Saturday, 10 September 2016

Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight Games split

It's official, GW and FFG will no longer be doing business. 

Considering that FFG/Asmodee have blasted past GW in terms of total turnover in the last few years and the decision of GW to bring back specialist games, i'm not hugely surprised.

FFG has been the actual games workshop for Games Workshop for a long long time. And while they have focused on model making supported by badly designed games, FFG have been keeping people who love the settings engaged with really good games.

A lot of these games are relatively early in their development cycle. People who stumped up to get Conquest & Warhammer Quest - the card game - will likely bit put out by not being able to continue to expand those games.

Forbidden stars will stay a 4 faction game, i'm so glad I didn't buy it yesterday (and I was in store, holding the box, debating it)

For me, Chaos in the Old World is the pinnacle of this relationship. It's dripping in GW's IP and theme, but has the great game design of FFG. It's simply a masterclass in game design and I am so glad I have a copy of a game that is likely to go OOP and stay OOP for a long long time.

Blood Bowl team manager is also my favourite "Lite" game, and i'm slightly miffed it won't be getting any more teams. 

I highly doubt the FFG/GW deal will allow GW to lift all the mechanics and start selling expansions for the games, so this could be the death of these lines. Although "REX" type reskins could happen for some of the games.

And looking at GW's most recent attempts at Board Game design, my hopes are not high. Poor mechanics and nice figures don't engage me. Dreadfleet was a terrible terrible game and Warhammer Quest:Silver Tower costs about the price of three decent boardgames in NZ and, asides from the figures, is an average to decent dungeon crawler. But i could also get Descent 2nd edition core set and two expansions for the same price. It also doesn't help that the new Warhammer world is just awful. 

It's pretty, but at $320 you are paying for the models, not the game or bits

Sure GW do great figures, they are a model company after all and they excel at that. But FFG is a games company, and losing the GW IP means that we have likely concluded a 2nd golden age of GW themed games.

The first was GW's glory days as a Games design company, when titles like Space Hulk, Blood Bowl, Warhammer Quest, Fury of Dracula and Heroquest were coming out and were as good as any of the competition. Space Hulk and Blood Bowl still occupy very warm places in my heart and on my games shelf. And boy am I glad that Blood Bowl online is still a thing.

It's possible that GW will eventually return to greatness in the Boardgame field, but it won't be immediately, their game development culture has been focused on flash and models for far to long and Game Design is not easy to do well. I personally prefer a mediocre looking game than a pretty one that sucks.

Power Grid > Dreadfleet in other words. 

Looks like I have a few expansions for games to procure before they go out of print. Time to finally get "Halls of Terra" for Relic, ugh, so gutted their won't be more Relic, that game was stupid but fun. 

I highly recommend getting the stuff you want for these games now, as they will go OOP really quickly and will likely not come back. 

Post Script:

A friend of mine brings up the RPG lines and raises the point that GW will likely not develop any replacements. Sad day for WHFRP and Dark heresy fans as well. 

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