those sales (Bloodbowl is discontinued in figurine form). I get it. It blows, but I get it. But would a more real-time game like a Warband hurt figurine sales? Because that’s the only reason I can think of why this hasn’t happened already. That or again, a pure hatred for making money.

Need to stop typing now because thinking more and more about this is really getting under my skin.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Mount and Blade: Warband, Rant, Warhammer Online. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Games Workshop hates money, and me

  1. A couple of things on that. First, Games Workshop has their focus, which is the whole miniatures thing. That is their corporate culture, something that is difficult to alter in any company. They seem to be okay with as their business, and they control it and feel they know what the hell they are doing.

    And then there is how the video game front has treated them so far. Warhammer Online? Well, we know that story. The Warhammer 40K RTS that THQ did was okay, but got tied up in THQ’s problems, which probably splashed back on Games Workshop. There have been a few other video games, but none got that much attention.

    Games Workshop may rightly have acquired a dim view of the whole video game market, given their experience. Get lied to enough times and you can’t see a good deal even if it shows up.

  2. Isey says:

    The challenge for Games Workshop is that if they don’t find a way to go properly digital, they will eventually lose out. Their core audience (I am guessing here) are people used to holding, painting, and collecting minatures. The ‘Millenials’ won’t play it if it isn’t on their iphone. Eventually, their player and customer base will just die off and not be replaced. Morbid view of it, but seems to be the norm for companies that don’t figure out how to ‘get with the times’.

  3. tms says:

    Games Workshop has always had problems with video games. They just don’t seem to get the world beyond the tabletop experience.

  4. Alexandre ''Zeviking'' Boisvert says:

    I am fairly surprised this mod haven’t been taken down by the GW police yet.

    Games-Workshop have been really aggressive on an IP standpoint in the last years, their lawyers policing everything that could remotely hinder their name.

    It seem this mod is just fine for them. By the way, 2 years ago, Creative Assembly(Total War series) announced they were making a total war game with the Warhammer IP. No real news after that, but if the project still stand, they could come out with something great.

  5. kalex716 says:

    Because competent game developers, have a hard time striking meaningful deals with GW.

    Occasionally, when the IP does get agreed upon to be used, its usually to a dev studio thats more desperate, and willing to do it under a crappy agreement, and of no coincidence, make a crappy game as a result.

  6. carson63000 says:

    What if they followed the Mtg -> MtG Online model and did an online game where you had to buy units for the same price as the lead figures? ;-)

    • SynCaine says:

      Honestly? I’d likely end up spending thousands of dollars for online figurines. Warhammer tabletop is an amazing game, giving it a full digital version would be amazing.

      • Kryss says:

        I often have same thought, why not just digitaly recreate table-top game and selling arenas, units and all that. Warhammer looks interesting to me, but moving toy soldiers, rolling dices, arguing rulebooks … all that looks silly, we have computers for that!

  7. Corelin says:

    Because GW has terrible leadership that only continues to survive because of brilliant IPs and fantastic models.

  8. Armagon says:

    Hm, I think it’s hard to predict how the majority of people will behave, just looking at my own spendings there.

    I’ve had a general interest in Warhammer and 40k for the last 20 years, but only ever bought like 100 EUR worth of miniatures for painting. (No clue in which box they are now). Oh, and a few of the games, but all just on sale via GoG or Steam, never full price – and hardly played them either. And maybe 2 paperback novels from 40k, but maybe they were from the sale bin at the RPG shop…

    I’ve bought and played Blizzard games since Diablo/WarCraft II. But I hated the RPG book and have never given them a single Euro for anything besides WoW. So while I probably was a good customer (nearly 8 years of WoW) I didn’t expand beyond the video game part besides a single purchase which I did regret.

    Now I’m playing Marvel Heroes and partly because of that grabbed all the remaining Marvel Cinematic Universe movies on BD that I was missing and also started buying comic books again (after like 10 years or more).

    So yeah, sometimes it works crossmedia, sometimes it doesn’t.

  9. malahide says:

    I’ve seen you playing Warband on Steam these past days – I knew something was up!!

  10. Company will be Company?

    • SynCaine says:

      Well not exactly, GW has had good videogames; the Dawn of War series is pretty fantastic, Bloodbowl is awesome, and I’m sure there are others.

      Just for whatever reason they refuse to allow someone to make something that is even close to what the actual tabletop game is; armies clashing.

  11. anon says:

    Going on a tangent (because “Warband has crept up into ‘best game ever’ territory for me”), did you try this?

    Not that I tried it myself, but given what you usually post I thought you may be interested.

    • SynCaine says:

      Never tried that one, I don’t really like multi-player WB to be honest. I love the combat in the game, but I can’t play it only for the combat.

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