Games Workshop - Staggered Release Schedule




In a recent Bell of Lost Souls article we were told that Games Workshop plans to de-synchronize their releases. This means that products will hit the shelves more or less as soon as they're released rather than being delayed so that they can appear with similar products all at once (i.e. Codex release). 

What this means for us rules-enthusiasts is that we may begin to see more 'Night Spinner' style releases. A single rules entry written for a specific model release. This means armies will get updated over time (as well as having a codex for initial rules) allowing GW to release rules (and models) more quickly.

This could evolve into a system that rewards GW for every new unit entry that is released as each new entry can conceivably be used to re-vamp an existing army-list the way some Eldar players may have decided 3 Night Spinners was the way to go so too might others leap at the opportunity to refurbish large parts of their existing lists. This generates steadier, more reliable sales figures for GW spurring them to release more and more unit entries making 40k more diverse and exciting. There might yet be an "official" Rules Manufactorum supplementing existing rules with colorful, characterful additions that enhance the game. 

Of course nothing is known for certain but we are seeing changes in the things are being run at GW HQ. They're responding to the community in a productive way and, if you ask me, it's about damn time.

-Atrotos

Comments

sonsoftaurus said…
What I think would be a good way to do it would be to synch models for newer units close to the codex release, and just put out updated versions of things whenever they're ready.

So say they release a new Necron book which includes rules for a Pylon and a more combat-oriented Tomb Spyder called the Tomb Scorpion. Release those along with the codex, and down the road release the plastic flayed ones, wraiths, etc.

At this point they have so many lines with so many kits, de-synching to a large extent makes more sense and allows them to always have something new coming out if they time it well.
Master Bryss said…
Agreed on the Night Spinner point. They do put a fair few LoTR/WoTR rules into White Dwarf every so often, but I don't know whether that's just giving people existing rules for free or actually making up new stuff. I'd really like a clarification on that.
Atrotos said…
@ SonsofTaurus: You're right. And it really is factions such as the Necrons that benefit from this kind of change. No more being sidelined because GW can't afford a big release for a less popular army.

@Master Bryss: LotR is like a testing ground for Warhammer. I think we're going to see a lot of things in 40k that used to exist only in that franchise (just as Fantasy got pre-measuring after WotR did).

I think GW considers the LotR player base to be less hardcore and therefore more flexible in terms of rules changes and new units appearing without much balancing and ceremony.
There is a serious risk of ruining the balance of the games this way. I am anxious, more than anything.
Atrotos said…
@ King Elessar: I feel GW is more wary than ever of ruining this balance they've invested so much time in establishing. There is the threat of wonky mis-matched rules but I feel balance is safe.

Also, while balance across 5th ed codices is excellent closing the gap between older and newer publications should become a priority and not a process taking 4-10 years. With the staggered release schedule we could see older races given a makeover - it's as easy as producing an FOC changing character. Tau Stealth suits as Troops anyone? Makes GW more money for less work too.
Stealths as Troops should be ShadowSun, IMO...but I take the point. :p